God's Willingness To Heal

GOD'S WILLINGNESS TO HEAL

A.     Introduction:  We have begun a study of faith and healing.
     1.     Although we are emphasizing healing, the things we learn about faith can be  
          applied to other areas as well. Rom 1:17; II Cor 5:7
     2.     A careful study of the Bible shows us that God is a healer and that it is always
          His will to heal.  There is controversy over this because:
          a.     People lack knowledge from God's word on this subject.
          b.     People put experience above God's word.
     3.     In order to be healed, you must have two vital categories of information about
          healing.
          a.     You must know that God has already provided healing for you through
               the Cross of Christ.  He has already said yes to healing you by including
               healing in redemption.  In other words, it is His will to heal you.
               Isa 53:4-6; I Pet 2:24
          b.     You must know how to take or receive what God has already provided.  
               You take it by faith. Heb 6:12
     4.     Lack of knowledge in either one of these areas can keep  you from being
          healed.
          a.     If you don't know that healing has been provided, you'll struggle with:  Is
               it God's will to heal me?  Until you get that issue settled, you probably
               won't get healed.
          b.     If you don't know how to take what God has provided, you'll be waiting
               for Him to give you something He's waiting for you to take, and you
               probably won't get healed.
     5.     In this series, we're taking time to build our faith in both areas -- that healing
          has been provided and that we must take what has been provided. Rom 10:17
     6.     In this lesson, we want to look at God's willingness, even eagerness to heal.  
          Why study this when most of us already believe God is a healer?
          a.     You may know God is a healer and healing is His will, but what about
               YOU when you're sick?  Does He want YOU well NOW?
          b.     The faith that takes what God offers has to be fully persuaded, completely
               convinced of some things.  That means ALL doubt gone!
          c.     What if someone you are sure will get healed doesn't?  Would that rock
               your faith?
          d.     Because God is infinite and eternal, there is always more to know about
               Him from His word -- no matter how much you already know!
          e.     We're following God's proscription for our health. Prov 4:20-22

B.     If your only source of information about healing was the Bible, you could not come
     to any other conclusion than that it is always God's will to heal His people.
     1.     In previous lessons, we pointed out that:
          a.     There was no sickness in the Garden of Eden before man sinned. Gen 1:31
          b.     There is no sickness in heaven, and there'll be none in the kingdom which
               Jesus will set up when He returns to earth. Isa 65:19,20
          c.     There won't be any in the new heaven or earth which God will ultimately
               establish. Rev 21:1-4
          d.     Sickness is in the earth because of sin. Rom 5:12
     2.     Nowhere does the Bible call sickness good, from God, a teaching tool of God,
          a blessing in disguise, or suffering for the Lord.  It is called a curse, captivity,
          satanic oppression. Deut 28; Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38
     3.     Jesus was the will of God in action on earth. John 4:34; 14:9; Heb 1:1-3
          a.     He healed all who came to Him.  He did not refuse to heal a single person.  
               He made no one sick.
          b.     When He went to the Cross, He bore our sins and our sickness to remove
               them. Isa 53:5,6; Gal 3:13
          c.     Jesus came to bring life.  Health is one aspect of life. John 10:10
     4.     It is God's will to heal all because it is in His redemptive plan which is for all.
          a.     Everything in the Bible must be read in line with, in light of, Jesus and the
               Cross.
          b.     So, if what you think you know about Job, Paul's thorn, Joni, etc.
               contradicts, you must side in with the Cross if you are going to be healed.

