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Does God still heal the sick today? Does He want to do that through those of us who comprise the body of Christ? Let's take a good look at that qustion, and let's start by looking at some Scripture, ot see what the bible has to say on the subject.
Matthew 4:23 says "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people."
The bible says that Jesus a healing God!
Matthew 9:35 is similar: "Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every sickness among the people." This passage says the same thing, that Jesus a healing God!
Matthew 12:15 says, "But when Jesus knew it, a mob of people had come looking for Him, He went and hid in the wilderness and great multitudes followed Him and He healed them all." In this psasage, Jesus was not looking to minister to anyone. He wanted some alone time with God and He went sneaking off into the wilderness to pray. Then all these sick people followed Him. They brought all their sick to Him, "and He healed them all." Healing was in the very fabric of His being.
Matthew 14:14 says "When Jesus went out He saw a great multitude and He was moved with compassion for them and He healed their sick." Why did He do that? He healed them because He had a heart of compassion and love.
Matthew 15:29-30 says, "Jesus departed from there and skirted the Sea of Galilee and went up on the mountain and sat down there. And great multitudes came to Him having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others and they laid them down at Jesus feet and He healed them." God a healing God!
Luke 6:17 says, "And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases."
This verse is someone summarizing Jesus' life: Acts 10:38 says, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, who went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him."
After looking at these verses, would you agree that God is a healing God? Some of you are thinking, (you are not saying this but you are thinking) well, that is Jesus--but God is a Trinity--including the Father and the Holy Spirit. That is true, but Jesus said: I only do what I see the Father doing; and if the Father is not doing it, and then neither am I (my paraphrase). If Jesus healed the sick, then the Father was also healing the sick.
Look more closely at Acts 10:38. How did Jesus heal the sick? It says, that He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power. That means the Holy Spirit is involved in healing the sick as well. The God of the bible is a healing God. Some of you may be thinking that in the time of Acts and the early church there were lots of healings, but this is today. But in Hebrews 13:8 it says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." If Jesus was a healing God when He walked on this earth, He is a healing God today.
By the way, does Jesus walk on this earth today? (That is kind of a trick question.) We know He is up in heaven, but He also said He is with us always even unto the end of the world. He breathed on His disciples and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit," but He said "Tarry and wait for an empowerment," and the Holy Spirit fell on them. God is in us. What are we called? As the church, we are called the "Body of Christ." That means we are Jesus feet, so we can go where He wants to go; we are Jesus hands. When Jesus wants to lay hands on the sick today, how does He do it? He does it through us, His body.
Jesus prayed for people and ministered to people when He walked this earth. He still wants to pray for people today, and He still wants to heal the sick. But He isn't here anymore, He has ascended up into Heaven. So, how does He do that today? He does it through us--His body.
You are His body. But what kind of body are you? Are you going to be a body that is fully functioning and does what the mind tells it to? Jesus the mind, isn't He? The bible says that He is the head of the body. There are paralyzed people, that have injuries to their neck or spinal injuries to the spinal column--when their mind wants to do something, their body does not respond. Do you want to be a paralyzed Body of Christ?
The other choice (the better one) is to be a functioning living obedient part of the church body. That means you have to do what Jesus is doing. And what is He doing? The answer to that is simple, and it comes from the bible: He is doing what the Father is doing.
What are some of the things the Father did? He preached the kingdom; He advanced the Kingdom; He healed the sick; He cast out demons; He did signs and wonders. We are the body of Christ doing God's will on the earth today. So guess what you should be doing? Yes, we should be doing the same things that Jesus did.
What does the Great commission command us to do? It says to go preach the gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons. If this is in the great commission, why aren't you doing it? It should be part of our normal day-to-day lives. This doesn't mean that we heal a sick person every single day. But we should be moving with God, and doing what He is doing on a regular basis, because that is what the bible said to do. God a healing God. Yes, He is!
