“Why The Power Of God Must Be Displayed For Effective Evangelism”

By Bishop Joseph Mattera www.josephmattera.org

There is a huge emphasis nowadays in the Evangelical church related to evangelism, church planting and the

like.  This is a good since the church should never be separated from its mission of proclaiming Jesus to this lost

world. In light of this, I believe the church will fall far short of our goals unless we incorporate the power of

signs, wonders and miracles into our methodological norm for evangelism. The scriptures are replete with

passages equating the knowledge of God with His display of the supernatural. Whether it be Abraham and

Sarah having a child past the normal biological age, Moses doing signs and wonders in Egypt so that His power

may be demonstrated to the world (Romans 9:17), or Elijah calling down fire from heaven to demonstrate that

the Lord is the true God (1 Kings 18). These and many more scriptures in the First Testament are replete with

examples like these.
 

What about the New Testament? First of all, Jesus told His disciples that they would receive power to be His

witnesses (Acts 1:8); this power was primarily centered on the ability to be a witness of the resurrection of

Christ. The biblical narratives after Acts 1:8 show that the primary reason for this power was so the apostles

would demonstrate the Word by healing the sick and performing miracles.  Acts 5:12-16 connected

extraordinary signs and wonders with God adding multitudes of believers to the Lord. In Acts chapter 8, we see

how Philip was able to turn the whole city of Samaria to the Lord by moving in the power of signs, wonders and

miracles. Paul the apostle also utilized this method of evangelism. Acts 14:3 says that the Lord bore witness to

the word of His grace by granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands (Paul and Barnabus) and in Acts

19:11,12 it says that God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul while he was ministering in the city of

Ephesus. Later on, as recorded in Acts 28:1-10 Paul was able to bring the gospel to the whole island of Malta

after he healed the chief man of the island whose name was Publius. This happened after God supernaturally

spared his life after a poisonous snake, which was supposed to kill him, bit him! In 1 Corinthians 2:1-4, Paul

said that when he preached the word there was always a demonstration of the Holy Spirit and power so that

their faith would not rest on the wisdom (or rhetoric) of men but on the power of God. The supernatural move

of the Holy Spirit likely was a normal occurrence in the life of all the early churches as we read in Paul’s letter

to the Galatians (in chapter 3:5) when Paul said that God supplied their church with the Spirit and miracles

through the hearing of faith.
 

Furthermore, in Hebrews chapter 6:5 it says that believers during those days experienced the powers of the age

to come. If we take the context of this book and the whole New Testament, this passage seems to be referring to

the power of the invisible, supernatural God, intervening in the lives of men through miraculous healings,

supernatural signs and wonders.
 

 Hebrews 2:4 also said that the Lord bore witness to the word from the Lord Jesus and His apostles by granting

them signs, wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit. If the apostles of the first century church

needed to depend upon the power of signs and wonders to preach the word of God, how much more should we

depend upon this to convince this present generation of the reality of Jesus.
 

Furthermore, all through the four gospels we see how Jesus moved in the word of knowledge, word of wisdom,

the gifts of healing and the working of miracles to demonstrate that the Father sent Him into the world (Read

John 5:36,37) In John 9:1-4, Jesus even said that a man was born blind just so that He can demonstrate the

works of God through his healing. In John 11:42 we also read that Jesus prayed and thanked the Father in

public, for what He was about to do when He raised Lazarus from the dead to demonstrate that the Father sent

Him. In John 4, we also read how Jesus operated in the prophetic gifts of the word of knowledge to convince

the woman at the well that He was indeed the messiah. If Jesus, the perfect God/Man, needed the miraculous

(even though He was the greatest preacher the world ever heard) how much more does the present day church

need to depend upon the power of God to spread the Gospel of Christ.
 

In summary, scripture overwhelmingly illustrates that one of the primary vehicles to demonstrate the

resurrection of Christ from the dead is to allow God to use His church as His witnesses through the use of signs,

wonders and healings.
 

For those who teach that this was only for the first century church I ask them, don’t you think that now more

then ever before we need to move in the power of God to demonstrate His reality? Aside from the fact that

church history is replete with stories of believers continuing to operate in signs, wonders and healings to

demonstrate the truth of the gospel. This present secular humanistic society we live in will not be convinced

merely by good rhetoric and visceral worship experiences during a Sunday morning service; they need to

experience the glory, presence and power of God almighty!
 

One reason I write this article is because I am concerned that even amongst so called Pentecostal and

Charismatic churches, there seems to be a dearth in the land regarding the power gifts. When Paul wrote in 1

Corinthians 12:4-8 that God gave manifestations of the Spirit to the church as He wills-who are we to say that

only good sermons, strategic planning and the use of props is enough to transform the world! God knows best

and God loves to show off His stuff in front of the world.
 

I believe God is going to visit the earth again –even North America- with a demonstration of His glory. Through

the years our local church (Resurrection church of NY) has seen amazing miracles and thousands of lives

transformed by the power of the gospel. I am trusting that, the best is yet to come for the body of Christ!

In closing, my prayer is especially that young leaders would taste the power and presence of God and that they

would employ this as their primary means of reaching the world; after all, if it was good enough for Jesus and

His apostles, it should be good enough for us!

 

 

Posted on July 20, 2016 .