Summary: Prayer is a commitment to the will of God...and all true prayer shows the depth of it's faith by patiently waiting to see what He has determined to do. The unqualified statement that the prayer of faith will save the sick stands right alongside the many o
MIRACLES IN THE CHURCH?
Read James 5: 13 16 We've been talking a great deal lately about miracles. We've begun to see God work in some pretty awesome ways...in church and also in homes and other places as well. But I don't think we've really grasped the reality of God's power...and how He wants to do the miraculous in our lives...especially when it comes to physical healing.
The Churches of God have not been known as a denomination that works and moves in the power of the Holy Spirit...but it wasn't that way at the start. I believe with all my heart that God is bringing us to the place where we can finally understand, believe and receive everything He's provided for us in His word...even the miraculous and the supernatural.
Miracles are found throughout the Bible...miracles of all kinds. In the gospels we can find at least 38 miracles that Jesus Himself performed, not to mention all the many the diciples did when they were sent out on their short term missions trips, like we find in Mark 6. Most of the miracles recorded in the N.T. are physical healings or deliverances.
Miracles in the early church were not quite so rare as we find they are today and yet I think we would love to see such things happen much more often, right? Amen? So why aren't we experiencing the same things that are taking place throughout the world...in South America, Africa, Asia?
Jesus said in Mark 16 that certain signs would follow those who believe...and one of those was that healings would take place. Infact, turn to Mark 16 and make sure its in your Bibles too. Read Mark 16:17 18
These signs will accompany those who believe...they will place their hands of the sick and they will get well. Is that in your Bible? Do you really believe it? I don't see anywhere that it says only certain people will do this...that you have to be on T.V. or be famous...these signs shall follow them that believe!
As we begin to wind up our study of James, we come to this very difficult and controversial passage about praying for the healing of the sick. There are many misunderstandings revolving around these verses, but over the next 2 messages I hope to clear up much of the confusion surrounding this subject.
Now, when it comes to healing, we often think of going to some service to hear some person with a so called healing ministry. And I'm not saying that's not legitimate...but we notice that James associates the healing ministry of prayer and anointing with the local church leaders.
From the very earliest apostolic times, it was customary to appoint elders in every church. (appoint not elect!) Overseer is actually a more functional word because it means 'caring for'...'watching out for the welfare of.' In Acts 20 the work of the elders is described as guarding and feeding God's flock. Elsewhere the emphasis is on their work as preachers and teachers.
But the important thing to see here is that James places this ministry of prayer, anointing and healing in the ongoing life of the church. James doesn't know anything about a "one man ministry." For him, it's the elders who are to be ready to answer the call of the sick. This ministry to the sick does not belong to any specially gifted person such as one who claims to have the gift of healing mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:30
And we can't limit the presence and availability of this ministry to the sick by making it depend on the fact that a person with the gift of healing happens to be present. This is a ministry exercised by those that James saw as always being at the helm of the local church...the elders.
One thing we want to make note of...James is assuming that healing and restoration will follow the prayer of faith and the anointing in the name of the Lord. But we must be careful not to over value the miraculous at the expense of the ordinary working of God.
There is enough in the New Testament to direct us to accept as a divine gift the work of our medical doctors...and to thank God for providing such healing services. But what James does in these verses is refer all of life's experiences to God. Even when we go to the doctor our eyes should be focused on the Lord, because He alone can heal.
There is no such thing as a non spiritual healing. When the aspirin works, its only because God made it work. When a doctor sets a broken bone and it heals...its the Lord who made it knit together and heal. There is always a spiritual dimension in healing.