We have heard stories. How many have heard about all the miraculous healings out of Nigeria? How many have heard about Mozambique? I know revival is there. I know Rolland Baker--we are not close friends, but we communicate occasionally. In the last 6 years they planted over 5,000 churches. A church is composed of usually 50 or more people. They have to take in 10 orphans before they are allowed to be a church. The churches are all new converts. Do you know where they are getting the new converts? Muslims. Africa has a lot of Muslims. Do you know how they are getting the converts? It is by performing signs and wonders. They are healing the sick; they are raising the dead.
Let me give you an idea of what it is like over thre. Think about a couple in your church where the husband is a successful business man and both of them have a lot of faith. I bet your church has a couple like that--most churches do. For the sake of this discussion, let's call them Art and Karen. Imagine that Art walks out of church one Sunday morning and gets run over. He dies, and we have to prepare a funeral for Art. (I pray this will not actually happen to whoever the "Art" is in your church; I am just giving a "what if" example here and not suggesting impending danger for godly businessmen.)
Art was well known in the community as a successful businessman, and some of his customers have gotten attached to him because he had integrity in how he conducted his business. So they are all come to his widow and saying things like "I am so sorry about your loss." and they all feel sad for her. His wife Karen says, "You know what God told me? God said that My husband and I will do some things together that we haven't done yet. I believe God's word, so he is not going to stay dead." They look at her and think "poor widow, she is so bereaved, she has no clue what is going on. We will just give her space, we understand she is suffering." Of course, they come to the funeral to say their fond "goodbye" to Art. But during the middle of the funeral (it's an open casket service), Art sits up and says, "What are you all doing?"
Let me ask you: do you think it is possible that some of the non-Christians might take God more seriously? Yeah! That kind of thing that is already happening in Africa. and it can happen here as well.
Now most of us cannot raise the dead here in Western Culture until we get used to healing the sick. There are levels of faith involved, and the faith to heal the sick lays the groundwork for the type of faith that raises the dead. You have to develop one faith skill before you can successfully move on to the next.
Look at mathematics as an example. When you have a little kid, what is the first thing they learn in mathematics? 1 + 1 is 2; 3 + 2 is 5. Children learn the basics of math before they learn the advanced stuff. They learn to add and subtract before they can learn to learn to multiply and divide. Why? Because multiplying is like compounded adding. 2 times 3 is 2 plus 2 plus 2. You have added twice, and the short hand that is to multiply. Likewise, dividing is subtracting a bunch of times. The number 6 divided by 2 is 3, so you have subtracted 2 from six three times--well you get the picture. You cannot do multiplication and division until you can do addition and subtraction.
Likewise, you cannot raise the dead until you can heal the sick. Now, there are always exceptions. God will usually move in His general guidelines of growing in faith. But there will be somebody who never prayed for anybody before, who has never seen a healing. That person will go lay hands on a dead person, and that person will come alive again. It will happen occasionally, but it is not what we should expect as "the norm."
Let me tell you what God wants to be "normal" in our lives. God expects us to get used to moving with Him in little things and then we can move up and up. When Jesus came to earth, He came as a baby. He grew up 30 years before He started ministering. He did not do anything the first 30 years other than ask some scholars some questions at the temple, and scare His parents a bit. Is not that a waste of time? He could have just come as an adult and started His ministry, couldn't He? So, why did God do it that way? It is because God usually works through processes.
When you plant something, like a flower, you buy the seeds and the plant grows up and then flowers come up last. Sometimes they sell you little plant-lings instead of seeds. In the area where I live, we have really hard soil, and those plant-lings might not be able to take root. Many of them die. There is some risk if you skip the seed stage and jump ahead to the little 3 and 4 inch tall plants. If you want flowers that really last, they come from seeds. It is smarter to plant seeds because the seeds can establish their roots down into the tough soil. It is better to take the time and go through the whole process (seed to blossom) than to try and accelerate it with those partially pre-grown plants. The little plants don't do as well as the seeds because they are used to the softer soil of the nursery, and their roots are not tough enough. The seeds grow in the harder soil so they have tougher roots.
Likewise, God likes to work through processes. If you start at the beginning and work forward, you go further than if you try to jump in the middle.