The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Church

Course:  The Gifts of the Spirit

Lesson 5 (Questions)

Lesson Title: The Gifts of Healing (1 Corinthians 12:9).

 

Questions related to healing in the body of Christ.

 

1.   Why are only some people healed? 

 

Faith is not presumption. 

Faith is not afraid to recognise symptoms.  

It is wrong and dangerous to deny the existence of sickness or the symptoms of sickness. 

 

God is sovereign in all things.

Jesus conquered death on the cross but sickness and death will not be removed until Jesus comes.

When the Lord Jesus returns then the body of Christ will be changed into His likeness but until then our bodies are mortal and corruptible. 

Is it God's will for His people to be in health?  Yes - John writes in 1 John v2, 'Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers'.

But there may be a reason for the disability or sickness according to God’s sovereign will.

Sickness and disability can be the means of bringing great blessing, and can open tremendous doors for the gospel.

 

But there can also be something hindering our prayers. 

1)     …it can be the result of personal sin which the person is not willing to turn away from.  The sin could be unforgiveness, worry, or overwork.

2)     …there may be a barrier of unbelief that prevents the person from receiving the provision of God. (Matthew 13:58).   Unbelief will stop the sick person from seeking the Lord for healing (2 Chronicles 16:12).   God gives provision to overcome these barriers in James 5:14-15. 

 

A person may enjoy the benefits of being sick. 

3)     …the sick person may not want to be healed.  The sick person enjoys the security, the benefits, the sympathy or possibly even the suffering of being 'a sick person'. Jesus asked the sick person 'do you want to be well' (John 5:6).  God will not heal if a person does not want to be healed.

 

There can also be other reasons

4)     …it can be a time of chastisement because of sin towards others in the body of Christ - 1 Corinthians 11:23ff.  'For this cause many are sick…'

5)     …it can be a temporary time of sickness or infirmity that will bring great victory.  A person who is forced to remain in a sickbed can be greatly used of the Lord for instance through intercessory prayer.   We must walk in love towards the body of Christ, learning to depend upon the Lord in times of trial so that even in sickness our life brings glory to the Lord.

 

Sickness has sometimes been the result of God's judgment on sin but these are rare occurrences.

1)     …it can be a permanent sickness resulting from deliberate sin such as asking for personal reward for the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. The leprosy of Gehazi (2 Kings 5:27).

The leprosy of Gehazi was an exceptional occasion and Gehazi lived with his sickness in the knowledge that it was the consequence of his sin.  Even afterwards Gehazi had influence with the King and God used him to benefit His people. (2 Kings 8:4-6).

 

 

2.    What is the relationship between faith and gifts of healing?

 

Faith is a necessary requirement in operating gifts of healing.

The gifts of healing operate through believers, Mark 16:17. 

The sick person must respond in faith, Matt. 9:22, Matt.9:29..

All prayer must be in the name of Jesus, prayed in faith, and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

 

Faith – let the sick call; let the elders pray, James 5:14-15.

The sick person must call for the elders in faith, James 5:14.

The prayer of faith is prayed by the elders, James 5:14-15. 

 

 

3.   Is there a 'double cure' for sin and sickness through the atonement?

 

In this life we have corruptible and mortal bodies so there will always be the possibility of sickness or death. 

Christ conquered death on the cross and sickness is due to death being in our natural bodies. 

From the moment we are born it is known that our bodies will grow old and die. 

The body deteriorates because it is corruptible. 

An accident may kill or severely injure a person because our bodies are mortal. 

This will not change for the believer until this life is over. 

When will this change?  At the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:51-57).

 

Jesus was never sick and only died because He chose to lay down His life. 

Question:  Are we like Jesus in this respect? No we are not. 

Jesus was in all points like us but without sin.  He was the sinless Son of God.  Jesus never had a bad thought about anyone.  Death did not reign in His body.  When we receive Christ our sins are dealt with through the blood and we are able to overcome sin in our lives, but we must always beware the danger of sin because it is still in us. 

Sin no longer reigns in the believer, but it is in us.

 

Church History

Wesley’s teaching on Christian Perfection

John Wesley taught the doctrine of Christian perfection in which he taught that it was possible for a person to attain a place of perfection in this life.

The holiness movement of the 19th century developed from Wesley's teaching of Christian perfection. 

The great healing evangelists of the 19th century applied Wesley's teaching to healing by taking the view that if a person can be free from sin then he or she can be free from sickness.

 

A B Simpson did not accept Wesley’s teaching but he also taught the doctrine of the 'double cure' that the atonement was for sin and sickess; 'He was …bruised for our iniquites, …wounded for our transgressions, …by His stripes we are healed'.

 

It is interesting to note that when Matthew quotes Isaiah 53 in regard to the Lord healing the sick he does not quote by 'His stripes we are healed', but he quotes an earlier part  'That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.' Matthew 8:17

 

There is no doubt that Jesus took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses, but as long as we are in these earthly bodies there is always the possibility of sickness or death. 

 

 

4.   Can I trust the Lord to heal because of the blood of Jesus? 

Yes.  God has given provision for our healing through the atonement.

The Lord conquered death on the cross but the possibility of sickness remains until Jesus returns.  It is then that our bodies will be resurrected.

Sickness is a consequence of death still reigning in our bodies but the same Spirit that will quicken our bodies at the resurrection dwells in us right now. 

Romans 8: 11  ‘But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.’