Monday, September 24, 2007

Healing Models

I have always been fascinated the healing miracles in the gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The way the Holy Spirit worked was really exciting. However, I was always really puzzled by James 5. I could not see how it fitted with the rest of teaching about healing in the New Testament. James message seemed so tame in comparison to Acts and the Gospels.

A couple of years ago, I discovered that there are two streams of theology about healing in the Bible and then suddenly everything fell into place. If we split the teaching of the scripture into these two streams, we get a clearer understanding of God’s healing. The two themes are:

1. Healing and Evangelism
The gift of healing is primarily for unbelievers as a demonstration of the love of God. A major theme of the New Testament describes how the gift of healing works in evangelism. Jesus brought good news to apostate Israel, so his ministry demonstrated this type of healing (for more see Healing and Evangelism).

2. Healing and Believers
The second healing theme explains how God’s people can walk in health. Healing is part of salvation, so it should be a normal part of every believer’s life. James is actually a key passage in the second stream (for more see Healing for Christians).

The healing of an unbeliever and the healing of a believer have a different basis in the work of Christ. One is based on mercy and the other is based on covenant. Since they have a different basis, they are appropriated in different ways. We need to understand this difference to receive the full salvation of God.

2 comments:

Gene Redlin said...

Ron,

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I was all but kicked out of a church for preaching that it is always God's will for people to be healed.

I pointed to the Prayer pattern of the Lord. On earth as it is in heaven. Is there sickness in heaven, if so there should be sickness on earth. If not....

I read both your articles. We might disagree on war but you are so right on with these articles (which I had never read before) I am going to copy and forward them to some doubting pastors I know.

Good stuff. I never thought about the grace versus covenant aspect but it makes all kinds of sense.

Do I get sick? Sure, but for the most part I see sickness and disease as an invader an out of order situation and deal with it like the abberation it is.

Good post. Oh that the Body of Christ understood it and understood it's role.

One last thing. Many churches ELECT elders (an unscriptural thing to do) and then they are called on to pray. They have no more faith or fervency than a goldfish. Elder is a spiritual place of maturity and faith not a title or a position.

Many people who are elders in the Church are there because of Money or influence. Neither of which are candidacy qualifications of Biblical proportions.

Well done.

RonMcK said...

Thanks Gene.