Summary: God wants to work miracles of physical healing much more often than we think.
This morning I would like to talk again about Divine healing. God can heal our physical body of disease and sickness. Now most all of you know that I have had a total healing this month of fourth stage melanoma cancer. I had 10 different sites on my body where cancer was growing. The radiologist said there was complete resolution of every one of these sites. Obviously, I am very happy and very grateful about that.
But my beliefs about divine healing must not be formed from my experience. It is a bad idea to make doctrine from our experience. But because of the cancer I had and the struggle and battle I had against it, it forced me back to a study of the Word of God, and as a result, I have become more bold about prayer. It’s no coincidence that I have gotten a healing from cancer. I think God is telling me something! I believe He is saying in His Word and also in my experience, that we can have “Great Expectations” of Him to heal us when we are sick or have a disease.
-Why we can expect God to heal us:
– Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
-Now realize that some people say this passage refers to a spiritual healing only and not to physical healing. Of course, spiritual healing is a huge part of this verse. It speaks of forgiveness of sin and we should receive that forgiveness. But in the New Testament in Matthew 8:14-17 – Matthew strongly and undeniably connects this verse to physical healing. “14 When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever.
15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him.
16 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.
17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: "HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES."
-So both forgiveness of sin and healing of the body are provided for when Christ died for us.
-Personally during my battle with cancer, I experienced such low points that I became particularly motivated to be healed. I will tell you that instead of focusing on the pain or on my plight, I focused on this Bible verse and on the rest of the passage in Isaiah 53 which Matthew quotes. I repeated to myself and God and anyone who would listen, “By His stripes I am healed”. I believe that this stance formed the basis for part of my healing.
2) Healing sickness is part of the blessings of the Law (Exodus 15:26) – “And He said, ‘If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer’."
-Now some people believe this is not a very strong argument to support divine healing today because it is from the Old Covenant arrangement between God and Israel. We don’t sacrifice sheep in the temple because of this bedrock distinction between Israel’s covenant with God and the New Covenant in Christ. But this verse does establish this principle: that physical health and healing was not just to be used to get people’s attention as a “sign gift”. A sign gift means God performs miracles to attract attention to new revelation that He is presenting to man. Some say there were basically only three time periods when God used signs and miracles for new revelation – To introduce the Law during Moses time, to introduce the prophets during Elijah’s time and the introduction of the Messiah Jesus.
-But I believe this verse totally discredits that argument because the promise of physical health and healing was held out from Moses until Jesus. Physical health in the OT was a longstanding promise; not an exception. And this passage in Exodus shows God’s heart to His children – that ideally and in general, He wants them not to suffer and He wants them to be in health. There is also a New Testament passage that states the same thing and carries forward into our time God’s positive attitude towards our health. We will study that in our fifth point this morning.