In the Early Church How Often Did Non-Apostles Work Miracles?

work miracles

Max Aplin

I have been a Christian for over 30 years. I have a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Edinburgh. I am a British national and I currently live in the south of Scotland.You are very welcome to take any of my articles to post on your website, blog etc. If you do this, you may Americanise the English spellings, leave out the links at the end of the article, and change the format of subheadings, quotations etc., if you want. But please attach my name and keep the content of the article unaltered.Check out my blog, "The Orthotometist" above.

8 Responses

  1. Ifeanyichukwu Uka says:

    Heĺlo.. I came across this article while searching if miracles followed on after the death of Jesus. My hypothesis is that miracles performed were those requested from God by apostles them selves. Like Paul and Silas praying. When I look at the Bible from Old testament to revelations God went from speaking to Man directly to the prophets till after Christ and then only the holy spirit ministered to the apostles. I believe miracles today are manifested in the brains of men. That’s why man could create the plane phones cars etc. What do you think? I see all the pastors today perform so called miracles and I shrug why have they not healed anyone with cancer? Or AIDS? I think they are just specialists in crowd hypnosis

    • C Ashenden says:

      Hello! Just to say that if you Google it, you’ll see the very real testimonies on miraculous healings of people with cancer, AIDS etc. By pastors, Christian healing ministries, individuals with either a God-given gift of healing, or merely believers of Christ who are passionate about healing prayer. Some to look at are Frances McNutt, Randy Clark, John G Lake, Smith Wigglesworth, Damian Stayne of the Cor Et Lumen Christ Community in the UK, the wonderful healing testimony videos on Bethel Church in the US has around 600 people each week from all over the world and see a massive number of healing miracles. The illness they see healed most often (proportionally with regard to the number of sufferers visiting) is cancer.

      God bless.

  2. Very good article. I don’t see anywhere in scripture that miracles and healings ceased with Apostles. In fact the Bible tells us and encourages us to walk in faith, pray for the sick and ask God for anything according to his will.
    Thank You!

  3. TOM Pastian says:

    Dear Max, I agree with most of what you’ve said in this article. I would like to know what miracles occurred in the Galation churches. Since the miracles that occured were the result of the faith of those who heard, I was looking for something more specific, as to what it was they heard besides the gospel, and what the miracles might be. Or, could it be that at that time in church history, when Galations believed the gospel, there were some who were healed when they received the Spirit after believing?

  4. Max Aplin says:

    Dear Tom, thanks for your question.

    The Bible doesn’t actually tell us what miracles occurred in the Galatian churches. However, elsewhere in the NT, most miracles are healing miracles, so it is a reasonable guess that most of the miracles among the Galatians were healings of some sort. But this is just an educated guess.

    I’m sure Paul doesn’t mean that the miracles occurred automatically when the Galatians had saving faith. And I think in Gal 3:5 he is speaking loosely and concisely. At first sight, he seems to be saying that “hearing with faith” led to the Galatians receiving the Spirit and working miracles. But I think he is compressing his words so as to be concise, and that he means two things: (1) hearing with faith led them to receive the Spirit and (2) they worked miracles by faith. I don’t think he is really connecting “hearing” with miracles at all. The NT contains many similar compressions of thought.

  5. DonHz says:

    This is an interesting topic. I am following it closely along with doing my own study.

  6. Jefferson says:

    Thats a very interesting side you took. But honestly, I’m not yet fully convinced that these signs or miracles set forth by human agents have not yet ceased today as you’ve mentioned. Would you care to explain further on the fact that assuming these things still exist today, what would be the purpose considering the Bible had already been completed. Thank you in advance for the response.

  7. Max Aplin says:

    Jefferson, here is an excerpt from part 2 of my article, “God Wants to Use Christians in Miracle Work Today”:

    “There some Christians who say that it is not God’s will to work miracles today because they are unnecessary. They agree that God used miracles in the first century to help the church get up and running. But they claim that once the church was well established, miracles had outlived their usefulness, so God stopped performing them.

    This argument is completely misguided:

    First, the argument seems to start from the assumption that God wants to do the minimum amount of miracle work possible. But why would we assume this? There is no good reason.

    Second, the book of Acts makes it clear that in the first century, miracles were used massively by God to build His church. He used them to make evangelism more successful and to build up those who were already saved. See, e.g., Acts 2:1-13, 41; 3:1-4:4; 4:31; 5:1-11; 8:5-8; 9:1-22, 32-35, 36-42.

    There is absolutely no reason for thinking that miracles should have a different result today. As far as their effectiveness is concerned, the fact that the church is now well established is beside the point.

    Third, the New Testament strongly suggests that most miracles in the early church were healing miracles. And a large part of God’s motivation for performing these was certainly because He loved people and wanted to free them from various afflictions. But God obviously has the same love for people who are afflicted today.”

    There are also a number of biblical passages which suggest that miracles continue throughout the Christian era. These include John 14:11-12; Acts 1:8; 2:16-18; 1 Cor 13:8-10; 14:1; James 5:14-16. There are also inferences we can make, such as from the words used to describe Jesus’ ministry in Luke 4:18-19, and the way that the early church carried on where Jesus left off. It would be very strange if later Christians did not also continue in the same vein. The combined weight of all these texts supports a very strong biblical case for miracle work continuing until the Lord returns.

    Christian testimony today also confirms this biblical teaching. There is such a thing as demonic, counterfeit miracle work, but Satan is only counterfeiting a genuine form of miracle work.

    For more details see “God Wants to Use Christians in Miracle Work Today” (link is above).

    I hope that helps.

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