Teaching With and Without Miracles — Acts 9

As Bible teachers, we might think it would be easier to teach if we could also work miracles as Jesus, Peter, and Paul did. As Bible students, we might think it would be easier to learn if we could see some miracles from our teachers. But even though the apostles (the teachers Jesus sent out and who wrote our New Testament) worked many miracles, it also seems they required effort and were few and far between.

Consider these New Testament Teachings about Miracles.

1. Jesus performed “miracles, wonders, and signs” (see Acts 2:22). “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul” (see Acts 19:11). Paul wrote that working miracles while teaching required great perseverance on his part: “I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles” (2 Corinthians 12:12). The mark of a true apostle of Jesus Christ included “signs, wonders and miracles,” not the work of a Bible teacher. The work of the Bible teacher is teaching the truth according to the Bible.

2. Jesus said that not everyone who performs miracles are true followers of Him, for He will say to some who have performed miracles and called Him “Lord, Lord” — “I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers” (see Matthew 7:22-23). Someone might try to teach us falsehoods and perform miracles to try to convince us to believe them, so we would still need the Bible to help us evaluate what we were hearing to know if they were telling the truth or not (see Matthew 24:24).

3. Jesus pronounced woes on some towns where He performed miracles, because the people would not repent (see Matthew 11:20-24). So, true Bible teaching with miracles should move everyone to repent and obey the Lord Jesus. To whom much is given much is required, and seeing true miracles by godly Christians increases our responsibility to trust in and serve the Lord with gladness (see Luke 12:48). Furthermore, from study of the Bible alone, we should want to love, praise, and serve the Lord Jesus with grateful hearts.

4. Even in the New Testament, not all Bible teachers were teaching and performing miracles, because, as Paul asked expecting the answer to be “No!” — “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?” (1 Corinthians 12:29). Then, Paul wrote: “I will show you the most excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). In “The Love Chapter” in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul described loving as the more excellent way than working miracles to teach.

As Bible teachers, we can pray for the love of Jesus Christ to flow through us to our students as we teach and throughout each day. As Bible students, we can pray for the love of Jesus Christ to flow into and through us as we learn more from the Bible about how to express our love for God, for our Bible teachers and for others.

Think about how Tabitha expressed her love: “she was always doing good and helping the poor” (Acts 9:36).

What is one of the best ways to teach the Bible and convince others the Bible is true? By the love of God in and flowing through us as we teach the Bible. The love of Jesus Christ flowing from students back to their teachers and to one another can help everyone learn together, and teachers and students can lovingly encourage one another to practice what they are teaching and learning from the Bible.

Bible study and prayer help us continue to grow spiritually and live more effectively as Christians. In addition to the International Bible Lessons Commentary and the International Bible Lessons Forum, you will find the International Prayer Lessons helpful as we study together The Believer’s Secret of the Abiding Presence by Andrew Murray and Brother Lawrence using the FREE audio book chapter-by-chapter.

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May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

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Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God's Word and His people,
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