Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Goodness of God: correction and instruction

 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Titus 2:11-13 NKJV

 In our last post, we looked at the chastening of the Lord. We saw that God isn't using trauma, terror, tragedy, or turmoil to chasten or instruct and correct His children. That God is a Good Father who would never harm or hurt His own. It is absolutely vital to know and understand who God is and what He is like.

 Understanding who God is, what His character is, and how He treats us is a vital truth. At the same time, seeing passages that reveal that God corrects leads us to a question. A rather valid question I might add. 

 Does the concept that God corrects His people, run contrary to Grace? Is it counter to Righteousness and the Gospel that God instructs and leads us into truth and away from the wrong, the error, the false? Does it bring to mind the question that God who said He wouldn't remember our sins, has to remember our sins if He is correcting and instructing us?

These are important questions that need to be answered. The first thing we must establish is our Righteousness in Christ and the truth that Jesus has completely paid for our sins and failures. Because Jesus paid for our sins we never have to.

 Jesus completely paid the price at the Cross. His once for all time sacrifice met and fulfilled all the claims of divine justice. Jesus shed blood, death and burial was a more than enough payment. Even though we still miss it, blow it, just plain sin, we are not required to make up for it. We aren't required to make additional payments on account of our sins and failures. Jesus' blood was more than enough.

 Because of Jesus' Finished Work, God is satisfied. There is no longer any demand for additional payments. There is no demand for further punishment for sins, iniquities, and transgressions. See how Isaiah reveals this powerful and complete sacrifice and once for all payment for sins

God is not punishing us when we sin. He punished sins in the body of Jesus on the Cross. The amazing blessedness of God's great gift of Righteousness is that God no longer imputes our sins to our account. He remembers our sins no more. He has forgiven us once for all time. This is the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus.

 What we must renew our minds to is that correction and instruction are not punishment. Now if you sin, there can be natural consequences. This doesn't mean God brought those upon you. Your own choices and actions did that. Also, understand God isn't punishing you or angry at you.

 Understanding correction and instruction aren't punishment, we must grow to understand that because God loves us He corrects us. If He corrects us doesn't that mean He is remembering our sins? No that doesn't mean that.

 What we must understand is that spiritual growth and development and maturity have no bearing on our salvation. What I mean is this. Salvation, redemption, being made Righteous, freely forgiven once for all time are what Christ gave us the moment we believed. Salvation and redemption have nothing to do with spiritual growth. Spiritual growth and maturity are not automatic.

 We have believers who have been saved for decades, and they still hold onto grudges, harbor resentment, gossip, look down on others, and are not joyful. Does this mean they aren't really saved? Of course not. Fruit is developed, fruit is grown. If you plant a fruit tree, but never tend to it, never give it water and such it won't produce. It doesn't change the fact that it is still a fruit tree.

 Because of Jesus God isn't imputing sin to our account. That is, God isn't holding our faults over our heads, demanding we do better, withholding His goodness and love and blessing until we do. The blessings, answered prayer, favor, and goodness are already ours because of Jesus. He blesses us because He is Good not because we are.

 Therefore our sins and shortcomings are not remembered. We aren't out of fellowship, out of intimacy with God because we fail. That said because of God's great love for us He wants us to grow up. God sees us. He sees our motives and actions and words. 

 God sees us, He first sees us Righteous, and rejoices because we carry the fragrance of Jesus. As our Father, He sees us when we aren't our best. Because He wants our best, He comes to us in love and brings correction.

 Our two text reveals how He corrects. He corrects us with the Word. He corrects us with His Grace. His great Grace upon us shows us a better way. Correction is a good thing because it helps us grow up, helps mature us, and leads us to be a bigger blessing to ourselves and others. 

 Correction and instruction are never contrary to Grace. His Grace teaches us and instructs us. Not man-made tradition, but His Grace leads us into all truth. Is this progressive sanctification? No! We were already sanctified when we believed. This is progressive maturity. God's Word and Grace, correct, lead, guide, and instructs us, and we progressively mature outwardly into what Christ already made us inwardly. 

 In summation, a Good God, a loving Father instructs and corrects us because He loves us. He doesn't punish us. He doesn't use evil to teach or train us. His Word and His Grace bring instruction and correction when needed. None of this is condemnation or the idea that the Spirit "convicts" us. Conviction is what the Spirit does for the World because they have rejected Jesus. 

 The Spirit reminds us of our Righteousness. God reminds us of our identity. God shows us who we are and whose we are. The Word shows us the better way. Grace received empowers us to grow up in Him. As children of God, the Spirit leads us into all truth and guides us into the way we should go in our day-to-day life. God loves us unconditionally and eternally. He desires we grow in Grace and in the knowledge of Jesus. 



Image by bpcraddock from Pixabay 

Monday, September 6, 2021

What is the Chastening of the Lord?

 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. Luke 9:56 MEV

 God is a Good Father. This is a truth I never get weary from proclaiming. It's the very foundation of our Faith. It's the motivation of why God sent the Lord Jesus Christ to be the substitutionary sacrifice for all our sins and afflictions, sickness and disease, and spiritual death. While most Christians fully acknowledge God is Good, there is one area that seems to cause many to stumble. 

