The word miracle tends to be used loosely today. A beautiful sunset, the birth of a baby or even exciting sports plays are sometimes referred to as miracles. While these events may be remarkable, wonderful or grand to behold, they are in fact, common events. The birth of a baby, for example, is certainly an impressive event, that leads us to stand in awe of the majesty of God’s creation of life and the cosmos. Yet, many babies are born every single hour! While astounding, the birth of a baby is a common event that follows the normal laws of nature that God has made. 


Then what is a miracle?


A true miracle occurs when the natural operation of the forces of nature is suspended and there is a supernatural intervening force which acts according to its own laws and produces its own effects - all as part of God’s sovereign design. The parting of the red sea, the virgin birth or the raising of Lazarus from the dead are examples of true miracles - in which an event occurs that goes against the normal laws of nature.


Miracles are not common, but they are clustered at certain times in the redemptive history of God’s people. Miracles were designed by God for a very specific use: to authenticate that a messenger and their message was from God. These miraculous events are often described as “signs” and “wonders” in Scripture. These would be a “sign” that the messenger was indeed sent by God, and that the message was from God Himself, and should therefore be heeded as such.


It would be helpful to limit the use of the word “miracle” to the use it was made for in the Old and New Testaments, to prove authority of those giving divine revelation. Since God’s revelation has been completed with the end of the apostolic age, we believe that God doesn’t do miracles in that sense today. God no longer grants miracle-working power to human beings. However, that does not deny that God does work supernaturally in creation, according to His sovereign will and purpose. God can still suspend the forces of nature to do something grand and wonderful to glorify His name. As Christians, we look forward to the miraculous sight of Jesus Christ, returning in the same way He ascended, to bring the saints to their heavenly home.


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