There exist numerous testimonies all over the internet, movies, and communities for the realization of modern-day miracles. Most people seem skeptical of the testimonies of supernatural miracles, while others see miracles in everyday life! Most Christians believe in the miracles mentioned in the Bible, but do the miracles of the Bible still exist today?
As with any investigation into spiritual matters, the dutiful believer must first look to God’s Word. God must be allowed to speak before all others. 1 Corinthians 13:10 mentions the passing away of miracles. God’s words through Paul’s pen should be at the center of all discussions on whether or not miracles exist today. Why? Because Paul doesn’t just mention that miracles will eventually pass away, he mentions WHEN!
Paul elucidates in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, “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. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” In context, Paul starts by talking to the Corinthians about the spiritual gifts because the Corinthians not only had Christians within their numbers who could produce all of them, but because they were misusing them. Paul first discusses what the miracles are in chapter 12. In chapter 13, Paul explains the mindset that all Christians should have behind the spiritual gifts; no one will use them as God intended without understanding love (1 Cor. 13:1-3). Finally, chapter 14 reveals Paul’s instruction as to the purpose, use, and limitations of the miracles. Chapter 14 exposes many false doctrines about modern-day miracles, which this series has already addressed in previous parts.
The part in chapter 13 that catches the eye of many believers in modern miracles is verse 10. Paul says that the miracles will cease when “that which is perfect is come.” There have been debates as to the reference of “that which is perfect.” What does Paul mean?
There are two major schools of thought as to “that which is perfect.” Some believe the “perfect” is in reference to the Second Coming of Christ. When Christ returns, there will be no more need for miracles. Others believe the “perfect” is the Word of God.
According to Greek dictionaries and lexicons, the word “perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:10 means having attained the end or purpose, complete, perfect (Strong and Thayer). Readers are looking for something that the Christians of the first century did not have that would be perfect and would make them complete by implication. Based on Paul’s future tense, it wouldn’t be something they already had; it would be something they have yet to receive.
Could it be Christ? The Christians of the first century had already received Christ, and Christ was already at work making believers perfect before Paul wrote verse 10. Colossians 2:10: “And ye are complete [plēroō meaning “perfect” (Strong)] in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Through Christ’s first coming, the Christian world had all that they needed for righteousness and salvation (2 Peter 1:3). However, Christ died, and He passed on the fulfillment of the needs of Christians to the apostles (Matt. 28:18-20; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 2 Cor. 4:7). Christ did this through the Holy Ghost, making the apostles vessels of His message and power (Heb. 2:3-4; John 14:26). Sadly, the apostles wouldn’t last forever, they would eventually die, but the Holy Spirit continued to work through what the apostles would leave behind to fulfill the needs of God’s followers, “the perfect law of liberty” revealed in the inspired writings of the apostles, the Bible (James 1:25).
[Side note: Why would you need to be told that miracles would end at the Second Coming? It doesn’t make sense for 1 Corinthians 10:13 to be a reference to the Second Coming because everything ends at the Second Coming (1 Cor. 15:23-24; 2 Peter 3:10). Why would you need to be told that miracles would cease when the world ends? It’s obvious and pointless.]
The Bible fits with what Paul calls “perfect.” It had not yet come in its completed, written form when Paul penned 1 Corinthians 13:10, and God designed the God-breathed Word to make His followers perfect/complete (2 Tim. 3:16-17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”). Furthermore, the Bible would outlast any aging apostles or prophets. The Bible stands as God’s Word, message, and communication to His followers (John 1:1).
The miracles of the past are no longer needed because the Bible does today what the miracles did for the Christians of the first century. The Bible leads people to the truth (1 Peter 1:22,23). The Bible comforts and builds up the brethren (1 Thess. 4:18; 2 Tim. 4:2). The Bible builds faith (Rom. 10:17). The word of God allows the Christian to be complete (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Bible is its own best defense in proving God’s will to mankind (Heb. 4:12).
Those who believe in miracles want more than what the Bible offers. God “hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue,” which is the Bible (2 Peter 1:3). Those that want miracles should ask themselves, “What do I get from modern-day ‘miracles’ that I can’t get from the Bible?”
The end of miracles happened when their purpose was no longer needed, which was to testify that the words of the apostles were from God (Heb. 2:3,4). The Bible does more what the miracles were ever designed to do. The Bible provides answers, guidance, direction, and correction (2 Tim. 3:16). God designed miracles to give creditability and witness to the Bible when the revelation of Scripture came into the world. Miracles led people to the Bible, the inspired testimony and writings, they were not meant to supersede the Word of God.