Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Signs Following Faith
MIRACLES IN THE MAKING
Terry R. Baughman
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17–18).
Preaching the Word of God inspires faith! It is life-giving and transformative. Not only does the Word inspire our hearts and illuminate our understanding, it also renews our spirit and ignites faith in God for miracles, signs, and wonders. Mark recorded a simple conjunction between faith and what will be a natural response to it, “And these signs will follow those who believe.” He declared deliverance from demonic oppression, gifts of the Spirit, power over personal danger, and miracles of healing would begin to happen when believers experience salvation.
When people respond to the Gospel message miracles begin to occur in their lives. As Paul said, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). When the Word goes forth with the Spirit’s anointing the response is powerful and the results are phenomenal. Salvation is the greatest miracle and most notable result. Mark declared, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). Our greatest admiration should be in response to the witness of a soul being saved and a life transformed.
When Philip preached the message of Jesus Christ in Samaria there were amazing miracles of healing and deliverance, “For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed” (Acts 8:7). Their response of faith caused many to be baptized and prepared to receive the Holy Spirit when Peter and John came from Jerusalem. That is when Simon, the sorcerer, was more amazed with the visible demonstration of miracles and tongues than with the transformation of the Spirit. He was rebuffed for his desire to purchase the power rather than to receive the New Birth experience by faith. These miracles were not intended to be sensational results just to provoke admiration or to bring attention to the recipient, but to lead them to full salvation along with the others who witnessed these events.
The demonstration of signs alone do not necessarily cause people to believe. They may be impressed, awed, or even curious to know more, but still unbelieving. Jesus performed many signs and miracles, yet there were many people who saw the signs who remained skeptical and unconvinced of His Deity. John observed, “Although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’” (John 12:37–38 and quoting Isaiah 53:1).
There must be more than signs. Faith must be born in the heart of the hearer to turn from sin and seek the Savior. The power of the Spirit will be revealed in the New Birth experience. As Peter explained, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
As believers we can confidently expect miraculous signs of the Spirit’s work and engage the supernatural in our witness. Pray expectantly. Speak confidently. Live purposefully. Anything is possible and everything is available, “These signs will follow those who believe!”
“How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord …, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit?” (Hebrews 2:3–4).