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Does The Bible Promise Health And Healing?

“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:23)

There has been a great deal of misleading teaching, particularly within certain denominations, regarding health and healing for the believer. Proponents of the “Prosperity Gospel” teach that it is God’s will for every Christian to be completely free from all sickness and disease and that His Word guarantees Divine healing to any believer who will ask for it. In fact, many teach that the believer already possesses perfect health and simply needs to “increase their faith” in order for their perfect health to be manifested. Kenneth Copeland, a televangelist and popular pundit of Prosperity Theology has the following to say about “faith healing”:

“Since the days of the Old Testament, God has always wanted His people free from sickness and disease—cancer, arthritis, AIDS, heart trouble, even the common cold. And nothing more clearly reflects God’s will for our well-being than the earthly ministry of Jesus, who spent much of His time healing the sick…while it is important to realize that healing indeed belongs to you as a believer, it is just as important to know how to apply God’s Word to your life so you can activate that healing…when you need it.”

The idea seems to be that healing already “belongs to” every Christian, we just need to know what to do to activate that healing. Copeland proceeds to list several verses of Scripture on which to meditate in order to have a healing manifested (Click Here to view the webpage from which the preceding quotes are taken).

While the prosperity teachers can certainly cherry-pick a handful of Bible verses, take them from their context, and interpret them to imply a guarantee from God’s  Word that the Lord is somehow “contractually obligated” to heal anyone who activates their healing, this is not the clear and contextual teaching of Scripture. A wonderful case in point is the 8th Chapter of Romans, the chapter that we have been considering these past few weeks which has more to say about the specific blessings and benefits of being in Jesus Christ than possibly any other single portion of the Bible. If God’s Word actually contained any real guarantee promising perfect health, wealth, and prosperity for the Christian, we would surely find at least some reference to it in this most remarkable chapter.

Yet we do not. What we do find is the statement that “we ourselves” (who specifically?) “which have the firstfruits of the Spirit” (this means real, genuine, faith-filled believers) “groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23, emphasis added). Why would any Christian “groan” and wait for the “redemption of our body” if God has promised perfect health to every believer? If God’s will is to free us from even the “common cold”, then what have any of us to groan about?

Did Jesus heal sicknesses and disease during His earthly ministry? Yes. Does God still heal today? Absolutely. Does the Bible promise perfect health to every believer? No, it does not. The fact is that we groan in these bodies because perfect health is not something that we will indefinitely possess in this life. Our bodies have yet to be redeemed, even though our spirits have been. In this world, we will all get sick, we will get old, and we will die. Our bodies cannot and will not last forever until the Lord resurrects or changes them in the Age to come (Phil. 3:21, 1 Cor. 15).

We should pray for God’s healing touch whenever we become sick; but to suggest that God has guaranteed our healing is just not accurate. To claim that the believer already possesses perfect health is to claim something that the Bible never says. Instead, the testimony of Scripture, along with the testimony of the experiences of real life, show us in no uncertain terms that there are times when God heals, and times when He does not. He has reasons for the things He does which He has not revealed to us. What we do know is that everything He chooses for us is for our ultimate good — as we shall see in just a few short verses.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

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7 responses

  1. Very well argued. I’m a refugee from this brand of false teaching; I don’t have the words to teach against it yet.

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  2. We have the “bodies” that are the result of Adams transgressions. The word is clear. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Rom;5,12) God will never change that LAW until humanity is fully reconciled back to him.
    • First, by accepting Jesus as our LORD and SAVIOUR. Whence comes our being “BORN AGAIN”. THIS IS OUR RESPONSE. Being born again is a result of our response to that invitation to the Gospel of Christ…
    • Second, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of REGENERATION, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; This is the state of that salvation. And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:(Colosians;3,10)

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  3. God bless you, Loren, for teaching us from His word about healing. What comes to mind is that feeling you stated . .if we only had more faith, we would be healed. Somehow that doesn’t sound like God to me. Thank you for helping us understand Him and His heart for us more . . whether we are healed today or not.

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  4. Thanks, Joseph, for reading this and sharing your thoughts…Glad you were delivered from this sot of false teaching :)

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  5. Thanks, Rakau, for sharing your insights on this…so good to hear from you again…may the Lord richly bless you!

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  6. Doesn’t sound like God to me either…but, believe me, these false teachers have a way of making it all seem so plausible. When I was younger, I accepted and believed a lot of this kind of teaching. One of the first realizations the Lord showed me that set me on the path away from this type of false teaching was that, if “Prosperity Theology” is really true, then God really isn’t the One in control, Man is. Prayer is unnecessary, because all you need to do is “speak” your own reality into existence. Your words and your faith determine your destiny according to this brand of theology…God really has nothing to do with any of it!

    I praise the Lord Jesus that He graciously opened my eyes concerning the false doctrines of this particular movement :)

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  7. […] Does The Bible Promise Health And Healing? (answersfromthebook.org) […]

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