Saturday, April 6, 2019

Does God Promise Physical Healing?

  • Discussion:
           -The Charismatic Movement is known for its emphasis on people having the ability to perform sign gifts that were originally conferred to the twelve apostles by the Holy Spirit. One of the miracles believed to remain operative today by a number of people who subscribe to continuationism is faith healing. The purpose of God occasionally using the apostles as vessels to work signs and wonders was to verify that they were indeed His messengers. These men could not simply use sign gifts whenever they pleased. The problem with the idea of modern-day faith healers is that nowhere does God in Scripture guarantee our healing.

           As a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul nowhere mentioned having the ability to heal when speaking of his companions who had illnesses:

           "But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick." (Philippians 2:25-26)

           "Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus." (2 Timothy 4:20)
 
           Paul nowhere even mentions having the ability to miraculously heal himself of bodily ailments:

           "Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

           "but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself." (Galatians 4:13-14)

           To spell the point out more bluntly, it should be mentioned that he had requested prayer and recommended the use of medicine:

           "No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments." (1 Timothy 5:23)

           If sign gifts were supposed to remain operative after the ministry of the twelve apostles, then it surely is strange how Paul could not miraculously heal the individuals that he mentioned in his epistles. It would be nonsense to suggest that he lacked the faith in God to perform supernatural works.

           This health and wealth teaching that is prevalent among charismatics is not only unbiblical, but also spiritually dangerous because countless Christians throughout history have passed away due to organic diseases. While it is one thing to say that all healing comes from God, it is quite another to say that He promises to heal all of our diseases in this life. The latter idea is dangerous because it could result in apostatizing just because his or her health continues to deteriorate.

4 comments:

  1. Hey brother Jesse. What a "coincidence" that you decided to post an article on physical healing today. I just got done watching a few hours ago a youtube video on this precise issue by Alan Parr (the beat). My sister in law would strongly disagree with you on this issue. Her arguments are (maybe not quoting exactly 1. many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivereth them out of them all. 2. The verse about God healing all our diseases (I think in the Psalms). 3. According to your faith so be it unto you. 4. People lack the belief in healing because of fear and bitterness toward God. 5 There are verses that mean just spiritual healing and then there are verses on the physical healing (check the original greek/hebrew). Although as you know we arn't charasmatic/penecostals. 6.Even If the apostolic sign gifts have ceased it doesn't mean the power of God has stopped. People were healed in the OT before apostolic sign gifts, Hezekiah prayed and God added 15 years to his life. Asa died for seeking healing from a physician instead of God. Hannah (samuel mom) was healed of infertility, etc, etc.

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  2. Also in James 5:15 it tells us (not quoting) that the prayer of faith shall (will) save the sick. Do we believe that verse or not?

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  3. Hello Justin,

    Let me start off by saying that I do not deny God is able to and does heal every kind of disease from all kinds of people. He is indeed the Great Physician. That point is well demonstrated by the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.

    God's supernatural healing is the result of His mercy toward us. Nonetheless, He has not promised to and is under no obligation to heal all those who pray to Him for physical recovery. There are times when God is even more so glorified through our illnesses.

    To pray in faith means to pray according to the promises of God (1 John 5:14). But Scripture contains no universal guarantees of Him healing us from diseases in this life. We must keep in mind that He is sovereign over life and death (James 4:13-17).

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