The apostle Paul said to his generation: “I have fully preached the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:19). And he described the “fully preached” gospel as one that is much more than words. It is a gospel of words and deeds! “For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed” (v. 18).
Paul was saying, “The Gentiles turned to Christ not because of my preaching alone, but because my words were accompanied by miraculous deeds!”
“In mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel” (v. 19).
If Paul had preached and taught without signs and wonders following, his message would not have had its full impact. It would not have been the gospel fully preached! He said to the Corinthians, “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds” (2 Corinthians 12:12)
Note Paul’s words in this verse: signs, wonders, mighty deeds. Most Christians today cringe when they hear these words! Why? Because these words have been made an abomination by unscrupulous, power-hungry preachers and teachers! The great tragedy is that such perversions have caused many God-fearing pastors, evangelists and laypeople to turn away from the truth of a fully preached gospel.
Beloved, God is still God—and He is mighty in working miracles and wonders! He is still our healer and He wants to show Himself strong on behalf of those who trust in Him! Great supernatural workings took place in the New Testament church without any perversions—without advertising, showmanship or any person claiming all the power and authority. The ministry of Paul is an example:
At Troas, while Paul was preaching a long message, a young man fell asleep while sitting on a window sill and fell three stories to the ground. The Bible says the young man was “taken up dead” (see Acts 20:9-12).
When Paul got to where the boy was, he quieted everyone. Then, just as Elijah had done, he stretched himself out over the dead boy and suddenly life came back into the young man. The boy had been resurrected—raised from the dead! What a mighty miracle!
After this happened, Paul did not send everyone out to spread the news that a miracle had taken place. No, that was not what happened at all. Everyone simply went back to the third floor, took communion, and Paul continued preaching. Scripture does not even mention the young man again. Why? Because the church expected supernatural works to happen! They preached a full gospel—with signs and wonders following!