 The idea that God chastens His children has been a source of confusion for so many. That is, they believe God is Good but if you foul up, fail, falter or fall into sin your proverbial goose is cooked. God is really angry and disappointed in your failure to measure up, and He will punish you greatly for it.

 First, let's see what the New Covenant states about this subject.

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LordNor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” Hebrews 12:5b-6 NKJV

 This passage establishes that God does in fact chasten His children. That is never been questioned or contested. What I do contest and disagree with is the idea of how He chastens us. Specifically, what does chastening actually mean? 

 Examine this passage in light of the New Covenant. In light of Jesus' revealed will and character. In the light of God's all the time goodness. What words pop out of this passage? 

 Do not despise or be discouraged when you are being chastened. God chastens those whom He loves. Did you catch that? Those whom He loves!

 The fact that the Word declared God chastens those whom He loves should give us better insight as to what chastening means. The fact that in the same passage as the word chastening appears so does the words for whom God loves, should bring clarity as to what chastening means and what it can't mean.

 The word chasten simply means instruction and nurturing. It carries the implication of correction. Correction is a good thing, not a bad thing. If I get the answer wrong, I want to know the right answer so I can grow and be better equipped. 

 I dare say we've all known parents who never corrected their children, always gave in to their demands, and never disciplined them when they did wrong. What kind of behavior did these children exhibit as a result? Rebellious, selfish, and sadly sometimes destructive.

 What God wants His people to know is, who He really is. He is a Good Father. He is not the harsh taskmaster who is ready to send destruction your way the moment you mess up. He is not the impatient king who is burdensome with His demands and will quickly strike you with affliction when you miss the mark in meeting all the harsh requirements. He is a loving Father who cares for His own.

 If chastening simply means instruction and nurturing and carries the connotation of correction, how then does He instruct, or correct? God does not instruct us by killing our loved one. He doesn't correct us by afflicting us with painful sickness or disease. God's nurturing or the development of His children's growth, doesn't mean He bankrupts our business, causes our car to be wrecked, or takes away our possessions. A Good Father would never do these things, and God is always Good.

 God loves us unconditionally. His arms are never folded in disapproval or disappointment over our failures or foul-ups. He isn't pointing His finger at us in disgust when we blow it, falling into sin and wrongdoing. Understand, God is Good and just, He isn't pleased with the sin or wrong, but He is still pleased with us because we are His beloved children made Righteous by the Blood. He still rejoices over us, the redeemed, because He loves us and will never turn His back on us or cast us out. He is a loving Father.

 Knowing that God isn't pleased with the sin, the poor choice, the wrong thinking, the wrong believing, the wrong speaking, leads us to the why He corrects. He corrects us because He loves us. He corrects us because these actions, deeds, thoughts, words, and beliefs are detrimental to our growth. They hurt others and even ourselves. They are also contrary to our new nature. They are counter to who Christ already made us in the Finished Work. 

 Knowing why He corrects, because He loves us and wants us to grow up in Him, we must answer how He corrects. Let's see what His Word declares.

Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? Hebrews 12:9 NKJV

 This passage gives the key to "the how" He corrects. The confusion about chastening would fade away if we just read and understood this passage. Hebrews reveals we had human fathers who corrected us. How? in the flesh, that is by natural means. The Word goes on to describe God as the Father of spirits. So how does He correct? In the spirit. By spiritual means not natural. That removes the idea of catastrophes, cataclysmic destruction, and calamities being the method of His correction. 

 His correction method is completed in the spiritual realm. 

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV

 How does He correct? He uses His Word. The Corinthian church had many issues in their midst. How did the Spirit through Paul correct? Did God through Paul say;

"you better straighten up or you're gonna get it?" 
"I have had just about enough of this behavior!"
"God is so fed up, disgusted, and done with you!"

No, God spoke to them about their identity. God used a letter, His Word through Paul to bring the correction. God didn't send a mega-tsunami to wipe them out. He didn't send an earthquake to get them.

 How does God correct us? How does He bring about growth? How does He train us up? God uses His Word to bring us to maturity. He reminds us of whose we are, who we belong to. He reminds us of who we are in Him, He reminds us of our identity. He reminds us that we are the Righteousness of God in Him. He makes us aware again that we are the redeemed and these thoughts, words or actions are not who we are. He reveals His steadfast, and unconditional Love for us in greater and greater measure.

 In summation, we have a Good Father who always wants our best. We have a Good Father who longs for His people to know who He is. That He is always Good. That He loves us unconditionally and for all time and eternity. 

 He is so Good and loving that He takes the time to help us grow, mature, and walk out who He has already made us inwardly through the Finished Work. Chastening is a good thing, it is not the traditional religious idea of God's punishment. God punished Jesus for our sins, He isn't ever going to punish the believer's sin because the price has already been paid. We have a Good Father, amen. 


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Healed of Covid-19

 Dear Friend, I pray that in every way you may prosper and be in good health,  just as your soul is prospering. 3 John 2 Mounce Reverse Interlinear New Testament 

 He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness. “By His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 MEV

 God is a Good Father. I have been consistent and steadfast and faithful to continually proclaim that God is always Good. That He is the healer. That He is never the author of evil, of sickness and disease, or any form of tragedy or destruction. What do you do though, when tough times come? 

 What about after you agree that God is always Good and He is the healer and suddenly your own body is attacked with a major sickness? What do you do in the midst of this difficult time? Do you change your theology or thinking? Or do you hold fast to your profession of Faith that God is always Good? I had the opportunity to discover just what I would do in this same situation.

