Bible Insights

Do You Believe that God Can Raise the Dead?

Jesus Rose from the Dead and So Did Many Others

In Acts chapter 26, the prisoner Paul makes his defense before King Agrippa. Basically Paul recaps key moments of his life and turns his testimony into a sermon.

This must make King Agrippa squirm, because he pushes back, asking if Paul expects him to become a Christian. For the record, Paul does.

However, I want to focus on something Paul says early on in his testimony to the court. Paul asks those present, “Why would anyone consider it incredible that God can raise the dead?” (Acts 26:8). What an interesting question.

If we believe in God and consider him as an all-powerful deity, we can certainly accept that he is able to bring dead people back to life. Most notably he does this for Jesus. And Jesus, who is one with God, raises several people from the dead too.

So do Paul, Elijah, and Elisha, who all raise the dead through God’s power.

God’s Resurrecting Power

Where is this resurrecting power of God today?

Is God still in the business of raising the dead?

God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). Moses and James agree (Numbers 23:19 and James 1:17).

If God doesn’t change and once brought dead people back to life, there’s no reason to expect that he can’t raise the dead now. For some people in our world, resurrection from the dead is normal and still occurs.

Yet other people in our world, namely those in developed nations, dismiss the idea of supernatural resurrections. What’s the difference?

We get a hint in Matthew 13:58, which says Jesus—even Jesus—was limited in what supernatural wonders he could perform, because of the people’s lack of faith.

So if we’re not seeing people rise from the dead, it might not be God’s doing, but our lack of faith.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Acts 26-28, and today’s post is on Acts 26:8.]

Read more about the book of Acts in Tongues of Fire: 40 Devotional Insights for Today’s Church from the Book of Acts, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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