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This is sort of a re-blog. I preached a message about the three greatest miracles in the Bible at the local assisted living facility, and I’d wanted to preach it again so I could expand the content some, making it a bit deeper. I had the opportunity to do so back on October 31 when I preached at a Methodist church. I’m going to remove the former post, so this will replace it. Before I preached, Genesis 1:1-5 and John 1:1-14 were read.

I did not get audio the first time. This time I did. Link HERE. Note that it is best to download the message to listen to it. If you try to listen directly with the google link, it will likely stop playing at some point. We think google has some bandwidth limits?

Are you overlooking the 3 greatest miracles in the Bible?

This morning I want to talk about miracles. There are 3 miracles I will talk about, but before I mention those 3 miracles, let’s just think generally about miracles in the Bible. If I ask you right now to think, in your mind, of some miracles in the Bible (I’ll give you a moment…) perhaps you thought of:

  • Moses and the parting of the Red Sea and the children of Israel walking across on dry land. Maybe you think of Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments, that famous movie from 1956.
  • Of Jesus turning water into wine at that wedding.
  • Or one of the many healing miracles of Jesus where someone sick or lame was restored to health.
  • Or Jesus raising someone from death to life such as Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha.

However, for some reason, we have a tendency to forget about or overlook the 3 miracles that I want to talk about today.  It is none of those that I mentioned.
And I think these 3 miracles that we somehow forget about are actually much greater and more significant, and make these other miracles pale in comparison. —  What are they?

The first one is the miracle of creation. This morning the opening verses of Genesis chapter 1 were read for us. “In the beginning God created…”

Genesis 1:1 is the foundational verse of the Bible.
If a person really believes Genesis 1:1, she or he should be able to believe the rest of the Bible. That is, if God really created all things, then God can do all things. Compared to the miracle of creation, the parting of the Red Sea is easy.

Note that Genesis makes no attempt to prove that God exists. It simply takes it for granted, as though it were obvious. In the beginning God. God is the great originator and initiator. We must, in all our thinking, begin with God. Are you beginning with God?  Failing to do this is the basic error of all human schemes. False systems of belief begin with humanity and work up to God. But that is backwards. We must begin with God.

 Life on earth is a miracle. A multitude of conditions are necessary for a planet to support life. To speak statistically and logically, life should not exist on earth. It is impossible. We should not be sitting here this morning, but we are, and it is a miracle.

We have a fine tuned universe, with mind boggling precision. I don’t want to turn this into a science class, this is a church service. But if many things weren’t exactly as they are, there could be no life. I’ll give 3 examples: (show globe)* The size or mass of a planet matters; it has to do with gravity. If earth was slightly smaller or bigger, life could not exist.
* The earth rotates every 24 hours; that is why we have night and day.
If it rotated a bit slower or faster, there would either be excessive temperature swings or high winds that would not be conducive to life.
* If our moon was slightly bigger or smaller, it would affect the tides on earth. A bigger moon would cause tsunami like tides every day, and that would be a big problem.

I could continue with such examples. There is at least 150 of them! I’m sure you don’t want me to share all of them. But think of a big control board with 150 different scientific knobs, dials, gauges — and if you turn any one of them slightly to the left or right, life becomes impossible.

All of these coincidences cannot be accidental! The odds of a planet supporting life is less than 1 in 10 to the 73rd power. I am not a math person, likely you aren’t either, and that is 1 followed by 73 zeroes! That is an enormous number! If I wrote this number on a blackboard, it would fill it up.

Creation is divine intervention. It has to be. Science should point to God. Psalm 19:1 says: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

 Creating the universe and fine tuning it for life is a job description for God. The existence of life on earth is an astonishing miracle. Compared to the miracle of creation, the parting of the Red Sea is insignificant. Sorry Charlton Heston, we are not so impressed anymore.

Now we will move towards the second miracle. John 1:1-14 was read earlier, and I’ll re-read verses 1-3:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Did you notice it begins with the same 3 words as Genesis 1:1 ?
“In the beginning”  — John 1 echoes Genesis 1. John is taking us back to Genesis.  The gospel of John is all about Jesus, and it begins by telling us that Jesus who entered human history in Bethlehem, born to Mary, actually existed long before that. You might say that Jesus existed before he existed!

What a unique situation, and indeed it is a one-of-a-kind situation. Jesus was there at creation, at the beginning, because Jesus is God.

The Word is one of the highest and most profound titles for Jesus. And it says the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Here we see a glimpse of the Trinity. As Christians we worship the eternal Triune God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – the great 3 in 1.

The Father, Son, and Spirit were there in Genesis 1.  And John 1:3 says that Jesus was the special agent of creation. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

John 1:14 says: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” A modern Bible version says: The Word became human and lived here on earth.
—  And here we have the second miracle.

The greatest marvel, the greatest wonder in this world is Jesus Christ. God became human. Jesus, the Creator, became one of his creatures. This is astonishing. Think about it. The God of the universe became an unborn child in the womb of a young woman named Mary in the Middle East 2,000 years ago.

E. Stanley Jones, a Methodist missionary from the early 1900’s said it this way: (and he was speaking of the same 3 miracles as I am this morning.) (Give credit to E. Stanley Jones – show devotional)  – Review of this devotional HERE.

“The second miracle was the introduction of Jesus Christ into our history. He didn’t just perform miracles; He was a miracle, a miracle of being. Then being a miracle would he perform miracles? Being a miracle it would be a miracle if he didn’t perform them.”

Sometimes people can doubt the miracles in the New Testament. Did Jesus really calm the storm, heal the sick, raise the dead, and resurrect from the dead himself? It is understandable that people can struggle to believe these things. It does take faith.

