Return to list of sermons - M-S

TITLE:  Does God intervene to answer prayers?
TEXT:  James 5:13-16
PROPOSITION:  God is still at work in our world.
KEY WORD:  Questions


  1. Is God Immanent or Transcendent?
    1. Immanent = Often felt or seen in history, involved, intervene
    2. Transcendent = Aloof from the affairs of the earth, separated
  2. Three attitudes toward miracles
    1. Miracles NEVER happened – atheist, Bible just myths
    2. Miracles happened during Biblical times, but not now
    3. Miracles still occur
  3. The Bible clearly claims miracles – Creation, Flood, Red Sea, Jesus
  4. If you have any faith in God point A must be rejected.

 Does God care?

  1. If Tampa Bay wins the Super Bowl? Does God care about Oakland?
  2. If I find a parking space? Or not?
  3. If my child makes it safely back to college? Or has an accident?
  4. If the test results are negative? Or the news is not good?
  5. If the sick are healed? If the sick die?
  6. If it rains on the family picnic? Or on the farmer’s field?
  7. If I miss my flight and plane crashes? What about those on board?
  8. Who wins the elections? Does God favor one party over another?

 What about the teaching that miracles happened during Biblical times, but not now?

  1. Miracles happened in life of Christ and apostles.
  2. Bible teaches that these miracles had a specific purpose.
  3. That purpose is now complete, fulfilled, no longer valid or needed.
  4. Miracles (by the agency of men) ended – 1 Corinthians 13
  5. Does this mean that God stopped working in our world?
  6. See quotes below.

 Does God Intervene?

  1. Model railroad – most of the time from the control box. Sometimes, reach in a pick up a car, move it to a new location and set it down.
  2. Laws – gravity, physics, biology, weather – normally in control
  3. Miracles – Sometimes God reaches in and does something that would not be normal

 In what areas of life does God intervene?

  1. Government – Romans 13:1-4 – Powers are ordained of God
  2. Health – James 5:13-15 – Prayer of faith will save the sick
  3. God’s purpose – Philippians 2:13 – God works in you to do His will
  4. Providence – Esther 4:14
    1. You keep silent – deliverance from another place
    2. You may have come to the kingdom  for such a time as this

 “Finally, however, I would like to point out that this denial of authentic miracles worked by the agency of men, as in apostolic time, is not a denial that God in answer to the Christian’s prayer will cause certain things to happen which would not otherwise happen.” (I Believe Because, Batsell B. Baxter, Page 212)

“Since the primary purpose for which miracles were performed in Biblical times is no longer operative, it is reasonable to believe that miracles performed through the agency of man, as in Bible times, no longer are to be seen on earth today. This is not to deny, however, that God still occasionally intervenes in the affairs of men when it serves His divine purpose to do so.” (I Believe Because, Batsell B. Baxter, Page 214)

 Miracles still occur. While we do not believe, for reasons just stated, that men are empowered to work miracles as in Biblical times, we do confidently believe that God still intervenes in the affairs of men directly, in answer to the prayers of His children. To put it another way, God still works miracles, as He intervenes in the normal affairs of this universe from time to time when it serves His purpose to do so.”

(I Believe Because, Batsell B. Baxter, Page 213)



Return to list of sermons - M-S