Don't Miss Your Miracle

Bible Book: John  3 : 1-21
Subject: Salvation; Faith; Trust; Miracle of Redemption

Revivalist Vance Havner (1901-1986) explains, “We often hear it said that the day of miracles is past. But every true Christian is a miracle, born again by the Holy Spirit. Of course I mean real Christians, not just church members. If you are what you have always been you are not a Christian. The  Christian life is a miracle, Jesus living within the true believer. He is not just our Saviour and Lord but also our Life.

God has many miraculous things for His people, but so many miss them.

I do not know what Jesus had for the rich young ruler, but he missed it.
The blind man would have missed receiving his sight if he had not washed in Siloam.
Demas missed his miracle when he deserted Paul.
Jonah almost missed his life mission.

I have met many who were called to preach or to be missionaries who never answered. My father was called to preach but never did and lived to regret it the rest of his life...We live doing what comes naturally and miss what comes supernaturally.

The church is a miracle. Today too many of its members are not miraculous but make-believe. Gideon asked, ‘Where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of?’ (Judges 6:13). Have you missed yours?”1

Salvation is a miracle. Let us thoughtfully explore the miracle of salvation.

I. Salvation is a Notable Miracle

As we read in John’s account, “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I  tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:1-21).

II. Salvation is a Needed Miracle

Jesus explained to Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7b). The only way for a sinner to become a saint is by “a miracle of love and grace”2, to borrow a phrase from the well-know song by John W. Peterson (1921-2006) titled “It Took a Miracle”. Of all miracles the miracle of miracles occurs when a person is born again.

Hymn writer and author Charles Wesley Naylor (1874-1950) “was paralyzed by an accident while he was a young man. He spent the rest of his life encouraging and counseling people through his Christian books and songs.” We read this from the “About the Author” section for his classic book titled The Secret of the Singing Heart. From the “Product Description” we read, “People hope to find happiness by acquiring wealth, good health, or physical beauty. But true happiness does not depend on our circumstances. Christians have learned that when we are aware of God's presence, we can be happy even in troubling circumstances. C.W. Naylor experienced this. He shares his discoveries in this classic inspirational book, which has been continuously in print since 1930. This 75th Anniversary Edition is newly typeset and edited for today's reader.”3

Naylor penned these convicting words in 1907: “That heavenly Teacher, in words that are plain, / This truth declared to men, / If ever they would to His kingdom attain, / They must be born again.


Ye must be born again, / ye must be born again; / His words are true, He speaks to you, ye must be born again. No mere reformation your sins can erase, / you cannot remove their stain; / if ever in heaven your soul has a place, / ye must be born again. Good works will not answer, no penance will do, / Morality, too, is vain, / for naught will avail but a creature made new, / ye must be born again. In Adam we lost all our righteous estate, / And would we it regain, / To Jesus must come and repent ere too late—Ye must be born again.4

Dr. David L. Larsen, professor emeritus of preaching at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, writes in The Evangelism Mandate, “Charles Colson's testimony Born Again is prima facie evidence of Christ's power to save a most reprehensible rascal. What encouragement for all of us, for we were rascals as well!"5

Dr. John Phillips, former assistant director of the Moody Correspondence School as well as director of the Emmaus Correspondence School, reminds us in I’ll Take the High Road, "The Lord Jesus did not say to Nicodemus, 'You should be born again.' Nor did He say, 'Would you like to be born again?' He said, 'You must be born again.' It is one of the great imperatives of the Christian faith. This, no doubt, is why the great preacher of a past generation, George Whitfield, when asked by a woman why he always preached 'You must be born again,' replied, 'Madam, because you MUST be born  again!'"6

III. Salvation is a Narrow Miracle

Jesus exhorts, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Contrary to those who teach a universal fatherhood of God and a universalism in salvation, namely that all will go to heaven, He solemnly declares, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Later, Peter emphatically states, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by whom we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

You can not come any way you chose, as the rich young ruler learned, as he went away sorrowfully, seeking what he must do to inherit eternal life. We read in Luke 18:18-23, “Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ And he said, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth.’ So when Jesus heard these  things, He said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’

But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.”

Luke continues the narrative, “And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ And those who heard it said, ‘Who then can be saved?’

But He said, ‘The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.’

Then Peter said, ‘See, we have left all and followed You.’ So He said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life” (Luke 18:24-30).

Note that D.L. Moody (1837-1899) evangelist, author, publisher, and founder of the Moody Church and the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois, quipped, “God sends no one away empty except the one who is full of himself.” Jesus promises, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). He also states, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:15-17).

IV. Salvation is a Numinous Miracle

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, numinous means “supernatural, mysterious, filled with a sense of the presence of divinity, holy.”7 Historian Douglas Harper explains, “The term numinous means “divine, spiritual," 1647, from L[atin]. numen (gen. numinis) ‘divine will,’ properly ‘divine approval expressed by nodding the head,’ from nuere ‘to nod’ (cf. G[ree] k. neuein ‘to nod’).”8 “ The word was popularised in the early twentieth century by the German theologian Rudolf Otto (1869- 1937) in his influential book Das Heilige (1917; translated into English as The Idea of the Holy, 1923). According to Otto the numinous experience has two aspects: mysterium tremendum, which is the tendency to invoke fear and trembling; and mysterium fascinas, the tendency to attract, fascinate and compel. The numinous experience also has a personal quality to it, in that the person feels to be in communion with a wholly other. The numinous experience can lead in different cases to belief in deities, the supernatural, the sacred, the holy, and the transcendent.”9

Otto's use of the term as referring to a characteristic of religious experience was influential among intellectuals of the subsequent generation. C.S. [Clive Staples] Lewis (1898-1963), Oxford and Cambridge professor and one of the twentieth century’s most famous converts to Christianity,10used numinous in this way in his writings.11

Remember some “miracles” appear to be divine but are deceptively demonic. From 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 9 and 10 we read, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition. . . . The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” In Exodus 7:11 and 2 Timothy 3:8-9 we read about Jannes and Jambres, who resisted Moses and performed “miracles”. These “miracles” were spurious or satanic.

