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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (28)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    The first question posed in the New Testament was by the wise men from the east (Matt. 2:2).

 

…Where is he that is born king of the Jews?

 

1.      This question had a definite answer (Matt. 2:5).

2.      This question also ignited concern in the hearts of many (Matt. 2:3).

 

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

 

a.      Was this the anticipated Messiah?

b.      Would this king be a threat to Herod’s reign in a few years?

 

B.      Every question that is asked sparks some form of a reaction.

1.      This is true of the questions that are asked on our Q & A Night.

2.      Tonight, we will be looking at two questions.

 

I.                   QUESTION #1:  Miracles

 

A.    Stated:  Please explain why miracles have ceased and why the world still believes in them.  Also, explain the difference between miracles and the providence of God.

 

B.      Answer

1.      The main reason miracles have ceased is because the complete, written Word of God has been revealed to man.

a.      There are two passages that deal with cessation of miracles.

1)      I Corinthians 13:8-13

2)      Ephesians 4:7-14

b.      Both passages deal with miraculous gifts.

1.      I Corinthians 13 really finds the beginning of discussion at I Corinthians 12:1.

 

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

 

NOTE:  Paul is discussing love in the context of spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 13.  See verse 8

 

Charity never faileth:  but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

 

2.      The text in Ephesians 4 is introduced by talking about spiritual gifts (vs. 7-8).

 

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Where he saith, when he ascendeth up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

 

NOTE:  Many of the gifts were bestowed upon those who were leaders in the churches (Eph. 4:11).

 

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers.

 

c.       Both texts deal with the “time” when miracles would cease.

1)      I Corinthians 13:10

 

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done way.

 

2)      Ephesians 4:13

 

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of man…

 

d.      Both texts deal with the full, complete, written revelation from God to man.

1)      I Corinthians 13:10 talks about “that which is perfect.”  The word perfect means “full, complete, entire, full-grown, wanting nothing.”  This is the complete written revelation of God, the New Testament.

2)      In Ephesians 4:13, Paul talks about “the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge.”  Knowledge only comes from God’s Word.  “The faith” is the system of faith.  The completed New Testament (See Acts 6:7; Jude 3).

e.       The teachings of both passages are simple.

1)      But when the complete Word of God is revealed the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, that which is in part, shall be done away (I Cor. 13:10)

2)      Miraculous gifts will last “till,” that is, up to the time when “the faith,” the completed New Testament is revealed (Eph. 4:13).

2.   Why do individuals believe that miracles still exist?

a.    They have been deceived by false teachers.  NOTE:  This was happening in the first century when miracles could be performed (Eph. 4:14).

 

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lay in wait to deceive.

 

b.    Individuals are influenced by their opinions, feelings, and perceptions rather

       than by the Word of God (Prov. 3:5).

 

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 

                        3.    The difference between miracles and the providence of God.

                              a.   The differences

 

                        Miracles                                                                     Providence

 

                        God works supernaturally                                        God works through natural law

                        Can be seen                                                                May only be seen in hindsight

                        Instantaneous                                                             Takes time to develop

                        Leaves men in awe                                                    May not have a “wow” moment

                        A definite act                                                              A series of acts or events

 

      b..   Similarities

 

                        Miracles                                                                     Providence

                                                Display God’s power

                                                May or may not involve faith

                                                Does not violate man’s free will

                                                Serves many purposes

 

                        Proves Jesus is the Son of God                                  Answered prayer

                        Confirmed the spoken word                                     Defeated enemies

                        Furnished the 1st century church                              Fulfilled prophecy

 

II.                QUESTION #2:  Prayers for the President

 

A.    Stated:  Sometimes during worship services, prayers are offered for the “leaders of the world.”  I have not heard any prayers made for the President.  Would it be wrong to pray for the President?

 

B.      Answer:

1.      The last three Presidential elections have been highly charged.  Two men, President Obama and President Trump, have been elected and no one thought either would be.

2.      Similarities:

a.      Both have been looked upon very negatively.

b.      Both have had some who do not look upon them as “their” President.

c.       Both have had people who hoped they would be arrested or killed.

3.      As Christians, we are supposed to follow God’s divine Word.

a.      God has given us laws, rules, and commands with regard to how we are to act toward those in authority.

b.      Three primary obligations have been set forth.

1)  Honor the President (I Pet. 2:17)

 

Honour all men.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honour the king.

 

                                    2). Obey the President (I Pet. 2:13)

 

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake:  whether it be to the king as supreme…

 

                                    3). Pray for the President (I Tim. 2:1-2)

 

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority…

 

c.       Three points:

1)  We need to remember who was on the throne where Peter and Paul wrote

     these verses.  It was the Caesars who were very evil men.

2)  Question:  When does God allow us any excuse to disobey His will?

3)  In the places wherein we disagree with our President, those are areas wherein

     we can pray for him.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    I am always amazed at the topics we cover on our Q&A night.

1.  Miracles

2.  Praying for the President

 

      B.    When we hear the Word of God, we should be like Samuel, who said:  “Speak, for thy servant

              heareth” (I Sam. 3:10).

 

      C.  Only by hearing and doing will we blessed in our deeds (James 1:25).

 

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.