-“What does the Bible say about healing?”

Question: "What does the Bible say about healing?" Answer: Isaiah 53:5, which is then quoted again in 1 Peter 2:24, is a key verse on healing that is often misunderstood and misapplied. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). The word translated “healed” can mean either spiritual or physical healing. However, the contexts of Isaiah 53 and 1 Peter 2 make it clear that it is speaking of spiritual healing. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.” The verse is talking about sin and righteousness, not sickness and disease. Therefore, being “healed” is speaking of being forgiven and saved, not physically healed.

The Bible does not specifically link physical healing with spiritual healing. Often times people are physically healed when they place their faith in Christ – but this is not always the case. Sometimes it is God’s will to heal, sometimes it is not. The Apostle John gives us the proper perspective: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). God still performs miracles. God still heals people. Sickness, disease, pain, and death are still realities in this world. Unless the Lord returns in the next 50 years or so, almost everyone who is alive today will die, and the vast majority of them (Christians included) will die as the result of a physical problem (disease, sickness, injury). It is not always God’s will to heal us physically.

Ultimately, our full physical healing awaits us in Heaven. In Heaven, there will be no more pain, sickness, disease, suffering, or death (Revelation chapter 21). We all need to be less preoccupied with our physical condition in this world, and be a little more preoccupied with our spiritual condition (Romans 12:1-2). Then, we can focus our hearts on heaven and when we will no longer have to deal with physical problems, Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

8 Comments on -“What does the Bible say about healing?”

  1. AMEN Stephanie ~ It appears obvious to me that whomever wrote such as statement that healing is not spiritual has not studied the characteristic of Christ. Jesus has given us power and authority on the earth realm to lay our hands on the sick and they SHALL be healed. He also told us that greater works shall we do; that’s enough to blow our little minds right there. We have to walk in the spirit to know the mysteries of the spirit.

    Be blessed!

  2. Thank you, i just wanted to know your beliefs because i have been having prayer meetings and bible study at my house. I’m a senior in high school, and ive always believed as jesus as my savior and confessed it, when asked. But at the begging of this year, god wouldn’t leave me alone, so i made a commitment to jesus for whatever he has instore for me i would do it. But anyways, ive been having debates at school and with my friends about biblical things. They asked me what the point was in laying hands on people, because they’ve known people to not get healed when they have. I tried to explaining it to them and i can’t explain it the way i would like. I’m non denominational, Vineyard churches, so i believe in all the gifts and everything and my parents do to. My dad says he agrees with everything in your email you sent me back. What should i say to the people when they ask me why don’t people who get laid hands on or get prayed for alway’s get healed?this question is for you JunP, thankyou

  3. Hi Nate,

    (1) “Laying on of hands” is a Biblical action, however, there is no Biblical mandate requiring the physical laying on of hands for particular spiritual ministry. Jesus certainly laid His hands on many He healed, however He also healed without laying His hands on people. In fact, there were times when He was nowhere near the vicinity of those He healed. “The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed” (Matthew 8:8).

    Following are two instances to consider where in one case the Holy Spirit bestows the gift of speaking in tongues with the act of an apostle’s laying on of hands and in the other case He does so without the laying on of hands, but simply through the apostle’s preaching:

    “And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied” (Acts 19:3-6).

    “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” (Acts 10:44-47).

    In the following verse, the thought is not so much in cautioning the physical action of laying on of hands as it is to the idea that bestowing the responsibility of spiritual leadership (however it is done) is to be done with care. It is not to be done “suddenly” or without due consideration. “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22).

    Undoubtedly the laying on of hands in the early church was a means of connecting the message with the messenger, or the spiritual gift with the gifted giver. It provided a “sign” authenticating he thru whom the physical manifestation of a spiritual gift was bestowed. Jesus said it would be involved in the gift of healing in the overall signs of believers as they went about ministering the gift of healing. We need to understand very carefully that there are no magical Biblical formulas for the ministry of the Church. Laying on of hands has no power in itself. Laying on of hands is only used by God when it is done in agreement with God’s Word.

