Divine healing is a controversial subject these days. Even among those who believe that God heals, there seems to be a discouragement surrounding it. I think we need to see what church life was like under the original apostles.
Based upon my studies, I believe that the book of James was the first of the New Testament to be written. James was the Senior Pastor of the church of Jerusalem. His book deals with the basics of living for Christ.
I’ve found that the book of James is a Holy Spirit inspired training manual for new believers. In it, James deals with many foundational issues. Toward the end he deals with divine healing. He uses very strong language to get his point across.
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
It seems to me that there are not many who teach healing out of this passage anymore. It’s far too radical for modern Christianity – even among “Faith Churches”. James is very bold in his declaration of the place of healing in the church.
He asks, “Is any one of you sick?” This is not reserved for only the strong in faith. This is not limited to those who have been “confessing their healing” for months. This is clearly written to anyone who’s sick.
He leaves no wiggle room for doubt in God’s purpose. There’s no mention of God wanting to heal some and leaving others sick in order to teach them something.
He states this in no uncertain terms. Not “maybe”, “sometimes”, or “in most cases”. He says, “The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well.” He even repeats himself for emphasis, “The Lord will raise him up.”
More than that, he goes on to use the exact same wording for the forgiveness of sin. Would anyone ever doubt the forgiveness of the Lord? Would you ever add, “if it’s God’s will,” to a prayer for forgiveness?
You would never entertain the thought that if someone confessed their sin to God, they may or might not be forgiven, depending on God’s will for their life. Yet, in context, healing is portrayed with the same level of certainty.
As a matter of fact, James is so emphatic in the Greek, that I would be afraid to ask him about it if I had the chance. I could only imagine how that meeting would go. I can see myself sitting in his office asking him, “What should I do if I pray over someone for healing and they’re not healed?”
I am concerned that he would look me straight in the eye, and with a serious tone, say to me, “Then you need to get saved.”
Question: Do you have any experience with divine healing? Should it be more evident in the church?
© 2016 Nicolas Zaccardi