By Anthony Connell
I think every Christian would acknowledge that Christianity started by miraculous means, e.g., the supernatural conception of Jesus, an angel visiting Mary and Joseph regarding Mary’s pregnancy, an angel warning Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt to avoid the certain premature death of Jesus as a baby and – well the list goes on!
Our Lord and Saviour’s ministry couldn’t be more supernatural with dramatic healings, demons cast out of people, the dead raised back to life, wind and waves obeying His command, walking on water and speaking like no one else had spoken, with amazing wisdom and authority.
Jesus death, resurrection and ascension are stupendous events and that was the end of it – NOT! Most of us would acknowledge the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost where 120 followers of Christ were waiting in the upper room for the promised Holy Spirit. They were baptised in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance. The same disciples of Jesus who had been hiding through fear of the Jewish authorities now had supernatural powers to heal the sick and to speak with great authority. They won thousands of people to Christ, as the people repented and gave their hearts to Christ.
The Acts of The Apostles reveal the supernatural dimension that Christ’s Apostles were able to ‘walk in’ on a daily basis. Peter received divine guidance through a God given trance and multitudes came to Christ through his anointed preaching. Paul didn’t die after being bitten by a deadly snake, the lame were healed, demons were cast out and special miracles took place through Paul’s ministry which we find in Acts 19:11-12 NKJV:
Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
Before Paul was ‘born again’ we read in Acts 8:3-8 NKJV:
As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore, those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.
Wow – what a launch for the body of Christ! There are many Christians today who say I believe it all – I believe the word of God but add “That was for then, but we have the scriptures now.”
So do we say, “Was that the end of the ‘Supernatural Nature of Christianity?” If we believe that ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God….(2 Timothy 3:16), then there is only one conclusion, as far as I am concerned. Why don’t we examine the ‘inspired word of God.’
The greatest and most important miracle that anyone can experience in our day is the ‘new birth’. Jesus said to Nicodemus, a Jewish leader, “You must be born again.” In John 3:5-6 NKJV Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Throughout the New Testament we read amazing statements that declare that those who are ‘born again’ are: a new creation, have the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead living in them, have the mind of Christ, are partakers of the divine nature, can do those things Christ did, and greater things than what He did.
It declares that, ‘The love of God has been poured into our heart, by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.’
If the person of the Holy Spirit has ‘joined’ with our human spirit then it makes sense that we are living in the age of the ‘supernatural nature of Christianity.’
1 Corinthians 6:17 NKJV states: But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
Some Christians might say, “I have checked out those scriptures and much to my shock I have found that you are right. How is it that I am not experiencing what Christ purchased for me at Calvary?”
In Hosea 4:6 it declares, ‘God’s people perish through lack of knowledge.’
Some Christians have also been robbed from receiving from God, because of false teachers who contradict the Word of God.
They say the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues is of the devil. This robs Christians from being able to ‘edify themselves’ by speaking in tongues. A gift from heaven to strengthen and empower Christians is made null and void by the traditions of men.
The Apostle Paul was distressed by the Church in Galatia because they were being deceived by some Jewish leaders that were teaching them that they needed to be circumcised and keep the law.
Here is his teaching in his letter to the Galatians 3:2-3,5 NKJV :
This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? … Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Miracles were not just for the Apostles as Paul revealed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NKJV:
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Wow – the manifestation of the Spirit is what we need to ‘get the job done!’ God has supernatural gifts, so our compassion for others can be expressed and God can be glorified though transformed lives!
Imagine the love for God and passion to tell others about the wonderful Name of Jesus, that has made them whole!
Let us close on one scripture from the Apostle Paul regarding the theme of this article – The Supernatural Nature of Christianity. 2 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV:
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
The Passion Translation says it this way:
We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.
I hope this word challenges and encourages you to seek God for an increased overflow of His power, which will be seen as God’s, not ours. May His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.