Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Healing - The Wonder of God's Hand Part 1

Healing in the Christian Church seems to be another one of those areas where the lack of good teaching seems to be tough to come by. It is, for some, part of the mystery of faith, while for others; and on the other end of the spectrum, a right . As usual every one has their favorite verses. Here is probably the most popular.

Isaiah 53:5 And by His stripes we are healed.

The question then becomes this, does God heal the physical body, and if so, why not everyone?

If we take a closer look at Isaiah in context, many scholars think that it is a “spiritual” healing – salvation. The passage includes griefs, sorrows, iniquities and transgressions. And I am pretty certain that you can see the purpose of the crucifixion; or atonement in this passage.

The problem with the above inference is this.

Matthew 8:16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick , that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”

In Jesus, according to Peter, there is the physical healing available to us in the same way there is spiritual and emotional or soul healing.

My take on healing is this; our physical healing is included in the cross but is not guaranteed at this time. HERE is a more exhaustive exegesis of the above passages.

If we are to embrace healing, it is a good idea to look at sickness, its causes, and the process or ministry of healing in the church. Here are some of my thoughts and Scriptures as we look into one of the most incredible experiences available to Christians and those they love.

- Sickness is caused by sin. (Job 2:7-8) God allows sickness just as He allows sin, but He is not the cause. In Genesis it says that we were created in God’s image. If sickness is part of the package, then God would become sick as well. If Adam and Eve needed healing, I suppose that “very good” would also include sickness. God doesn’t get sick, and Adam and Eve didn’t get to enjoy the fruit of sin until they committed it.

Humankind was exposed to diseases and deterioration by sin which is separation from God. The aging process is mentioned. Rom 5:12 "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned."

The Jews not only believed this, they taught it. John 9:2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

But sin is not the only reason that people become ill. Sure, smoking and drinking, overeating, and lack of exercise can all be tied to illnesses that cause death as well as some deformities in the unborn. There are however; some things that are not caused by sin.

John 9:3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

- Illness is considered a curse. (Deuteronomy 28:21-61)  Curses can be an affliction (caught), or disease passed down through the generations (generational curses).

Exodus 34:7, "Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting (punishing) the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."


Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

The Greek word here for "under the power of" is katadunasteuo which literally means "to exercise dominion against” or oppress.

- Illness is part of the demonic realm, and sometimes those afflicted are oppressed and other times they are possessed. This is true of both physical and mental illnesses (for which there are often physical causes).

Of course there are many instances of demons being cast out in the Bible. Some times they control the victim, and other times they make them ill.

- Our forgiveness for others, or better yet the lack of it, can cause illness as well. The two seem very closely related in the scriptures. There are some Christian healing ministries that focus directly on this issue.

If Jesus healed them all on a certain occasions, do you think that it is possible there were occasions when He didn't heal anyone? I do.

There are a number of ways that Christians pray for the sick. Some of the methods are the laying on of hands, anointing with oil and yes – even dirt and spittle! What matters is that we have faith, and listen for God.

“Spamming” people with evangelism tracts, praying for healing, and other forms of religious duty produces far less positive results then conferring with God about who, when and where.

I’d like to end this first blog about healing by saying that I once had a fellow that worked for me. One day a customer of mine came to the office while I wasn't there. He called me on my cell to ask if he could pray for her on company time. He said that she seemed upset. Of course it was fine with me. She said that she had been diagnosed with melanoma and that she had a spot on her ear. The doctor had told her that they would be removing it along with a good size portion of her earlobe. My friend simply laid a hand on her shoulder and said a simple prayer asking God to heal her. She paid her invoice and after a few minutes she left - it seemed nice - but uneventful.

After every one had left the office the phone rang and I let it go to the tape answering machine. I could hear a woman’s voice, she seemed very excited. Why? The cancer had fallen off about and hour before as she was washing her face. She checked with the doctor and was completely healed. She never had the surgery!

As with prophecy, our beliefs, fear, and lack of faith will keep us from receiving what God has already paid the price for. If you read that many accounts of healing in the Bible including Moses, Peter, Paul, John, Jesus and Elijah; to name a few, you'll see that those that got healed, came to these men, or to a place where they were. The healing of God did not go out and find the people.

There are few requirements to pray for healing. You need to be born again and full of the spirit, have faith, and have s a sick person around.

6 comments:

photogr said...

David:

Healing by prayer is quite possible. I have experienced it personally on myself. On the other hand, I have seen some that can be considered highly devout in their faith yet still died of a disease. A young minister with a lung ailment came to mind just recently. However, as a safe guard, it is always wise to have a Doctor confirm there was a healing or cure by a divine cause that he may not be able to explain.

I remember the Oral Roberts era of many televised healings on some people that surffered worse aliments afterwards because they stopped taking their medications thinking they were healed. Perhaps they were still in sin.

I would also have to think God allowed us to have medical break throughs in science to help in the disease and illness issues. It could very well be a divine contribution in a way.

I cannot agree that sin causes illness and diseases as you alluded even though scriptures stated in a way that such illnesses of that time was possibly caused by sin. I would have to think there are many environmental, genetic, occupational, and unknown issues that causes illnesses and diseases in biblical times as well as today.

Even though scriptures states we are all sinners and that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, we are still sinners unless we are repentant of our sins in Jesus' name.

Although Jesus did heal many in His travels, there was one time where he did not heal any except one person.

I would have to think also as far as a person that can heal others, there must be a special connection through God's grace in order to have the gift. Smith Wigglesworth and Paul Cain come to mind.

GCT said...

You are aware that there is no scientific support for prayer healing, right? That it doesn't rise above the level of random chance, right?

David said...

@Larry so when it comes to sickness and sin, you don't believe the Bible? Or maybe I am not following you.

I also think that god's first choice is healing prayer - but rich folks don't need Jesus really.

@GCT - I am aware of some scientific studies about prayer making no difference. I am also aware that talking t the air is considered prayer by some -

Real faith is essential to prayer, and so is hearing God. I maintain that those that call themselves Christian, may in fact not be true Christians. We've had this discussion before. If you let me pick the control group, I am sure I can show you some results that are above random chance.

Any Christian that does not believe that God will heal needs to find a new religion in which doubt is a tenants of the faith.

photogr said...

David:

I said that I do not believe that all sickness is a result of sinning. I have not contradicted the bible or disputed it.

As you your self mentioned about John 9:3. The illness happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. The blind man had not sinned nor his parents.

In Job 2:7,8 it does not say sickness is caused by sin. Job was as dedicated to the Lord as any of the men in biblical times. The story revolves around the fact the devil could sway Job and turn on God. And God said Job would not curse him. Job remained devout in God all through his suffering proclaiming his innocense to sin.

GCT said...

David,
"Real faith is essential to prayer, and so is hearing God. I maintain that those that call themselves Christian, may in fact not be true Christians. We've had this discussion before. If you let me pick the control group, I am sure I can show you some results that are above random chance."

I doubt it, unless you're going to post hoc explain away any failure as someone not have "Real faith." But, there's nothing to stop you from doing the experiment, is there? You could make a name for yourself as the person who proved prayer is efficacious.

photogr said...

'@Larry so when it comes to sickness and sin, you don't believe the Bible? Or maybe I am not following you."

David:
I sent a reply to your question but you failed to post it. In Job 2: 7,8 there was no mention of sickness being caused by sin. It was a story of Job's suffering by satan even though Job professed not being a sinner and God confirmed that.

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