Jesus came to redeem us from the consequences of the fall – Part 25
What Has Christ Done For Sickness And Disease? Contd.
(2) Jesus’ ministry. Jesus as the incarnate Son of God was and is the exact representation of God’s nature and character (Heb 1:3; cf. Col 1:15; 2:9). In His earthly ministry (Mat 4:23-24; 8:14-16; 9:35; 15:28; Mark 1:32-34,40-41; Luke 4:40; Acts 10:38), Jesus revealed God’s will in action (John 6:38; 14:10), and thus shows conclusively that it is in God’s heart, nature and purpose to heal all who are sick and oppressed by the devil. Although Jesus did not heal every sick person in the Holy Land, the gospels often record that He healed individuals, groups of people and “all” who were sick and brought to Him (Mat 4:24; Mark 6:56; Luke 6:19; 9:11). Healing was a normal part of Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom of God.
(3) The provision of Christ’s atonement (Is 53:4-5; Mat 8:16-17; 1 Pet 2:24). Jesus’ atoning death was complete and adequate for redeeming the whole person—spirit, soul and body. As sin and sickness have become the twin giants designed by Satan to destroy us, so forgiveness and healing are twin blessings designed by God to redeem us and make us whole (cf. Ps 103:3; Jas 5:14-16).
The believer should press on in humility and faith to possess the full provision of Christ’s atonement, including the healing of the body.
(4) The ongoing ministry of the church. Jesus commissioned His 12 disciples to heal the sick as part of their proclamation of God’s Kingdom (Luke 9:1-2,6). Later, He commissioned 70 disciples to do the same (Luke 10:1,8-9,19). After Pentecost, the early church carried on Jesus’ healing ministry as part of preaching the gospel (Acts 3:1-10; 4:30; 5:16; 8:7; 9:34; 14:8-10; 19:11-12; cf. Mark 16:18; 1 Cor 12:9,28,30; Jas 5:14-16). The NT records three ways that God’s healing power and faith were imparted through the church: (a) the laying on of hands (Mark 16:15-18; Acts 9:17), (b) confession of known sin, followed by anointing the sick with oil and the prayer of faith (Jas 5:14-16), and (c) spiritual gifts of healings given to the church (1 Cor 12:9). Note that it is the elders who are to pray the prayer of faith.
Hindrances To Healing. Sometimes, there are hindrances to receiving divine healing, such as (1) unconfessed sin (Jas 5:16), (2) demonic oppression or bondage (Luke 13:11-13), (3) fear or acute anxiety (Prov. 3:5-8; Phil 4:6-7), (4) past disappointments that undermine present faith (Mark 5:26; John 5:5-7), (5) people (Mark 10:48), (6) unbiblical teaching (Mark 3:1-5; 7:13), (7) failure of the elders to pray the prayer of faith (Mark 11:22-24; Jas 5:14-16), (8) failure of the church to seek and obtain the gifts of miracles and healings as God intended (Acts 4:29-30; 6:8; 8:5-6; 1 Cor 12:9-10, 29-31; Heb 2:4), (9) unbelief (Mark 6:3-6; 9:19,23-24), and (10) self-centered behavior (1 Cor 11:29-30). At other times, the reason for the persistence of physical affliction in godly people is not readily apparent (e.g., Gal 4:13; 1 Tim 5:23; 2 Tim 4:20). In still other instances, God chooses to take His beloved saints to heaven during an illness (cf. 2 Kgs 13:14).
Steps To Take. What can you do when praying for and seeking God’s healing of your body? (1) Be sure you are in a right relationship with God and others (Mat 6:33; 1 Cor 11:27-30; Jas 5:16; see John 15:7).
(2) Seek the presence of Jesus in your life, for it is He Who will give your heart the faith you need (Rom 12:3; 1 Cor 12:9; Phil 2:13; see Mat 17:20).
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