The Meaning of Miraculous Healings in Acts (and the Gospels, too)

“This healing [Acts 4, the lame man at Solomon’s Portico] may be thought of as both an X-ray and a preview. As an X-ray, it makes visible to outside observers the unseen inner cure that faith in Jesus produces. Astonishing as it is for a man of forty who has never walked to leap in the temple, the cure of hearts paralyzed in sin is even greater. As a preview, it shows the final completion of Jesus’ restorative work, when believers’ physical bodies will fully experience the salvation which we already taste in the form of firstfruits (see Rom. 8:18-25). Astonishing as it is for a lame man to leap, it is nothing when compared to the cosmic restoration to come– “the restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21).”  -Dennis Johnson, The Message of Acts, pg. 65


Epochal Elucidations: Once More, What is Pentecost?

Perspective on Pentecost “The controlling point in the position taken here is that Pentecost is to be understood first of all as part of the once-for-all accomplishment of redemption (historia salutis) rather than as a part of its ongoing, continual application (ordo salutis). Obviously the two are intimately related and inseparable, but they must not be confused. To do so necessarily jeopardizes the absolute sufficiency and finality of Christ’s work. As I have already tried to show, the baptism with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is a unique event of epochal significance in the history of redemption. Therefore it is no more capable of being repeated or serving as a model for individual Christian experience than are the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, with which it is so integrally conjoined as part of a single complex of events (see again Acts 2:32f.).” Richard Gaffin, Perspectives on Pentecost: The New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, pg. 22.

Epochal Elucidations: What is Pentecost?

Perspective on Pentecost “Pentecost is nothing less than the establishment of the church as the new covenant people of God, as the body of Christ. The Spirit given at Pentecost constitutes the body of Christ as a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Eph. 2:22), as the temple of God in which the Spirit of God dwells (1 Cor. 3:16). Accordingly, all who have been incorporated into that Spirit-baptized body and have a place in it share in the gift of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13).” Richard Gaffin, Perspectives on Pentecost: New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, pg. 21

One Way to Sum Up the Work of Christ

Perspective on Pentecost “At Pentecost it is Jesus who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. In fact, the work of Christ in its entirety may be said to consist in securing and communicating to the church at Pentecost the gift (baptism) of the Holy Spirit.” Richard Gaffin, Perspectives on Pentecost: New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Spirit, pg. 14.

Epochal Elucidations: Why Pentecost Matters…

Perspective on Pentecost“The New Testament, then, provides a dramatic, historical perspective basic to understanding the work of the Spirit. It is fair to say that everything said in the New Testament about the Spirit’s work looks forward or traces back to Pentecost; everything pivots on Pentecost (along with the death and resurrection of Christ).” Richard Gaffin, Perspective on Pentecost: New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, pg. 14

BW COMMENT: So, whenever you read in the New Testament something about the Spirit working in you, realize this passage could not have happened if it weren’t for Pentecost in Acts 2 (and that couldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Son of God).