Healing Through Faith II

MORE ABOUT HEALING THROUGH FAITH

A.     Introduction:  We are studying the subject of faith and healing.
     1.     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.
     2.     But, people struggle with this because they don't know what the Bible says, or
          they put experience above the Bible.  We're studying God's word to sort it out.
     3.     In the past few lessons, we've been dealing with how healing comes to people.
          a.     Confusion sometimes arises over  healing because people don't understand
               that healing comes to us in one of two general ways.
          b.     People can be healed through gifts of healings (manifestations of the Holy
               Ghost) or through faith in God's word. I Cor 12:28; James 5:14,15
     4.     No one has a promise of being healed through gifts of healings, but all have the
          promise of healing through faith. I Cor 12:11; James 5:15
     5.     We want to continue to study the prayer of faith so we can take advantage
          of this wonderful promise God has made to us.

B.     James 5:14,15--The prayer of faith shall heal the sick.
     1.     We must first make an important statement about prayer.  There are different
          kinds of prayers with different purposes, aims, "rules". Eph 6:18
          a.     There are prayers of petition, prayers of worship and praise, prayers of
               commitment, prayers of thanksgiving.
          b.     Prayer is talking to God, not just asking Him for things.
     2.     The prayer of faith is not a prayer of asking.  It is a prayer of receiving
          something God has already offered or provided.
          a.     You must understand, there is a sense in which God has already done
               everything for us He is going to do.
          b.     He's not going to heal you.  As far as God is concerned, He already has
               healed you through Christ. Isa 53:4-6; I Pet 2:24
          c.     It isn't a question of God doing something for us, it is a question of us
               receiving or possessing what He has already provided.
     3.     When you prayed to be saved, you didn't ask God to save you.  You accepted
          the salvation He offered you through Jesus.
          a.     You found out that Jesus has already died to pay for your sins, you
               believed it, and then expressed your belief by confessing Him as Lord and
               Savior. Rom 10:9,10
          b.     In other words, we took what God offered us by believing it, then God did
               it.  He put into effect in our lives what had already been provided for us.
     4.     It works the same with healing, because healing has been provided for us
          through the same historical act that paid for our sins -- the Cross of Christ.
          a.     You believe what God has done for you through Christ, you speak it out,
               and He brings it to pass in your body.
          b.     Dear Lord, I thank you that Jesus bore my sicknesses and carried my pains
               so I don't have to bear them.  I believe your word to me that with the
               stripes of Jesus I was healed.  I accept my healing and I thank you that I
               am now healed.
          c.     The elders and the oil mentioned in James 5 have no healing power in and
               of themselves.  They provide a point at which you can take your stand --
               when hands are laid on me, I'll accept my healing and from that point on,
               I'll call myself healed.
          d.     There is no set prayer to pray so that our confidence will not rest in a
               formula, but in God and His faithfulness to fulfill His word.
     5.     This is not a weird, strange idea -- this is how God works.  He gives His people
          something, but they must believe it and take it or posses it.
          a.     God gave Israel the promised land.  In His mind, it was theirs long before
               they went in -- but, they still had to enter in and possess it. Deut 1:8;
               Num 13:30
          b.     With the exception of Joshua and Caleb, not one person of Israel entered
               into (experienced) what God had given them because they did not mix
               faith with God's promise.  Heb 3:19-4:2
          c.     Israel had to believe the land was theirs before it was simply because of
               God's word to them.  We take what God offers us by believing it.

C.     We get our most detailed description of the prayer of faith from Jesus Himself.
     1.     Jesus spoke to a fig tree and what He said came to pass. Mark 11:12-26
     2.     When Peter expressed amazement the next day, Jesus used it as an opportunity
          to teach about faith and prayer.
          a.     Through the fig tree, Jesus had given them a demonstration of the
               connection between prayer and faith.  Then He gave them an explanation.
          b.     He told them that if you believe something when you speak it, you will
               have it.  Therefore, when you pray (or speak), consider it done from that
               moment on and you will see it.
     3.     Jesus gives us two characteristics of the type of prayer which always gets results
          -- the prayer of faith, the prayer which receives something God already offers.
          a.     v23--If you believe in your heart and say with your mouth what you
               believe, you will have what you say = what you say will come to pass.
          b.     v24--If you believe you have something before you see it, you will see it.
     4.     Jesus did with the fig tree what He told the disciples and us to do.
          a.     He spoke to the tree (doomed it).      He believed what He said when He
               said it; He believed it would come to pass.
          b.     He simply spoke to the tree.  He didn't seem surprised the tree died.
          c.     Why?  It was done when He said it.  He believed He received it when     He
               said it.  He believed He had it at that moment.  Then it came to pass.
     5.     That is the way God works.  He considers a thing done before it can be seen
          simply because He has spoken it. Rom 4:17
          a.     God is totally confident His word will do what it is spoken to do.
          b.     He authorizes us to do the same -- to speak His word and see it come to
               pass.  Healing is His word for us. Ps 107:20
     6.     The tree was dead from the moment Jesus spoke to it -- even though it couldn't
          be seen at that moment.  Jesus knew it was so.
          a.     There are two ways to know something.  You can see it or believe it.
          b.     Jesus had both with the tree.  He knew the tree was dead -- first because
               He believed it, because He said it.  Then He knew it because He saw it.
          c.     You can know you are healed because God told you and you believe it.  
               You can know you are healed because you feel it.  The one proceeds and
               produces the other.
     7.     We get some additional insight into this incident in Matthew 21:21,22
          a.     Notice, Jesus makes it clear to His followers -- you can do what I did here!
          b. You can speak to a disease and tell it to leave you body because it is a
               trespasser, and you can call yourself healed based on God's word.
          c.     Notice also the common element between Mark and Matthew's account --
               the confidence that it is done = what I say and what I pray is done.
     8.     John 11:41-44--We see another example of this in the ministry of Jesus.
          a.     When Jesus stood before Lazarus's tomb, He was confident His Father
               heard Him.
          b.     Notice, Jesus didn't ask the Father for anything.  He already knew He was
               authorized to set the captives free, to bring life to people.
          c.     He spoke and then believed what He said would happen -- and it did.

