MPGC38- FROM SICKNESS TO HEALTH - PART 1
By Colleen Donahue
Disease and death were not part of God's original plan. God created man's body to live forever but sin brought the curse of sickness and death. Disease and death came upon the world as part of the judgment against sin. God subjected the world to physical pain showing the horror of moral evil.
Through "the fall" man lost everything. This included health and an eternity of walking with God here on earth. But it was at the cross that Christ came to our rescue. He recovered everything. Jesus includes healing as part of our salvation. He was wounded physically so that we could be healed physically.
We have spoken much about having our sins forgiven and a new nature so as to be free from the power of sin. In this study we'll focus on our healing from sickness which often went hand in hand with the forgiveness of sin. The cross is the basis for our wholeness. When Jesus took our sins away he also took our diseases away.
If you are a Christian that needs healing your question should not be, "How do I know if it is God's will to heal me?" Rather it will become, "How can I receive the healing God has already provided for me? "
We'll start this study as we have others -- with the facts of what Jesus has done on the cross in exchange for us. Then we'll learn about how we can appropriate it in our lives.
From Sickness to Health - Part 1
THE ENTRANCE OF SIN AND DEATH
Day 1- With the entrance of sin in the world what did God subject the entire creation to?
Are Christians exempt from this?
Depending on the version of the Bible you are reading, Romans 8:20 says that the creature was subject to vanity. Vanity is the quality of being valueless, or futile. The Latin word for vanity means empty or void. The New International Version (NIV) says creation was subjected to frustration which is the feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining your goals.
This means that the whole creation is in a suffering state brought about by the disobedience of one man Adam. I remember in grade school one student did wrong but the whole class had to suffer for it. The teacher subjected everyone to punishment so that all of us could learn a lesson from it.
Notice in Romans 8:20 that creation doesn't accept this willingly because it had no part in the original transgression.
Day 2- HOW did God subject creation to this frustration?
Reread: Romans 8:20
God subjected the whole of creation in hope because he purposed to bring about a deliverance. What will creation be liberated from?
The phrase in verse 21 "bondage to corruption" or "bondage to decay" refers to a corrupt, imperfect and perishing condition. It leads to sin, temptation, conflict, anxiety and ultimately death. But if we are part of the renewed creation then we are subjected in hope because we know we will be delivered from all this bondage.
Day 3- WHO will be our liberator?
Through this liberator a new law will be set in place that will replace the "law of sin and death". What is this new law called?
The "law of the spirit of life" is in operation wherever the Spirit of the Lord is. What is the result for us?
2 Corinthians 3:17
Romans 8:21 is the ground of a Christian's hope and what sustains us now. It is the hope that as renewed men and women we shall be delivered from the trials, toils, cares and sins found here presently on earth. The fact is that all men (even non Christians) have a hope within them that better days will come. Salvation begins now even though we can't possess it fully here on earth.
THE WAY JESUS HAD DEALT WITH OUR PAIN AND SICKNESS
Day 4- Throughout the Bible sin and sickness are connected as cause and effect. Here are a few verses in the Old Testament and New Testament that link sin and sickness together.
Psalm 103:3 / Isaiah 33:24 / Matthew 9:2 / John 5:14 / James 5:15
Day 5- We have shown in former studies that Jesus took all our sins upon Himself (past, present, and future) so that we could be forgiven. At the same time what else did he take up for us?
"He has borne our grief" in Hebrew means that "he carried our sicknesses away." "He has carried our sorrow" in Hebrew means, "he endured our pains."
Therefore at the same time Jesus took our sins away, he took from us the evil consequences of sin. He took on himself the suffering that we deserved to bear by bearing them in his own person so we could be delivered from them.
Day 6- In the public healing ministry of Jesus what two activities went on together?
Why did he minister like this?
Jesus was physically carrying out Isaiah's prophecy even before he went to the cross. We are not talking about some kind of emotional healing. This is all about physical healing.
Looking again at Matthew 8:16 how many did Jesus heal?
Also in Matthew 8:17 it says, "He himself took". This is our answer whether dealing with sin, sickness, depression, fear or rejection. We are to look away from ourselves to Jesus.
Day 7- This verse in 1st Peter also quotes Isaiah 53:4-5 and again emphasizes that Jesus personally bore our sins so that we could be healed.
1 Peter 2:24
Notice that sin is the central issue and when it's dealt with everything else can be taken care of. Also notice that the last phrase of 1 Peter 2:24 is in the past tense! In other words ---- "It is finished."
Day 8- The cross then is the basis for our wholeness. When Jesus took our sins away he also took our diseases away. Whoever looks to the cross will discover their healing.
If you reread this verse in the Psalms you'll see that there are NO LIMITS on what God will forgive or the diseases he will heal.
