We hold to the position of cessationist—that certain spiritual gifts in the Bible were temporary gifts given for a specified time while other gifts are permanent. It is important to understand the issue in question is not whether God can heal people or perform miracles today. We still believe the Lord does miracles! After all, the greatest miracle a person can experience is salvation in Jesus! Miracles have not ceased because if they did then salvation would cease. We fully believe that God is able and still performs miracles today; however, we do not believe the Holy Spirit distributes the apostolic gifts (tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles, physical healing) to individuals any longer.
We are not seeking to answer the question can God but rather does God still distribute miraculous gifts through His Spirit? Let’s begin by examining the purpose of the miraculous sign gifts as stated in the Gospel of Mark:
And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
The emphasis is on the Word and the sign that followed helped to validate or confirm what was said by the Apostles. The signs that followed the sermon authenticated what the apostles were saying! In other words, the miracles verified God’s message and God’s messengers. The principal purpose for sign gifts found in the New Testament is authentication. In the ministry of Jesus for example it authenticated who He was and what He said.
Nicodemus recognized that Jesus was sent from God because of the signs and wonders He performed:
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Later in John’s gospel, Jesus states Himself that the miracles He displayed were proof of who He was:
But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
When the disciples of John the Baptist came to inquire about the identity of Christ, what did Jesus use to authenticate that He was indeed Messiah?
2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
He directs them to the miracles to validate who He is!