In the Bible it says that the signs of a believer are that they will do the same things like Jesus (miracles, perfect love, carrying the cross as martyrs)
Mark 16 “16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.””
John 13 “34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.””
Luke 14 “26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.’
John 14 “12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. “
The believers/disciples in the 1st Century did ALL the things Jesus did in the Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit.
Let us be honest : none of us believers experience this today.
Why were these signs required in the 1st Century? It is because God was giving signs to Israel.
1 Corinthians 1 ” 22 Jews demand signs… “
The Jews always needed signs before they believed that the message was from God.
John 6 “29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” 30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? “
This is why Jesus came and did many miracles in His earthly life, and also loved others to fulfill the law.
And yet they did not believe in Jesus, but crucified Him.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He commanded His 12 Apostles to carry the cross, love others, and do miracles just like Him – they had to follow Him, so that they could be a sign to the nation of Israel.
But the Jews persecuted the 12 Apostles and then Jesus chose Paul to go to the Gentiles so that Israel would become envious and somehow believe in Jesus.
Romans 11 “11 because of their (Israel) transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. ‘
In the 1st Century, the sign of receiving the Holy Spirit was to speak in tongues at the time of salvation.
Acts 2 ” 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
Acts 10 ‘45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.”
Acts 19 “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.”
In the 1st Century, the sign of a believer was to walk like Jesus in perfect love without sin, thereby fulfilling the law.
Galatians 5 “6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love…..13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”………. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
1 Peter 4 “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. “
Romans 8 “18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
These SIGNS of the believer in the 1st Century were to speak in tongues, do miracles, love others without sin AND carry the cross like Jesus….this is how they were fulfilling the Law as a SIGN to unbelieving Jews….because the Jews were still holding on to the Law until AD70.
Jeremiah 31:33 “33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.”
1 Corinthians 14 ” 21 In the Law it is written: “With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.”
Matthew 5 “17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. “
The gifts and fruit of the Spirit were a sign to the Jews that Jesus Christ is the Son of God because not only did Jesus do all these things to FULFILL the LAW, but also the Apostles and 1st Century believers did all of that to FULFILL the LAW as proof to Israel.
God gave Israel so much evidence through Jesus, the Apostles, and the 1st Century Church by the miraculous gifts and radical fruit of the Spirit. But inspite of all of that, the Jews did NOT believe in Jesus and most of them perished in unbelief.
The Law ended on the cross and Israel and its Law disappeared in AD70.
Hebrews 8:13 “13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”
This proves to us that TODAY, our faith does not need the signs of miracles and Christ-like behavior.
Jesus said it is better to BELIEVE without SEEING (signs).
John 20:29 “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The true blessing is about Faith without needing evidence.
That is why so many people have believed in Jesus for the last 2000 years without any gifts or fruit of the Spirit.
After Israel was judged in AD70 at the destruction of Jerusalem, the need for signs ENDED.
That is why God rarely gives the Gifts or the Fruit of the Spirit to believers. That is why believers are unable to follow Jesus or become like Him – because there is no need to fulfill the law, because the Law does not even exist today and there are no signs needed.
Today the evidence of salvation is NOT speaking in tongues or miraculous gifts of the Spirit.
Today the evidence of salvation is NOT the fruit of the Spirit in being like Jesus.
Today, believers cannot be like Jesus – it is impossible to become like Jesus.
The only standard of works is the law that demands perfection.
Since believers can never be perfect in their works therefore we can never use works as evidence of salvation.
The vast majority of believers do not speak in tongues and do not follow Jesus.
It is because God is not dealing with Israel anymore. Therefore there is no need for signs.
Therefore miracles or gifts are not the evidence of salvation.
The evidence of salvation is your confession of faith in Jesus!
Romans 10 “9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
1 Corinthians 12 “3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit”
We are not commanded to follow/imitate Jesus Christ by our works.
It is because Jesus did everything to make us righteous, perfect and sinless by His blood !!
Hebrews 10 “10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all….14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever”
Romans 3 “22 This righteousness of God is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus…received by faith”
This is the Good News!
Everyone who believes in Jesus is forgiven all sins and righteous without works even if they have no good works or miracles.
It is because Jesus did all of those things. His death and resurrection makes us righteous and perfectly sinless by faith and not works!
Romans 5 “through the obedience of the one man (Jesus) the many will be made righteous.”