It has been over two thousand years since Jesus commanded His followers to go and make disciples of all men. (Matthew 28:18-20) And two thousand years later instead of having completed our mission, we seem to be further away then when we started. Instead of gaining ground, we appear to be loosing ground with people walking away from Christianity at an alarming rate. Although many different reasons can be sited, I believe one of the greatest reasons is a lack of understanding of what Jesus did on the cross, paired with apathy and fear. We have allowed our experiences to define our beliefs instead of the Word of God, causing us to doubt God. By allowing our experiences to define our beliefs we form a wrong view of God’s nature and an incorrect understanding of scripture; both which will bring frustration, apathy, and fear. Apathy will keep you from seeking truth while fear will keep you from acting on any truth you may know. Eventually you have what Christianity has become today, a group of people that either don’t care to seek after the truth for themselves or if they do are too afraid to act on that truth. This has led Christianity to appear to be a religion of theory and beliefs but with very little practical life application.
I believe Paul learned this very early on in his ministry. Paul, like most religious leaders of that time, was very adept at debating his point concerning his beliefs; he continued this practice early on in his ministry. Acts 17:17 says that Paul reasoned in the synagogue and marketplace daily. He attempted by way of debate to convince both Jew and Gentile that Jesus was Lord. Then later on we read in 1 Corinthians:
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Paul had given up on trying to just debate people into the kingdom, instead relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. He gained the understanding that he could not rely on his understanding of scripture and his own knowledge alone, as great as that was, but needed to demonstrate the reality that Jesus was Lord. In Philippians he later stated that everything he had done and been in the past was garbage compared to knowing Jesus and having the reality of Jesus’ resurrected life manifested in his own life.
In the same way as Paul did at first, we have relied on our ability to effectively argue and articulate our beliefs, trusting in our own knowledge, all along neglecting the power that resided in us; the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead. We must get back to the place where we not only declare that Jesus is Lord, but also prove it. This is what Jesus meant when He commanded us to obey all that He commanded His followers to do. Not just tell them He died to save them, but to demonstrate it in a very real and personal way. Healing is the proof that Jesus forgave us of our sins.
1 Tim 2:2-4
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.(NIV)
As we clearly showed in the previous chapters that Jesus paid the price for all sin. Not just the sin of the believers or those that He know would make Him Lord of their lives, but the sins of the whole world. God left nobody out when Jesus died on the cross, it is His will that all would be saved. Answer these questions about salvation.
- What is God’s will for salvation?
- Does He want every person saved?
- Can a person be saved anytime anywhere?
- Does a person have to do anything to earn salvation?
- Can/Does God save people irrespective of the magnitude and type of sin they are in?
- What is the only requirement for salvation?
Next, try to answer the same questions again but instead replace “salvation” with “healing.”
- What is God’s will for healing?
- Does He want every person healed?
- Can a person be healed anytime anywhere?
- Does a person have to do anything to earn salvation?
- Can / Does God heal people irrespective of the magnitude and type of sin they are in?
- What is the only requirement for healing?
Where all your answers about salvation the same as it was for healing? If not, you need to pay very close attention to the next section. If it can be proven to you from scripture that healing is provided in the atonement, then you can’t in good conscience differentiate between God’s will for salvation and God’s will for healing ever again. They are the same, always and forever.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (NKJV)
- Griefs (kholee) = sickness (Deut 28:61, 1 Kings 17:17, 2 Kings 1:2, 2 Kings 8:8, and other places)
- Sorrows (Makob) = pains (Jeremiah 51:8, Job 33:19)
- Borne (Nasa) = To bear in the sense of suffering punishment for something. (Isa 53:12)
- Carried (Sabal) = To bear something as a penalty or chastisement. (Isa 53:11)
In Deuteronomy 7:15 we read where the Lord will take away from you all sickness (Kholee). In Job 33:19 we read where the word “Makob” is translated “pain”. So from these scriptures it is very evident that Isaiah 53:4 should read, “Surley He has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains.” In Leviticus 5:1 we read that if a soul sins then he shall bear (nasa) his iniquity. In Isaiah 53:12 we read that Jesus was numbered with the transgressors and bare (nasa) the sins of many. It is unquestionably clear that God is telling us that in the same way Jesus bore (nasa) the payment for our sins, He bore (nasa) our sickness and disease and took it away.
The Holy Spirit also declares this to be true when He inspired Matthew to quote the passage in Isaiah 53 showing that He was talking about bodily sickness and disease.
16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”
Here we are told that Jesus cast out spirits and healed ALL who were sick, fulfilling the prophesy of Isaiah 53 and clearly indicating that Isaiah was talking about physical sickness and disease. Some may say, “you see, it says that Jesus fulfilled that prophesy through His ministry of healing and not through what He did on the cross. Doesn’t that mean healing and deliverance are not for today? That’s a legitimate question so let’s look into what it means when it says that it was fulfilled.
The word fulfilled is the word “plerothe” which is the aorist passive, subjunctive, 3rd person singular of the word “pleroo”. In normal language that means that it was an action that was completed once, and by that one time action the results continue forever. By the mouth of two or three witness every word is established, so let’s look at a few more verses.
But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. 16 Yet He warned them not to make Him known, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.3 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”
The word for fulfilled used in Matthew 8:17 is the same word “plerothe” used in Matthew 12:17. And just like the way Matthew 8 is quoting Isaiah 53, Matthew 12 is quoting Isaiah 42.
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.3 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”
If you say that healing was fulfilled and not part of the atonement, then you have to say He is no longer bringing justice to the Gentiles. That is saying that the Gentiles cannot be saved. Obviously, Jesus is still preaching the gospel to the Gentiles through those who believe in Him and He is also still healing the sick through those that believe in Him!
1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. (NIV)
Like Matthew, Peter is also quoting the passage in Isaiah 53. But unlike the prophet Isaiah, Peter stated it in past tense. “…By His wounds (stripes) you have been healed. Now Holy Spirit doesn’t make mistakes so why would he have Peter misquote the passage? It is because something very important happened between the two verses; Jesus paid the price! That’s right, in the same way Jesus has already forgiven you of all your sins, He has also already healed you of all your diseases, hurts, pains, and mental anguishes. And in the same way you receive His forgiveness of your sins, you receive His healing of your disease.