C.     Healing in the Old Testament
     1.     The first promise of healing in the Bible is found in Ex 15:26.
          a.     This promise was made to people who had just been redeemed. Ex 6:6;
               15:13 (healeth = RAPHA = to mend by stitching; to cure, cause to heal;
               physician)     
          b.     Ps 105:37--Notice first that God brought them out of Egypt healthy.
               (Ex     12:37 tells us there were 600,000 mean plus women and children.)
               1.     The last thing they did before they left Egypt was eat the body (flesh)
                    of the Passover lamb. Ex 12:3,8
               2.     The body of Jesus, our Passover Lamb, was broken for us, to heal us.
                    I Cor 5:7; I Cor 11:23-32; John 1:29
          c.     I am Jehovah RAPHA = the Lord your physician.  This is the first fact
               (revelation) about Himself that God gave His redeemed people.
          d.     This isn't a promise to perfect people.  God is about to give them a system
               of sacrifices to cover their sins. (Lev)
          e.     The diseases "I have brought on the Egyptians".  This verb has been
               translated in the causative sense, but should have been translated in the
               permissive sense. (Dr. Robert Young -- Hints and Helps to Bible
               Interpretation.)
          f.     Note, a tree made the bitter water sweet for Israel (v25).  Jesus was
               crucified on a tree. Gal 3:13
          g.     I Cor 10:11--The things that are written about Israel are examples for us.
     2.     Ex 23:23-26--God promised His people that He would take sickness from them
          in the promised land.
     3.     In Lev 14:18,19 we see physical healing for leprosy connected with atonement.
     4.     Num 21:4-9--When poisonous snakes bit the Israelites, those who looked at a
          type of the Cross (John 3:14) were healed. (Type = person or thing believed to
          foreshadow or symbolize another.)  Note these points:
          a.     v6--God allowed the snakes to bite them, He didn't commission it.
          b.     After all these people have seen, after all God has done for them, after all
               the trouble they're already gotten into for doing the very same things is it
               any wonder that they reaped these kinds of consequences?
          c. What they did here is called tempting Christ. I Cor 10:9
          d.     When they looked to the type of the atonement, the Cross, all who
               LOOKED were healed.  Not all who were good, or who deserved to be
               healed, or who didn't complain too much, but all who LOOKED.  But,
               they had to look.
     5.     Deut 7:12-15--When Israel reached the promised land after forty years of
          wandering in the wilderness, God restated His promise of health to then.
     6.     Israel finally entered the promised land and settled it. (Joshua)
          a.     We have no reason to think God did not keep all the promises He made to
               His people as long as they served Him.
          b.     Nowhere does the Bible tell us God refused to heal His people in the land.
          c.     And, several dramatic healings are recorded for us:  Naaman the leper
               (II Kings 5:1-14; Hezekiah the King (II Kings 20:1-7).
          d.     II Chron 16:11-13--Gives us an account of an Israelite who didn't get
               healed, Asa the King.
     7.     Some use Job as a "proof" that sickness is sometimes God's will for His people.  
          Consider these points:
          a.     The purpose of the Book of Job is not to prove or disprove healing.  It is
               the story of a man who stayed faithful to God despite very difficult
               circumstances.
          b.     The NT commends Job's patience and tells us to consider the end of his
               story -- he got healed. James 5:10,11; Job 42:10
          c.     satan made Jobs sick, not God. Job 2:7
               1.     Yes, but God allowed it, some would say.  God allows people to sin,
                    but that doesn't mean it's His will.
               2.     God and the devil are not working together. Matt 12:22-26
          d.     What happened to Job is called captivity and God doesn't make captives,
               He sets them free. Job 42:10; Luke 4:18
     8.     In the Psalms, we see David praising God for healing him.
          a.     Ps 30:2,3--O Lord my God, I pleaded with you, and you gave me my
               health again.  You brought me back from the brink of the grave, from
               death itself, and here I am alive! (Living) (Health = RAPHA; same word
               used in Ex 15:26 and Isa 53:5)
          b.     Ps 103:1-3--Note the connection between sin and sickness, forgiveness
               (redemption) and healing. (Health = RAPHA)

D.     Healing in the New Testament
     1.     We've already made these points about Jesus:
          a.     One of the main things Jesus did in His earth ministry was heal people.
               Matt 4:23,24
          b.     On the Cross He bore our sicknesses.  Isa 53:10-- Yet it was the will of the
               Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick. (Amp)
     2.     Notice these points also about Jesus:
          a.     He commissioned and empowered His followers to minister healing.
               Matt 9:35-38; 10:1;7,8; Mark 6:12,13; Luke 10:1;9;17
          b.     John 14:12--Jesus said those who believe on Him were to do the works He
               did.
          c.     Just before Jesus went back to heaven, He commissioned His followers to
               lay hands on the sick and see them recover. Mark 16:15-18
     3.     In the Book of Acts, this ministry of healing continued through the apostles
          and others (Philip and Stephen). Acts 3:1-9; 5:12-16; 6:8; 8:5-8; 14:8-10;
          19:11,12
     4.     The epistles are letters written to churches established and believers converted
          in the atmosphere we see in the Book of Acts, so when healing and health are
          mentioned, the Book of Acts is the context in which the information in the
          epistles was written, received, and understood.
          a.     I Cor 12:1-31--God put gifts of healings in the church. v9;28
          b.     In one of the earliest epistles, believers were told what to do if they were
               sick. James 5:14,15
          c.     III John 2 = A prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit given to John who knew
               about healing from personal experience.
     5.     In the epistles God has shown  us that we are the body of Christ. Eph 5:30;
          I Cor 6:15; 12:27; Eph 1:22,23
          a.     Through union with Christ, we now have the life of Christ in us.
               I John 5:11,12
          b.     We have the privilege of claiming that life for our flesh. II Cor 4:11,12;
               12:9; Rom 8:11

E.     Conclusion:  When we look at the Bible objectively, we see a willingness, even an
     eagerness on God's part to heal His people and keep them healthy.
     1.     When we look at the Bible, we see no sickness before sin occurred, we see no
          sickness after sin is removed, and in between we see God removing sickness and
          healing people.
     2.     Matt 8:1-3--When a leper came to Jesus recognizing Jesus's power to heal, but
          not sure of His willingness to heal, Jesus corrected the man's understanding.
          a.     v3--Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said, of course I want
               to!  Be cured. (Jeru)
          b.     When you come to God for healing unsure of His will, the first thing He
               wants to do is correct your understanding.  He does that through His
               word.
     3.     God provided salvation which includes healing for you while you were yet a
          sinner. Rom 5:8
          a.     If He provided it for you while you were a sinner, why would He withhold
               it now that  you are His child? Rom 5:10; 8:32
          b.     God is willing, eager to heal you!!

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