April 19 2020

Salvation, Healing and Deliverance – Part I

As we have just come through the Beautiful Easter Season we have spent much time contemplating Jesus and God’s Amazing Plan of Salvation. We are so blessed to be able to worship God freely and to be able to gather together to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. It is so wonderful to think about how many believers like us who have gathered together on Sunday mornings to worship God ever since that first Sunday that Jesus rose from the dead (the first of many). Praise God that He spent time with His disciples comforting them and fortifying them for the work that lay ahead of them. Praise God that Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father and daily intercedes for us, His beloved.

God’s Amazing Plan of Salvation gives us the opportunity to know that our sins are forgiven and we know longer need to bow to the tyranny of the sin nature (our flesh) and that we have a home in Heaven. The day we repent and invite Jesus to come into our hearts is the day that we are born again, becoming citizens of Heaven and beginning the Journey of Eternal Life. This is God’s Promise. This is the Truth of His Word. Nothing can ever change that. Hallelujah!

Wrapped up in the Word ‘Salvation’ we also find ‘Healing’ and ‘Deliverance’. These things are a vital part of the Gospel Message and cannot or should not be separated from it. Jesus said that He came to Earth as a man to demonstrate the Will of God:

For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will and purpose but to do the will and purpose of Him Who sent Me. – John 6:38 AMPC

I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the works (His own miracles, deeds of power). –  John 14:10b AMPC

Whatever I speak, I am saying [exactly] what My Father has told Me to say and in accordance with His instructions. – John 12:50 AMPC

Jesus summed it all up when He said “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” – John 14:9. Therefore IF we want to know what God, our Father and Creator, is like and what His will is, we will see clearly by looking at Jesus and His earthly ministry as He “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” – Acts 10:38b NKJV.

Jesus Christ is the Sun of Righteousness foretold by the prophet Malachi : “But to you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with Healing in His wings” – Malachi 4:2a NKJV. In the natural world, the sun is the only source of light to our planet. In the spiritual world, Jesus is the only source of Light to us. What does spiritual Light bring? Righteousness and Healing. Jesus came to bring Righteousness (deliverance from sin and its power), and Healing (deliverance from sickness). The works of the devil are the opposite: spiritual darkness, sin and sickness.

Let us make a decision to be like Jesus: to walk in the Light as He is in the Light (learning His Truth and walking in it); and to busy ourselves with Righteousness and Healing.

When Jesus sent His disciples out to minister to the people, He told them to say “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” – Matthew 10:7 –  just as He always did. And then He said “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” – verse 8.

In the Book of Acts we see that the Jewish officials tried to stop the disciples. In response, they gathered together and prayed a powerful prayer which we may pray today as well:

“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,  by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.” – Acts 4:29-30 NKJV

What was the consequence of their prayer? Everywhere they went, they preached the Gospel of Jesus. People were saved and baptized, healed, delivered and set free from demonic oppression. Hallelujah! Clearly it is the will of God that we find healing for ourselves in Jesus and His Light (the Truth of His Word) and that we learn how to minister healing to others.  His commands to His disciples did not end with the twelve. They are equally valid for us today. The promises of God are “Yes” in Christ Jesus, and to that we need to add our “amen” to the glory of God – 2 Corinthians 1:20.

In a reading of Psalm 107:1-17 we will discover that God makes it clear that we (mankind) alone are responsible for the sorry condition of our affliction.  Our foolishness, our disobedience, our rebellion and our rejection of God and His Word have caused our afflictions which ultimately are leading to death – verse 18. But in verse 19a, there is a sudden turn around:

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

And what is God’s response:

And He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions. – verses 19b,20

God Saved, Healed and Delivered! How? By sending forth His Word!

That is why we are encouraged in James 1:21b AMPC to receive and welcome with meekness the implanted (engrafted or rooted) Word of God which is able to save our souls. And if we allow God’s Word to be combined with faith inside us, it will accomplish His will to heal and deliver as well. Hallelujah!

Let me share with you now the profound Truth of 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV:

who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes (“wounds” NASB) you were healed.

