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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Who needs faith for healing?

This coming Sunday, I am going to give a teaching from Acts 3:1-12 - concerning the first recorded healing in the early church.  A lame man that began to walk.
One of the questions I will tackle will be (if I get to it) this:  Who need faith for the healing to take place?
Who is the agent of faith? 
The Scriptures give us separate illustrations of the agent of faith being the sick person - intermediaries and the healer.
Sometime is the faith of the sick person that is connected to the healing.
Two blind men (for example) came up to Jesus for healing.  Jesus said in Matthew 9:27-31, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?  When they said yes, Jesus responded, "According to your faith let it be to you."
And they were both healed.
But that is not always the case.  I have been in situations where I didn't have enough faith to pray in faith - in fact I didn't have enough spiritual energy to even pray.
What is needed?  Someone to pray for us, someone with faith - an intermediary.
In Matthew 8, we read the story of the centurion's servant who was healed of paralysis without even knowing Jesus was healing him.  In this case an intermediary, the centurion, had the faith.  Jesus said, "I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel (Matthew 8:10)!"
The Bible says, right before Jesus said that that Jesus was astonished at this man's faith.  He was blown away in other words.
But finally (and there are more) is the faith of the healer themselves - as we will see Sunday.
Peter and John approach the lame man at the temple gate and this man didn't expect to be healed - nor were there any intermediaries.
Being healed wasn't even on this lame man's radar.
But Peter was the agent of faith in this case when he said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you:  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."  Acts 3:6
Here's the point:  In different cases God will use different agents of faith (and different methods).
One of the most common (and destructive) errors made in praying for healing is to say to a sick person who is not healed through prayer, "If you only had enough faith, you would get well."
That is not only unbiblical but cruel and inhumane because it adds on unnecessary pain and suffering to the sick person.
Just some thoughts for a Thursday.

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