Andrew Fountain - Spiritual Gifts: Healing
The video shown at the end of this message can be found here: Healed from a Stroke
1. Healing and the Kingdom
- The message of healing and deliverance is at the heart of the Gospel of the Kingdom
- Matt 4:23 and 9:35 (almost identical verses that link the two together)
- Matt 10:7-8 is particularly important since it defines the essence of the message they were told to preach
- Matt 8:16-17 While I don’t believe that the atonement gives us all a right to healing now, these verses show that Jesus has in fact paid the price for sickness by his sufferings.
- Matt 12:28 could hardly be stronger in connecting the presence of the kingdom with demonic deliverance
- Mat 6:10 “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
- The coming of the Kingdom is about God’s perfect will, which reigns supreme in heaven, being done on earth as well
- In heaven there is no sickness and no sin. We can legitimately pray for God’s victory over both on earth.
- In fact we are commanded to pray in this way!
- One of the things God loves to do the most is to undo the evil works of Satan
- He loves to heal—it is part of his nature. This should encourage us to pray for healing
2. Healing in Acts
Acts 3 — The Lame Beggar
- Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time for prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon.
- And a man lame from birth was being carried up, who was placed at the temple gate called “the Beautiful Gate” every day so he could beg for money from those going into the temple courts.
- When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple courts, he asked them for money.
- Peter looked directly at him (as did John) and said, “Look at us!”
- So the lame man paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
- But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, stand up and walk!”
- Then Peter took hold of him by the right hand and raised him up, and at once the man’s feet and ankles were made strong.
- He jumped up, stood and began walking around, and he entered the temple courts with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
- All the people saw him walking and praising God,
- and they recognized him as the man who used to sit and ask for donations at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with astonishment and amazement at what had happened to him.
- While the man was hanging on to Peter and John, all the people, completely astounded, ran together to them in the covered walkway called Solomon’s Portico.
- When Peter saw this, he declared to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us as if we had made this man walk by our own power or piety?
Acts 5 — who did it?
- Now many miraculous signs and wonders were done among the people through the hands of the apostles.
Acts 9 — Aeneas & Dorcas
- Now as Peter was travelling around from place to place, he also came down to the saints who lived in Lydda.
- He found there a man named Aeneas who had been confined to a mattress for eight years because he was paralyzed.
- Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Get up and make your own bed!” And immediately he got up.
- All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
- Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which in translation means Dorcas). She was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity.
- At that time she became sick and died. When they had washed her body, they placed it in an upstairs room.
- Because Lydda was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Come to us without delay.”
- So Peter got up and went with them, and when he arrived they brought him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him, crying and showing him the tunics and other clothing Dorcas used to make while she was with them.
- But Peter sent them all outside, knelt down, and prayed. Turning to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
- He gave her his hand and helped her get up. Then he called the saints and widows and presented her alive.
- This became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.
Acts 14 — Lame man at Lystra
- In Lystra sat a man who could not use his feet, lame from birth, who had never walked.
- This man was listening to Paul as he was speaking. When Paul stared intently at him and saw he had faith to be healed,
- he said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And the man leaped up and began walking.
- So when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”
Acts 15 — Barnabas and Paul report back
- The whole group kept quiet and listened to Barnabas and Paul while they explained all the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.
Acts 28 — Publius’ Father
- Now in the region around that place were fields belonging to the chief official of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us hospitably as guests for three days.
- The father of Publius lay sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and after praying, placed his hands on him and healed him.
- After this had happened, many of the people on the island who were sick also came and were healed.
Comments about Acts
- The emphasis is that it is God who heals, not the individual
- Almost always (with some rare exceptions like at Lystra) the healing leads to people being converted, sometimes in great numbers.
- Faith always seems to be involved
- often it is the sick person (but not always, for example a dead person!)
- the person commanding the healing always has faith
- The need for faith is evident in James 5:14-16 “The prayer of faith will save the sick”
3. The Video
- When people are sceptical about healing, it usually comes down to one of four criticisms:
- It was a trivial sickness, e.g. a headache (this might not feel trivial to the sufferer!)
- They would have got better anyway (or it was the power of suggestion)
- There was no proper tests before and afterwards to verify they were actually sick (i.e. all in the mind)
- It was only a temporary reprieve.
- The value of this video is that it rises high above all four objections
- It was a severe sickness with no natural possibility of what happened
- The “before and after” medical condition was rigorously documented
- Seven years later he is still healed