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When we think about miracles in the New Testament, we often consider the
miracles of Christ in the Gospel accounts. There are, however, many miracles
recorded in the book of Acts. A survey of these miraculous works is worthy of our
reflection.
Remember, Jesus Christ revealed to his disciples that they would have the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, after the Lord returned to heaven (John 14:26). Their
teaching was to be inerrant and sufficient, and they would have the divine
corroboration of supernatural works. Thereby, hearers of the apostolic message
could have confidence in what they heard; they relied upon the apostolic preaching
as being from God. The miracles provided objective, indisputable testimony
concerning the gospel message (cf. Mk. 16:20; Heb. 2:4). Let us note the miracles that are recorded in the book of Acts.
Luke refers to the visible appearance of Jesus after his resurrection (1:3). The
inspired historian records the miraculous ascension of Christ into heaven (1:9). We
read, in Acts 2, of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the twelve apostles,
accompanied by the miraculous wind, fire, and speaking in tongues (i.e., speaking
in languages that were unknown by the apostles; cf. 2:6). Many miracles were performed by the apostles (2:43). Peter healed the lame man
at the Temple (3:7-11). God answered Peter in a miraculous earthquake (4:31).
Ananias and Sapphira were slain by the Lord (5:5-10). Signs and wonders
continued to be done by the apostles (5:12). Peter healed many from various cities
(5:12-16). The prison doors were opened by an angel (5:19). Stephen wrought
great wonders and signs (6:8). In Samaria, Philip did great miracles and signs (8:6,7,13).
The Lord appeared to Saul, but Saul is unsaved until he responds to the preaching
of the gospel by Ananias (9:3-9). Ananias healed Saul’s blindness (9:17-18). Peter
healed Aeneas (9:32-35). In Joppa, Peter raised Dorcus from the dead (9:39-42).
Cornelius saw an angel. He and his family spoke in tongues, but he was saved by
responding to the preaching of the gospel by Peter (10:4,46; cf. v. 48; 11:14). Peter saw the vision on the roof and spoke with the Lord (10:9-22).
A prison gate was miraculously opened (12:10). Paul blinded Elymus (13:11-12).
Paul performed miracles in Iconium (14:3,4). At Lystra, Paul healed a crippled man
(14:8-18). Paul healed a woman possessed by an evil spirit (16:18). The miraculous
earthquake unloosed all the chains and doors in the Philippian prison (16:26). In
Ephesus, twelve men spoke in tongues, and prophesied (19:6). Paul performed other miracles in Ephesus (19:11,12). In Troas, Paul raised Eutychus from the dead
(20:8-12). Paul was not affected by the viper at Melita (28:3-6). He also healed
those on the island who were diseased (28:8-9).
As we can see, if one were to “demythologize” the book of Acts, as those of a
liberal bent are wont to do, much would be missing concerning the amazing growth
and development of the early church. In fact, we would have a difficult time explaining how so many Greeks, Romans, and “barbarians” (i.e., non-Greeks),
obeyed the gospel. Is it rational to think that Paul is going to walk onto some island
in the Mediterranean and convert many people simply because he is convincing, or
friendly —or was there some other reason? To the contrary, they observed
indisputable deeds that confirmed the message of the apostle. In case after case,
many believed the message that was confirmed by the miracles. This is one reason for the amazing success that the gospel enjoyed in the first century.
The confirmation that goes along with our preaching today is the completed
revelation of God (cf. 1 Cor. 13:8-10). Now, we appeal to the written record of these
events (John 20:30-31), and we are privileged to possess the completed, final
revelation of God’s will.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES John 14:26; Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:4; Acts 2; John 20:30-31

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Miracles in the Book of Acts

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