But if Jesus was God, it all makes perfect sense. The Creator can certainly control his creation and calm a storm. The author of life can certainly bring the dead back to life. The deity of Jesus, that Jesus is God, makes sense of everything else in the New Testament!

If a Christian begins to doubt the miracles of the Scripture, remind them of the miracle of the Incarnation – that God became human. C.S. Lewis called this the skeleton key that opens all the other doors. (show key)

Since Jesus was God, since Jesus is God, it only follows that he would be a miracle worker and conquer death through resurrection.

Miracles point to something beyond themselves. The book of John actually uses the word “signs” instead of the word miracles.
A sign points to something. (show exit sign)
Miracles point to God. (show other sign)

At least miracles should point us to God, but sometimes people back then – and today – can become fascinated and focused on signs and wonders. The signs themselves become the focus rather than God. Belief can become dependent on signs and wonders, but a sign dependent faith is an insufficient, inadequate faith.

In John chapter 2 Jesus had been in Jerusalem and performed some miracles, but verses 23-24 state that:
“many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.”

Jesus knew human nature, and he knew that some of the folks were only fickle fans. They had a superficial, sign dependent faith.
I’m not into sports, but some people are die-hard fans. They are loyal to their team whether the team wins or loses. But other people are fickle fans and they can turn on their team or even choose another team when their team lets them down.

Jesus knew that many of the people in the crowds were fickle fans, not die-hard fans. Their belief was outward and superficial, and they were only momentarily impressed by the signs. They’d abandon Jesus when the road got tough, and Jesus failed to perform a miracle by allowing himself to die on the cross.

People today are no different. When God doesn’t “perform” in the way they think he should by answering a certain prayer, they abandon faith.

A sign dependent faith is an insufficient faith. Jesus made a clear distinction between those who were superficially impressed and dependent on signs, and those whose belief was deeper – those who grasped the truth behind the sign.
They saw WHO the sign was pointing to. (Show God sign)

Our belief must be in the person of Christ, not just in the signs.

God performed miracles to make himself known and to communicate with humanity. The Psalm said that “The heavens declare the glory of God ” – the great miracle of creation. And God entered into his creation, becoming human, for a purpose. Mark 10:45 says that Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many on the cross of Calvary.

In Genesis chapter 3 we learn that God’s creation rebelled against him, and sin entered this world. God knew this was going to happen, and Jesus came to earth to show us the way to the Father.

But actually Jesus did not only show us the way, He is the way.
In John 14:6 Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus came to save us from our sin and reconcile us to God. When Adam and Eve sinned, the unique fellowship they had with God was broken. And Jesus came to restore this fellowship. And this leads into our third miracle.

John 1: 12-13, read earlier in the service, says: “to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
– Are you a child of God? Are you born of God?

Christians are not naturally born. We need a supernatural birth.
And the third miracle is the miracle of the new birth.

This it talked about throughout the New Testament in various ways. But the Old Testament, before Jesus came, hints at this too. In Jeremiah and Ezekiel it spoke of a coming day when God will give his people “a new heart and put a new spirit within” them.  In John, a couple chapters ahead in John chapter 3, Jesus has that famous discussion with Nicodemus and tells him that he must be born again.

The apostle Paul tells the church in Corinth in 2 Cor. 5:17 that:
“if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Being physically born means you are physically alive
and places you in a human family.

Being born of God makes you spiritually alive
and places you in God’s family.

There are some who think that every human being is a child of God. We’ve heard people say “We are all God’s children.”

Well, that is not accurate, according to the Bible. Now let me clarify. The Bible makes it very clear that God loves everyone. God is love, and God loves the world. God loves you. And every human being is made in the image of God, and therefore each and every human being has unique dignity, value, and worth.

But not everyone is a child of God. Not everyone has been supernaturally born into God’s family. Without Christ in our life, we are “dead in sin.” (Eph. 2 words it that way.) Romans says: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

We need to be made spiritually alive in Christ, and this is a supernatural process. It is a miracle. Being born of God is the work of God.

It is gift to be received.  John 1:12 said that those who receive him, those who believe in his name become a child of God.

There is something we have to do, and that is believe, and God changes us. It is a bit of a mystery, really, how exactly that happens, but in John 5:24 Jesus says: whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

Have you crossed over from death to life? There is no middle ground. You are on one side or the other. If you are not sure, please talk to me after the service. I would be glad to take a Bible and help you place your faith in Christ.

We are all sinful, and no matter how good we try to be, we still sin. And that is why we need Jesus. Jesus came to be our Savior from sin. We can’t be our own savior. Stop trying! We must acknowledge our need of Jesus, and place our faith in what Jesus did for us through his life, death, and resurrection.

Remember that the second miracle was the miracle of Jesus: that God became human. When we believe in that miracle, we cross over from spiritual death to spiritual life, and we experience a miracle. We are born into God’s family. Our crossing over is because of the cross of Christ.

I hope and pray that this message on these 3 miracles:
*the miracle of creation
*the miracle of Jesus
*the miracle of the new birth
has encouraged or challenged you this morning.

Our God is not distant, way out there somewhere. Where is he?
No, that is not our God. God created us and became one of us. God is near to us, and he cares for you.

Note: I use multiple books when I prepare a sermon. For this message, it included several commentaries on John and Genesis, as well as books about miracles from Herbert Lockyer, Lee Strobel, and Eric Metaxas. I reviewed the Metaxas book HERE.  And I got the basic sermon idea about these 3 miracles from the June 30th devotional of In Christ by E. Stanley Jones – link above.