Sunday, March 27, 2011

Biblical Presuppositions About Healing & Wholeness

“Wherever [Jesus] went… they begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.” (Mark 6:56)

This week in worship we focused on the healing ministry of Jesus. As a follow up to that message, let me share a few presuppositions about healing and wholeness that we find in the Bible:

1. Healing and wholeness is at the very heart of God's intention for all humanity (Genesis 1:27; John 10:10). Over 1/3 of the gospel stories are devoted to Jesus' healing ministry. In the Bible, the root Hebrew and Greek words for “salvation” (shalom and sozo, respectively) both mean "wholeness/completeness.”

2. All Healing is from God (Psalm 103:2-4). Humans (such as doctors and nurses) can assist or be instruments of this healing, but God is the ultimate source.

3. All Illness is a result of the fallenness of our world (Genesis 3). We live in a world everywhere permeated by sin. Illness is therefore not a punishment from God “because somebody sinned,” but instead is a byproduct of the world’s fallen nature.

4. We need to understand and recognize the many different types/forms of healing:
a. Physical (Matthew 8:1-13; Mark 1:29-34; 5:21-43; Acts 3:1-10 – remember that all physical healing is temporary at best)
b. Spiritual (Luke 5:17-26; James 5:16; John 5:14)
c. Emotional (Mark 1:21-28; 5:1-20; Luke 6:18-19; 9:42)
d. Healing of Fears & Doubts (I John 4:16-19; Romans 8:15)
e. Healing of Relationships (Ephesians2:13-18;4:1-3; Hebrews12:12-14)
f. Physical Death (John 11:25-26; Romans 14:7-9 – remember that death is merely a transition to a new chapter in every Christians’ life)
7. Others: Financial (3 John 2); Mental (Matt. 9:32-35); National (2 Chronicles 7:14); From Violence (Luke 22:51)

5. "Why are not all healed in the manner they desire?"
We don't know -- the Bible doesn't tell us (Read Job 42:1-6). But the Bible does nevertheless teach that the lack of a particular kind of healing is NOT because of recipient’s lack of faith. Even a little faith – or none – is enough for God. It’s quality, not quantity, that counts most with God (Read Matthew 17:20; John 5:1-9; Luke 14:1-4). Lack of a particular kind of healing is also NOT because God loves the one healed more than the one not healed (Romans 2:11; Acts 10:34-35).

6. Prayer is not “the least” but “the most” we can do for the healing and wholeness of others.

7. “What are some hindrances to healing from our prayers?” [Materials below drawn from the book BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING, by James K. Wagner (Upper Room books, 1980)]

a. Sometimes people choose, consciously or unconsciously, to hold onto their illness
b. Continuance of factors that caused/led to the illness, or persons surrounding themselves with an environment (social or personal) that is hostile or negative towards healing
c. Total absence of faith anywhere (expectant, confident, trusting, childlike faith in the healing Christ must be present somewhere, but not necessarily in the one seeking healing -- it can reside in the minister, in a friend, family member, etc)
d. Dealing with symptoms instead of the root cause (“faulty diagnosis” = failure to acknowledge the many forms of healing listed in #4, above)
e. Our failure to grasp that healing of the physical body is not the highest of all prayer goals – after all, all physical healing is temporary at best.
f. Failure to understand that physical death is not the end, but the transition to a new chapter in the life of each person. Only through death can we realize the fulfilled wholeness which God created us to have in the first place.
g. Refusal to see medicine as a way God heals, and/or not using the natural means of preserving health.
h. Refusing to accept/comprehend God’s timing.
i. The absence of compassion by the person praying for healing – healing power cannot flow where compassion is lacking.

[For a short, downloadable flyer version of these seven biblical presuppositions, click here]

Whatever hurt or brokenness you face, I encourage you to use these thoughts to help you find God’s healing and wholeness for your life! Remember, God loves you and I do, too!

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