MemberApril 7, 2021 at 11:00 am
As I wrote before, I’d like now to mention additional examples of “miracles” that we can reasonably and scripturally expect in our day.
If you remember, my opening sentence in this discussion was: “I think that miracles still happen today, but often not in the way we expect them to”.
It is understandable that each of us may have the desire to be able to see with our own eyes something similar to what some people saw in the time of Moses or other people in the time of Jesus.
So it is understandable that the news of a person who had died and then came back to life could arouse our interest, as Timothy also pointed out in his film “Red Sea Miracle Part <st1:metricconverter productid=”2”” w:st=”on”>2”</st1:metricconverter>.
However, according to the scriptural reasoning I have done above, the scriptures state that, once Christianity was consolidated the “supernatural” miraculous gifts would cease.
Does this mean that we cannot expect any miraculous events to occur in our day?
Let us consider the three definitions of the word “miracle” found in the <st1:city w:st=”on”><st1:place w:st=”on”>Oxford</st1:place></st1:city> dictionary.
– An act or event that does not follow the laws of nature and is believed to be caused by God
– A lucky thing that happens that you did not expect or think was possible
– A very good example or product of something
Let’s also consider the etymology of the word “miracle” according the Online Etymology Dictionary.
The word “miracle” comes from the latin verb “mirari”, meaning “to wonder at, marvel, be astonished”.
If we put all the definitions together and also take into account the etymological derivation, we understand that any event that arouses awe or wonder in us human beings, regardless of the source, can be called a “miracle”.
The feeling of witnessing a miracle is just a matter of different points of view.
For example, for many of us what a computer can do could be arousing a lot of astonishment and we could almost be led to think that a computer can go beyond the natural laws we commonly know. But that changes dramatically for someone who has designed and built a computer and who has been able to use natural laws in a way that is “unknown” to ordinary people.
Following this reasoning then, the “miracle” is perceived as such only by those who do not have a “total” knowledge of the natural laws involved.
Therefore, God would not necessarily have to go against natural laws to perform a miracle but could simply use the natural laws known by Him “totally” in a way still unknown to us.
This reasoning can be applied to many things described in the Bible and not just the spectacular ones.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV) “ Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the <st1:place w:st=”on”><st1:placetype w:st=”on”>kingdom</st1:placetype> of <st1:placename w:st=”on”>God</st1:placename></st1:place>? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the <st1:place w:st=”on”><st1:placetype w:st=”on”>kingdom</st1:placetype> of <st1:placename w:st=”on”>God</st1:placename></st1:place>. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
9 types of human behaviour are listed in this scripture which were very common in the first century and which are also very common in our times.
The apostle Paul says that several members of the Corinthian church previously had those characteristics but that, thanks to God’s help, they were able to change their wrong behaviour.
We can imagine the amazement of the citizens of <st1:place w:st=”on”><st1:city w:st=”on”>Corinth</st1:city></st1:place> who saw some of their fellow citizens completely change their previous behaviour and perhaps many of them also thought that this was a “miracle”.
If something like this could happen in our society, the communities we live in could become much less dangerous.
But this kind of “miracle” is something we can really expect to happen in our day as well.
As I wrote before, if we want to benefit from a “miracle” from God today, it is to consider the Bible a very precious gift and to show our appreciation by reading and studying it every day.
The Bible itself can produce many “miracles” if taken seriously.
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
The Bible or “word of God” can be “alive and active” for us if we allow its power to influence our life.
I have personally experienced the power of God’s word in my life.
I grew up in a traditionally religious family but had never read the Bible on my own.
At the age of 16, for various reasons, I became an atheist and continued to have no interest in the Bible.
In my youth as an atheist, I had a very unruly life and got into several bad habits.
One of these bad habits was particularly bad for my physical health.
I was a heavy smoker and for this reason I had serious problems with my lungs.
Many times I tried to quit smoking but each time, in a short time, I started smoking even more.
The turning point in my life was when I started reading the Bible on my own.
Some people sparked my curiosity about the Bible when they told me that there were things written in it different from many traditional teachings.
Then I began to read and study the Bible thoroughly and found wisdom in it that could not come from human intellect alone.
In short, my life changed completely and I stopped being an atheist but what I consider “miraculous” was the way I managed to quit smoking.
I found in the Bible the right motivation to be able to quit smoking by meditating on the scripture of 2 Corinthians 7: 1
2 Corinthians 7:1 (NIV) “ Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
The “promises” to which this verse refers are those given a few verses before.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 (NIV) “Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty”
I felt like I could hear God’s voice saying to me personally, “What you are doing is “contaminating the body and spirit” that I have given you. But if you make the effort to stop contaminating yourself with smoke, “I will receive you, I will be a father to you and you will be my son”.
Meditating on these words for a long time helped me quit smoking.
What happened to me is something that I had thought was impossible to happen as I had tried multiple times in the past without ever succeeding.
That’s why I consider what happened to me a “miracle”.
Over time, I have learned of many other experiences similar to mine of people who, thanks to the power of God’s Word, have been able to radically change their way of life and greatly improve their life experience.
These are the “miracles” that we can reasonably and scripturally expect in our day.
Does this mean that mankind will no longer see extraordinary “miracles” from God like those that people saw in the time of Moses and Jesus?
Not at all because the Bible speaks of a time when God will again do extraordinary “miracles” that will amaze so many people.
I will write something about that in my next post.