A further characteristic of a spiritually healthy church

by | 6 May 2024 | 0 comments

A further characteristic of a spiritually healthy church

by | 6 May 2024 | 0 comments

Signs, wonders, and miracles

Recently this site posted an excellent article outlining some of the characteristics of a successful, growing church. I would like to add a further characteristic: Signs, Wonders and Miracles.

The ministry of Jesus was characterised by miracles whether they were healings, deliverances from demons, supernatural events such as feeding the 5,000, walking on water and so forth. We see the effect of operating in the supernatural in John 4 with the woman at the well. Jesus had a Word of Knowledge (one of the gifts of the Spirit as listed in 1 Corinthians 12) about her relationships with men which resulted in her calling everyone out from the city. And indeed out they came to see and hear from Jesus. A revival, no doubt.

This pattern was followed by the early church. Acts 3 unfolds the story of the cripple being healed and many witnessed this miracle. Then in Acts 5 the compelling statement is made: ‘At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people’. The church rapidly grew as preaching and miracles partnered together to bring rapid increase to the church.

Jesus’s own injunction to his followers was: ‘These signs will accompany those who have believed: in my name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover’ (Mark 16:17-18).

To be like Jesus and to be like the early church is to be moving in supernatural power to demonstrate the miraculous power of God.

The Apostle Paul said it clearly: ‘For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ’. (Rom. 15:18-19)

And elsewhere he persuasively outlined his pattern of doing ministry: ‘and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God’ (1 Cor. 2:4-5).

Brent Douglas
Senior Pastor
Encounter Churches of New Zealand

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