    (2) The idea of being “slain in the Spirit” is when a minister lays hands on someone, and that person collapses to the floor, supposedly being overcome in the power of the Spirit. Those who practice “slaying in the Spirit” use Bible passages that talk about people becoming “as dead” (Revelation 1:17) or of falling upon their faces (Ezekiel 1:28; Daniel 8:17-18; Daniel 10:7-9). However, there are a number of contrasts between this biblical “falling on one’s face” and the practice of “being slain in the Spirit.”

    1. The biblical falling down was a result of a person’s reaction to what he saw in a vision or that was beyond ordinary happenings, such as at the transfiguration of Christ (Matthew 17:6). In the unbiblical practice of “being slain,” the person responds to another’s “touch” or to the motion of the speaker’s arm.

    2. The biblical instances were few and far between, such that they occurred only rarely in the lives of but a few. In the “being slain” phenomenon, falling down is a weekly event in their churches and an experience that happens to many.

    3. In the biblical instances, the people fall upon their faces in awe at either what they see or Whom they see. In the “slain in the Spirit” counterfeit, they fall backwards, either in response to the wave of the speaker’s arm or as a result of a church leader’s touch (or push in some cases).

    We are not claiming that all examples of being “slain in the Spirit” are fakes or responses to a touch or push. Many people experience an energy or a force that causes them to fall back. However, we find no Biblical basis for this concept. Yes, there may be some energy or force involved, but if so, it is very likely not of God, and not the result of the working of the Holy Spirit.

    It is unfortunate that people look to such bizarre counterfeits that produce no spiritual fruit, rather than pursuing the practical fruit which the Spirit gives us for the purpose of glorifying Christ with our lives (Galatians 5:22-23). Being filled with the Spirit is not evidenced by such counterfeits, but by a life that overflows with the Word of God such that the Word spills over in spiritual songs and thanksgiving to God. May Ephesians 5:18-20 and Galatians 5:22-23 so picture our lives!

    (3) The first occurrence of speaking in tongues occurred on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4. The apostles went out and shared the Gospel with the crowds, speaking to them in their own languages, “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” (Acts 2:11). The Greek word translated “tongues” literally means “languages.” Therefore, the gift of tongues is speaking in a language a person does not know in order to minister to someone who does speak that language. In 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14, where Paul discusses miraculous gifts, he comments that, “Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?” (1 Corinthians 14:6). According to the Apostle Paul, and in agreement with the tongues described in Acts, speaking in tongues is valuable to the one hearing God’s message in his/her own language, but it is useless to everyone else – unless it is interpreted / translated.

    A person with the gift of interpreting tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30) could understand what a tongues-speaker was saying even though he/she did not know the language that was being spoken. The tongues-interpreter would then communicate the message of the tongues-speaker to everyone else, so all could understand. “For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says” (1 Corinthians 14:13). Paul’s conclusion regarding un-interpreted tongues is powerful, “But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:19).

    Is the gift of tongues for today? 1 Corinthians 13:8 mentions the gift of tongues ceasing, although it connects the ceasing with the arrival of the “perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:10. Some point to a difference in the language in prophecy and knowledge “ceasing” with tongues “being ceased” as evidence for tongues ceasing before the arrival of the “perfect.” While possible, this is not explicitly clear from the text. Some also point to passages such as Isaiah 28:11 and Joel 2:28-29 as evidence that speaking in tongues was a sign of God’s oncoming judgment. 1 Corinthians 14:22 describes tongues as a “sign to unbelievers.” According to this argument, the gift of tongues was a warning to the Jews that God was going to judge Israel for rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah. Therefore, when God did in fact judge Israel (with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70), the gift of tongues would no longer serve its intended purpose. While this view is possible, the primary purpose of tongues being fulfilled does not necessarily demand its cessation. Scripture does not conclusively assert that the gift of speaking in tongues has ceased.