 After sharing a series examining the theology of sickness and disease I went on a vacation. While on vacation, I began experiencing a myriad of symptoms. Fever and some slight congestion. Yet I never lost taste or smell. I said to myself no way is this the coronavirus I don't have all the symptoms. However, when I returned home the symptoms continued and grew more intense. So I decided to go to my physician.

 She examined me, told me I need to get tested. Once tested the results confirmed the covid-19 virus had struck my body. The coronavirus gave me pneumonia, fever, and general fatigue. I was basically bedridden for about four or five days, and I had no appetite. This was the problem, now what was the solution? What do I do in the midst of an obvious attack from the enemy and the results of a fallen world?

 I would like to show you what I did in the midst of this trial. Why? so as to perhaps help you whenever tough times come your way. Let's begin looking at the steps I took to overcome.

Reject condemnation

 The first thing I did was to reject the condemnation of the enemy. When tough times come, the enemy loves to bring accusations that all your sins are the cause of it. Reject his lies. Remember, we are in the New Covenant. Jesus has completely forgiven us of all our sins, past and present and future. He has made us who believe the Righteousness of God in Christ. Don't accept the enemy's condemnation. 

 Even if your sins caused the problem, that's still none of the devil's business. God has already forgiven you. You are Righteous. God gave us Jesus' Righteousness, therefore we are just as Righteous as God. Standfast in your Righteousness.

Join the natural and supernatural

 Of course, I believe in divine health and healing. Of course, I believe Jesus bore all my sickness and disease at the Cross. Of course, I believe I am already healed because of Jesus' finished work of redemption. That said, there is nothing contrary to this by following natural and practical wisdom. Yes, I did stay in bed. Yes, I did get plenty of rest. Yes, even though I couldn't really eat, I did ensure I took in an abundance of fluids. Especially water. 

 Let me also say, I did take medication as well. I took the medication in Faith that it would do what it was supposed to do with no negative side effects. Faith and medicine are not at odds. I followed the doctor's orders. Yet in all this, my trust wasn't so much in medicine but in Christ. Take the prescribed medication. Follow the doctor's advice but keep your full trust in God.

Faith's Confession works

In the midst of this terrible sickness, I didn't spend much time awake. My body was fighting this viral infection. My body was resting and sleeping a lot. So I couldn't spend hours listening to the Word or reading the Word. However, when I was awake, my words were in continued agreement with God. I spoke His healing promises, I spoke to my body, I spoke against the virus, cursing it at its root. 

 Words are powerful. Words are containers. They contain either life and health or death and destruction. 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 MEV

 Words are powerful. I kept agreeing with the Finished Work. I kept agreeing with Jesus' work of redemption. I never used my words to blame God for this illness. I never said He allowed it. I never said He sent it. I never said He is testing me or punishing me. I only agreed with God's all the time Goodness, His Love for me, and Jesus' healing power. 

God's Word is truth

  Though I could not spend as much time as I could in the Word, doesn't mean I never looked at the Word. Even if it was only three minutes I knew feeding on God's Word is essential in feeding my spirit. 

The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity Proverbs 18:14a MEV

 It is vital to feed your spirit as much as possible. Even though it was a very short time there was a verse I repeatedly stood on throughout this ordeal. 

The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You restore him to health. Psalm 41:3 NASB

 This passage brought hope and peace and enabled me to stand in Faith against this attack. The Word is also a comfort. It reveals the Loving heart of Father God. 

The Prayer of Faith

The Prayer of Faith is powerful and effective. Yes, I prayed in Faith for my healing. Yes, I stood on the Word. Yes, I fed my spirit man the Word. Yes, I confessed or agreed with God. I also knew the power of this prayer. So I went to a video of my Pastor, Pastor Joseph Prince ministering healing. I couldn't watch all of it, but I could forward it to the portion where he prayed this Prayer of Faith over sick people. I received his prayer and agreed with it. I was acting on His Word, agreeing with Him and trusting in Him, and using wisdom by following doctor's orders. 

Healing manifested

 On a Monday, I went back to the doctor. My symptoms at the time seemed alarming. My lungs were dealing with pneumonia, and all the symptoms that come with it. She was concerned that I might need to be admitted to the hospital to get on oxygen. This is not something I wanted. I kept speaking against these symptoms as much as I could. I kept standing, I kept believing. She said she wanted me to come back on Wednesday morning to see how my lungs were doing, she gave me an inhaler in the meantime. Again, I was standing and believing and confessing.

 On Wednesday I awoke out of bed around 10 AM. I took a shower. While doing this I sensed power from on High. I sensed strongly the Word of the Lord speak over my situation. I heard Him say "that's enough!" I heard Him proclaim inwardly that after this day this virus was no more. I felt strength inwardly. There was no more fever. Then I went to the doctor.

 When I got there my temp was normal. The doctor saw me and she was so elated. She said I looked so much better. She could tell an extreme difference from Monday to Wednesday. My lungs were clearer and I didn't need oxygen. I didn't have to go to the hospital. Praise God for His healing love and power.

 Over the next few days, using wisdom I stayed home and rested and allowed my body to fully recover and walk in the healing He provided. To this day, my body is getting stronger and stronger. I am a testimony of His all the time Goodness.

