Sermon notes: What does the Bible say about sickness and divine healing

Introduction

Wikipedia reports heart deceases (followed by Lung deceases, Diabetes, Influenza/ Pneumonia and Alzheimer’s) are the leading cause behind deaths in the United States of America while firearms are the least.

I don’t intend to condemn modern medical science but had the author of Ecclesiastes lived among us today, he would have written that all the advancements in medical science are utterly meaningless because clearly the battles man kind has lost to deceases out number the ones it has won.

The Bible however tells us God is our divine healer and there’s hope to anyone that comes to him. So today’s sermon is about how you can receive this healing.

1. Why do I get sick?

Western medical science views the cause of sickness and disease as physiological and psychosomatic while eastern medicine teaches the loss of balance between the three basic elements of the human body known as air, bile and phlegm are responsible.

The Bible has a different argument. It tells spiritual causes are the underlying or basic problem, (note: the Bible acknowledges the proper use of medical care. Matthew 9:12; Luke 10:34; Colossians 4:14) These spiritual issues are 2 fold. First, the sin which has affected our spiritual and physical makeup, (John 5:14).

Secondly, Satan and his works, (Mark 9:17; Acts 10:38; Luke 13:11). Although every ailment is not the work of Satan he use it very often to inflict harm upon us. Lets explore these issues further to gain better understanding.

A. Sin

The Bible says sickness and death entered this world through the original sin of Adam and Eve, (Romans 5:12).  My personal sin also invites divine judgment on my life in the form of sickness, (ex: sexually transmitted deceases). The man Jesus healed at the pool of Bethesda proves this argument, (John 5:1-14). We read that Jesus warned him saying, “Look, you have become well. Don’t sin any more, lest anything worse happen to you.”

B. Satan

Sickness is one of the many ways Satan carry out his attacks on humans, (John 10:10). Not just in an isolated and personal level but in a grand scale such as plagues, (ex: The Bubonic plague claimed at least 50,000 lives in Europe in the year 1738). The Sri Lankan folklore directly attributes some of the illnesses to demonic deities.

2. What is divine healing?

Divine healing can be defined as a supernatural act of God which resolves a physical, emotional or even a spiritual problem, often through the agency of the Holy Spirit. Divine healing is the fruit of Christ’s sufferings and death on the cross (Isaiah 53:4-5) through which God dealt a lethal blow to sin and the work of Satan, (1 John 3:8).

3. Why am I not healed?

Although the Bible has promised divine healing to those who ask, all of us come across accounts of people who were never healed. In the Bible we find three reasons why some people are not healed.

A. Bitterness

We notice that the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda had become bitter with others, (“Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get into the water, someone else goes down there before me.” – John 5:7). Bitterness among the other things damages our relationship with God and keep his healing power away from us.

B. Unconfessed sin

Unconfessed sin is another reason why some people are not healed. It permits Satan to have a foot hold in me and hinder the work  of the Holy Spirit in my life. In Mark 2:1-12 the fact that Jesus granted forgiveness to the paralytic before he actually healed him confirms this argument.

C. Glory of God

Some times God purposely delay answering my prayers for healing because he has a larger purpose in mind that, when realized results in greater glory. In the Bible we can find a plenty of evidence to support this argument also, (John 9:3; John 11:4; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

4. What must I do?

The answer is tricky unless you are a born again Christian. Now Jesus’ ministry wasn’t limited to Jews. He blessed anyone that came to him given they believed, (Mark 7:25-30; Luke 7:1-10). As a Pastor I have eye-witnessed God healing many people regardless of their religion. Whether you are a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or even an atheist I am sure God will heal you if you just believe. But that’s not all.

Unfortunately physical healing doesn’t guarantee the salvation of one’s soul unless he realize his need for a savior and surrender his life to Jesus Christ, (Luke 17:17-18; 2 Kings 5:15). So if you are an unbeliever what matters most is not what you must do in order to be healed but what will you do with Jesus after you are healed.

There are few things born again Christians can do if healing takes longer than their faith permits.

A. Reconciliation

Be sure you are in a right relationship with God and others, (Ephesians 4:31-32; Matthew 5:23-24)

B. Confess

Sin has control over my health only as long as I don’t confess. Confession is a very powerful act of God that destroys the bondage of sin and its consequences, (James 5:16). Therefore choose a mature Christian leader whom you can be transparent with and confess. You will have your miracle.

C. Persist

Jesus told the man born blind to wash himself from the pool of Siloam. Another inconvenient task for a blind man but he could see as soon as he followed the instructions, (John 9:7). Elisha told Naaman to dip himself seven times in the river of Jordan and Naaman wasn’t cured until he obeyed, (2 Kings 5:11-14). Both of these incidents record a sense of persistency and God was glorified in both occasions, (John 9:35-38; 2 Kings 5:17). Jesus also provided us with very clear instructions in this regard, (Luke 18:1-8; Matthew 7:7). The point is when we are not persistent we are being disobedient and disobedience thrashes the miracle.

Conclusion

Now I am also familiar with situations where healing never happened despite prayers and one may ask why he should pray if God doesn’t heal everyone. Nothing much can be said about this accept healing actually belongs to God and in his sovereignty decides what to do with it.

Skeptics call this blind faith, but the human mind simply cannot fathom the way God works. Still  we can always have faith in God’s goodness and love because Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” I said this in the beginning and I say it again. Anything is possible with God if we just believe.

Image: Cory Doctorow

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