    At the same time, if the gift of speaking in tongues were active in the church today, it would be performed in agreement with Scripture. It would be a real and intelligible language (1 Corinthians 14:10). It would be for the purpose of communicating God’s Word with a person of another language (Acts 2:6-12). It would be in agreement with the command that God gave through the Apostle Paul, “If anyone speaks in a tongue, two — or at the most three — should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God” (1 Corinthians 14:27-28). It would also be in submission to 1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

    God most definitely can give a person the gift of speaking in tongues to enable him/her to communicate with a person who speaks another language. The Holy Spirit is sovereign in the dispersion of the spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11). Just imagine how much more productive missionaries could be if they didn’t have to go to language school, and were instantly able to speak to people in their own language. However, God does not seem to be doing this. Tongues does not seem to occur today in the form it did in the New Testament despite the fact that it would be immensely useful. The vast majority of believers who claim to practice the gift of speaking in tongues do not do so in agreement with the Scriptures mentioned above. These facts lead to the conclusion that the gift of tongues has ceased, or is at least a rarity in God’s plan for the church today.

    (4) The gift of prophet seems to have been a temporary gift given by the Christ for the laying of the foundation of the church. Prophets were foundational to the church (Ephesians 2:20). The prophet proclaimed a message from the Lord to the early believers. Sometimes a prophet’s message was revelatory (new revelation and truth from God) and sometimes a prophet’s message was predictive (see Acts 11:28 and 21:10). The early Christians did not have the complete Bible. Some early Christians did not have access to any of the books of the New Testament. The New Testament prophets “filled the gap” by proclaiming God’s message to the people who would not have access to it otherwise. The last book of the New Testament (Revelation) was not completed until late in the first century. So, the Lord sent prophets to proclaimed God’s Word to His people.

    Are there true prophets today? If the purpose of a prophet was to reveal truth from God, why would we need prophets if we have the completed revelation from God in the Bible? If prophets were the “foundation” of the early church, are we still building the “foundation” today? Can God give someone a message to deliver to someone else? Absolutely! Does God reveal truth to someone in a supernatural way and enable that person to deliver that message to others? Absolutely! But is this the biblical gift of prophecy? No.

    Whatever the case, whenever a person claims to be speaking for God (the essence of prophecy) the key is to compare what is said with what the Bible says. If God were to speak through a person today, it would be in 100% complete agreement with what God has already said in the Bible. God does not contradict Himself. 1 John 4:1 instructs us, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 declares, “Do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.” So, whether is it a “word from the Lord” or a supposed prophecy, our response should be the same. Compare what is said to what the Word of God says. If it contradicts the Bible, throw it out. If it agrees with the Bible, pray for wisdom and discernment as to how to apply the message (2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:5).

  4. I believe the miraculous is possible, and God can do anything. However, we have to be wise and not trust every carnal person out there who wants to get our attention. We need discernment.


  5. Nate Middleton // March 26, 2008 at 9:36 am //

    what is your alls beliefs in laying hands on people. Getting slain in the spirit, talking in tongues, prophecy, interpretation, words of knowledge. What is your alls beliefs?

  6. Stephanie // March 9, 2008 at 10:50 pm //

    I totally disagree with the statement that:

    “Sometimes it is God’s will to heal, sometimes it is not.”

    If you study the character of God you will come to learn that His will for us is perfection… including spiritual and physical health. The Bible speaks of physical healing VERY often throughout it’s context.

    WE, through various ways, interfere with his plan for our own selves through our lack of trust/faith.

    NEVER in the Bible did Jesus say, “No, my child.” When someone asked Him for a healing.

    Don’t EVER decide it’s GOD’s will for you to endure an illness (spiritually or physically). Once you accept that lie–you are causing your own defeat! God’s will for us is to be healed!!

    Seek guidance from your leaders at church. Accept the laying on of hands of those leaders (not just anyone). And if they offer you the originally quoted statement above–seek guidance elsewhere.

    Whose report will you believe? I shall believe in the report of the Lord!!

    Be encouraged! Read your Bible and hang on to every word! God cannot lie! God bless you all!!!

  7. shadduli // March 9, 2008 at 10:17 am //

    Greetings of Peace!

    welcome to new spiritual healing blog,
    Healing the Broken Heart

  8. Amen

    We need to seek first the righteousness of God, then all things that are God’s perfect will for us will be given as we ask.


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