HEALING IS PART OF SALVATION
Day 9- There are many passages in the New Testament in which the Greek word (sozo) translated "save" is also translated "deliver", "preserve", "make whole", "make well" or "heal". Here are some examples:
A. Matthew 9:21-22 (also Luke 8:47-48)
-"I will be healed (saved)."
-"Your faith has made you well" or saved you.
(Jesus clearly includes healing as part of salvation.)
B. Mark 6:56
- "were healed or made well." -- i.e. they were saved from sickness
C. Luke 8:35-36
-"He who had been demon possessed were cured." (NIV) or "saved"
Salvation included being freed from demon possession and all the behavioral problems they brought.
D. Acts 4:7-10
-"and are asked how he was healed (saved)."
Salvation produced wholeness in a lame man.
E. 2 Timothy 4:18
-"and will bring me safely (save me) to His heavenly kingdom."
This means the Lord will save me and keep on saving me.
Day 10- The fact that Jesus has provided for the forgiveness of our sins, our reconciliation with God, a new nature in place of the old one and physical healing for our bodies and minds begs each of us to answer this question.
OUR PART IN HEALING
Healing is always based on two things. FIRST, it's been secured for us through the death of Jesus on the cross. When Jesus took our sins away he also took our diseases away. Jesus is the representative of His Father who is "Jehovah Rapha" -- i.e. the "Lord who heals you" (Exodus 15:26). Healing is, always has been, and always will be the will of God. He never changes His position. (I'll share the second thing in Day 13).
Day 11- It is Satan that damages people and it is Jesus who makes them whole.
Day 12- We must realize and believe that Jesus wants to heal us!
Day 13- What God has done for others He will do for us because He shows no favoritism.
If the first thing healing is based on is the death of Christ securing it for us, then the SECOND thing it is based on is our taking hold of it by faith. It is faith that makes the promises of God real in our lives and it is released when there is a total confidence that something is the will of God.
Day 14- Faith starts with a desire. We want something and we'll do whatever it takes.
Day 15- Faith is determined. It's not double minded and entertaining "what ifs". We are committed.
Matthew 9:20-22 / James 1:5-8
Day 16- Faith asks God to make it happen. It cries out to God no matter what pressures are there to block us. Faith persists and keeps on asking.
Note: Discouragement is the worst enemy of faith.
Day 17- Faith is certain of a miracle. It speaks of realities as finished facts.
If we believe a thing then we speak it. "Thank you Lord that it's already done."
Day 18- Faith knows that God is faithful and therefore refuses to speak things that oppose the promise.
Matthew 9: 18, 23-26
Day 19- Faith acknowledges the truth rather than the facts.
Matthew 8: 5-10
In this story the facts were that this Roman soldier wasn't a part of the Jewish faith. He had no claim on Jesus like others did and therefore wasn't worthy to receive what he wanted. But the truth was that he knew Jesus healed and he did so to all those in the crowds that came to ask for it so -- why not him?
Day 20- Faith connects the promises of God with the desires of the heart.
Matthew 8:13 / Acts 27:25
Day 21- Faith takes action and gives glory to God for things not yet manifested.
Day 22- Faith always takes action because without action faith is dead.
Luke 13:10-13 / James 2:17
Note: When Jesus told the woman she was set free from her infirmity it says she immediately straightened up and praised God. If she had just stayed bent over and not tried to straighten herself she would probably have stayed as she was. But she believed and therefore could stand straight.
Day 23- The word of the Lord and healing always go together.
When God gives us his word about healing (or anything else) then our response must be to act on it, even if it doesn't look like anything has changed.
Day 24- What do the words we speak have power over?
Day 25- God's words are infused into us when we give voice to them in our own words. As you look up these verses write out how they affect your health and life.
Job 22:28 / Proverbs 10:11 / 12:6,14,18 / 13:3 / 14:3 / 15:4 / 16:24 / 18:7 / 21:23 /Mark 11:23-24
RECEIVING OUR HEALING
Day 26- When the spiritual life of God infuses our physical bodies then miracles happen. No evil spirit can remain because light comes and therefore darkness goes. Medical science aides healing through physical means but God's divine healing is spiritual and is administered to the human spirit.
1 Corinthians 2: 9-12
Day 27 - God is no respecter of persons but He does respect someone who has faith in His word.
From these verses we see that healing can be received into the human spirit through God's word. Just as we take medicine into our physical body to aide healing by physical means, so we must receive God's word concerning healing into our human spirit for supernatural healing.
Day 28- God's word is supernatural medicine but like physical medicine it needs to be applied on a regular basis. This means that we need to speak God's word to our individual situation and act in the light of it. No one else can do this for us. This can only start when the word clearly becomes a part of us.
God's word is engrafted or implanted in our hearts when we speak it.
