Bryan Paul Sullo

If you Believe the Bible: Miraculous Acts

In Faith & Religion on 6 April 2014 at 7:54 am

People who believe the Bible believe a lot of strange things. For example, they believe in miracles. There are at least 31 miraculous events recorded in the book of Acts alone. If you believe in the Bible, you believe these occurred. Specifically, you believe . . .

(All verses taken from the book of Acts.)

1. It is possible for people to speak in languages they do not know and have not learned.

  • 2:1—13 While the apostles were gathered together, they heard a sound like violent wind, tongues of fire appeared and rested on each of them, and they began to speak in other languages. The noise drew a crowd filled with international visitors, each one heard the apostles speaking in their native tongue.
  • 10:46 While Peter is preaching, Gentile believers receive the Holy Spirit and speak other languages.

2. It is possible for people to perform miracles.

  • 2:43 “Many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.”
  • 5:12 “The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people.”
  • 6:8 Stephen does “great wonders and miraculous signs.”
  • 14:3 Paul and Barnabus perform “miraculous signs and wonders” in Iconium.

3. It is possible for a human being to miraculously heal the sick.

  • 3:1—10 While Peter and John are going to the temple to pray, Peter heals a crippled beggar.
  • 5:16 Sick and possessed from the towns around Jerusalem came to the apostles and were healed.
  • 8:6—8 Philip travels to Samaria, exorcises evil spirits, and heals paralytics and cripples.
  • 9:17—18 Ananias heals Saul’s blindness: Something like scales falls from Saul’s eyes.
  • 9:34 A bedridden Aeneas is healed by Peter. Aeneas immediately gets up and walks.
  • 14:8—10 Paul heals a man crippled from birth in Lystra. At Paul’s command, the man jumped up and began to walk.
  • 28:8 Paul heals the father of Publius by placing his hands on him.
  • 28:9 Sick people on Malta come to Paul and are healed.

4. God can choose to act through nature itself.

  • 4:31 For proclaiming the Gospel, Peter and John are imprisoned and questioned by the authorities. Upon their release, they went back to their people and prayed. At the conclusion of the prayer, the place they were meeting was shaken.
  • 16:25—26 Prison doors are opened for Paul and Silas in a dramatic fashion when an earthquake throws them open and causes the chains to fall off of all the prisoners.
  • 28:3—6 Paul is bitten by a viper and suffers no ill effects.

5. God can and may chastise people physically.

  • 5:1—11 Two believers, Ananias and Sapphira, sold some land and gave the money to the Apostles for the community, but they secretly kept some of the money for themselves (lying about the price they had gotten for the land). Confronted by Peter about this, they both fell down and died.
  • 13:11 Elymas, a sorcerer, is blinded after Paul rebukes him.

6. It is possible for natural objects and phenomena to contain and transmit supernatural power.

  • 5:15 The sick are healed by simply laying where Peter’s shadow can fall upon them as he passes by.
  • 19:11—12 Handkerchiefs and aprons touched by Paul are used to heal the sick and cast out evil spirits.

7. Angels exist, and can interact with people on Earth.

  • 5:19 The apostles are arrested by the high priest, who throws them in jail, but that night an angel frees them, telling them to go back to the temple to proclaim the Gospel.
  • 12:6—10 An angel leads Peter out of prison in the middle of the night. Peter had been chained between two guards.

8. It is possible for human beings to “teleport”.

  • 8:39—40 After baptizing an Ethiopian eunuch, Philip is transported bodily from Gaza to Azotus (about 19 miles away).

9. It is possible for human beings to hear from God directly.

  • 9:3—9 Saul is struck blind by a light from heaven. He and those with him hear Jesus speaking.

10. It is possible for human beings to raise others from death.

  • 9:40 Peter raises Tabitha from death.
  • 20:10 Paul raises a boy to life who fell from a third-story window.

11. It is possible for human beings to predict the future.

  • 11:28 Agabus predicts a famine.
  • 27:22—44 Paul is told by God, not only that the ship he is sailing on will be wrecked and lost, but that all of the men aboard will be spared, and it comes to pass as he said.

12. Evil spirits exist, can possess human beings, and can perform supernatural feats.

  • 16:16 A slave-girl with an evil spirit predicts the future

13. It is possible for human beings to command evil spirits.

  • 16:18 Paul casts the fortune-telling evil spirit out of a slave-girl by invoking the name of Christ.

If you say that you believe the Bible, did you know that you believe all those things? If you do believe the Bible, you may be thinking that the items in the list that begin, “It is possible . . .” are only possible through the power of God, and that God can do anything. That’s true, but the point is that God chooses to act through human beings, through the physical. Do you really believe that he does?
If you say you don’t believe the Bible, I’m curious to know how many of these items you do or do not believe anyway. You might be surprised at how much your view of the physical and spiritual world matches up with the Biblical view.

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