 In summation, God IS always Good. My confession never changed or altered. My theology has remained the same. God is always Good. He is always willing to heal. He is the healer and never the One who brings evil or sickness or disease. You can fully trust in Him. He is always Good! 


Image by Frank Becker from Pixabay 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Goodness of God

 

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. Psalm 145:8-9 KJV

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38 NKJV

 The Lord is Good and His mercies endure forever. The most basic truth all believers need to be firmly established in is the truth that God is a Good God. God's Goodness is one truth we should never shrink back from, compromise on, nor dilute or water down to fit anyone's personal experience. 

 In fact, the very foundation and basis for our Faith is the Goodness of God. Think of it, how can one trust in or cling to, or hold fast to the words of one who is untrustworthy and their character leaves little to be desired? We agree with God, trusting Him because He is Good, and He is Good all the time.

 How do we know God is a Good God? We have the testimony of His Word which declares He is Good and only does Good. We have the witness of His Son who is the express image of His Father. Jesus went about doing Good and healing all who came to Him. Jesus never brought death or disease. On the contrary, Jesus removed disease and brought life and peace wherever He went. Finally, we have the confirmation by His Spirit within. His Spirit within testifies of His all the time Goodness, and reminds us of His great love for us and confirms our new identity in Christ as the beloved sons and daughters of God.

 Let's look at a beautiful passage that testifies of His all the time Goodness.

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV

 What a powerful passage from God's Word. This simple but profound passage is full of truth and the proof of God's all the time Goodness. Let's briefly examine it.

 The first thing we can see is that there are great benefits that come with a relationship with the Lord. It is rewarding to serve God. When we begin a new job often we look to the benefits package offered. God has a great benefits package.

 Secondly, we can see His goodness in the fact that He forgives all of our sins and iniquities. He doesn't just forgive some of them but all of them. The New Covenant is clear, Jesus has forgiven us past and present and future. That is good news.

 Let me briefly address something concerning forgiveness. What makes forgiveness of sins something we rejoice about? The reason we rejoice that our sins are no longer counted against us the moment we believe is that we know there is a Heaven to gain and a literal eternal hell to shun.

 Now Hell is not made for man but for the devil and his angels. However if one continues on in rebellion, rejecting God's free gift of Grace they will die in their sins and spend eternity in conscience eternal separation from God. I know this isn't a popular truth, but the Gospel isn't about winning popularity contests but proclaiming the truth.

 Now the deconstruction movement wishes to eliminate hell and anything that seems uncomfortable to the flesh and modern thinking. I truly believe the motive for deconstructing is twofold. First, I believe the natural mind doesn't like being the one scorned or looked down upon by the "crowd." People want to be accepted and to "fit in."

Secondly, I believe the motive has to do with the bitterness some have at the Church and any negative experiences they had while growing up. So no matter the motive, deconstruction simply looks to remove the parts of the Bible they don't like and replace them with the things they do, and in the process, they fashion a god of their own making that is socially acceptable and molds itself in the thinking of modern culture. 

 If you want to stay with the truth of Scripture, you don't dismiss parts you don't like but embrace all of who God says He is. You also trust even in judgment, that God is faithful and just and always Good. He will do what is right even when our natural minds can't always understand it.

 Thirdly, we see God declares He is our healer. This proves that He isn't the author of sickness and disease. He is the healer, not the afflicter. He is not ordaining or causing sickness. He is our healer, this proves how Good He is.

 Fourthly, we see He is the one who redeems from destruction. If He redeems from destruction that means He isn't the author of tragedy, torment, or tribulation. God isn't creating storms or sending tsunamis.  We have all those things because this is a fallen world. When Jesus returns we won't be seeing tornadoes or typhoons.

 Fifthly, we see He crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies. God delegated us with authority in this life. We have authority over the evil one. God in His Goodness didn't us powerless against the forces of darkness. He surrounds us with love and mercies and protects us from the work of the enemy.

 Lastly, He satisfies our mouth with good and renews our youth. God is the author of life. He grants us long life on this earth. He isn't ending our life but extending it through His mercy and kindness.

 In summation, we have undeniable proof that God is a Good God. God loves us eternally and unconditionally. He has forgiven us and purchased our healing. He is our redeemer and protector. Because our Father is always Good we can fully trust Him with our whole hearts and lives. God is a Good God. 

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay 

Monday, August 2, 2021

The theology of sickness and disease: Is it God's will for everybody to be healed?

 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38 MEV

Dear Friend, I pray that in every way you may prosper and be in good health,  just as your soul is prospering. 3 John 2 Mounce Reverse Interlinear New Testament 

 The truth of how good and loving our Father in Heaven is is not something we should ever compromise or shrink back from. We must boldly proclaim to a lost and hurting world that God is Love. That He is for them and never against them. That He loves everyone with an unmatchless love. 

 Certainly, God is not always pleased with the thoughts, words, and actions of the world. However, His great love perceived and received in its fullness will bring wholeness and new life to whosoever will partake of it. This is why it's imperative we share this love. 

 One way to reveal His love is to proclaim His all the time goodness. We must show this lost world that God is a Good God. When the Church preaches the concept that God is angry, vengeful, full of wrath, and is the bringer of destruction and the author of sickness and infirmity we are causing the lost to flee from God not run to Him.

