The ministry of healing in the local church
Part 2 of 2
I believe the local church or the body of believers still have the ministry of healing. The CMA has divided healing into two groups: Signs and wonders, and the Lord for the body. Jesus also sends us out through His commands in Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-18.
Signs and wonders can be exemplified in Luke chapters 9 and 10 where Jesus first sent the twelve and then the seventy out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Also in Acts chapter 3, 4 and 19 where Peter healed a lame man and Paul did special miracles.
The Holy Spirit also gives gifts as He wills. Some of which are faith, the gifts of healing and the working of miracles. Certainly we need an increase in our faith if we are to be a conduit for God to work healings and miracles through us, (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).
James 5:13-16, as previously mentioned, is a model for the Lord for the body. I can only add that this is part of the ministry in the local church and if the healing ministry is to be operational in the local body of believers than the pastor must teach the fullness of the scripture to include intercessory prayer amongst church members along with calling for the elders to anoint them with oil in the name of Jesus and praying for them. As James 5:16 says “and pray for one another that you may be healed.” Some may even need the laying on of hands, (Mark 16:18).
My personal experience of Christ as Healer
Christ is our divine healer of body, soul and spirit.
My most profound experiences of Jesus Christ my healer came after a fatal car accident. I began to question myself, “Why am I alive? What is my purpose?” I had always said I was a Christian but I would only pray over my meals when I remembered and that was not too often. Yet God had a plan for me. I started asking God What is my purpose? And why am I alive? What am I supposed to do? “Be prepared,” is the only answer I have really understood.
God did take the addiction of alcohol from me. He healed my spirit, soul and body some immediately and some over time. Salvation, addiction, bad habits, hurts and hang-ups have been taking away. Not that I am perfect or sinless but I do sin less.
As I read the Bible I began to question myself was I ever really saved. My life reflected the world and its values. Alter calls would come and I would pray the sinner’s prayer and accept Jesus as both my Lord and Saviour until I had the confidence that I was saved. The ultimate healing than is being born again as it makes us whole. Without a regenerated spirit we are not what God created us to be body, soul and spirit.
As I began my journey for answer in God’s word, He revealed to me in His word, the things I needed to get through trials and tribulation. Going to court was a high anxiety and stressful situation. I would open the Bible up and read His word for support, which I would bring with me in a brief case. God would always give me a word of comfort to make it through, (soul healing). When I learned verses such as 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV). I knew that anxiety, fear and doubt was not of God and He would strengthen my puny soul and spirit through His word. This of course effected my body.
I was healed from alcoholism. God took the psychosomatic addiction from me and healed me from the bondage it once had on me. This also freed my spirit to worship God instead of the people, places and things which involved and fellowshipped around alcohol.
When giving blood in 1992 I found out I had Hepatitis C. After the accident I went into severe depression and my viral count went up, around 800,000. I did not want to live and therefore my body was reflecting my thought life. I came across “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21 KJV). What that verse really meant to me was, I just want to die. I wanted to be put out of my misery, guilt and shame. God continued to mold me through His word and fellowship as I joined a church, men’s Bible study and other Christian fellowship groups. I started looking up to God so when I looked in He could heal my battered, contrite soul and spirit. I would take each verse I saw with meaning and say Lord help me be like that, or help me understand Your word. I began to go through the procedures to take the Hepatitis C treatment. They did different tests and even a liver biopsy and said I have stage 3 fibrosis of the liver. I was put on a waiting list and eventual had the treatment and to this day I am virus free. Jesus is my healer.
Jesus continues to work on my body, soul and spirit. For I still war against the devil, my flesh, and the world as each of them try and gain a foot hold on me; God’s word, the sword of the Spirit, comes to mind to defeat their subtilty. Thus placing me in a state of repentance and healing for my body, soul and spirit as they are intricately woven together.
Some personal experiences involving others seem to be countless. Cooperate prayer in churches, individuals praying over the sick and injured, even personal prayer for others have seemed to have healed more than not.
Personally once while in a church service I felt the urge to pray for a brother’s back. He had told me that he wanted to boat up the Mississippi River to bring the gospel to those along the rivers coast, but his spine would probably prevent him from doing so. He was going to go get another x-ray or MRI in the upcoming week to see about surgery. When I felt the unction I reached over the pew and touched the middle his back with both my hands on either side of his spine and asked God to heal him for You know his heart’s desire to serve You. He left without saying a word to me or questioning me placing my hands on his back. Well, a couple of weeks later I saw him and asked him about his results because I was praying for him and he said that I know didn’t you feel my back move that day in church. I said no, I thought that it was your lower back like most people have problems with. But he said no, it was right where you touched me and the tested showed that it was now normal. Christ the Healer.
I have been with others and prayed over them with the elders of the church and have experienced healings of high sugar levels drop to normal, cancer become benign spots, health issues being solved by medical assistance. The last one I would like to talk about, but I was not personally there, is when a group including a pastor prayed over a guy in hospice and within two weeks he was moved out and become known as the walking Lazarus. I had the privilege of meeting him and even walked with him twice on his 41.3 day (4 hour and 13 minute a day) journey to bring awareness to the power of pray, God’s healing power and the need to help others in recovery. The power of Christ our healer with the purpose of glorifying God works today. I have both heard and seen such results of Christ our healer for the glory of God in action.