The Greek word used here which is translated “healed” specifically means physical healing. It is the word from which the Greek word for doctor is derived. The first part of the verse speaks of Jesus bearing our sins making it possible for God to forgive us and deliver us from the power of sin. This is the spiritual provision accomplished by the shedding of Jesus’ innocent blood. The second part of the verse reveals God’s physical provision: “By whose stripes you were healed”. Please note this remarkable fact: when the Bible talks about healing in association with the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, it never uses the future tense. In Isaiah 53:4-5, we see the present tense being used:

Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

Rebellion and all of its evil consequences were laid upon Jesus as He hung on the cross: His soul was made sin; His body was made sickness; and He, Himself, was made a curse. He died. He did all of this that we might receive the corresponding good:

In place of sin, God offers us Righteousness.

In place of sickness, God offers us Health.

In place of the curse, God offers us Blessing.

In place of death, God offers us  Life.

We may call this The Great Exchange! Hallelujah!  All of the evil due to the rebellious human race came upon the precious sinless Son of God, so that all the good that was due Him by divine eternal right might become ours. How wonderful is that! Hallelujah!

We can see from 1 Peter 2:24 “by whose stripes you were healed” that from the Lord’s perspective our healing is already provided. It is done! We need to believe this Truth when we are well and when we are sick.

Many people ask the question: “How can I know if it’s God’s will to heal me?” The problem is that for a believer in Jesus Christ this question makes no sense, I have just shown that the Bible says we WERE healed by the stripes of Jesus. From God’s perspective our healing is already accomplished. The correct question therefore is: “How may I appropriate (make my own) the healing that God has already provided for me?”

Faith is essential in appropriating God’s provision of healing by the wounds of Jesus. We see in Habakkuk 2:4 that the Just, the Righteous, shall live by faith. Faith is personal. I cannot live by your faith, and you cannot live by my faith. Your faith is your own responsibility. My faith is my responsibility. Please note that living by faith is all inclusive. It includes breathing, thinking, eating, talking, walking, praying, working and everything else that we do. The only basis acceptable to God for any activity is the faith basis:

Without faith it is impossible to please God. – Hebrews 11:6

Everything in life progresses. This is true of our faith as well. The Bible tells us in Job 17:9 that the Righteous person is moving forward all the time and getting stronger and stronger. Our faith journey should progress, just as the “sun that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18).

Faith that pleases God must by definition be based solely, exclusively on the Word of God. One area of confusion that may hinder us in appropriating the healing that God has provided is this: we are not making our requests for healing on the basis and qualifications for healing in God’s Word. We may be hoping to be healed but we are not applying our faith to that hope. Faith and hope are connected and yet entirely distinct:

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1

Faith is a belief in the now: a confident persuasion or conviction of the Truth we find in God’s Word. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God and is birthed in the heart/spirit. Hope is the confident expectation of good in the future. Hope is in the mind. Faith needs to take hold of hope in order for us to receive the healing God has already provided for us.

Sometimes making God’s provision of healing our own is linked to desperation, we need a desperation that causes us to press in and persevere. I can think of a few examples in Jesus’ ministry:

  1. the parable of the persistent widow – Luke 18:1-8
  2. the Canaanite woman who came to Jesus asking for healing for her daughter – Matthew 15:22-28
  3. the two blind men who would not be left behind – Matthew 9:27-31

And I would like to share one from the Book “God’s Word Heals” by Derek Prince. He was holding meetings in Kenya throughout the course of a week. After each service he prayed for those who wanted healing. Each evening he noticed a blind woman at the front who was led in by a little boy. She was not healed the first night, nor the second, but she kept coming back. On the seventh day, which was Sunday, she asked for prayer once again. On the seventh day, God opened her eyes, she was healed. If she had not persevered she may not have received her healing.