 When we expose the truth of the Word to the religious misconceptions that God gets glory from people being sick, that He punishes or instructs and trains through disease, or that He makes people sick for some mysterious purpose strongholds are broken. People's minds are set free. They can then see God with clarity and receive His love and goodness in its fullness.

 Upon the exposure of the Word, religious concepts of God fade away in our thinking. His goodness received replaces religious traditional thinking. With His goodness revealed, received, and embraced we can now ask and answer the question that many have, is it always God's will to heal? Or rather the question is more personal, is it God's will to heal me?

 How do we discern or determine God's will? Is it by our reasonings? Is it by our intellect? God's will isn't understood by looking to emotions, experiences, or intellectual rationale and reasonings. His will is understood and determined by His Word and the person of Jesus, the Son, the Word made flesh.

 Jesus is the will of God in action, in manifestation. Traditional religion attempts to gain understanding by the means they are most comfortable with, intellectual rationale, and not with the Spirit. For instance, they only see Jesus healing and working miracles because He wanted to simply confirm that He was the promised Messiah and not because He was God in the flesh revealing a loving Father who is merciful and full of goodness.

 Jesus brought about miracles of provisions, cast out devils, raised the dead, and healed multitudes because He was doing the will of His faithful, loving, and Good Father. Jesus healed and alleviated suffering because of the compassionate love He had for all those He encountered. He healed, not to confirm His identity as the Son of God, the promised Messiah, though He was, but because He was moved with compassion and mercy. 

 So is it God's will to heal you? Let me answer it this way, is God any less compassionate today than He was then? Is He any less merciful today? Is God not as good today as He was when Jesus was on Earth? Is He somehow less willing to heal and make whole today? When did God change? 

 40 On one occasion, a leper came and threw himself down in front of Jesus, pleading for his healing, saying, “You have the power to heal me right now if only you really want to!” 41 Being deeply moved with tender compassion, Jesus reached out and touched the skin of the leper and told him, “Of course I want you to be healed—so now, be cleansed!” 42 Instantly his leprous sores completely disappeared and his skin became smooth!   Mark 1:40-42 TPT

 This is Jesus' attitude about healing. Jesus is revealing He is willing. God is no respecter of persons. If He is willing to heal this man, He is also willing that you receive your healing always and forever.

 Throughout the Gospels, we can clearly see Jesus' attitude about healing and sickness. Look at this account of the healing of the centurion's servant here. Did you see Jesus' attitude about sickness and healing?

 The first words out of Jesus' mouth when he heard there was a man sick, were "I will come and heal him." Jesus revealed this was something He wanted to do. This was something He took delight in. Your healing is what brings Jesus joy, not you being vexed or grievously tormented by sickness and disease. 

 God's good pleasure is to see you healed and whole. God wants you healthy, full of life, vigor, and strength. God's plan of redemption included the healing of your body. Jesus bought and paid for your health and healing in the Finished Work.

 How can I be so confident that healing is God's will for everybody? First, because of the Goodness of God revealed in His Word. Secondly, because of the compassion of Jesus seen in Him ministering healing, provision, and wholeness to the multitudes. Lastly because of the perfect work of redemption where Jesus bore all mankind's sin, spiritual death, sickness, disease, and poverty and declared it is Finished!

 God is a Good God. His great goodness and love are manifest in the healing of the sick and afflicted. This was the motive of Jesus on earth to heal. 

 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14 NKJV

 This is the revealed will of God. God wants you well. Put your Faith in His Faith and Finished Work and receive your healing and wholeness. It doesn't matter how the sickness got there. It doesn't matter how long it's been there. It only matters that Jesus purchased your healing. When you accepted Christ, you partook of all His redemption. You're already the healed in Him. Just receive the manifestation.

 In summation, is it God's will to heal? Without question, it is always His will to heal. Just like it's God's will for everyone to be saved, it is God's will for everyone to be healed, and it's God's will for everyone to be blessed in Christ! We have the witness of the Word, the witness of God's goodness, the witness of Jesus' compassion on earth, and we have the witness of the Finished Work. It is God's will for everyone to be healed. 
 

Image by Thanks for your Like • donations welcome from Pixabay

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Theology of sickness and disease: Paul's thorn, are sickness and disease God's method of instruction for the believer?

 

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38 MEV

Dear Friend, I pray that in every way you may prosper and be in good health,  just as your soul is prospering. 3 John 2 Mounce Reverse Interlinear New Testament 

God is a Good Father, He's a good Daddy. He is so loving and compassionate. He is merciful and His kindness exceeds all expectations and surpasses all of our understanding. He is so gracious especially when we don't deserve it. 

 This is an area we must never compromise in. We must stand firm and stand strong in this truth. God is a Good God all the time. If He is Good all the time, then we must also understand that He isn't the author of any evil or affliction.

 Mankind through personal experience, through the motivation of control, because of unbelief and a stagnant faith, form, and fashion traditions. These traditions of men seek to explain their situation, circumstance, or experience. They also seek ways to interpret their apparent lack of power to change the situation, by placing all the blame on God's shoulders. Things like He wasn't willing, the age of miracles has passed, God never promised any victory this side of Heaven.
 