D.     Teaching on these particular passages sometimes raises certain questions.  Let's
     consider some of the issues raised by this passage in Mark 11.
     1.     Some say these verses don't apply to everyone.
          a.     Then what do whosoever and whatsoever mean?  If they don't mean
               whosoever and whatsoever here, how do we know they mean whosoever
               and whatsoever in John 3:16 or Rom 10:13 or I Cor 10:31?
          b.     Jesus makes it clear He is teaching on prayer and faith, and we're all
               supposed to pray and live by faith. I Thess 5:17; Rom 1:17
          c.     This is not the only place Jesus spoke like this -- whosoever, whatsoever.
               Matt 17:20; Matt 21:21,22; Mark 9:23; Luke 17:6; John 11:40
          d.     While on earth, Jesus revealed a prayer answering God. Matt 7:7-11;
               John 14:13; 15:7; 16:23,24
          e.     The Holy Spirit said the same thing in other places. James 1:5-7;
               I John 3:22,23; I John 5:14,15
          f.     God is a prayer answering God who has already said yes through Jesus.
               1.     II Cor 1:20--He (Jesus) is the yes pronounced upon God's promises,
                    every one of them. (NEB)
               2.     If what you desire has been provided on the Cross, God has already
                    said yes to it.
               3.     It isn't a question of asking God and waiting to see what happens.  It's
                    a question of possessing what He already offers you.
     2.     Some say these verses don't include healing, can't be applied to healing.
          a.     They must include healing otherwise whatsoever doesn't mean whatsoever.
          b.     Keep in mind Jesus speaking here -- the same Jesus who while on earth
               repeatedly said to people just healed "Your faith has made you whole".
               Mark 5:34; 10:52
     3.     Some say these verses don't mean whatever you desire and whatever you say.
          a.     Then why do they say whatever you desire and whatever you say?
          b.     Look at the example Jesus used in His demonstration of faith and prayer.  
               He spoke to a tree!!  You can't get more broad, general, physical, and
               unspiritual than that.
     4.     What if someone wants something that isn't God's will for them?
          a.     If a Christian is willfully, purposefully desiring something he knows isn't
               God's will, his problem is much more serious than violating a prayer rule.
          b.     God has revealed His will to us in His Book, and if we will take time to
               study it, we'll know His will and what we desire will be what He desires.
               John 15:7; Ps 37:3,4
          c.     The basis of our faith is God's word.  You can't really believe (have faith)
               if God has not promised you -- if you have no scripture for what you want.
               Rom 10:17
     5.     This doesn't work because you parrot something.  This works because you
          believe that what you say will come to pass.
          a.     Actually, this works very well in the reverse.  People say "I can't, it won't.
               it doesn't, I don't", and that is exactly what they have.
          b.     Most of us reverse it.  We say what we have (what we see) rather than have
               what we say (speak God's word and watch it change what we see).
          c.     This also does not work on other people.  You can't pray the prayer of
               faith for someone against their will.  If you could, you could get people
               saved without their cooperation.

E.     Conclusion:  As far as God is concerned, our healing is an accomplished fact.
     1.     We must now possess it by getting into agreement with God.
          a.     We are to say what God says about us and believe it when we say it.
          b.     We are to believe that what we say shall come to pass.
          c.     Then, we are to hold fast to our profession of faith (saying the same thing
               God says) until we see it. Heb 4:14; 10:23
     2.     Confession that is mere parroting doesn't work.  It has to come from your
          heart = you have to believe it.
          a.     You must get God's word in your heart.  That means become fully
               persuaded that God will do in you what He has already done for you.
          b.     You are so convinced of it, you can speak of it as done without seeing it.
          c.     This kind of confidence comes only as God's word abides in or dominates
               you. John 15:7; Col 3:16
          d.     That comes only through meditation in God's word. Josh 1:8; Ps 1:1-3
     3.     Think about it for a minute.  Why do you firmly believe there is a heaven or
          that Jesus died on the Cross for your sins or that you are saved by His blood?
          a.     You've heard those things preached so much and said them so much
               yourself, that those words abide in you -- they are part of you.
          b.     What if you heard and said I Pet 2:24 twenty times a day, everyday for six
               months?  That word would abide in you, too!
     4.     As we close this current series on healing, if I can get one thing across to you, it
          is this -- begin to meditate on these scriptures now. Mark 11:23,24; I Pet 2:24
          a.     Don't wait until the doctor says cancer.
          b.     If you have problem areas or weak areas concerning the subject of healing,
               correct them now with light from God's word before the doctor says: no
               cure!
     5.     If we do this, we have God's promise that His word will be health or medicine
          to all our flesh. Prov 4:20-22

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