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The Miracles of the Apostles
They gave forth their Lots.
pp. 5 - 13
In this series we are considering the evidential miracles performed by the apostles.
Evidential, i.e. that which furnishes external evidence of direct intervention by the
Almighty. Such miracles were not only displays of power which made people wonder,
but also were signs to those who observed them and a testimony to those who performed
them. We have been concerned with neither:
"The gospel of Christ: for it is the power (miracle, dunamis) of God unto salvation to
everyone that believeth" (Rom. 1: 16).
"The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are
saved it is the power (miracle, dunamis) of God" (I Cor. 1: 18).
There can be no doubt about it. The gospel of Christ and the preaching of the cross do
work miracles when people believe and are saved. This is no less true today than it was
during the Acts period but such miracles work inside people, in the heart and in the mind.
During the Acts period such occurrences were accompanied by external signs of God's
internal action but this is not the case today.
The first evidential miracle performed by the Apostles in the book of Acts is the
casting of lots (Acts 1: 26). Judas had betrayed the Lord and then killed himself. There
was a need for the apostles to replace him, to make their number up to twelve
(Matt.xix.28). However, the replacement had to have certain credentials. If they were to
be witnesses, according to the Lord Jesus Christ:
"Ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning"
It is obvious that Peter and the others appreciated this:
"Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord
Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the Baptism of John, unto that same day
that He was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of His
resurrection" (Acts 1: 21, 22).
How many people had the necessary qualification? Acts 1: 23 states "they had
appointed two". Whether these were the only two or whether they had been selected
from other possible candidates is not clear. What is clear is that both men were so
well-suited for the office that the apostles could not decide who was the better qualified.
However, all agreed that it must be one of these two so . . . . . in what sense did the
apostles "appoint these two"?