 These traditions are utilized often when one experiences sickness and disease. The theology of sickness and disease declares God is glorified when Christians are sick. It declares that God punishes or disciplines believers with sickness. It declares that God sends sickness to show His power. It declares God also sends sickness to teach us or instruct us.

 These are the traditions of men. My Bible tells me God is Love. The Word also tells me Love doesn't take pleasure in evil. God's Word also reveals Jesus' attitude about sickness and disease. He saw it as a curse, as something evil. God is Love, and love delights not in evil, and sickness is evil, therefore we must conclude rightly that God has nothing whatsoever to do with sickness and disease. 

 The only relation God has with sickness and disease is healing those who are afflicted. God removes sickness any opportunity He gets. Jesus bore mankind's sickness and disease on that tree. He became a curse to redeem us from the curse. 

 Speaking of these traditions, this concept that God instructs us with sickness cuts cross-grain of what we know of Jesus. Yet why do some accept this as truth? Many have a misunderstood view of Paul and the thorn in his flesh. You can see this entire account Paul recounts here

 From this passage in 2 Corinthians, many traditions have come forth. To see a detailed study of this entire account in Paul's life that lists all the traditions associated with Paul's thorn and provides answers to each of them that will bring clarity and a further understanding look here. One of the traditions I will briefly address is the idea that Paul was made sick to teach him.

 Religious tradition declares this thorn in the flesh is sickness. They will say Galatians prove this. He told them to look at such a large letter he wrote them. They take that as literally as possible. That Paul was so blind that He wrote in giant block letters. That is an absurd interpretation. Nowhere does Paul state he was blind or had to be carried around because of poor vision.

 Look at what Paul states again. Let the Word interpret itself.
...a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me...2 Corinthians 12:7a

 Paul tells us what the thorn is right here. Yet so often, many omit what Paul states and only focus on the phrase a thorn in the flesh. They don't recognize this as a Biblical idiom. We've all used idioms at some point. It's raining cats and dogs, we literally know cats and dogs are not falling from the sky.

 We've also used idioms to explain an uncomfortable or stressful experience in dealing with a person or situation. Ever heard someone say, "that guy is a real pain in the neck"? Does that mean the one speaking has a literal pain in his neck region because of this person? Of course not. 

 God's Word also uses idioms. If we follow the Scripture you can see these types of idioms/expressions used. Here are just a few examples, here. Another place here. One more here. Proving again, this phrase is merely an idiom used to describe a situation facing Paul. 

 Again let the Word interpret itself. Paul said what this thorn was. He called it the messenger of satan. This was a demonic influence sent to disrupt Paul. This word buffet means to strike with a fist. This was not a sickness or a disease afflicting Paul. This was demonic opposition to the ministering and preaching of the Gospel of Grace. 

 Look at Paul's life, the Jewish leaders and believers would stir up opposition because Paul was teaching the multitudes Righteousness by Faith and not by works of the Law. They were resisting Grace. They were pushing self-righteousness by works. God wanted the Church to take their place as the Righteous sons of God, not keep them in bondage to the Old Covenant ministry of death.

 In light of this understanding, we can conclude that God isn't using sickness to teach us anything. Now, can we learn something while we are attacked with sickness or disease? Of course, but the sickness or disease in and of themselves are not the instruction method God has ordained.

 God is a Good God. He is a Good Daddy. God is not the author of any sickness or disease. He is not sending sickness, symptoms, plagues, or pandemics to test us, to teach us, or to train us. He has given us His Spirit within and the Word of God written to us to train and instruct us, not tragedy, trial, or tormenting illnesses.

But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own authority. But He will speak whatever He hears, and He will tell you things that are to come. John 16:13 MEV

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
 
It's spelled out clearly for us by Jesus Himself and Paul. We have the Spirit to lead and guide us into truth. We have the Word of God given to us to instruct us, to equip us, to train us, and correct us. conspicuously absent in the list Paul annotates of what actually trains us, instructs us, and perfects or matures us is sickness and disease.
 
 In summation, we have clear passages that reveal how God instructs us. Sickness and disease are not the instruction tools of our God. Sickness and disease must be resisted. We must stand against it. Use every means supernatural and natural to see people free from it. As the Church, we represent God to this lost world. Let's show them the compassion of our God, and reveal His heart is to mend, to heal, and to make whole, always. God is a Good Father.


Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Theology of sickness and disease: Does God punish people with sickness and afflictions?

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38 MEV

Dear Friend, I pray that in every way you may prosper and be in good health,  just as your soul is prospering. 3 John 2 Mounce Reverse Interlinear New Testament 

God is Good. His Word can't be more clear. Jesus in manifestation upon earth revealed it perfectly. Yet why do so many believers often question this when tragedy strikes, when one experiences a loss, or when the doctor reveals a diagnosis of a particular illness? 

 The root is a theology of sickness and disease that has become a stronghold in the minds of many. The root is a result of religiosity and not Christianity. A religious ideology that is based merely on human intellect, man's experience, and a shallow surface glossing over of the Scripture, where the character of God and the heart of God is missed almost entirely and instead replaced solely by creeds and commandments and cold-hearted traditions of men.

 This religiosity leaves us questioning God's Goodness. The theology of sickness and disease believes God is the author of tragedy or affliction. When faced with an attack of sickness and disease religion also asks God's children to accept it and celebrate it;
"Christian friend, if after clearing your conscience, praying and using the means God has provided for the improvement of health, you remain sick, then take your sickness as a gift from God for your good and His glory. It must be that He wants you sick. Be at peace with His providence. Heaven will only be the sweeter for those who suffer more."
 
