I am presenting a collection of sermons and series focused on Rediscovering God as a healer of our bodies.
These sermons have two goals:
- My first goal is for you to see God as someone who heals readily and not reluctantly.
- My second goal is for you to receive healing from God readily and not reluctantly.
Historical Context and Review
Genesis 15:6 (ESV): 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.)
Galatians 3:9 (ESV): 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
(Galatians 3:9 (ESV): 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.)
- Jesus fulfills everything in the Mosaic Covenant,
- The Mosaic Covenant was
- partial (only benefited Israel)
- temporary (stop-gap measure until Jesus)
- conditional (certain terms had to be met to receive the benefit)
- based on works (the terms that had to be met were our works)
- Jesus extends to us the blessings of Abraham’s Covenant, which is
- based on faith
New Features of Jesus’ Healing Ministry
Feature # 1: The Healings of Jesus are not based on Merit
- Divine healing in Christ is a matter of faith, not works.
- We receive through faith what God has provided by grace.
Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV): For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
We receive freedom from sickness in the same way we receive freedom from sickness.
- Validated in the Old Testament: Psalm 103:1-6 (ESV) – 1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
- Validated in the New Testament: Luke 5:20–25 (ESV): 20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God.
Feature # 2: The Healings of Jesus Are an Explicit Form of Spiritual Warfare
Once Jesus begins His ministry, He immediately exposes the devil and aggressively attacks his works.
- 1 John 3:8 (ESV): 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
- Sickness and disease are works of the devil.
- Acts 10:38 (ESV): 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
The Scripture teaches us to respond to the devil the way Jesus did.
We are taught to resist the devil indirectly by Christ’s example and directly by apostolic command.
Jesus models resistance to sickness and disease not in action, but by priority:
- Matthew 4:23 (ESV): 23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
- John 10:10 (ESV): 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Jesus Commands Through His Apostles
James 4:7 (ESV): 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
1 Peter 5:8–9 (ESV): 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
Ephesians 4:27 (ESV): 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.
Ephesians 6:11–13 (ESV): 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
How Do You Resist the Devil?
We resist the devil with our words.
- By quoting Scripture and by saying “No”.
- Quoting Scripture: Matthew 4:2–4 (ESV): 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
- Saying “No”:
- Luke 4:38–39 (ESV): 38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.
- Matthew 16:23 (ESV): 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
There are many ways to tell the devil “No”.
Pick one and be specific about what you are residing.
© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2023