Applying the Promise for Healing to Your Life and Your Situation
0

Salvation for the Body (6 of 6): How to Get Your Healing

Posted by danieljkoren on March 2, 2011 in Viewpoints |

While the Holy Writ contains only neutral or negative references to physicians[1], God’s Word does reference remedies[2] and even vague treatments for ailments.[3] Some took an extreme approach, doubting the effectiveness of the physician.  Rabbinic tradition seems conflicted about whether doctors of medicine are good, bad, or indifferent, but eventually it seems that acceptance of the medical community won out.[4] The on-going challenge for believers from Moses until now has been to accept with full faith that God is our Healer, yet also engage the services of professionals who fight disease without equating their practice with God’s perfection.Some would like to convince us that God works for our souls, not our bodies.  However, Brown points out that 

we often make sharp distinctions between the care of the body and the care of the soul, and religious faith and scientific medical practice are frequently viewed as mutually exclusive categories.  Yet concepts such as these would be virtually unintelligible to the ancient Near Eastern/biblical mentality.[5]

 

Let us not be guilty of demoting God from the work He intends to do in our day for both the inward person and the physical being.

The early centuries of Christianity brought expectancy for healing and the miraculous.  Today, however, Gordon describes the condition well:

A simple hearted believer comes into the assembly of the Church and details some remarkable answer to prayer — prayer for healing or prayer for deliverance, in response to which he alleges that God has wrought marvellously; and then we notice the slowness and shyness with which Christians turn their ears to the story, and the glances of embarrassment amounting almost to shamefacedness which they ease towards the minister, as though appealing for rescue from the perilous neighborhood of fanaticism to which they have been drawn.[6]

 

However, if God can cleanse the sin, He can cleanse the body.  Jellett says, “You ask God to perform as real a miracle when you ask him to cure your soul of sin as you do when you ask him to cure your body of a fever.”[7] If in fact we expect people to embrace the promise that “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” then we should not amputate the rest of the passage promising victory over demons, danger, and disease.[8]

How did we get the distorted opinions we have of healing today?  MacNutt puts the situation so well, saying that

the enemies were not outsiders or heretics, but Christians themselves. It is as if Christians put a pinch of arsenic into their own wine day after day and then drank it. Well-meaning Christians—leaders and theologians—made prayer for healing a side issue. In weakening this central teaching of the Gospel, they unwittingly opened themselves to the influence of paganism, Platonism, Stoicism and Gnosticism.[9]

 

We cannot settle to just “believe in some beautiful ideal”[10] about god’s healing power.  We must purse the supernatural, for without the power of the miraculous, “our preaching remains mere theory and does not touch the reality of our wretched lives. Instead of preaching Good News, we end up preaching good advice.”[11]

The biblical model shows that a person needs to call for the elders to anoint with oil and pray in faith.[12] What purpose does the oil serve?  Gordon puts this in perspective:

As in Baptism the disciple confesses his faith in the cleansing power of Christ’s atonement, by the use of water; or, as in the Communion he declares his dependence on Christ for spiritual sustenance, by the use of bread; so here he avows his faith in the saving health of the Spirit by the use of oil.[13]

 

Some of the meaning in this practice has spilled out over the centuries, but James’ contemporaries understood a fuller meaning:

“Anointing occurred when a person had been healed of leprosy, such an act proving his purification, based on which he was welcomed back into society again. This aspect would have been most encouraging to those about to be anointed for it would articulate within them a hope that their suffering would soon be over.” [14]

 

More then merely adhere to an oil-use tradition, we must reclaim the expectancy of early believers.

We must also regain the tenacity of the woman whose daughter needed relief from the devil’s abuse.[15] Simundson says well

We are to ask for what we want and not be willing to settle for second-best. If we want health, we should ask for it. If we want full recovery, we should not hedge our bets by asking only for “the serenity to accept whatever comes,” or suggesting that “nevertheless, your will be done.” Most of us have been conditioned to be realistic, laid back, less than optimistic in our prayers. We look around and see what is possible and ask for that instead of what we really want. We expect our prayers not to be answered, and they usually are not.[16]

 

Jesus asks today, “Wilt thou be made whole?”  If you have entered His covenant for your soul salvation, turn to Him for the promise of renewed health as well.

How do we obtain healing?  Scriptures such as James 5:13-18 record these elements: fervent prayer, repentance of sin, righteous living, united prayer, invoking the Name of the Lord.[17] When we ask, “Will you heal me?” we can expect the same response the leper received, “I will.”  The Bible closes with the promise that our Lord will one day do a permanent work against sin and disease: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”[18]

Jesus came preaching the gospel, teaching the truth, and healing the sick.  Just as preaching and teaching were given as ongoing ministries to His followers, so healing met a specific need and carried an inherent value.  Preaching meets the needs of the heart (inspiration), teaching meets the needs of the mind (education), and healing meets the needs of the body (restoration).  If Jesus wanted to heal all who had need during His earthly ministry, He intends to do the same now, for He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”[19]

__________________

Do you need prayer for healing? Find a church where it still happens when you click here.