 What a fatalistic view of the life we have in Christ. Just give up and die. Again, this view makes God the one afflicting. This view also says smile you're on your way to Heaven. Heaven is majestic but we have work to do here on earth. We have a Gospel message to share. We can't do that dead and gone. 

 Believers also question God's Goodness because the theology of sickness and disease can go further claiming that God is actually punishing you when you sin with sickness and disease. 

"This was the regular practice under the law [punishing sin through sickness and disease] and should not be seen as normative now.  Having said that, we would be foolish to say God would never judge our sin this way today."

This theology is burdensome and harsh. It weighs heavily on believers who have made a wrong choice or mistake in their life. They can spend months or years thinking of themselves as unworthy, unclean, and unwelcome in God's presence. 

 Whenever a negative experience arises in their life, the thought immediately rushes in, "this must be God punishing me". If sickness or disease attacks their body the enemy who is the great condemner, will speak to their mind, this is the result of your sin. The religious theology of sickness and disease merely echos the lies of the enemy.

 Is God punishing people by bringing sickness and disease? To answer, let's look at perfect theology, the Lord Jesus Christ. Whenever Jesus encountered the sick and afflicted we never see Him once declare, I can't heal this person. God is punishing them. 

 When Jesus encountered a woman who was caught in the actual act of adultery, why didn't He place some cancer on her? Why didn't He give her ms or md or a bout of tuberculosis? I thought Jesus punished sins with sickness? What a real candidate for judgment. 

 Adultery breaks one of the big ten. Adultery shatters the hearts and trusts of the betrayed spouse and the children. Adultery is so cruel and brings about so much mental anguish and emotional turmoil. If anyone should have been judged with sickness surely this woman was worthy of it.

 Yet we see Jesus, God's perfect theology, doing the unthinkable. He gave her the gift of no condemnation. He didn't accuse her, He forgave her. He didn't afflict her, He restored her. That's perfect theology!

 Is God punishing people for their sins by afflicting them with sickness and disease? Absolutely not. Jesus' final sacrifice was more than enough payment for the sins of all mankind. Hebrews tells us the Finished Work is complete. We can't add to it nor can anyone take away from it. God is satisfied with Jesus' sacrifice. For God to afflict anyone for their sin would mean God hasn't fully accepted Jesus' Finished Work. Reject this religious lie that God is punishing people with sickness.

So if our sins have been forgiven and forgotten, why would we ever need to offer another sacrifice for sin? Hebrews 10:18 TPT

God is a loving Father. He punished the sins of all mankind in the body of Jesus on that tree. He has accepted the final sacrifice. He isn't looking to punish you after Jesus bore the judgment of all your sins. In fact, when we trust in Christ, we are made the Righteousness of God in Christ. We are accepted and approved. God no longer imputes our sins to our account. Therefore reject religion's lie that God seeks to punish you when you fail or fall. 

 Let me briefly address a passage that seems to contradict what I am saying.

So also I will make you sick, striking you down, Making you desolate because of your sins. Micah 6:13 NASB

This passage is recorded under the Old. The curse of the Law was in effect. Jesus had not yet died and paid the price. This was only true in the Old Covenant. While this may seem harsh, also know God still gave those under the Old hope. There was still healing and mercy under the Old. When Jesus died on that Cross, He bore all sickness and disease. If He bore it, God doesn't expect you to. If He bore all the curses of the Law, then there is no more punishment for sins. Don't allow one obscure passage to rob your hope when we see Jesus reveal the heart of God. 

 In summation, remember no matter the situation or circumstance God is always Good. We don't have to question God's goodness in the face of tragedy or disease. Why? Because we know from His Word, from His Finished Work, and from His character revealed in Christ, that He isn't the author or creator of evil or disaster or tragedy or any sickness or disease. 

 Whenever one faces illness remember God isn't punishing them. Some may say well their sin caused it to come. It is a truth that poor choices can result in physical sickness or disease. Tobacco use may result in health issues. Having multiple sexual partners brings opportunities for sexually transmitted diseases, etc. Whatever the cause, focus on the solution, Jesus Christ. James reminds us even if one sins, God forgives and heals the same, by Faith. Trust in Christ's goodness and relinquish these traditions of men. Trade the theology of sickness and disease for the perfect theology of Jesus!

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Theology of sickness and disease: What about Lazarus, does sickness glorify God?

 

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38 MEV

Dear Friend, I pray that in every way you may prosper and be in good health,  just as your soul is prospering. 3 John 2 Mounce Reverse Interlinear New Testament 

The children of God, those of us who've trusted in Christ alone for acceptance, approval, right standing, forgiveness, and complete salvation desire from within to glorify our Father in Heaven. We know we glorify God by fruitful living, that is by growing in Grace and the knowledge of Jesus and even when we exalt His great name in mighty praise. Is there another way we bring glory to our Father?

 According to the traditions of men, there is in fact another way we bring glory to our Father. What is this other way? By suffering sickness and disease in our bodies. According to religious tradition, bodies racked with pain, suffering from cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, or any other sickness or plague or disease brings God much glory. 

