What is the spiritual gift of healing?Question: "What is the spiritual gift of healing?"
Answer: The spiritual gift of healing is the supernatural manifestation of the Spirit of God that miraculously brings healing and deliverance from disease and/or infirmity. It is the power of God that destroys the work of sin and/or the devil in the human body, such as the healings that Jesus and the disciples performed (Matthew 4:24; 15:30; Acts 5:15-16; 28:8-9). The gift of healing given to the church is primarily noted in 1 Corinthians 12, where the spiritual gifts are listed.
Spiritual gifts are powers, skills, abilities, or knowledge given by God through the Holy Spirit to Christians. Paul tells the church that the purpose of the spiritual gifts is to edify other believers and, ultimately, to glorify God. God gives these gifts for His use, but in the Corinthian church, they were apparently a type of status symbol or being used to indicate superiority. Interestingly, 1 Corinthians 12:9 refers to “gifts” of healing in the plural, which may indicate that there are different gifts of healing. The gifts of healing could mean a very wide range of skills or abilities. This could be from the power to do miraculous or dramatic healing, like making the lame walk, or the use or understanding of medicine. It could even be the ability to empathize and show love to others to the point of healing an emotional wound.
There has been much debate about the usage of the spiritual gift of healing among Christians. Some believe the gift of healing and some other sign gifts are no longer operative today, while others believe the miraculous gifts are still in use today. Of course, the power to heal was never in the gifted person himself/herself. The power to heal is from God and God alone. Although God does still heal today, we believe His healing through the gift of healing belonged primarily to the apostles of the first-century church to affirm that their message was from God (Acts 2:22; 14:3).
God still performs miracles. God still heals people. There is nothing preventing God from healing one person through the ministry of another person. However, the miraculous gift of healing, as a spiritual gift, does not seem to be functioning today. God can certainly intervene in whatever manner He sees fit, whether in “normal” fashion or through a miracle. Our salvation itself is miracle. We were dead in sin, but God entered our lives and made us new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). That is the greatest healing of all.
Recommended Resource: Are Miraculous Gifts for Today - Four Views edited by Wayne Grudem
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