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 Vol. 3, No. 10 

Page 17

October, 2001

Miracles

By Louis Rushmore

A BIBLE MIRACLE is a SUPERNATURAL event where NATURAL law is temporarily suspended. The difference between supernatural (miracles) and natural law (without miracles) is apparent when CREATION is contrasted with PROCREATION; though God initially made everything through miracles, subsequent generations of plant, animal and human life are the result of natural law (without miracles). To further illustrate, the so-called "miracle of birth," though awesome, is a NATURAL rather than a SUPERNATURAL phenomenon; therefore, BIRTH ordinarily does not qualify as a Bible miracle. However, the birth of Jesus Christ truly did involve a miracle in order for his virgin mother to conceive (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-37).

The Bible is rich with references to miracles; Mark 16:17-18 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 each list types of miracles that are recorded in the New Testament. The PURPOSE of New Testament miracles was to: (1) identify the Messiah and instill belief in him (John 20:30-31); (2) provide a means by which man could receive new revelation from God (1 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 10:20-21); and (3) confirm revelation to be God's Word (Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:3-4).

The purpose of miracles has been fulfilled; and this fulfillment resulted in the collection and preservation of the New Testament. Today, the New Testament: (1) identifies the Messiah and instills belief in him; and (2) provides a complete revelation of God's will for man in this age. Miracles, then, are no longer necessary. Additionally, Scripture foretold that the partial revelations received by miracles would be replaced with permanent, "perfect" revelation (we call it the New Testament) (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; James 1:25; Ephesians 4:11-13). Finally, with only little reflection anyone can easily discern that no Bible miracles are occurring now.

Sin, The Great Separator

By Louis Rushmore

Perhaps no passage better underscores that sin is a great separator than Isaiah 59:1-3, which reads:

"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness."

No more tragic separation can exist than separation between any soul and the Father of Spirits. This truth was demonstrated at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ precisely when he took on himself the guilt of sin for humanity of all time; consequently, Jesus uttered: ". . . My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me" (Matthew 27:46).

A biblical definition for what constitutes sin is concisely stated in 1 John 3:4. "Whosoever committed sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." That New Testament era people are under a law of God is evident from James 1:25; 2:8. The law by which we are bound today and will be judged someday is variously alluded to in Scripture additionally as the Word of Christ (John 12:48; 14:23), the Gospel (Romans 1:16; Galatians 1:6-9), the Truth (John 8:32), Doctrine (Titus 1:9; 2:2; 2 John 9-11) and Commandments (John 14:15, 21). Throughout the New Testament (e.g., 1 Corinthians), especially through catalogs of sins (e.g., 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8), God has abundantly revealed to man what conduct (sin) which if practiced will separate man from God -- eternally if a man dies while guilty of the same.

The word "sin" is equivalent to the words "iniquities," "unrighteousness" and "transgressions." These terms are opposites of righteousness. Sin or unrighteousness and righteousness respectively represent the kingdoms of darkness (i.e., hell, Satan) and light (i.e., heaven, Christ) (Colossians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-16). There is neither middle ground nor purgatory or gray area between sin and righteousness or between the two spiritual kingdoms (Matthew 12:30).

 Sin separates from righteousness and the blessings incurred therein. Righteousness separates from sin and its consequences. Sin and righteous are polar opposites; they repel each other like magnets.

Bible history amply demonstrates that sin separates men from God. For instance, Adam was separated from God due to Adam's sin (Genesis 3:23-24). The children of Israel became separated from God because of their sins (Deuteronomy 31:16-18; Isaiah 59:1-3). It still occurs that way today; sin is a barrier that separates men -- even some Christians -- from God. Sin also causes God to close his ears to prayers and petitions (1 Peter 3:12; Proverbs 28:9).

Further, sin separates sinners from the church. Ananias and Sapphira were immediately and permanently separated from the Jerusalem church and God (Acts 5:1-11). Erring Christians are separated from the church and God because of sin today, too (1 Corinthians 5:1, 11, 13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15).

Last, sin separates sinners from heaven because no sin can enter heaven (Revelation 21:8, 27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). For many, the Great Judgment will mark the beginning of eternal separation from God who resides in heaven (Matthew 25:31-46).

Fortunately, there is a remedy for sin, which if applied while time remains, will remove the barrier of sin. That sole remedy or cure for sin is the blood of Christ; it alone takes sins away (Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 1:5; Acts 20:28; Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:11-12; 1 John 1:7). The blood of Christ is accessible by being baptized into the death of Christ (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12); erring Christians reach the redemptive blood of Christ through penitent prayer (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:7).

Any other attempt to dispense with the barrier of sin between man and God is futile. The barrier of sin can neither be circumvented by going over, around, under or through it; this barrier (sin) can only be removed by the blood of Christ, and unless it is removed, sin separates man from God.

Copyright 2001 Louis Rushmore. All Rights Reserved.
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