Our God is committed to our total healing. He doesn't want to cleanse us only a little bit from the effects of sin upon us. Whether it was due to our own sins or the sins of the fallen world around us, whether we are broken in body, soul or spirit, God wants us healed. The Bible describes our three part nature and then assures us that the Lord desires that we be fully restored ('kept blameless') in all three areas of our being: Body, Soul and Spirit.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
All scripture citations are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.
Is Full Healing Possible?
The gospel of grace is intended to fully liberate us by cleansing us from sin in all of its forms (to 'sanctify' is to purify). God frees us from the penalty of sin as we believe in Him; God gives us victories over the power of sin as we die to self; God heals us from the effects of sin as we bring our broken hearts and battered bodies to Him through prayer. Jesus' heart is set on our total healing!
1) Physical Healing
Physical healing brings freedom from sins that have broken our bodies. These may not have any originating connection with us. We have probably all been physically hurt in some obvious ways by the effects of someone's sin, if we are willing to count carelessness as a moral fault, not solely an 'accident.' Disease is much harder, usually, to trace back to any particular sin. However, since disease has its roots in the fall from grace, not the God of Grace who created all things good, we can be certain that disease never originates with God.
The Bible classes disease as a curse, not a blessing (see Deuteronomy 28). When you consider the full scope over the course of thousands of years of original sin (deeply at work in the world), generational sins (diseases are known to travel down family lines), the direct and indirect sins of others, and even our own sins (known and unknown), it becomes easier to acknowledge that there is a wide open door for the kingdom of darkness to bring the curse.
Happily, by God's design the power of the curse has been broken at the cross: Jesus fully atoned for all of our sins. Salvation's benefits, which include healing, are available to everyone. Learning how to access these benefits may be difficult, but we can count on it that we have God helping us every step of the way. (See Physical Healing.)
2) Emotional Healing
Emotional healing brings freedom from sins which have broken our hearts. We may carry wounds from the sins of others against us that steal our joy and tarnish our hope. We are usually painfully aware of these sins and their negative effects. Less obviously, our emotional life may be 'wounded' by our own unwitting sins of unforgiveness or unbelief which bind the past to us, along with anxiety, guilt, shame, regret or blame. None of these wellsprings of pain in our inner life can be cured by pushing them down or ignoring them. They will continue to work from below the surface of daily consciousness to subvert our best intentions and undermine our efforts to find true peace and fulfillment. Unresolved the right way, they can even become strongholds within us, putting pressure on us to act out our inner pain in ways which further hurt and hinder our lives. Emotional healing leads to greater freedom from sin and much closer walking with the Lord! (See Emotional Healing and Mending the Broken Heart.)
3) Spiritual Healing
Spiritual healing brings freedom from separation from God which is the root cause of sin and its consequences. This begins when we are reborn of the Spirit through faith in Christ. Now we know Jesus as our Savior and we can call on His Name to rescue us and reunite us to Himself whenever we get into trouble. Much trouble, however, can be avoided once we finally yield to His rightful claim to be our Lord. A Christian who has not fully submitted and yielded his or her life to the leadership of Jesus is far from experiencing genuine spiritual health and wholeness! (See Spiritual Healing.)
A Brief Overview from Jesus to Now
When Jesus walked the earth as the full expression of the Father's will, many times He healed absolutely everyone that was present. The healing ministry of Jesus far surpassed anything that God had begun through the prophets of the Old Testament period. Jesus' ministry of healing was certainly a high point in the history of God's efforts to liberate us from disease and clearly demonstrated The Father's perfect will to heal everyone (when conditions are right). Jesus healed all manner of physical diseases. He healed people's souls through deliverance from demonic oppression which surely brought them freedom from what we would call mental or emotional illnesses. He also healed people spiritually by restoring them to a living faith in God.
The second high point came through the ministry of the Apostles after Jesus ascended and His frontline disciples were filled with power by the Holy Spirit. Once again multitudes were healed and supernatural miracles happened in abundance. These were close to but not quite on the same scale as Jesus. After the Age of the Apostles ended the healing ministry began to taper off. A long season covering many centuries began in which only sporadic outbreaks of healing and miracles took place, usually through gifted persons who were often described as saints. The Church seemed poised on the brink of losing her healing abilities altogether.
The best is yet to come. Fortunately for all of us, there has been a concerted restoration of the healing ministry of Jesus over the last two centuries, building towards a crescendo in our time. Jesus promised that one day His believing people would be doing greater miracles than were even being done through Him.The fullness of that time still awaits us, but it is quickly arriving! Best of all, you can be a part of it!
Two Sets of Facts
The clear evidence of what is happening all over the world points towards two conclusions:
1) People Are Being Healed
God is doing amazing things to bring miracles of healing and deliverance to His people, so let's never give up on believing for what God can do or what He desires to do. The question here is: How can we best position ourselves for healing to happen?
2) Not Everyone Is Healed
Just because we can be healed, doesn't mean that we will be: Not everyone is being healed even in the 'Third World' where healings are happening with breath-taking frequency. Evidently, we need to be prepared to live a full life even in those times when healing hasn't yet come. This raises the question: How can we best stay in balance when it is not happening?
Next Healing Essential
Body, Soul and Spirit The three parts of our being aren't separated in water tight containers. Jesus created us with seamless, elegant connections between all three. This has tremendous implications both for recovering health and for maintaining it. In addition, it gives us three quite different, legitimate pathways for receiving healing from the Lord.
Interested in Going Deeper?
Consider taking our free eCourse for Healing. We have designed a complete series for personal transformation, 'Matters of the Heart,' to help Christians gain emotional freedom and inner healing. In all there are 24 Main Healing Lessons and 24 Head to Heart Guides to help you bring your heart to God and receive His Great Heart for you in return!