Does the Gift of Healing Exist Today?
I.) The New Testament Gift of Healing Described
A.) Grace-gift (I Cor.12:9)
1.) It was a gift from God… a divine enablement.
2.) The gift was given by God sovereignly… as HE chose. (vs.11)
3.) It is a manifestation of the power of the HS. (supernatural power) (vs.7)
4.) “Healing” means a genuine, complete cure - not just temporary relief of symptoms.
B.) Authority (Matt.10:1) (exousia = authority; power)
1.) It included “power” over two areas:
b.) All sickness/disease
2.) The power was given freely (a grace gift). It was not given to these men because they were good, or because they had much faith. It was given by “grace” - without regard to human merit. (Even Judas received this gift!)
3.) The power was also to be dispensed “freely.” (as a gift; not earned or merited; not as a reward for exhibiting much faith)
4.) The men with this gift were able to dispense it at will.
C.) Power (Luke 9:1) (dunamis = power or ability)
1.) God gave these men a power that no other men had. (over demons & disease)
2.) It was not merely that they prayed and men were healed. Rather, THEY had the power to heal.
3.) They spoke and men were healed. They touched a man and he was healed. They did not even have to see the individual. It was a supernatural power.
II.) How the New Testament Gift of Healing Operated
A.) Those With the Gift Could Heal All Who Came
1.) Matt.4:24 - Jesus healed “them” - all the sick people.
2.) Matt.12:15 - great multitudes were healed.
3.) Matt.14:14 - he healed their sick - no limits.
4.) Luke - every one of them…
5.) Luke 6:17-19 - virtue went out from Him and he healed them all
6.) Luke - all who had need of healing (not all who had faith)
7.) Acts - Peter healed every one of them
8.) This is NOT what we see today in charismatic circles.
· We see men leaving still in their wheelchairs; heads still bald from chemotherapy; children stumbling out on crutches; the blind leaving with their canes…
· Not only do they leave still sick & maimed, but they leave disillusioned, and brokenhearted, thinking that they are somehow displeasing to God and that they do not trust God.
B.) Those With the Gift Healed ALL Kinds of Sickness and Disease
a.) “Sick people” = including organic diseases; leprosy; cancers; etc.
b.) “Diseases” = body infirmity: this would include any kind of infirmity and body parts - such as withered hands and legs; missing limbs; broken bones; MS.
c.) Possessed with devils - demon possession & any associated sicknesses. (not all are!!!)
2.) Matt.9:35 - every sickness and every disease
3.) Matt.10:1 - ALL manner of sickness and disease…
4.) What we do NOT see at healing services today…
· Withered hands restored…
· Broken bones healed…
· A man born lame, whose legs are withered leaping up & running…
· Missing limbs appear…
· A corpse that was badly decomposed rises to life!
5.) What we DO see at healing services today…
· Headaches; backaches; arthritis pain ceases; wheelchair patients take a few weak steps across a platform (could they before???); symptoms temporarily disappear…
C.) Those With the Gift Healed Everywhere (Luke 9:6)
1.) Healing took place in the city, in homes, in the wilderness, etc.
2.) In the charismatic movement, we see healings taking place in carefully staged settings & environments controlled by the “healer”.
· Loud, emotion-stirring music… lights…
· An atmosphere filled with excitement and expectation… (hype?)
· Carefully selected “patients”…
D.) Those Healed Were Completely Cured
1.) Matt.14:35-36 - made perfectly whole
2.) Acts 3:6-8 – from completely crippled to leaping…
3.) Luke - From a comatose state to “up & ministering to others”
E.) Their Healing Was Immediate
1.) Luke - she was healed immediately.
2.) Matthew – healed “that very hour.”
3.) Today we hear reports of men “feeling much better”, men rising from a wheelchair to take a few weak steps… That is not an immediate cure or a complete cure.
F.) Their Healings Were Undeniable
1.) Acts -16 - Even the skeptics could not deny a genuine healing.
2.) Those skeptics would love nothing better than to be able to discredit the healing as a fake, but they could not.
3.) The healings were well documented… irrefutable… with many witnesses… proof!
4.) Today we have lots of “claims” of healing… but proof is lacking. There is good reason to doubt that genuine healing takes place today! (Dr. Nolan wrote on Kathryn Khulmann)
G.) Faith Was Not Always Required
1.) Luke - often men were healed “according to their faith”.
2.) But if a man had the gift of healing, that was not always necessary.
a.) Matt.4:24 - multitudes were healed… most did not have genuine faith. (Jn.6:66)
b.) Mark 6:5-6 - Jesus healed them, and then marveled at their unbelief! His teaching ministry was discontinued because of their unbelief. BUT He still healed a few sick people… and marveled at their unbelief.
c.) Matt.8:14-15 - Peter’s mother was unconscious. Did she express her faith that God would heal her?
d.) What about Lazarus or the widow’s son? Were they raised because they was trusting in the Lord to do so? In the “afterlife” faith & hope are done away!
3.) Matt.17:14-21 -
· The child was not healed. But it was not because of a lack of faith on the part of the child.
· It was because of a lack of faith on the part of the “healers”!!! (vs.20 - because of YOUR unbelief!)
4.) Sometimes God healed a person, not because the person healed had faith, but because of the faith of a third party!
· Matt:8:5-13 - the centurion’s servant was healed because of the faith of the centurion.
· Luke 8:49-56 - The daughter was healed because her father had faith.
5.) Sometimes the gift of healing was used on unbelieving pagans!
· Acts 28:8-9 - Publius and other pagans were healed… even though they thought that Paul was a god! (vs.6)
II Kings - Naaman the Syrian was healed of
leprosy. It was not until AFTER his healing that he said, “NOW I know that
there is no God in all the earth but in
I.) Who Had the Gift of Healing?
A.) Four Categories
1. Christ (Matt.4:23; 8:16-17)
2. The 12 apostles (Matt.10:1)
3. The 70 disciples (Luke 10:1,9)
4. Apostolic associates (Acts 8:5-7 - Philip)
1. There are no accounts in the New Testament of anyone else having the power to heal other than apostles & apostolic assistants.
2. II Cor.12:12 - Paul referred to these miraculous gifts as “signs of an apostle.” This power was not given out randomly, but was reserved for the apostles & assistants.
3. Those given the Biblical gift had POWER to heal… not just to pray.
· Today faith healers say they don’t have any power to heal, but that God heals through them.
· It sound pious, but that is not the same as the NT gift of healing.
· It also gives them a safe “out” if it doesn’t work!
IV.) THE PURPOSE OF HEALING: to Authenticate a Message & Its Messenger
A.) The Ministry of Moses
1.) Ex.6:28-29 - How shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?
· Ex.7:1-5 - You speak, and “I” will show signs and wonders.
· As a result the Egyptians shall know that God is Lord! (vs.5)
2.) Ex.7:8-12 - Rods became serpents…
3.) Ex.7:17; ; ,16; 10:1-2 - all were signs to authenticate Moses as God’s spokesman before the Egyptians.
· Moses could create human suffering & cause it to cease.
· It was a supernatural sign from God.