Did you miss parts of this six-part series? Click below to go back:

Healing as Part of the mission

Modern Views of Jesus’ Mission

Where Does Illness Come From?

Is Sickness Good?

Why did Jesus Heal?

The Compassion Motive

Healing after Christ

How to Get Your Healing

______________________

­­Bibliography

 

Bailey, Keith M.  Divine Healing: The Children’s Bread. Harrisburg: Christian, 1977.
Baxter, J. Sidlow.  Divine Healing of the Body. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979.
Brown, Michael L.  Israel’s Divine Healer.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995.
Gray, David F.  Questions Pentecostals Ask, Volume 3. Hazelwood: Word Aflame, 1993.
Gordon, A. J.  The Ministry of Healing: Miracles of Cure in All Ages.  Harrisburg: Christian, 1961.
Hamm, Dennis. “Acts 3:12-26 : Peter’s speech and the healing of the man born lame.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 11.3 (Fall 1984): 199-217. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Urshan Gateway Library, Florissant, Mo. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0000928129&site=ehost-live&scope=site>.
Heil, John Paul. “Significant aspects of the healing miracles in Matthew.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 41.2 (Apr. 1979): 274-287. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Urshan Gateway Library, Florissant, Mo. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0000773592&site=ehost-live&scope=site>.
Kelsey, Morton.  Healing and Christianity: A Classic Study. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1995.
Kolenkow, Anitra B. “Healing controversy as a tie between miracle and passion material for a proto-gospel.” Journal of Biblical Literature 95.4 (Dec. 1976): 623-638. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Urshan Gateway Library, Florissant, Mo. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0000758714&site=ehost-live&scope=site>.
Kydd, Ronald A. N.  Healing through the Centuries. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1998.
MacNutt, Francis.  The Nearly Perfect Crime. Grand Rapids: Chosen, 2005.
Mayhue, Richard.  The Healing Promise. Eugene: Harvest House, 1994.
McGinley, Laurence J. “Form-criticism of the synoptic healing narratives. 2, Paradigm and apothegm.” Theological Studies 3.1 (Feb. 1942): 47-68. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Urshan Gateway Library, Florissant, Mo. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0001348918&site=ehost-live&scope=site>.
Simundson, Daniel J. “Health and healing in the Bible.” Word & World 2 (Fall 1982): 330-339. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Urshan Gateway Library, Florissant, Mo. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0000795449&site=ehost-live&scope=site>.
Storms, C. Samuel.  Healing and Holiness: A Biblical Response to the Faith-Healing Phenomenon. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1990.
Thomas, John Christopher. “The spirit, healing and mission: an overview of the biblical canon.” International Review of Mission 93.370-371 (July 2004): 421-442. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Urshan Gateway Library, Florissant, Mo. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0001455553&site=ehost-live&scope=site>.
Walaskay, Paul W. “Biblical and classical foundations of the healing ministries.” Journal of Pastoral Care 37.3 (Sep. 1983): 195-206. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Urshan Gateway Library, Florissant, Mo. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0000933506&site=ehost-live&scope=site>.
Warrington, Keith. “Healing and suffering in the Bible.” International Review of Mission 95.376-377 (Jan. 2006): 154-164. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Urshan Gateway Library, Florissant, Mo. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0001524171&site=ehost-live&scope=site>.
——–. “James 5:14-18: healing then and now.” International Review of Mission 93.370-371 (July 2004): 346-367. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Urshan Gateway Library, Florissant, Mo. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0001455545&site=ehost-live&scope=site>.
Weatherhead, Leslie D.  Psychology, Religion and Healing. New York: Abingdon, 1952.
Wynn, Kerry H. “Johannine healings and the otherness of disability.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 34.1 (Spr 2007): 61-75. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCO. Urshan Gateway Library, Florissant, Mo. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0001596183&site=ehost-live&scope=site>.


[1] Genesis 50:1-3; II Chronicles  16:12; Job 13:4; Mark 5:26

[2] Exodus 21:19; Isaiah 1:5-6; Jeremiah 8:22; 46:11; 51:8; Ezekiel 30:21; 34:4; Zechariah 11:16

[3] II Kings 20:7; Isaiah 38:21; Luke 10:34

[4] Brown, 61-63.

[5] Ibid., 53-54.

[6] Gordon, 3.

[7] Ibid., 7.

[8] Mark 16:16-18; Gordon, 24-26.

[9] MacNutt, 16.

[10] Ibid., 34.

[11] Ibid., 36.

[12] James 5:13-16

[13] Gordon, 32.

[14] Keith Warrington. “Healing and suffering in the Bible.” International Review of Mission 95.376-377 (Jan. 2006): 163.

[15] Matthew 15:22-28

[16] Daniel J. Simundson. “Health and healing in the Bible.” Word & World 2 (Fall 1982): 334.

[17] Keith Warrington. “James 5:14-18: healing then and now.” International Review of Mission 93.370-371 (July 2004): 364-66.

[18] Revelation 21:4

[19] Hebrews 13:8

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2010-2017 Daniel J. Koren's All rights reserved.
This site is using the Desk Mess Mirrored theme, v2.5, from BuyNowShop.com.

Sharing Buttons by Linksku