Bible Reading: Acts 2:14-24
“Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” [Galatians 3:5]
Miracles were not unusual in the early church. Paul mentions the working of miracles three times in his epistles, in 1 Corinthians 12:8,28, and Galatians 3:5. In Galatians 3:5 Paul makes it clear that the Holy Spirit was working miracles in the Galatian church. God intends that miracles should be the experience of the local church and through the local church.
The word that Paul used in each of these verses is the plural form of the Greek word ‘dunamis’. ‘Dunamis’ in its singular form means ‘power’ and is the root word of the English words dynamite, dynamo and dynamic. The plural form of dunamis in referring to the ministry of Jesus is translated as ‘mighty works’ or ‘miraculous powers’ [Matthew 13:54]. Peter also uses the same word when speaking about Jesus on the Day of Pentecost, “People of Israel, listen! “God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him”” [Acts 2:22 NLT]. If the ministry of Jesus was endorsed by powerful miracles, then how much more should the ministry of His church be endorsed in the same way.
The evidence of a true apostle is a character quality, perseverance, and the accompanying of signs, wonders and mighty deeds [dunamis] or miracles [2 Corinthians 12:12].
The writer to the Hebrews says, “So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose” [Hebrews 2:3-4].
People gave heed to the words of Philip, the evangelist, when they “saw the signs and great miracles that were done” [Acts 8:6-7,13]. In Ephesus God worked unusual [“special” KJV] miracles [‘dunamis’] [Acts 19:11-12]. The words “unusual” and “special” tell us that miracles were the norm in the early church, but in Ephesus there was something outside of the norm.
Signs, wonders, gifts of the Spirit, and various miracles [‘dunamis’] should confirm the message of the Gospel. It is recorded in the ministry of Jesus, on the Day of Pentecost, in the Churches in Galatia, Ephesus and Corinth, in the ministry of Philip and confirmed by the writer of Hebrews. Are we missing this in our presentation of the Gospel in and through our churches today?
What is your personal response to the evidence of the miraculous in the early church? Can you see the supernatural hand of God at work in your life?
Would you begin to pray for a revival in the church where God’s presence is evidenced by signs and wonders and salvation?