You Have a Healing Ministry

HAND ON BACKVerily, verily I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father.”  (John 14:12 (KJV)

Let’s be gloriously blunt: the ministry of physical healing was never intended to be an option in the Christian church. One of the most prevalent commands by Jesus to the disciples was to heal the sick. If there were no other scriptural support, this fact alone would make the healing ministry qualify as a viable part of the Great Commission.

When Jesus laid out His charge before the disciples, it included “Teach them to observe (obey) all that I have commanded you…” (Mathew 28:20). One of these commandments is recorded in Luke, Chapter 1, as He sent out the seventy followers on a mission assignment. Paraphrased, He said, “While you are there, heal the sick!”

What was the real purpose or significance of Pentecost? We get a clear answer by observing the course of events after the Holy Spirit fell on that exciting day. Before His ascension, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit for the clear purpose of empowering the Body of Christ – the church – to carry on the same ministry He practiced while physically present on earth. According to our text Scripture, the church would be involved with an even greater ministry! WOW! Do you believe it?

This introduces an interesting question: By what authority was the healing ministry eliminated from some main-line church ministries, and declared to be “not for today”? It is certain that directive did not originate with the Holy Spirit or the Word of God. The reality is, ministering to the temporal needs of God’s people is a definite responsibility of the Church and should be an objective second only to salvation.

It is a historical fact that the successors to the twelve apostles carried forward the ministry and power of the Church of the Book of Acts. In 165 AD, Justin Martyr wrote a vivid description of demons being cast out by the power of the Holy Spirit, and believers routinely being healed in the mighty Name of Jesus.

Irenaeus, writing in 200 AD, “Those who are in truth His disciples, (are) receiving grace from Him, in His name to perform miracles … by laying their hands on them they are made whole. Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead have been raised up and remained with us for many years!”

Origen and Clement wrote exciting reports of the power of the second and third century church. Then moving on down in the timeline, documents are prevalent to show that men like Martin Luther and John Wesley had strong commitments to the healing power of Christ, and they practiced it.

But in recent centuries we have gone the opposite direction. We have even come to the point where some Christians equate suffering in sickness with suffering for “Christ’s sake”. There is no comparison. Sickness is often described by those same people as the “cross we must bear.” Not so! The cross that Jesus invites us to take up and carry is taken up voluntarily, and we can lay it down if we so choose.

Then of course, Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” usually surfaces to add fuel to doubt: Why didn’t God heal Paul?” is the usual query. The answer is simple … Paul wasn’t sick! Nothing within the context of 2 Corinthians 12 even hints at a physical problem. The scripture states clearly that the “thorn” was “a messenger (angel) of satan sent to buffet me.”

The great church leaders like Chrystosym, Augustine, Luther, Calvin and others, all referred to Paul’s “thorn” as repeated and continual nagging and harassment incited by satan and his messengers to demean Paul in the eyes of the Gentiles he was trying to win to Christ. The sickness concept is strictly man’s invention, and cannot be found in church teaching prior to the 20th century.

Here’s a painful thought: because of this erroneous doctrine, just think how many of God’s people have actually allowed Paul to stand in the way of their healing. It would break the great Apostle’s heart.

Beloved, Jesus, our Lord and Messiah, is interested in you as a whole person. He shed His Blood for your salvation, and took agonizing whip lashes on His back for your healing. He has not only promised to heal you; He has already accomplished that healing. So cast aside your doubts and believe in Him to make you whole!

Then take His healing word and His healing power to the people around you who need it. Remember our text scripture and its promise: “He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall He do also.”

You have a healing ministry. Now go fulfill it!

~

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “You Have a Healing Ministry

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. I have also heard the thorn in the flesh used as an excuse to allow for disappointment. Unfortunately, I was not familiar with the alternative explanation you mentioned. If you don’t mind my asking, what do you do with Paul’s instructions to Timothy to take some wine for his stomach? Did Timothy have a health issue that Paul would not heal in Jesus’ name? Why? What should we take from that?

    Thanks again, and God bless the reading and sharing of his word!

    1. Wine has been a common household beverage for centuries, including through the Old and New Testament periods.  Bible references to wine are predominately positive in describing how it brings joy to the heart, and even good health to the body.  I believe Paul was literally telling Timothy, “Drink a little wine; it will bless your unsettled stomach.”  Of course, just like too much food, excessive wine is not acceptable. We are never to be drunk with wine. On the other hand, read Psalm 104: 14, 15, and we see God’s intended use for it.

    2. I know you’re mainly asking Ted this question, and I agree with his answer as well. But, since I’m his daughter and also a minister, I thought maybe you guys wouldn’t mind my adding my two-cents’ worth in here. I agree that Paul is suggesting this to Timothy as a simple recommendation that has nothing to do with any kind of major healing need. There’s no doubt from all of Paul’s ministry that if Timothy had been genuinely ill, Paul would have been praying fervently for his healing.

      I personally have wondered if Paul might have been addressing a situation where Timothy had made some kind of commitment to abstain from wine — in something similar to the vows made by the Nazarites of that day — or possibly as a way of fasting something pleasant in the way Daniel abstained from all “pleasant foods” during his fasts. Since we know that the water in that area had a tendency to be much less than pure and could cause problems in the digestive and intestinal tract, the normal drinking of wine kept those problems at bay simply because wine kills so much bacteria, etc. If Timothy had begun to refrain from drinking wine, and as a result had some digestive problems, I can see Paul suggesting he return to the use of wine because it was a natural product the Lord had provided for the good of his digestive system.

      Just a thought, but it makes sense to me. Thanks for letting me take part in the conversation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s