Believe in Jesus and Receive the Holy Spirit
Jesus said, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe” (John 4:48, NIV). It’s a warning we should all consider with care. Some people have an experience-driven faith. They need a continual dose of signs and wonders to sustain their trust in God.
What Are Signs and Wonders?
Signs and wonders refer to supernatural manifestations of Holy Spirit power. These miraculous events escape tangible explanation.
They can include healing people, receiving a prophetic word, having supernatural insight, even raising people from the dead, and so on—just as we read in the Bible and as Jesus promised we would do.
The Error of Excess
There’s nothing wrong with signs and wonders, but to expect them to occur on a regular basis in ordinary life is not reality for most people (though for some it’s normal).
These individuals continually seek out signs and wonders by traveling from conference to conference and jumping from event to event.
They need a supernatural experience to give them a spiritual boost. Yet eventually the effects of the mystical elixir fades. Dismayed over the void that is left, the spiritual adventurer goes out in a desperate search for more.
And they are often distraught until they find it, crying out for God to provide.
So continues a never-satiated cycle to sustain their experience-driven faith.
The Error of Absence
The opposite of those who need to see signs and wonders to maintain their belief in God, are those who deny the very existence of the supernatural.
They explain away Holy Spirit power in the church today because it’s not something they have personally encountered—or are willing to accept as possible.
To justify their position, they go through theological gyrations to rationalize what they want to believe—or what they aren’t willing to accept. Their explanation is weak at best.
A Balanced Perspective of Signs and Wonders
I know people—and love people—in both camps. They are on a spiritual journey with Jesus, just like me. On our walk with our Savior, we all need to avoid the error of both extremes when it comes to signs and wonders.
We must have a sustainable faith that doesn’t depend on experiencing signs and wonders and at the same time have a biblical faith that accepts the work of the Holy Spirit.
Just as chasing an experience-driven faith is bad, so is denying it.
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.
2 replies on “Does Your Faith Depend on Signs and Wonders?”
Hi Peter. I believe that signs and wonders were meant to confirm the reality if the”in breaking kingdom of God”. Jesus said as much in Luke 11:20, “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” I’ve personally read and heard of first hand accounts of missionaries on the foreign fields going as cessationists and coming back home as continuationists.
Robert, thanks for sharing about foreign missionaries, That warms my heart.