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Don Stewart :: What Is the Gift of Healing?

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Don Stewart
Scripture says that God has given gifts of healing to his church:

To another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:9).

Different Types

The gift is described in the plural - "gifts." Since there are different types of illness, there are different types of healing as well. The gifts of healing are not the same thing as medical knowledge or practices that help people who are sick. Rather, these gifts are supernatural abilities to restore someone to health, works that are entirely of God. God Himself has said:

I am the Lord who heals you (Exodus 15:26).

Peter exercised the gift of healing:

Then Peter said, . . . "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them - walking, and leaping, and praising God (Acts 3:6-8).

Sign Gifts

The gift of healing is one of the sign gifts. Some believe that it was specifically for the purpose of confirming Gods Word before the Bible was completed-that once the New Testament was finished the gift was withdrawn. Therefore it only had a limited use and duration. However, it is nowhere expressly stated that the gift of healing was only for a limited period of time and the burden of proof is on those who say that God no longer gives this gift.

Conform To Scripture

If indeed God is still granting the gift of healing to certain individuals, those who practice it must conform to the principles set down in Scripture. Those who exercise the gift must be judged as to their testimony for Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, there is much that goes on today under the name of divine healing that is nothing more than fraud. Some who claim to have the gift exercise it on a limited basis. There is no replacement of missing limbs, decayed teeth, hair for baldness, etc. Many of the "healings" are of the inward or psychosomatic variety.

Biblical Standards

Whenever someone claims to have the gift of healing, he should be judged according to the biblical standards and not be "blindly" followed. Moreover, one who heals with Gods power will have no fear of being investigated and have the healing documented.
There is also the possibility that those who are healed are healed because of something other than a supernatural work of God. The symptoms may be psychosomatic, or the healing that takes place may be a natural occurrence.

Draw Attention To Jesus

Finally, someone who genuinely has the gift of healing will draw attention to Jesus Christ and not to himself.

We may sum up concerning the gift of healing as follows:

1. The gift of healing is the supernatural ability to restore someone to health.

2. Some believe and teach that this gift is no longer operating among believers.

3. Many who claim to have the gift of healing exercise it on a limited basis.

4. Miraculous healings may be due to something other than the faith healer.

5. Those who properly exercise the gift will do so to glorify God.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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