The Principles of the kingdom of God (4) The Principle of Healing
Primary Texts: Isaiah 53:1-5
There are things the Scriptures must have us know when it comes to the question of divine healing. People say that divine healing is no longer appropriate to our time. It ceased during the time of the apostles. After the apostolic era, there were no more healings. To these teachers, we must do all we can when we are sick and then resign ourselves to the will of God. At the core of these teachings is a shadow being cast on the integrity of God’s word, “I am the Lord, I change not”, “Jesus, the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” Does God still heal today? On the authority of scripture, He does, our experiences notwithstanding.
The origin of sickness
Sickness is a natural consequence of the Fall. It produces death, if left untreated. See Roman 5:12. Also Deut. 28:21-22. It will always be present and believers will not be immune from it. It also comes through the agency of Satan. See the story of Job and the woman with the spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:10-16). No wonder Jesus said in John 10:10 that, “The thief cometh not, but to steal, kill, and destroy…” It is not God’s intention that we remain sick. It limits our usefulness to Him in matters relating to the Kingdom. That is why we see Him meeting the needs of healing of people in Scripture.
An indication of the coming Deliverer
Healing of our physical bodies is at the heart of God, and that is why we He gave us His word that He is the Lord that heals us – Exodus 15:26. In the Old Testament, a prophetic picture of the Divine Healer and Deliverer was painted when God healed Miriam of leprosy, Job, Naaman, Hezekiah, and the others. Isaiah prophesied in our text what the coming Messiah was going to do. He was not only to be the Savior; He was also to be the Healer. In other words, the healing of the body is part of the redemptive work of Christ. When He was crucified on the cross, He not only bore our sins, He also bore our sicknesses. The Apostles taught this and interpreted Jesus earthly ministry as a fulfillment of the prophecy made by Isaiah – I Peter 2:24-25. The Amplified version of the Bible puts Isaiah 53:4 thus: “Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pain (of punishment), yet we (ignorantly) considered Him stricken, smitten and afflicted by God (as if with leprosy).
A practical illustration is when Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law and a lot of people came to him for healing too – see Matthew 8:14-17. Peter summarized the whole of Christ ministry in Acts 10:38 to indicate that healing cannot be divorced from the gospel message. Therefore we see that if sickness is a part of the consequences of the fall, then it must be included in the atoning sacrifice of Christ.
Principles of Divine Healing
1. Realize that God is sovereign – Romans 9:14-16
2. Nevertheless, the Word declares that God is willing to heal – Matthew 8:1-4
3. Healing is also aligned to the prosperity of your soul – 3 John 1:2. Note the distinctions between Spirit, Soul, and Body in Hebrews 4:12, I Thess. 5:23.
a. Spirit – This is the human spirit, the real person, the inward part of man that is re-created at the new birth.
b. Soul – This is where man’s will, emotions, and intellect seat. It is difficult to distinguish or separate this from the spirit. At the new birth, the soul is not re-created. It must be renewed (Romans 12:2). That is why you are not automatically free from sinful thoughts immediately you are born again.
c. Body – This is where the spirit and soul lives. It is physical, and when it dies, the spirit and soul live on. That’s why the Bible says that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that comes judgment – Heb. 9:27. At the new birth, the body is not re-created; it will be some day. For now, it must be trained to act the way God wants it to act.
Since our spirit is the only one that aligns with God at new birth, we must bring in our soul and body to align with the word of God if we must be healed.
a. The carnal soul must be renewed by the hearing of the word.
b. It must be trained to think and act in line with the word of God.
c. This precludes the fears and negative confessions, and grasps the promises of God regarding divine healing.
Remember Romans 10:17 – The word of God produces faith in your heart, and when it comes to the matter of healing, God honors great faith. See Matthew 8:5-12; 9:20. Also James 5:14-15. Forgiveness of sins, which makes one right with God, is an integral part of divine healing. It is vital to be in right standing with God when you desire healing for your body.
a. See the healing of the lame man – Matthew 9:2-8, Luke 5:16-25.
b. The crippled man at the well of Bethesda – John 5:14
God can, and does, use means to heal. All too often, we insist that healing must follow a supernatural process for it to have come from God. Some cults refuse medicine claiming that it does not have divine mandate, but this is untrue.
a. See the description of Hezekiah’s healing – II Kings 20:1-7
b. Jesus’ healing of the man born blind – John 9:1-8
c. Paul’s admonition to Timothy – I Timothy 5:23
Sometimes healing does not come instantaneously. It can be gradual and so we must be patient. Jesus had to minister twice to a blind man at Bethsaida – Mark 8:22-26. Also be specific with God, as in all prayer matters, what healing you want from Him. See the story of blind Bartimaeus – Mark 10:46-52. When it comes to divine healing, it may be necessary to have an attitude of insistence before the presence of God. The scripture teaches this in Luke 11:5-13. Also, two blind men took advantage of this truth, and the Creator of the universe stood still on their behalf – Matthew 20:29-34. Can the Lord see our importunity and stand still for us? Do not get discouraged even when voices within and without try to silence your cry for healing and deliverance.
It must be noted that in matters of divine healing, God still exercises His sovereignty – whether to heal or not. See the example of the Syro-Phoenician woman (Matthew 15:21-28) and Lazarus (John 11). Also, every healing must point to Christ and His glory. It must not