About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Signs And Wonders
finished listening to a book on my Kindle reader entitled "By Signs
and Wonders" by my friend Stephen Elliott.
So I've decided to write an article entitled "Why Signs and
being involved in the Charismatic Movement during the 1970's my friends
and I traveled far and wide, from one meeting to another, seeking the
miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. What
I noticed back then, and still notice today, is that some Christians
travel to and fro seeking to experience a Holy Spirit induced emotional
high, but is that what the Holy Spirit is all about? A
brief tour through the book of Acts will answer that question.
2 recalls the Holy Spirit being given to 120 disciples in miraculous form.
It began in a room and spread to the street.
It drew a huge crowd to whom Peter, filled with the Spirit,
preached the gospel that led 3,000 people to Jesus.
3 tells us that Peter and John healed a crippled man by the temple gate,
resulting in them preaching Jesus to the Jewish authorities.
Soon after (Acts 4:8) Peter, filled with the Spirit, preached Jesus
to them again.
5 tells us that Peter, who must have been filled with the Spirit,
pronounced death on Ananias and his wife Sapphira because they lied to the
Holy Spirit. This resulted in
the church fearing God.
8 relates Peter and John laying hands on some Samaritans in a public
space. The Holy Spirit fell on
these people in dramatic fashion as a witness to the gospel they had
9 tells of Paul's miraculous conversion that took place on the side of a
road. It resulted in Paul
being healed of blindness and being called to preach the gospel throughout
much of the known world.
10 details the miraculous outpouring of the Spirit on a Gentile family in
their house. This outpouring
of power accompanied and confirmed Peter's preaching of the gospel.
12 relates Peter's miraculous escape from prison that resulted in him
preaching the gospel with even greater fervency.
13 recalls the Holy Spirit's prophetic call for Paul and Barnabas to be
sent out on their first apostolic trip.
One of their first miracles was commanding blindness on a sorcerer,
resulting in a local civic leader coming to faith in Jesus.
14 states a number of miracles Paul performed in various places, causing
many to come to Jesus.
16 relates a vision Paul had where the Spirit redirected his travel plans
which ended up leading more people to Jesus.
In the same chapter we see Paul and Barnabas' miraculous escape
from prison which led the prison guard's family to Jesus.
19 tells how Paul met some men who had only believed John the Baptist's
message and were baptized unto repentance.
They had not yet put their faith in Jesus.
They did not know Jesus had already come and gone.
Once Paul explained that they needed to trust Jesus for their
salvation, not just
John's message and baptism, he laid hands on them.
They received the Holy Spirit in miraculous form, resulting in
their complete salvation.
20 tells us that Paul raised a man from the dead after the man fell out of a
window during Paul's preaching. This
resulted in a great witness for Jesus throughout the countryside.
28 tells us how Paul should have died from a snake bite around a camp
fire. In miraculous form he
survived, causing many to come to Jesus.
we learn from all of this is that the first generation believers
experienced the miraculous, and for the most part, outside the walls of
what we would call church. Every
display of the miraculous was in association with preaching the gospel and
people finding Jesus. This is
why miracles are called signs. They
are road signs that lead people to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit was never meant to be a spiritual drug that induces
an emotional high, as I'm sorry to say, some of us in our youthfulness
portrayed Him to be as we preached to drugged hippies on the streets back
in the early 1970's.
we want to see more of the miraculous, we must be willing to boldly preach
the gospel of Jesus outside of the walls of what we call church.
Of course, we must preach the same gospel Paul preached, not the
watered down, emaciated, gospel that is prevalent throughout much of the
western world church today.
We cannot expect the Holy Spirit to confirm the gospel with signs and
wonders if we aren't preaching the Biblical gospel.
"why signs and wonders?" The
answer is simple. They lead
people to a saving faith in Jesus. That's