We believe that divine healing is the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to heal the sick and afflicted in answer to believing prayer. This statement, which appears in the Foursquare Declaration of Faith, articulates one of the four cardinal doctrines of the Foursquare Church, which are presented as Jesus the savior, healer, baptizer with the Holy Spirit and soon coming king. For many of us, divine healing is the most difficult of the four doctrines to deal with. The reason for this is that while the other doctrines address us on either an inner level or future time frame, divine healing deals with us in a dimension that is open for all to see; either a person is healed or not. This can be an intimidating experience that might just keep us from ministering healing to others, or perhaps believing for healing for ourselves as well. Today we will look at what the Bible tells us about healing, some of the problems we can have with it, and how we can move into a place where we can be ready to minister or receive healing.
A note of special thanks: I would like to thank my students in the Introduction to Biblical Preaching class for their help in the foundational exegesis of Acts 3.
Scriptural Basis for Divine Healing
Matthew 8:17; 9:5; Mark 16:17-18; Acts 4:29-30; James 5:14-16
Getting Started: What brought them to the place where they could minister like they did?
1. Peter and John were ready to minister. Acts 2:42-44
a. Devotion to teaching, fellowship, sharing and prayer.
b. This did not develop in a spiritual vacuum.
c. Previous experience helped to build their faith.
d. They had been in an atmosphere that was conducive to believe for healing.
2. Healing was part of their everyday routine. Acts 3:1
a. They were not looking for a person to heal.
b. However they were open to the Holy Spirit when the occasion presented itself.
3. They gave what they had. v 6
a. They had a divine rather than a material or natural resource.
b. They understood that they were not limited to their own abilities.
c. Through the eyes of faith, they saw him as healed.
4. They took action. vs 7-8
a. They spoke the name of Christ
b. Peter took hold of him and raised him up.
c. He did not ask to be healed.
d. They did not ask permission to heal him.
5. They used the event as an opportunity to preach Christ. vs 9-16
a. They did it in a public place.
b. This presents one of several basic New Testament Models of evangelism.
- Heal and Preach
c. It is not by our power or piety.
d. It is on the basis of faith in His name.
e. It is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man. v 16
f. The church grew from 3,000 to 5,000 people that day. Acts 4:4
Why do we struggle with healing?
It doesnt fit in the box.
- It does not line up with most of our prior experience.
- It doesnt fit into a nicely organized set of scientific principles.
- It certainly violates the laws of nature as we know them.
There does not appear to be any kind of consistency in healing ministry.
- Honestly, not everyone who receives healing prayer is healed.
- Mark 5:36; Luke 8:50 the daughter of the synagogue official.
- Do not be afraid any longer. Only believe.
- Fear and Faith
6. They met with controversy. Acts 4:1-14
a. It does not matter how hard we try to keep everything acceptable to everyone, there will always be someone who does not like the what, why, where, or how of divine healing and how we practice it.
b. They did not attempt to placate those in authority who did not believe in the resurrection from the dead.
c. They took a stand for what they believed.
d. They prayed for more of Gods power to heal. Acts 4:29-31
How Can We Be Available to Minister Healing in Todays World?
1. Start where Peter and John Started. They were devoted to teaching, fellowship and experiencing the power of God. Acts 2:42-44
2. Accept that divine healing is for today. Hebrews 13:8
3. Stand for what you believe.
4. If you are not sure, then search the Scriptures. Mentioned over 130 times in the Bible.
5. Recognize that it wont always occur the way you think it should.
6. Remember you have a Divine resource.
7. Be available to do it.
8. Keep trying. Luke 18:1
1. Has God used me in ministering healing? If so, when and how?
2. Have I been healed of something? What and when?
3. When was the last time I ministered healing to someone?
4. What will I do to make myself available to God for healing ministry?