Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The theology of sickness and disease: How Good is 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 

God is Good. God is Good all the time and in all circumstances and all situations. I will never compromise on this vital truth. This important truth is the very foundation of our Faith. 

 How could we dare place our trust in someone when we are unaware of their character? Who would follow someone not knowing anything about them? We know God because He has made Himself known. He has made Himself known by His Word and by the Word made flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 Jesus is the revealed will of God. Jesus is perfect theology. What is the best theology? How about Jesus? He demonstrated the perfect Love of our Good Father. He revealed God to a lost world. 

 Now, we have the religious tradition of men clouding this clear view of God. We have traditional ideas conjured up by men making once clear waters murky. Experience and man's ideas replace what Jesus came to reveal about our Father.

 Men have exalted their experience over God's Word. They endeavor to bring God down to the level of their experience instead of trusting God to change their experience to line up with God's Word. As a result, we now have what I like to call a theology of sickness and disease. A theology that attempts to assign all suffering in this life as the will, the plan, and the purpose of God.

 This then in turn makes us ask the direct question, just how good is this God we proclaim? How good is God really? How do we then define goodness?

 The man-made theology of sovereignty and suffering makes God not truly good but assigns God as the One who chooses to afflict, to beset, to burden, to vex, to torment any and all He wills. They excuse these actions as a mysterious plan or purpose on God's part. That suffering with afflictions is somehow good. Let's really examine this closer.

 We live in a fallen fractured creation. Mankind has perpetrated great evil on one another. Yet because religion claims God is in control, does that mean God is behind it all? Is God the author of pain and tragedy?

 Many years ago in the town of Union South Carolina in the United States, a mother of two young boys strapped her kids into their car seats and plunged the car into a lake. At her trial, they recounted the time it would take for those precious children to actually drown. So I ask, in the seconds and minutes it took for these two innocent children to suffer and die was God in Heaven pleased with this incident? 

 As these two children were slowly being submerged in a watery grave, was God in Heaven declaring, this is good and right? Was He declaring I am in control of all things and this works for my glory? Was He saying this is my mysterious will at work?

 Those in tradition would cry foul, saying come now that was a sinful act of course God opposed this. Now we come to the mental gymnastics we must navigate. God is ordaining and controlling all things, but not sin? So He isn't in control of all things? Just somethings? Religion would say, no He is in control of all things but...

 See how confusing religious tradition is? Let's adopt a Jesus theology. What did Jesus do when He was on Earth? How did He express God our Father?

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

 Jesus went about doing good. He didn't go around afflicting, or tormenting anyone. He didn't place an illness or disease on a single human. He never sent plagues or disasters on any nation or peoples.

 In the mouth of two or three witnesses will something be established, the Scripture tells us. We have zero witnesses of Jesus afflicting anyone. We really have no witness of God making people sick. Religion would point to the Old to prove otherwise. The issue is they aren't rightly dividing the Word. When we see affliction under the Old, that is the curse of the Law in action. Under Grace, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law. God is not guilty! God isn't making anyone sick or afflicted, God is Good! 

  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

We must reject the traditions of men who wish to assign the suffering of humanity as the handiwork of God. Some call disasters and accidents the acts of God. If we want to see the acts of God then look at the Book of Acts. Look at the Gospels. We will see the true acts of God. Lives transformed for Good. Multitudes healed and provided for. Lost souls receiving salvation, and believers being touched by the power of the Spirit.

 Is God really Good? Unequivocally the answer is yes! God is not the author of any evil or suffering or sickness or disease. Any religious leader saying God allows or wills or has a plan or purpose for sickness or disease has been deceived by the enemy and blinded by the traditions of men. Jesus went about doing good and healing all. That's who Jesus is. He is our healer and our Good Father.
 In summation, know we can fully trust God. God is a Good Father who wills our best. He wants us well. He doesn't ever plan or purpose tragedy, suffering, or torment for our life. God is Love and light. There is no darkness with Him at all. He is Good. 

Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Theology of sickness and disease

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 

 Ever heard the word theology? This word can bring with it the connotation of boring book knowledge that only dull "egg-headed" scholarly types get enthusiastic about. The word can also bring with it the idea of deep spiritual knowledge that only a few can actually grasp.  Believe it or not, just as in the natural realm we hold to certain opinions or ideologies in our Christian life we all hold to some form of theology.

 Theology isn't about some deep study that goes over everyone's head. Theology is merely the study of God. At the same time though, theology can also be a viewpoint about God we hold fast to. What is your theology?

 When it comes to theology, often the Church as a whole tends to build a theology around what can't happen or what didn't happen. Pertaining to Faith, is your theology centered on how Faith can't move mountains today? Is your theology about how Faith only works for the saving of our souls and forgiveness of sins but never anything else? 

 When it comes to healing what is your theology? Is it that God used to heal before the Scriptures were fully recorded but now that we have the Bible we don't need healing? Is it that God can heal but of course we could never believe God will heal? Or is it that we ceremonially offer prayers for the sick but in actuality never really expect them to actually receive that physical healing?

 Many well-meaning and sincere believers hold fast to a theology of unbelief. Unbelief rooted in negative experiences and years and years of indoctrination from the religious traditions of men. Unbelief that goes through the motions of prayer and faith but never actually expects any tangible change or miraculous intervention from the hand of God. Unbelief that is birthed from not knowing intimately the Goodness of a loving Father who longs to bless, provide, protect and pour out His healing power. 

