Monday, September 19, 2016

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 few 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.

These themes are developed further in Healing: Insights for Christians Elders

No comments: