Summary: A detailed look at the Atonement in relation to physical healing.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God wants to heal His people and to prosper them in health. He said, "I am the LORD, who heals you" (Ex 15:26 KJV). He did this through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus shedding His blood on the cross.
There is a belief that healing is absolutely guaranteed in the once and for all atonement of Jesus if a person learns how to pray and ‘exercise’ their faith and authority, resist the devil, walk in the victory and fullness of God, and listen to those who preach positive messages. Those that do this will be healed of every disease and never be sick, as well as have abundant financial, material provision and prosperity.
It is also believed that there are conditions attached to receiving the blessings of God and the reason so many do not have the blessing of healing, health, and prosperity is because they are not appropriating them properly through faith.
The atonement is about Jesus, the Lord, and Creator of all things, becoming human according to God’s will “to give His life a ransom”… “for all” (See Acts 2:23; 1 Peter 1:20; Mark 10:45; 1 Tim 2:6 NIV). God “laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa 53:6; also 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13 NIV). Jesus “has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God” so that those who believe in Him might receive atonement and “be saved from [God’s] wrath” through “the precious blood of Christ” (Eph 5:2; 1 Peter 1:19 NIV - See also Rom 3:22, 5:9 NIV).
When Jesus became the perfect covering and absolute substitute sacrifice for sin, not only was the wrath of God poured out, but also the love of God toward sinful mankind. The intent of the sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross was not to influence the morals of man but rather, to satisfy the demands of divine justice (Rom 3:25-26; 5:6-8; John 3:16; Heb 9:12, 15).
Throughout the Old Testament, all the symbols and examples of atoning sacrifice are made complete and are fulfilled in the New Covenant. This was clearly understood by the disciples of Jesus (Heb 9:22, 24-28, 12:24; Matt 16:13; 26:28; Luke 19:10; John 6:33, 53; 10:10; 14:6,9; 17:2).
The violent death of Jesus brought about reconciliation - or at-one-ment - between mankind and God. It reinstated the intimate position humanity was destined to enjoy with God before the fall in the Garden of Eden.
The atonement cleanses the repentant person from sin. This change starts within the new Believer at the moment of salvation and works its way out into their attitudes, actions, behavior, beliefs, perspectives, etc., and can help them to be an effective spiritual warrior and a catalyst of change in the world where they live.
The Prophet Isaiah wrote about the coming of the suffering Messiah and graphically described what the Savior would endure while paying the ultimate price for the forgiveness of sins. The teaching that physical healing is guaranteed is based on a single verse that says "By His stripes ye were (past tense) healed" (Heb: "Rapha" = to be completely mended and cured) (Isa 53:5). It is important to note that the verse does not say 'I am being healed,' or 'I will be healed if I have enough faith.' The Born-Again Christian has the faith of Jesus but not His sovereignty (Rom 3:21-22). Jesus redeemed every Born-Again Christian from the curse of the law which results in eternal death (Gal 3:13).The Apostle Peter quotes the Prophet Isaiah in the context of forgiveness that the blood of Jesus heals mankind’s sin because He, by one offering, put away sin forever (1 Peter 2:24 KJV). The soul becomes healed from the ultimate consequences of sin. The Bible says repeatedly that the Born-Again Christian was healed of all their sins at the moment of salvation which is by God's grace through a micro-gram of faith He allotted them as a gift for believing in Jesus and surrendering their life to Him as their Lord and Savior (Rom 8:29-30, 12:3; 1 Tim 1:13-14; Heb 12:2; Eph 2:8).
It is true that unforgiveness and disobedience can affect a person’s health because it can hinder the immune system from working effectively. The scientific evidence of this is overwhelming. I strongly believe that the Bible confirms that it is not ever the will of God for His people to be sick and diseased, nor does He use it to test, teach, or chastise the Born-Again Christian. God is a good God and only wants the best for His people which is why the Born-Again Christian should take diligent care of their body, His dwelling place (1 Cor 3:16, 6:19).
Here is a question to ponder; what requires more faith—salvation or healing? Attempting to answer this question creates a dilemma for those who believe healing is absolutely guaranteed through their own faith. If one says salvation, then they are saying that they have more than enough faith for healing because healing is guaranteed as equally as salvation. Therefore, every Christian should always be healed when they get sick just as “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Joel 2:32 NIV). On the other hand, however, if one says healing requires more faith, they are saying that healing is not guaranteed through faith as is salvation. The only possible answer is that faith comes from God.