Growing up in evangelical churches, I was taught about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Bible, but the Holy Spirit was put on the backshelf as something almost too dangerous to explore. I heard carefully crafted sermons with great analogies, but this seemed the exact opposite of what Paul described in his first letter to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)…
“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”
Christians in the Bible seemed to be living empowered, miraculous lives that were very different from the dutiful and very intellectualized Christians I had come to know. The Christians I knew, for example, prayed for the sick as opposed to what Jesus instructed us to do which was to “heal the sick” (Matthew 10:8, Luke 9:2, Luke 10:9).
Why did Jesus say “ANYONE who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these” (John 14:12)?
Why did Jesus say in his post-resurrection commission, “…and these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues…they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well…” (Mark 16:17-18)?
Based on Jesus’ definition of a “believer,” how many believers do you know? Did Jesus make a mistake? Was he kidding?
Just as a Christian can ignore Jesus’ command to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, I’m not suggesting that if someone fails to practice these gifts that they are NOT a believer. But by Jesus stating that “these signs will accompany those who believe,” Christians without supernatural power are clearly missing out on the exciting Christian journey that Jesus demonstrated and intended.
Jesus didn’t just say it, he taught the disciples how to exercise this power. The Biblical record shows that works of power went to the first generation of disciples, then to the apostles, then to a second generation (Acts 7, 8:26-40, 9:10-19), and then to a third generation (Barnabas, Silas, and Timothy). Today we have reliable reports of works of power in every century of church history since that time.
This blog is dedicated to those who are pursuing and those who want to pursue the promised miracle-laden life in Jesus Christ. May Jesus get all the glory, for this lifestyle of signs and wonders is not for our entertainment, but for showing God’s love and building His Kingdom.