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Aug 23, 2020

Originally Presented: February 22nd, 2009

Scripture Reading: Romans 15:19

In his recounting his ministry, Paul makes reference to what Christ had accomplished through him (Rom 15:18) and he cites that this work was done "in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit" (Rom 15:19).  The phrase "signs and wonders" (or a variation) appears sixteen times in the New Testament and the connotation is always a reference to something miraculous.

The word 'sign' refers to the purpose for the miracle, usually to affirm the authenticity of the truth of Christ (cf. Acts 2:22; 15:12) or of the validity of the apostles (cf. 2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:4).  The word 'wonder' refers to the unusual character of some act or event and always appears, in the New Testament, in conjunction with the word 'sign'.

Are the wonders of which we read in the New Testament still being performed today?  Many ministries today are built almost exclusively on what appears to be miraculous healings.

The Bible tells us to pray for the sick that they might be healed (Jam 5:13-15) and most of us know personally of some wondrous answer to prayer for the sick.  Although God still does wondrous miracles in healing people, the power which He gave to the apostles to perform such acts has ended with the apostolic age.

Miracle working power was associated with the apostles (cf. Acts 2:43; 5;12; 15:12; Heb 2:4).  Peter commanded the paralyzed to walk and raised the dead (Acts 9:32-43).  Paul blinded a false prophet (Acts 13:6-12).  Jesus gave power to the apostles to "heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers" (Matt 10:8).

Miracles have certainly not ceased, but God granting to men the power to raise the dead and give sight to the blind ("signs and wonders") surely ended with the apostolic age.