Another important aspect of appropriating our healing is that we come to God in humility. Two of the people that Jesus commended for having great faith also had great humility:

  1. the Canaanite woman who came to Jesus asking for healing for her daughter – Matthew 15:22-28
  2. the Roman Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant – Matthew 8:5-13

These people had faith that was pure/great and they met the Lord with great humility. Neither of them were Israelites. Jesus called the Canaanite woman “a dog” and yet she did not falter. She replied simply (to paraphrase): “I know I am a dog, all I need is a crumb from your table”.  Jesus granted her request! In the case of the Centurion, Jesus was ready to go to his home but he said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should be under my roof”. Jesus marvelled and said “it shall be done for you as you have believed”. Wow! How absolutely amazing!

There is one important thing that each believer must settle in his/her heart. If I ask you: “How do you know your sins are forgiven? How do you know you are saved?” What would your answer be? I think each one of us would say we know our sins are forgiven and that we are saved because the Bible tells us so! Do we feel saved. Maybe, maybe not. Do we feel forgiven? Maybe, maybe not. We cannot base our salvation on feelings. We must base it solely on the Word of God. “God says it. I believe it, and that settles it!”

The same is true for our physical healing –  but we all seem to have a problem with only believing what we can see with our physical eyes. I could tell you a story about how I was miraculously healed but, by itself that may not cause you to believe that God wants to heal you. The only thing that can cause you to believe that God wants to heal you as well is the Word of God. That is the foundation of our faith; the Rock on which we stand.

Another profound verse which talks about healing is Proverbs 4:20-23 AMPC –

20 My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.

21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the centre of your heart.

22 For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.

23 Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

First, let me clarify that God’s promises are for His children. As believers in Jesus Christ we are the children of God.  In his book “God’s Word Heals” Derek Prince calls this passage “God’s Medicine Bottle”. He states that “The cure is guaranteed by Almighty God” and I agree wholeheartedly with him.  The directions on the medicine bottle are:

  1. Give your attention to the Word of God
  2. Agree with and submit to God’s sayings
  3. Let them not depart from your eyes/sight
  4. Keep them in the centre of your heart; and guard your heart with vigilance

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). We need to decide to give the Word of God our undivided, respectful attention. Hearing – truly listening – to the Word of God is key to our faith and key to our healing.

To agree with and submit to God’s sayings reveals a heart of humility that is teachable, willing to incline or bend in order to receive. (And, when we submit to God, the devil flees – James 4:7.) Hallelujah!

“Let them not depart from your eyes/sight” refers to keeping our spiritual eyes focused on God’s Word with the singleness and sincerity of mind that says “this is Truth”. In the world, sophistication and rationalization can get in the way of belief. We need to keep our eye gates pure and determine to believe that God says what He means, and means what He says.

The heart is the most vital area of our human personality. The first three directions are designed to make sure that God’s Word, His sayings, reach our hearts. If His sayings do not reach our hearts, they won’t produce the result that either we or God want. What we believe with our hearts determines the course of our lives, that is why we are encouraged to guard our hearts with all vigilance.

If we take God’s medicine as He directs, He promises us life, healing and health to all of our flesh (verse 22). It is up to us to make God’s promise our own (appropriate it). Our healing may happen immediately, or it may take weeks, or months, or years. Be patient. Be faithful. We have God’s guarantee. How wonderful is that!

In summary, I would like to say this: Just as our salvation have been purchased and fully paid for by Jesus’ work on the cross (shedding His innocent blood), our healing has already been purchased and fully paid for by His wounds (stripes). It is the invisible hope, that with our spiritual eyes, we may clearly see hanging in the air over us, we only need to reach up with the arm of faith to grasp it and bring it into our present reality (making it our very own).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Further Bible Study: Perseverance and Determination in Healing

Read the healing stories I mentioned above. . . . .

 

For Further Bible Study: The Importance of Humility in Healing

Please read 2 Kings 5:1-14 The Story of Naaman

Take special note of:

  1. the fact that Naaman heard about Elisha through a young Israelite slave girl.
  2. that Naaman was a very proud man.
  3. that Elisha gave him no special attention.
  4. Naaman got angry and did not obey right away.
  5. that Naaman needed to let go of his dignity and humbly wash in the Jordan river (a very muddy river).
  6. God did not heal Naaman until he dipped the seventh time in the Jordan.

