"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Romans Series Continues

Pastor John Piper returned to the pulpit of Bethlehem Baptist a couple of weeks ago, but this week he picked back up the series in Romans. In expositing Romans 15:14-21, Pastor Piper stated the following:

Now what about today? Should we be expecting the same miraculous confirmations of our witnessing today? My answer is yes, but not in the same measure that the apostles experienced this miraculous power. The reason I say yes is that I don’t see any compelling reason given in the New Testament that God has declared a moratorium on miracles. But I do see lists of miraculous gifts for the church (not just apostles) in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. So I think God intends to bless his word and his people with miracles in our day—extraordinary works of divine power that go beyond the laws of nature.

But the reason I say, probably not in the same measure that the apostles experienced this miraculous power, is that there is good evidence that miracles were especially prominent in the early days to vindicate the deity of Christ and the authority of the apostles as they laid the foundation of the church. For example, Jesus said in John 5:36, “The works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.” So it seems that the miracles of Jesus had a special function role to play in confirming that the Son of God was here.

Then there is evidence that Paul saw his miracles as a special validation of his apostleship. For example, in 2 Corinthians 12:12 he says, “The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.” So it seems that Paul saw the signs and wonders God worked through him as a special mark of his apostleship. Not that God only uses apostles to do miracles, but there was something extraordinary in how God blessed his founding apostles.

So when the Lord Jesus returns to heaven and the apostles have laid the foundation of the church in the New Testament and are taken off the scene, I think what we have is not a de-supernatualized religion. Not at all! The Holy Spirit has been poured out, and he is still fully capable of doing signs and wonders. Rather, we have a centralized focus on the word of God, the gospel, because all the central acts of salvation are now in history and it is the word that connects us with these saving acts of God in the past.

Check out the entire text of the message here.


Blogger jinx protocol said...

Nice picture of Roland.

11:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Even So... said...

Piper is right...

9:42 PM EDT  

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