“Pudding, Praise and…Healing” 12 October 2017
Healing occurs throughout the New Ttestament as a significant ministry of Jesus and of the early church.
Healing can be defined as “the intervention of God in the health of a person”
Especially for those who are ill, or close to those who are, this is an area of great interest. What does the Bible have to say to us about it?
1. What’s the Problem?
We have to ask: why does anyone become ill at all?
“…and it was very good” (Genesis 1 v 31 ) God’s creation of the world, was very good with no disease, sickness or death . So what went wrong?. In God’s command to Adam (“ when you eat of…you shall surely die”) (Genesis 2 v 17) we can clearly see the warning of what would follow an act of disobedience. And following Adam’s sin, those consequences are realised in an awful way. “Sin entered the world and death through sin” (Romans 5 v12). Decay, disease, sin death and judgement all follow as a result of Adam’s sin. That’s why we have sickness today. The fact is, the earth we see today is a corruption of what God created.
Although we experience period of excellent health, especially in our youth, (though we probably don’t know what it is to be truly healthy), we know that it is short-lived. We will all get all, we will all get old, and we will all die. Sickness and death is a part of the human situation.
2.What’s the solution?
1 John tells us that “God is Love”. (1 John 4 v.16) Following Adam’s sin God could have left us to face forever the consequences of our folly. But he formulated a plan for his Son to come into the world to take on himself the consequences of our sin. (1 Peter 2 v 24; Isaiah 53 v 5). And we have the promise of future glory when Jesus returns and those who have trusted him receive resurrection bodies that will be in heaven forever (Romans 8 v 22-23)
In the meantime we live between the “now” and “the not yet” – struggling with the effects of sin, but with a hope of eternal glory.
So ..Is there relief for sickness today? – yes, there is:
The Record of Healing
Jesus (Mark 1 v.29-33)
The apostles (Acts 5 v. 12-16)
The church down the ages (John 14 v.11-12)
The Reality of Healing
Out of compassion (Mark 1 v.41)
As a sign of the now and coming kingdom of God
As a “down payment” of future glory
The Restriction on Healing
A “temporary” miracle (you will still die, unless the Lord returns first!)
A limited miracle (Jesus didn’t heal everyone, on every occasion)
Job completed in heaven (Revelation 21 v.3 – 4) – no sickness in heaven!
The place of medical healing: There is no reason whatsoever to restrict the activity of God to the overtly supernatural. God who has given humans ingenuity and compassion to use their minds uses medical science to enable people to stay healthy, to prescribe chemical and physical remedies to bring health to people.
We can thank God for help through the medical profession as we can for supernatural relief from pain and sickness.
3. Where do we go from here?
• Ask God for healing (John 14 v.13-14; John 15 v 7)
• Ask Believers to lay hands on you (Mark 16 v 15-18)
• Gifts of Healing within the church (1 Corinthians 12 v.27-28)
• Church Elders (James 5 v. 13-15) – more than any other, this passage tells what believers in the church should do when they are ill.
Possible outcomes of reaching out to God for healing:
Extraordinary Grace (cf Paul and his “thorn) – God can give us the grace to cope with the challenges of living in a fallen world, without taking away the fact of it.
Delayed healing – God may bring healing, but, for reasons of His own, choose to delay it. Job is an example of this. In fact you could say this of every unanswered prayer for healing – God brings total healing in eternity, when we come into the good of everything he has won for us.
Medical Healing – God may use medical science to provide relief or healing
Gradual healing – God may choose to bring healing in a way that is limited or gradual.
Miraculous healing – the Bible and church history abounds with verifiable testimonies of those who have been healed in answer to prayer.
Whatever the outcome – we can truly say that no prayer for healing goes unanswered. What we must do, as we do with every problem we have is to bring God into the situation, draw on his limitless resources of grace and mercy, and accept His Sovereign purposes.