 

Suggested Worship and Praise Songs:

  1. Great is Thy Faithfulness
  2. How Can I Say Thanks
  3. Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine
  4. ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

PASTORAL PRAYER

Dear Father in Heaven, we rejoice because You are our Lord and our God. You who made heaven and earth honour us with Your Great Love. We are completely blown away by Your Amazing Plan of Salvation. Thank You for Jesus, Your only begotten Son, our Saviour. We are so incredibly delighted that because our sins are covered by the holy blood of Jesus that we have the privilege of being in right relationship with You. Thank You  Father for how Jesus taught His disciples and how He continues to teach us. We are so grateful Lord for Your Word. Thank You that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Thank You that it is only through Jesus that we may come to You. We appreciate His willingness to live as a man and to die as a man that we may have our sins forgiven and eternal life with You. Hallelujah!

Throughout His life Jesus constantly declared “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” And we declare it today as well Lord, just as Jesus told His disciples to do when He sent them out to heal the sick and set the demon oppressed free. Father we agree with Your Word, and submit to Your sayings. We endeavor to keep Your Word before our eyes and in the centre of our hearts. According to the Holy Scriptures, Your Word is our medicine: it is Life, Healing and Health to every part of our lives. – Proverbs 4:20-22

Lord, You have ordained that Life and Death are in the Power of the Tongue. Therefore we choose to speak Your Word over our bodies and our lives that we may walk in the harvest of our Faith-Filled Words. – Proverbs 18:20-21

Lord, Your Word is Life! – John 1:1-5 It overcomes death in any situation or circumstance.

Lord, Your Word is Light! – John 1:1-5 It overpowers and shatters the darkness.

Help us Lord, to always choose to speak Life and Light: the Word of God tabernacled in Jesus. Remind us of the Power of declaring Your Word, and help us in any area of unbelief about this. Remind us to apply our faith to Your Word that we may walk in the Harvest of Abundant Life that Jesus died to give us. In Jesus’ Name. To God be the Glory!

We worship You Lord. You deserve all of our Worship and all of our Praise. According to Your Word, when we do this, Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, rises within us with healing in His wings. – Malachi 4:2 Hallelujah!

Thank You Lord, that according to Your Word, You forgive ALL of our iniquities and heal ALL of our diseases; You redeem our lives from the pit; You crown us with Love and Compassion; and You renew our youth as the eagle’s. – Psalm 103:3-5

Thank You Lord that we are healed because Jesus paid it all, He bore the stripes on His back.  – 1 Peter 2:24 We don’t understand why it had to be this way but we praise You wholeheartedly.

According to Your Word Lord, the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives in each one of us, and gives life to every part of our mortal bodies. – Romans 8:11 Thank You Lord for healing my _____________ (at this time you may lay hands on any part of your body that needs healing, believing that God wants to heal You and knowing that He delights in your well-being).

And Father, as we continue to pray and declare Your Word in Psalm 91 we are trusting You to preserve and protect us in these dark days. (Please take time to read it as circulated in March.)  Thank You Lord that we do not need to fear because You have chosen us and You are with us and take us by the right hand. – Isaiah 41:8-10,13 Thank You Lord that we shall not die but live and proclaim the wonderful works of the Lord. – Psalm 118:17 In Jesus mighty name! Hallelujah! Glory to God!

Thank You Father for the Word You have given Pastor Ellie today to help us better understand how to receive the healing You have provided for each one of us. Help us to have our eyes and ears wide open to receive the Truth that You have for us here today.

We submit our worship, praise and prayers in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Note: There is great comfort for all of us in the Word of God. As believers we are children of God and descendants of Abraham by faith, therefore many Old Testament promises are equally for us. In Isaiah 41:8-10,13 the Lord Almighty says:    

But you I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham. I have called you and chosen you. Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you (and harden you to difficulties). Yes, I will help you. I will uphold and sustain you (and give the victory) with My Righteous Right Hand. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you “Fear not, I will help you.” – AMPC

 

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