V. Salvation is a Nigh Miracle

We find the word “nigh” in Deuteronomy 30:14 and Romans 10:8 in the Authorized Version. “Nigh” means “close, near in place, time, or relationship”. In Romans 10:8 we read, “But what does it say? “ The word is near [nigh] you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach).” George Williams (1850-1928) explains in The Student’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, “The Apostle Paul declared in a parenthesis (v.8) that that was the same doctrine that he preached-‘the Word of Faith’-i.e., justification on the faith principle as opposed to the works- principle.”12 Paul also writes in Romans 10 verses 9 and 10, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”


Someone provides the following testimony about William Reed Newell (1868-1956), “Few men have had a clearer grasp of the magnitude of God's grace in Christ or have been able to convey it with  such lasting results.”13 William R. Newell penned these inspirational words in his hymn titled “At Calvary”: “Years I spent in vanity and pride, / Caring not my Lord was crucified, / Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary. Mercy there was great, and grace was free; / Pardon there was multiplied to me; / There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary. By God’s Word at last my sin I learned; / Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned, / Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary. Now I’ve given to Jesus everything, / Now I gladly own Him as my King, / Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary! Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan! Oh, the grace that brought it down to man! Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!14

Margaret Dennis attended a church service as a child and walked the aisle with her cousin but they did not properly counsel her related to the nature of her decision. She was baptized and became a member of the church. Some time later she admitted that she did not have an understanding of salvation and wrestled with these feelings for many years. On February 15, 2007, I preached a message titled “What Kind of Assurance Do You Have?” based on 1 John 5:10-13. Some time later she expressed concern about her spiritual condition. We talked several times and one Wednesday night she prayed to receive Christ in my study at church. She intended to come forward in a service publicly professing her faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ and to following Him in believer’s baptism and church membership. Her health did not permit this for several months. On Sunday evening, July 12, 2009, she walked down the aisle at the time of the invitation escorted by her husband, Henry. I had the privilege of baptizing her on Wednesday, July 15, 2009, at First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort, where she previously served as director of the Women’s Missionary Union for several years.

Jesus performed many miracles on earth attesting to the deity. He sent out the seventy under His authority to spread the gospel of His death, burial and resurrection. He gave them the ability to perform miracles. Two of these, Peter and John, performed a miracle involving the healing of a lame man over forty years of age (Acts 3). Those in the council referred to it as “a notable miracle” (Acts 4:16). Undeniably Margaret Dennis’ salvation at age 81 is indeed a notable miracle.


Dr. Herbert Lockyer (1886-1984) has written a helpful book titled All The Miracles of the Bible. We find the following in the book overview, “The Supernatural in Scripture--Its Scope and Significance / The Bible is a book of miracles. From Genesis to Revelation, the supernatural power of God is on display from the Creation, to the plagues of Egypt, to the Messiah’s authority over demons and diseases, to the apocalyptic clash between satanic forces and divine omnipotence. In detailed description and analysis, Dr. Herbert Lockyer furnishes a case-by-case look at all the miracles of the Bible. From the beginning of the Old Testament to the end of the New Testament, All the Miracles of the Bible walks us through the Books of Moses Historical Books Post-Captivity Books Poetical Books Prophetical Books Gospels Acts Epistles Apocalypse'. . . can be used as a handy reference work by any and  every Bible student.'-The Banner15

Let us truly experience the miracle of salvation. If you have never experienced the miracle of salvation by repenting of your sin and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation, you may silently  pray the following:

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner by nature and by choice. (Romans 3:23) I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word and deed. I believe that Your Son, Jesus, died on the cross to save me from my sin, that He was buried and that He rose from the dead on the third day. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) I ask Him to forgive my sin and to come into my heart and life to be my Savior, Lord and King. (Romans 10:9-10) Thank You for forgiving me of my sin and for giving me eternal life. (1 John 5:10-13) In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Don’t miss your miracle.


1Vance Havner, Don’t Miss Your Miracle (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1984), p. 7 cited in The Vance Havner Notebook, Compiled by Dennis J. Hester (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989) Database © 2006 WORDsearch Corp. Used by Permission

2Available from: Accessed: 07/18/09

3Available    from: Accessed: 07/17/09

4Charles W. Naylor, “Ye Must Be Born Again” 1907, Available from:    Accessed:    07/16/09

5David Larsen, The Evangelism Mandate (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic & Professional, 2002), p. 26

6John Phillips, I'll Take the High Road (Dubuque, IA: Emmaus Correspondence School, A division of ECS Ministries, 1985, 2005), p. 6

Available from:'ll% 20Take%20the%20High%20Road%20PDF.pdf Accessed: 07/16/09

7numinous. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. http://www.merriam- (accessed: July 18, 2009).

8numinous. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. (accessed: July 16, 2009).

9Available from: Accessed: 07/16/09 10Available from: Accessed: 02/13/09

11Available from: Accessed: 07/16/09

12George Williams, The Student’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1960), p. 869

13Available from: Accessed: 07/15/09

14Available from: Accessed: 07/15/09

15Herbert Lockyer, All the Miracles of the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988) Available from: ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247803355&sr=1-1 Accessed: 07/16/09

By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey

Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice Available on and / / (251) 626-6210

© July 15, 2009 All Rights Reserved