Longing for the Supernatural

Gary Campbell Jr.
5 min readMar 1, 2023

Human beings have a longing for the supernatural.

Just note the success of the Marvel Universe series of movies and the popularity of TV shows on witchcraft and the paranormal. There is, wired into us, a longing for both heroes and events/experiences that transcend this world.

In the realm of Christianity this is expressed in a longing for miracles, healings, and some of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit that we’ve been recently talking about here at GBC.

Make no mistake, we serve a supernatural God! Jesus was “super-natural” in the fullest sense. 100% human and able to empathize with human experience, yet 100% divine — eternally God!

In addition, the entirety of Christian faith and practice hangs on the miraculous, that after being dead and buried, this miracle-working God — Jesus Himself — rose from the grave!

Now that’s supernatural! Our faith lives or dies with the truth and reality of that one event. (See Paul’s logical argument in the second half of 1 Corinthians 15).

So this morning I want to expound on one point from the email on false teaching from a couple of weeks ago. It read:

6. “An Over-emphasis of the Holy Spirit/under emphasis of Christ and the gospel- (These are probably two points). The gospel is rarely clearly presented, and is NOT brought to bear as THE solution to Christian living, enduring suffering, attacks of evil, etc. Rather, the Holy Spirit is emphasized as some sort of spiritual ring master, there to do our bidding in the supernatural for us, as God’s agents, (under apostolic authority of course).”

And then it ended with this line, which I want to continue with for our space this week…

“This does not mean that the Holy Spirit ought be de-emphasized either, rather the emphasis on the supernatural is not represented in Scripture.”

For the sake of space, and because we’ll spend some time on these things in our series on Galatians this spring, I want to just makes three points, all responding to a two-part question.

Does God still work miracles — do supernatural things happen— today; and what do we believe about this and practice here at GBC?

So here goes in three points.

1.) God still works miracles — the greatest of which is the redemption of any lost sinner. I’m quoting our Associate Pastor, Zak Stevens here: “The greatest miracle the God does is transforming the heart of a sinner and brining them into relationship with the living God, through Christ. The second greatest miracle is a holy life.” That’s right. God’s miracle work is first-and-foremost, and can always be measured against the message, power, and results of the Gospel itself.

2.) God still works miracles today. We believe in the small “a”, apostolic manifestations of the Holy Spirit, even in 2023. We hear this from missionaries serving in places with least access to the the Gospel — that is where the Gospel is new, or contested by other belief systems, God often uses the miraculous to give authority to His man (or woman) and His message.

This includes but is not limited to: the sign gifts of supernatural speaking and understanding of languages, healings, exorcisms, God calling people to faith through dreams and visions, and even people being raised from the dead in some cases. We do not dispute this — our God is a miracle-working God, still today!

(We’ll hear about some of these very things at our upcoming Mission’s Night).

But note that this is all for the advancement of the gospel and is never for the sake of the super-natural events themselves, and certainly not the promotion of the individual or ministry carrying out God’s work in these amazing ways.

3.) At GBC specifically we long for and expect the Holy Spirit to “show up” in biblical ways. But Scripture is clear that even more significant than the miraculous, one of the primary roles of the Holy Spirit is to magnify Christ and His Gospel (John 16:12–15)

So rather than providing teaching points here, I’ll give you three “did-you-knows”. Did you know that…

1.) The elders routinely (at least monthly) anoint people with oil and pray over them for healing from all kinds of physical issues (in obedience to James chapter 5), for freedom from demonic “oppression” (we do not believe the Bible teaches that a believer in Jesus can be “possessed” by demons), as well as for the forgiveness of sins.

In these times we have seen diagnoses go away altogether, seen people freed from oppression, healed of depression or other mental-health struggles, and so on. (For the theologians reading this, in other words, GBC is not “cessationist”).

At other times though the miraculous has not happened, rather the Holy Spirit has given them resolve to, like Jesus, walk in suffering with holiness and newfound trust in the Lord.

2.) We partner with many churches and ministries with whom we might differ in some “non-essential” areas of Christian theology. To say this another way, GBC is NOT anti-charismatic, rather we are anti- NAR.

What’s the difference?

We would stand against any ministry that says that there are new Apostles — with this distinction — not just someone who uses that title, rather someone who claims that they are providing new teaching equal to the Bible, from their authority that is equal to the Bible’s authors.

We stand with many other churches in the Body of Christ who might practice the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit or have secondary theological beliefs that we might nor ultimately align with. We come together around the essentials and specifically the blood of Jesus Christ that unites us and makes us one. All other things are secondary.

3.) We seek the Holy Spirit’s leading in all things. This is often with a very real trembling and sense of responsibility, stepping obediently in to all kinds of hard things we may not feel like doing. In addition, it means listening when the Holy Spirit, through His Word, is exhorting us to something for the church. This could mean anything from changing something in a sermon or in the worship set last minute, to hearing from the Lord regarding an area of ministry that we need to resource better (intercessory prayer ministry would be an example), and of course big decisions like new ministries, building projects and so on.

In addition, every fourth Tuesday of the month the elder’s gather at 6:30am to pray for the congregation and one another that we would follow and obey the Holy Spirit’s leading and not our own.

We’ll spend more time on some of these practical things in the coming months, but suffice it to say the God of the miraculous is alive and well, and knowing your own salvation story, I am sure you can echo Pastor Zak’s words above that the greatest work of God — His greatest miracle, healing, and supernatural act — is a transformed heart and a holy life.

It really does come back to that- Jesus’s justifying work thorough the Cross in making us His, and the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work in making us like Christ.

Have a great week — you are loved!

— Pastor Gary

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Gary Campbell Jr.

Writing for Groton Bible Chapel & the larger Body of Christ on cultural issues, parenting, marriage, theology & other light-weight topics.