Does God heal in the New Testament?
Hello, dear friends I am posting my last blog from USA today. I had been in US for the last four months. I thank God for this great opportunity. I wll be returning to India shortly. Will continue posting blogs from Trivandrum hereafter.
Almost everybody agree that in the Old Testament God was the healer of Israel. The verses given below are promises from the Old Testament.
Exodus 15: 26: I am the Lord who heals you. (NIV)
Exodus. 23: 25-26: Worship the Lord your God and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take sickness from you and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span. (NIV)
Psalms 1o3:3 : He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. (NIV)
Psalms 107: 17-20: Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth His word and healed them. He rescued them from the grave. (NIV)
The Bible is the Written Word. Lord Jesus is the Living Word which was sent from the Father, the Word which became flesh. It is a fact that many people became ill because they sin against the word of God and because they do not keep the Word of God. But God promises that he will send the same word and heal us. He promises us that He will forgive all our sins and heal all our diseases. (Psalms 103: 3)
There are several promises in the new Testament also. Look at the following verses.
James 5:14: Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him........And the prayer of faith shall save the sick (KJV)
Galatians 3: 13-14; Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us...............He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham may come to the gentiles through Christ Jesus so that by faith we might receive the promise of the spirit.(NIV)
We can see the curse of the law listed in the verses starting from Deuteronomy 28:15. If we look carefully we can see that there is almost nobody who is not suffering from at least one of these curses. Let me give a word to those who are suffering from these curses. The promise of deliverance from curse is given only in Galatians 3: 13. When you accept that Christ became a curse for you are actually exchanging your curse with Him and receiving Abraham’s blessings in Christ.
What is Abraham’s blessing? Complete health even at the age of hundred! He caught a leaping calf and gave it to a young man. (Genesis 18:7) He took three hundred and eighteen trained servants born in his own house and defeated a big army, an army of four kings.(Genesis 14:14) Besides Abraham was very rich in all ways. (Genesis 24:1) We read that the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
We read that the blessings of Abraham are given not only to the Jews but also to the gentiles in Christ Jesus. Just like Abraham we are also called and separated. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of he who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (NIV) God has given us the privilege of hearing God’s voice like Abraham. Abraham had completely realized the difficulty of the circumstances.(Romans 4: 19) “Without weakening in his faith he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead – since he was about a hundred years old – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.”(Romans.4: 19-21) God expects us to wait patiently and to go through adverse circumstances trusting in God’s promises and glorify God without doubting His promises.
There is only one difference between us and the Old Testament saints represented by Abraham. The Old Testament saints were servants of God. We of New Testament are children of God. Through Jesus Christ, we received the privilege of calling God the Father, “Abba Father”. The biggest status that could be achieved by the Old Testament saints was to become friends of God. Both Abraham (James 2: 23) and Moses (Numbers 12:2, Deuteronomy 34:12 and Exodus 33: 11) acquired this status. If God promised complete health to His servants just think about the confidence we, His children should have. Look at Mathew 7:11. “Which of you if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for fish will give him a snake? If you then though you are evil know to give good gifts to your children how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”(NIV) Note the word “how much more”. If God promised healing to His servants in the Old Testament, will he command in New Testament that his children should suffer with diseases?
When the woman from Syrophoenicia came to Jesus and cried for her daughter’s deliverance, the Lord said that it is not good to give the children’s bread to dogs. Healing is the children’s bread. No father on earth will give his child a heavy stone when he hungrily asks bread. The stone is heavy and hard. If If a child asks for fish no father will give a poisonous destroying snake instead of a nutritious fish. If a child asks for an egg, no father will give him a crab which will hurt him. We struggle to give our children better living conditions and better education than we ourselves had. Is our heavenly father a worse parent than us?
The New Testament is a better covenant based on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6) Here it says that the New Testament has better promises and better commandments than the Old Testament. The basis of the promise of healing in the Old Testament is, “If you will carefully obey my commandments and laws”. The provision in the New Testament is to receive freedom through Christ who took up our curses and diseases in our place. On the cross God handled each of man’s physical, mental and spiritual issues. Jesus took up all our sins and curses and gave new birth to our spirits. That is restoration in the spiritual sense. Also He restored confidence, courage, happiness and peace which man lost through sin. That is restoration in the mental realm. Physically through His stripes He gave us healing. So like Psalmist we can say, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope.” (Psalms 16:9 KJV)
Compllete security is the result of the exceptional provision through Christ Jesus.