 Where has traditional religion conjured up such a notion? By reading John's Gospel. In the eleventh chapter, we see Jesus' response to Lazarus' sickness. Jesus' words lifted entirely out of the full context of the full event in Lazarus' life has formed an entire doctrine, religious traditional-minded believers respond with whenever any Christian has been diagnosed with a sickness or disease. 

 I am not surmising a view that no one has actually said or believed. I am not employing conjecture or being hyperbolic. Not trying to name names but here are just a few quotes from the religious concerning sickness.

"Sickness is an opportunity for God to be glorified and for observers to believe in Jesus, God’s Son".

"...the Lord uses sickness to draw people to each other and to Himself".

"His glory engulfs your soul with energy to endure chronic pain".

"Some people are sick simply for the sake of God’s glory".

"Suffering and illness can be for the sole purpose of bringing God glory".

"Our culture has made an idol out of many things, and one of these things is good health...as a Christian and someone who loves Jesus, do not despise it[serious or terminal illness]. Why? Because serious illness provides a special opportunity to learn the truth about Jesus."

In interpreting obscure passages we must first look at the character of our Father and keep it in context. When we lift a text from the context all we have left is a con. Jesus' words in John are lifted from the full context by the traditional-minded.

When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4 NKJV

You see brother? It is clear right there in black and white, or red-letter depending on your Bible. I am not disputing that Jesus stated this but I am seeking to keep this statement in the full context of John 11 and see what Jesus was really trying to show the disciples. 

 Firstly Jesus wasn't speaking that poor Lazarus was just suffering to give God glory. This passage lifted out of context seems to indicate that the sickness and death in and of itself were what brought God glory. That is simply not true.

 In the passage itself, we see clearly no one is rejoicing or in jubilation because Lazarus is sick. So the sickness itself wasn't bringing God any glory. In fact, as you read the full chapter, you can see Jesus' delay makes people question His love, His power, and goodness.

 What then was Jesus speaking of? Jesus was teaching the disciples Faith. Faith in God that knows there exists no situation that is impossible with God. In verse four, Jesus was simply speaking the language of Faith. He was speaking the end from the beginning. 

Declaring the end from the beginning... Isaiah 46:10a NJKV

Jesus was exercising the God kind of Faith. He was calling things that be not as though they were. He was teaching us unwavering hope and trust in a Good God.

even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  Romans 4:17 KJV

Jesus was proving not just saying He is the resurrection and the life. Jesus knew that death and life are in the power of the tongue. He wouldn't even state Lazarus was dead but only asleep. Why? Was He denying the circumstances? Was He in denial of Lazarus' condition? 

 No, Jesus was just speaking about what He already trusted God His Father with. He was not teaching you to deny your reality but rather speak what your trusting God to do about your reality. How did this situation turn out? Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Just as He said, this sickness isn't to death but for God's glory, yet Lazarus had already died. So we see Jesus speaking resurrection life and not agreement with the contradictory circumstances.

 So what truly brought God glory in this passage? Was it the sickness in and of itself? Was it Lazarus' death? No, it was Jesus' raising Lazarus from the dead. So it was resurrection and healing and wholeness that brought glory to God. When Jesus raised Lazarus the sickness was healed and his body fully made whole, otherwise, he would have died again from the same condition that put him in the grave in the first place.

 If sickness and disease are designed by God to bring glory to Himself then it stands to reason we shouldn't be praying for healing if we or a loved are sick or afflicted with a disease. We shouldn't seek medical aid. We shouldn't go to the hospital or take a loved one there either. We shouldn't desire prescription medication nor encourage others to take it. In fact, we should pray for sickness and disease to overtake us so we can be the instruments by which God gets the glory.

 If good health is an idol, if sickness is an opportunity to bring God glory, if we are not to despise sickness, then doctors and nurses and hospitals are professions and institutions of rebellion and resistance to God's will. This is the logical and reasonable end conclusion to this type of thinking. Of course, no sounded-minded, rational believer actually believes this. This is why we must renew our mind daily with the revealed will of God, that is Jesus Himself, God's will in manifestation, and reject the irrational and ridiculous religious traditions of man. 

 What actually brings God glory? Is it sickness, suffering, and death? No Scripture in the New Covenant declares our sickness brings God glory. If sickness brings God glory why don't we see Jesus sending plagues, pestilence, or pandemics to the multitudes? Why don't we see Jesus afflicting any children with illness to bring God greater glory? We only see Jesus bring healing to all those who came to Him. He raised the dead, never brought death. He provided for the multitude, not starve them. Why? Because it's His goodness, Love, and healing mercy that brings glory to God.

 What brings glory to God? The forgiveness of sins brings glory to God. Ministering healing and wholeness bring glory to God. The dead being raised brings glory to God. Having our petitions and prayer in His name answered glorifies God. God's Grace in including both Jew and Gentile in the plan of salvation brings glory to God. What is clearly absent is the notion that sickness and suffering bring God glory. God is glorified when we are healed, whole, our prayers answered and we are walking in the newness of life in Christ.

 In summation, reject the ridiculous religious concept that God gets glory from your suffering, from your sickness or disease, from your afflictions. God is a Good Daddy. He is the healer and one who makes us whole. Remember what really brings God glory.

And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them: Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel. Matthew 15:30-31 NKJV


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay