Faithlife Sermons

Divine Healing

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Section twelve of the Statement of Fundamental Truths of the Assemblies of God states: “Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.”
This precious doctrine is an important part of the Gospel and should not be neglected by those who minister the Word of God. In some circles, there is a good deal of misunderstanding, and opposition, with regard to Divine Healing. This is due to a failure to accept and comprehend the full teaching of the Word of God on this subject. It will be the purpose of this section to deal with: (1) The Reasonableness of Divine Healing, (2) The Origin of Sickness, (3) The Spiritual Nature of Sickness; (4) Healing and the Will of God, (5) The Scripturalness of Divine Healing, (6) Divine Healing Through the Church Age, (7) Healing and the Atonement, (8) Why Jesus Healed the Sick, (9) Why Christians Should Seek Divine Healing, (10) Methods of Administering Divine Healing, (11) Why All Are Not Healed, (12) How to Retain Divine Healing, (13) Divine Life for the Body, and (14) Answers to Objections.

I. The Reasonableness Of Divine Healing

In the light of all that is revealed in the Scriptures, it is not to be thought unreasonable that the Lord should heal the physical afflictions of those who seek His aid. It is not the purpose of this section to deal with the reasonableness of physical healing merely from an acceptable rational standpoint. The thought to be emphasized is that, based on the Word of God and what it reveals about God’s Will, His Purpose and His Power, it is wholly reasonable to believe that God is interested in the physical, human bodies of those who are His children through the New Birth. The following facts bear witness to this. It is not necessary for a Christian to try to persuade God to take an interest in his physical needs. From Creation on, God has certainly done this. The promises of God and the revelations of His concern for man’s physical needs have always far outstripped man’s faith to receive them.

A. God Is Definitely Interested in the Human Body

The vital relationship of the human body to God’s program is set forth in 1 Corinthians 6:9–20. From this passage we quote;
1 Corinthians 6:13–20 ESV
“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
In verse thirteen, a double assurance is given: “Now the body is … for the Lord; and the Lord [is] for the body.” Not only are the soul and spirit of man intended to be for God, but his body also is “for the Lord.” But then Paul adds the revealing thought that God has not only provided for the needs of man’s spiritual nature, but He has also provided for his physical needs—“The Lord is for the body.” Note the following:

1. Man was created in the image of God

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him …” (Gn. 1:26, 27). While this applies particularly to the spiritual nature of man, the “image of God” must have some relation to man’s body as well. This is evidenced by a truth suggested in Genesis 9:6: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” We know that death only affects the life of the body. It does not kill the soul (Lk. 12:4, 5). Yet, the reason for this warning of judgment upon one who kills man’s body is, “for in the image of God made he man.” The image of God, then, must have some relationship to man’s physical body.

2. The human body is included in Christ’s Redemption

Romans 8:23 ESV
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
The body of a Christian belongs to God because it was purchased by Him. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you … and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price?” (1 Cor. 6:19, 20). Many, who never question God’s claim upon the soul and spirit, practically deny His possession of the body as well. God is definitely interested in both.

3. The body of a Christian is a member of Christ

1 Corinthians 6:15 ESV
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!
Again it is emphasized that it is the body, not the soul or spirit, of man that is here in view.

4. God is deeply concerned about the sanctity of the body of His children

Verses 15–18 of the passage in 1 Corinthians chapter six make this dramatically clear. Some sins, Paul emphasizes, are particularly against the physical body. God is just as much concerned about these sins as He is about those which touch only the soul.

5. The human body of the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
One has only to consider how deeply interested God was in every detail of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, and the Temple in Jerusalem, to realize how concerned He is with this physical frame which is the dwelling place of His Holy Spirit.

6. Christians are urged to glorify God in their physical bodies

1 Corinthians 6:20 ESV
for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
To glorify God by the right attitude of one’s spirit is a commonly accepted truth of the Christian life, but the admonition here is to glorify Him in the physical part of one’s being. Both aspects of man’s being are said to be God’s.

7. Christians are urged to present their body as a living sacrifice to God

Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Again, note that it is the body, not the soul or spirit, which is here specified. After Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the fiery furnace unscathed, Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God” (Dn. 3:28). The great monarch was impressed with these three faithful followers of the Lord, because they “yielded their bodies” in sacrifice to the Lord.

8. The human body is to be resurrected

1 Corinthians 6:14 ESV
And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.
Resurrection is real. Christians will live in the same body, resurrected and glorified, throughout eternity. Because of this, it is important to God what happens to it now. The earnest of the believer’s inheritance (Eph. 1:14) of resurrected, immortal life, is healing and health for his body now.

B. There Is a Vital Relationship Between the Soul and Spirit of Man and His Physical Body

Conditions in the body affect the soul. When well in body, one’s disposition is almost always cheerful. When sick in body, it is not unusual for a person to be depressed in his spirit.
Likewise, conditions in the soul and spirit will affect the body. Good news will exhilarate the body and cause one to walk with a light step, while sad news often makes one walk as with leaden feet. “Statistics reported in 1948 indicated that two thirds of the patients who went to a physican had symptoms caused or aggravated by mental stress.”
There is such a close relationship between the soul and the body of man, it is difficult to see how God could be interested in, and make provision for, one without the other. Many seem to believe that the spiritual life should be supernatural and the physical life merely natural. There will never be perfect harmony until all is given to God for His care and keeping. God is interested in both soul and body—the whole man. The right thing is always the healthy thing.

C. Man’s Needs Are Two-fold

The human being has two distinct natures. He is both a material and spiritual being. When Adam sinned, both parts of his nature were affected by the Fall. This is true of all men ever since, for they have inherited his fallen nature. Man’s soul is corrupted by sin; his body is exposed to disease. The complete plan of Christ’s Redemption includes both natures of Man, and provides for the restoration of his spiritual life, at the same time providing for the results of sin as seen in his physical being. A complete redemption must offset the full effect of sin and meet the total need of Mankind. This is illustrated in the ministry of Jesus Who healed all the sick who came to Him, as well as shedding His precious blood for the forgiveness of sin. It is also indicated by the double commission given to the disciples: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved … they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover” (Mk. 16:15–18).
Mark 16:15–18 ESV
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
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