Monday, February 21, 2011

Miracles - Part 2

"For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." [I Cor 13:9-10]

In part 1 of this series I talked about the purpose of miracles, that they were signs to point to the authority and power from which the one performing the miracle came.  This was necessary in times past because anyone could simply show up on the scene claiming to be from God and there was no way to test him.  So this begs the question, would miracles always be necessary?

In the book of I Corinthians, Paul talks a lot about miracles, and one thing that the reader can gleam is that miracles were not complete.  That is, just because someone had the ability to perform miracles didn't mean that had all of the power of God.  In the 14th chapter of I Corinthians, Paul addresses an issue the congregation was having with different people using their miraculous gifts inappropriately, and in verses 27-28 tells those who speak with tongues not to speak unless there is an interpreter.  The implication is that those who could speak in tongues could not also interpret those tongues, and needed someone else who could.

This brings me to the focus verse, I Cor 13:9-10.  Paul says that their knowledge and prophesy are in part (imperfect, not full), but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away with.  What is that which is perfect?  Well Paul later tells Timothy in II Timothy 3:16-17 that ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and goes on to talk about its value.  The Word of God is the complete revelation of God (that is, all that He wanted to reveal to us) and is that which is perfect which had not yet been completed in the day of miracles.  Now that we have the completed Word of God with which we may "be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works," we have no more need of miracles to show the authority of God.  Scripture IS that authority, and unlike miracles that were only given to some to perform, the Word of God is freely available to all.

But don't miracles still continue today?  In the next part of this series we'll examine some modern day miracles and compare them to Biblical miracles to see how they hold up.

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