Faith Healing and Medicine: Biblical Perspectives
Dr. Valson Abraham
The Great Commission is fulfilled only when we witness to a loving and gracious God who is sovereign in all things.
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,” we read in Psalm 24. This galls Satan and his human allies. They want to banish God from His creation and destroy His glory. This is why Satan works overtime trying to make God appear separate from His creation or less than His creation. Who wants to commit one’s whole life and destiny to a God who appears weak and small?
Today, for example, Satan and his human allies often try to pit Christian faith and science against one another. Sometimes they try to set up a false conflict between faith healing and medical science, as if there is a conflict between the spiritual/religious world and the natural world.
But there is no conflict because “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” That includes scientific and medical knowledge and practice. All things belong to God.
Too many times, however, Christians have fallen into Satan’s trap. Too many Christians have regarded science as somehow suspect and even ungodly. When Christians fall into this trap, they unknowingly dishonor God, separating Him from His own creation. Perhaps they do not know that strong Christians—not other religious or secular groups—formed the scientific method we use today because they saw order in God’s character and in His universe.
Certain groups that call themselves “Christian” have refused to take their children to the doctor, pitting faith healing against medical practice. When their children have died, non-Christians seize upon the tragedy to claim this is the way all Christians think, that miracles are just wishful thinking after all. None of this honors God or furthers His kingdom.
The truth is, both miraculous and medical healing are gifts from God. Medicine is drawn from an application of laws discovered in the natural world created by God.
We must not forget that one of the gospels was written by Luke, a physician, who tended Paul’s physical needs even as God used Paul to heal others. Nor must we forget that Jesus Himself did not heal everyone with whom He came into contact, but He always did everything to build His church and prepare the way for a New Heaven and New Earth.
Jesus the healer died on a cross for that to happen.
These things are not easy to understand. God’s ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. Sometimes, God chooses to heal by a miracle, other times by medicine. Other times, God chooses not to heal. Whether He heals or not, He is able to use even our suffering to bring glory to Himself and work good in and through us and in lives of others. Not even our suffering and death separate us from God’s love.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we need to remember that physical and mental illness and death were never in the original plan of God. These things came about because human beings created in the image of God failed to trust Him. They decided to follow their own way rather than their Creator who made them to become the highest of His created beings.
Instead, they rebelled against God’s created order, pitting themselves against the spiritual and natural order, against one another and even against their own bodies. That is the origin of all evil, including illness and death.
But God has never given up His original plan for us. Through Jesus Christ, He has come to set things right once again, so that we will live at peace with Him, with one another and with ourselves. It is His plan to banish the works of Satan, to end the curse, to create a New Heaven and New Earth free of sin, illness and death-holy and righteous once again.
God is reconciling the world to Himself. This includes the world of nature, science and medicine. In the New Heaven and New Earth there will be no need for doctors or medicine, but this final reconciliation will take place only when the Great Commission is fulfilled-a Great Commission that proclaims a gracious and loving God who is
Let us make sure we represent Him in His fullness before an unbelieving world, that some of them will be saved.
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Father God, you are the maker of all things, including my mind and body and spirit. I have sinned, along with my fathers, and I suffer the physical and mental results of sin. I thank you that through Jesus Christ, you have saved me, and that you are using all things—both suffering and healing, medicine and miracles—to reconcile me and the world to yourself. Help me to live in the reality of these profound truths. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.