Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The question no one asks

Have you ever been stopped dead in your tracks by a verse of Scripture? I imagine that all believers have experienced this many times. Over the past few weeks I have been arrested by a question that the priests and the Sadducees asked Peter and John in Acts 4:7. In chapter 3 Peter and John were on their way to the temple to pray. A certain man, lame from birth was begging at the temple gate and cried out for alms. Peter, in one of the most memorable moments in the book of Acts, says to him, I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk.

As you can imagine this caused quite a stir at the temple. For years this man had sat at that gate and begged; now he is leaping and running and praising God. The religious leadership responds by sending guards and arresting Peter and John. The next day, they meet with the high priest and his family. Their question haunts me, by what power or name did you do this?

A miracle had taken place. They could not deny the validity of it. All they could ask was, "how did you do this?"

That is a question no one asks the church today. There is such a lack of spiritual power that the miraculous is most often argued away on theological grounds. God no longer works that way. Miracles and signs were for the apostles, but not for us.


Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating some kind of pentecostal experience or charismatic showmanship that manipulates people and attempts to produce "signs and wonders." However, I do believe that God is still in the business of real life-change. It seems evident to me that the greatest argument for the truth of Christianity should be Christians themselves. Our lives should showcase the power and grace of God. Broken and twisted lives made new by the power of the Gospel should be our greatest apologetic. As a pastor my prayer is that the power of God to change lives and to save the lost will be so evident in my church that the world can only say, "by what power did you do this? How is this possible?"