What Does God Call a Miracle?

“If any man speak, let him speak as of the oracles of God….” (1 Peter 4:11)

If we would just remember that, it would save us so much time and error and grief. So many times I have heard discussions among brethren about what a miracle is, and whether we have them today, and we seldom, if ever, look to the Bible for our answers. To the contrary, I hear the “miracle of birth” and the “miracle of the growing seed” (man’s wisdom) mentioned almost every time! Oh! that we had the attitude in 1 Cor. 2:13, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches…!”

What does GOD call a miracle? For instance, many would like to call the act of God healing a loved one in answer to prayer, a “miracle.” What kind of healing in the New Testament times was called a “miracle?” Look at these sample passages: John 4:50-54; John 9:6-16; John 11:43-47; Acts 3:2-7;4:16,22; Acts 8:6-7; Acts 19:11-12. Notice that in every case, where we are told how fast the healing was done, it was instantaneous, and in every case, it was complete and permanent. It is safe to say that the healings today, in answer to prayer, are never like that. They all take some amount of time to come about. They are the natural healings that God has done since the foundation of the world, to sinners and saved alike.

We cannot call every act of God a miracle, because God Himself does not use the word “miracle” in this way. In John 3:1-2, one of the proofs that Jesus was from God was that no normal man could do the miracles He did, unless he were from God, “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” There is no doubt that God is intricately involved, day by day, in the things that happen on this earth. For instance, Matthew 10:29-31 says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Every sparrow that falls to the ground is under the care and control of the Father, but God never calls this a miracle. Again, the Spirit says in Acts 17:24-25, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” Every breath that I draw is an act of God, but it is in no way a miracle, because God does not call it that. “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power….” (Heb. 1:2-3) The continued existence of the universe is the result of the work of God, but it is not a miracle.

The events that God called “miracles” in the Scripture are things that 1) could only be done thru the aid of the Holy Spirit, 2) were instantaneous and complete, and 3) were done as a witness of the gospel (Heb. 2:3-4). We need to be careful to use words and definitions which the Holy Ghost teaches, and not the ones that men invent. To do anything else is to add to the words of God, and can cause heresy.

–Brett Johnson

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