A Vital Truth That You Might Be Missing About The Gospel
First-century followers of Jesus grasped the relationship between miracles and gospel-proclamation. What's said and what's displayed are merely different sides of the same coin.
An example of this outlook is demonstrated in the Book of Hebrews. The text reads:
“This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders, and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will” (Hebrews 2:3-4).
Salvation isn't rooted in biblical preaching alone, but also stupendous displays. Supernatural works are just as much of a gospel testimony as the verbal pronouncements.
Along with the other Apostles, Paul was convinced that proclamations and demonstrations are intimately intertwined. Under divine inspiration, he declared, “When we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, with the power of the Holy Spirit, so you can have full assurance” (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
He was convinced that preaching devoid of miraculous displays does not bring the same level of certainty.
Elsewhere Paul affirmed, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (2 Corinthians 2:4-5).
It wasn’t merely a sound approach to biblical interpretation propelling his mission. Paul's ministry was also characterized by tangible demonstrations of the Spirit’s power.
This goes against modern religious sensibilities, but there should always be an effect—something should be observable.
Among the uninitiated, displays of power often inspire belief. We cannot ignore the biblical assertion that faith can be activated through works of power.
This reality is unmistakable in Romans 15:18-19. Paul declares that the “full proclamation” of the gospel is necessitated by the demonstration of "signs and miracles:"
"I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done– by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ" (Romans 15:18-19).
Persuasion didn't just come by rhetoric, but also by charismatic expressions. A proclamation must be accompanied by a demonstration of Spirit's power.
Contrary to popular sentiment, signs and wonders aren't peripheral. They aren't distractions or foolish excursions. They're a tangible expression of Christ's work in the earth.
The New Testament reveals that signs and wonders glorify Jesus and testify to His resurrection. They illustrate the grace of God and confirm the reality of the gospel.
In this challenging hour, what the world really needs is a proclamation and a demonstration of the gospel.