THE PRINCIPLE OF CALLING THINGS THAT ARE NOT
Day 29- Genuine faith believes in the word of God exclusively and NOT our own experience, feelings or dark environment.
Matthew 21: 21-22 / Hebrews 10:23
Day 30- The world says we must "see it to believe it". God's way is just the opposite. He tells us what is true or what will take place and then we must believe what God says even though we can't see it yet.
Day 31- Abraham was a great example of this. God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. His offspring would be like the stars -- too many to count!
Right then Abraham believed what God said would happen -- that he would have descendants too numerous to count.
Genesis 15:6 / Romans 4:3 / Galatians 3:6 / James 2:23
Did you notice the second half of all these verses?
They say, "It was credited to him as righteousness." In other words, God saw that Abraham's heart was set on believing the promise despite NOT seeing any of it. This attitude pleased God. He made Abraham complete and in right standing with himself without any effort by Abraham other than believing. In earth's reality nothing had changed for Abraham. But by Heaven's reality everything was already done.
Day 32- It isn't easy to believe a promise of God when it looks totally impossible. What did Abraham face that seemed to negate God's promise?
Genesis 17:17 / Romans 4:18-19
Day 33- Likewise God has perhaps spoken to you and said, "I have taken your infirmities and carried your diseases."
(Isaiah 53:4). Yet, you look at your body that still seems sick and in pain. We are in the same spot Abraham was in. He could either believe what God said was already true or he could believe what he was seeing with his own eyes. That isn't easy when we live in a physical world. But as believers, true reality is what is unseen. Abraham made the right choice.
What helped him to make his choice?
Day 34- This example of Abraham has been given for our benefit today. We also have the same choice to make.
Are you fully persuaded that God is able to align your day to day thinking, words and actions with what He has already said in his word?
Day 35- So are we just speaking and acting in denial about our current situation? Some would say that. The truth is we are not denying what seems to exist, rather we are establishing what God has said to be true even though it is not yet a reality. We don't deny that sickness exists but we do deny its right to exist in our body.
If God has given us a promise in his word and we believe Him then what two things become important to do?
A. 2 Corinthians 4:13
B. 2 Corinthians 4:18
NOTE: We should declare to ourselves what God's word reveals to us regardless of the circumstances or how we feel about them. It is not necessary to say this before others.
THE PRINCIPLE OF CALLING FOR WHAT YOU WANT
God's way for us is to call for positive things he has promised even though they are not yet a reality in your body. We call them until they are manifest. But our mistake is that we keep establishing our present condition by our words. Our "flesh" wants to "tell it like it is." But our spirit if trained properly wants to "say it as God says it." God's original plan was that our body would respond to our spirit.
Body: "I'll never get this weight off. I just look at food and I gain weight."
Spirit: "My old nature that loves and craves after food has been crucified with Christ. I am in Him and my new nature full of Christ's Spirit has no desire to overeat. My body is no longer a slave to food.
Day 36- We can have what we say in faith.
Mark 11: 23-24 / Luke 17:6
Unfortunately most people just say what they already have.
Day 37- It won't happen just because you say it. But saying it is part of causing it to happen because God's words are spirit and life.
We should meditate on God's word and then speak it to our body each day or several times a day. Our bodies respond to our voice. Therefore how much more will it respond to God's word spoken in faith?
THE LAYING ON OF HANDS AND PRAYER
Day 38- Healing may be between you and God. But spiritual life and healing can be imparted from one person to another. Jesus set the example in often placing his hands on someone to heal them.
Mark 7: 32-35 / Luke 4:40 / Luke 13:13
Day 39- People who see and know that the power of God is upon someone as they saw with Jesus seemed to feel that if they could just touch Him they would be healed.
Matthew 9:18-21 (especially vs. 18b & 21)
But is it the act of touch alone that heals someone? What else is needed?
Matthew 9:22, 29
Day 40- As with Jesus, God imparts special power to his disciples who can bring healing to others.
Mark 16:18 / Acts 19:12 / Acts 28:8
Day 41- But always with the laying on of hands must be faith. If there is an active atmosphere of unbelief then the release and flow of life from God will be severely restricted.
Mark 6: 5-6
Day 42- People can also be healed as others join together in intercession to pray for them. In intercession those praying take on someone's problem as though it was theirs. They stand before God on behalf of another. How must this praying be done?
James 5: 14-16 (especially verse 15)
These verses give us clear instruction as to what we must do to be healed. We should accept them with simplicity and do as required.
In part 2 of this study I'd like to ask some questions I had about healing and my search to find answers in scripture. Since my eyes have been opened to seeing that healing is part of my salvation, I am anxious (as I hope you are) to learn all I can so I can walk into all that God wants for me.
Next Study: MPGC#39