What is divine healing?
Question: "What is divine healing?"
Answer: Divine healing involves a supernatural act which resolves a physical, emotional or spiritual problem. In a Christian context, the supernatural element is God, many times through the agency of the Holy Spirit.
Non-Christian Views on Divine Healing
Most of the major world religions believe in some sort of supernatural healing. Islam uses Ruqya (incantations) to cure disease by countering black magic and casting out Jinn. Tibetan Buddhists employ Gso-wa Rig-pa, which includes elements of medicine, mantra and meditation. Those who hold to modern pantheism, such as New Age philosophy or cosmic humanism, use a wide variety of techniques from ancient religions and the occult.
The constant among all of these views of divine healing is the necessity of ritual. Healing, in the non-Christian religion’s view, requires a physical ritual to coerce a deity into action or to manipulate an impersonal healing force.
New Testament Divine Healing
Approximately one fifth of the Gospel narrative is devoted to Jesus’ healing ministry. At the start of His ministry, Jesus “went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people” (Matthew 4:23).
Later, when Jesus sent His twelve disciples out to preach the gospel, He gave them authority to heal the sick (Luke 9:1-2). After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, the apostles continued healing many (Acts 5:12-16). Acts records a number of healings by Peter, John, and Paul (19:12; 28:8-9).
Christian Divine Healing Today
Concerning divine healing today, there are a couple different schools of thought. Some Christians believe the gift of healing (1 Corinthians 12:9) ceased along with the sign gift of tongues. This position is called cessationism. Other Christians believe all of the sign gifts are still in use today.
While we take the cessationist view, we do believe that God is still “the LORD who heals” (Exodus 15:26). He has not lost His ability to heal, and His love for His people has not diminished. Divine healing may come through traditional medicine or through direct intervention by God in response to prayer. Or, if God wills, wholeness may not come until the ultimate healing in heaven. God is the Great Physician, and all healing, physical, emotional, and spiritual, belongs to Him.
Recommended Resource: Healing in the Bible: Theological Insight for Christian Ministry by Frederick J. Gaiser
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