 Many sincere Christians hold fast to a theology of sickness and disease rather than a theology of healing and wholeness. Through wrong teaching and wrong believing, many actually believe God is the author of affliction, infirmity, distress, disease, and death. Some actually affirm God sends sickness and disease to show us He loves us.

 Is God the author of sickness and disease? Does God dole out disease to His children to instruct them? To better them? To improve their character? To make His own some type of "testimony" to inspire others who are also going through their own turmoil to just keep smiling through their burdensome affliction? Is this the image of God Jesus demonstrated to all of humanity when He walked the sandy seashore of Galilee?

 Jesus is the express image of God our Father. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father. Jesus never once placed disease on a single person He encountered. He never sent forth famine or pestilence or plague. Jesus never once made anyone sick, on the contrary He healed all who came to Him. Jesus went about doing good healing all. Jesus is the author of life and health, not disease and death, God is a Good God!

 What a cruel image religious tradition has conjured up. They preach the concept that the God who created the entire universe somehow takes pleasure in the affliction of humanity. That God shows His love and compassion for us by giving our loved ones cancer, multiple sclerosis, or alzheimers. This tradition of men is a lie and contrary to who God revealed Himself to be in Christ. God is a Good God, He isn't the destroyer of lives but the giver of life. 

When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. Luke 9:54-56 MEV

Jesus here affirms He comes to save men's lives not destroy them. Our theology is Jesus. As His Church we should passionately reject the notion or idea that God wills disease and death. What was Jesus' attitude about sickness and disease? He healed all who came to Him. Sickness and disease do not come from God, they are contrary to His perfect will.

in righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Isaiah 54:14-15 KJV

 This passage declares the Righteous will be far from oppression. It states fear and terror and oppression shall gather against you but God declared not by me. The opening text for our study is Acts 10:38. That passage declared Jesus went about healing all who were oppressed. According to Acts sickness and disease is a form of oppression. Isaiah declared oppression gathers but not by God. This is Biblical evidence God isn't the author of sickness and disease. Who is the oppressor? The enemy. Who is the healer? Jesus. 

 We as the Church need to have a Jesus theology about infirmity, illness, infection, malady, and malfunction. We shouldn't expect or tolerate or God forbid celebrate sickness and disease. We need to resist it and stand together and pray against it. I am not saying condemn or belittle those suffering affliction. I am not saying attack their dignity. Our hearts go out to all who are suffering. We stand with them. I am only saying we don't proclaim their suffering is the plan and purpose and work of God our Good Father. 

 God is our Good Father. He isn't our bad father. He isn't the godfather who takes and breaks. He is our Good Father who mends and heals. God is our Good Daddy who restores and covers us with His precious Love and mercy. 

 God isn't the author of your tragedy. God is the answer to your tragedy. God isn't the source of your trouble. God is the turnaround for your trouble. He's the one turning it around for your good. 

 In summation, we need to have a theology of life and healing and not a theology of suffering sickness and disease. We are not shaming or disapproving of those who have suffered or are still suffering from sickness and disease. We aren't maligning the dignity of anyone who has experienced sickness or disease. We are just affirming the Goodness of God. We are renewing our thinking about how Good our God is. We are reaffirming the truth that God is never the author or sender of any sickness or disease. 

 How can we trust God if He is the one afflicting us? God is our Good Daddy. Let's holdfast to a theology of healing and not of crippling illness and infirmity. Let's holdfast to who God has clearly revealed Himself to be in His Word and the redemptive work of Jesus. 


Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Receiving Righteousness: Irrevocably Loved

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

For if by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 NASB

 We have been in an ongoing study of the Gift of Righteousness. More importantly, we are examining the vitalness of not just knowing we are Righteous the moment we believed but actively receiving of this Gift. A gift no matter how wonderfully amazing will never benefit until it is fully received.
 In this study, we have seen the benefits receiving Righteousness brings. Relationships flourish. We have peace knowing He is bigger than our failures. We see and understand more clearly His healing power and willingness to bring wholeness to our life. Because of Righteousness received our sins and shortcomings won't hinder or stop God's Goodness from being received in our life.

 Again what is this great Gift of Righteousness? Righteousness is that Gift that gives the believer permanent right standing before God. It's that gift whereby one has everlasting acceptance and approval with God. It's that gift where we are always welcomed in God's presence. It's that gift where we can stand before our Father without any sense of guilt, shame, condemnation, insecurity, or inferiority. It's that gift that causes one's sins never again to be imputed to their account. 

 Receiving of this great Gift of Righteousness is such a vital ingredient in walking a victorious Christian life. When sin and shame can't hold you back nothing is impossible in your walk of Faith. Instead of shying away from God believers run to God. Instead of looking down, Righteousness produces the joy and confidence to boldly look upward and gaze upon a truly loving Father.

 Righteousness is a gift we receive never a work we achieve. If it is a gift, and it is, then that means Righteousness is permanent. God's gifts are irrevocable. 

For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:29 MEV

 Since God's gifts are irrevocable or permanent then we must conclude Righteousness is permanent and can never be removed or taken away. That leads us to therefore conclude that our salvation then is also irrevocable and permanent. We are eternally secure because of this Gift of Righteousness.

 The absolute Good News of the Gospel of Grace is that once you've trusted in Christ alone you are eternally secure. Salvation could never be earned or achieved and once received it's not kept by our continued achievements. Salvation is by Grace from start to finish. Christ once trusted in preserves us from time and all eternity. We aren't maintaining our salvation so it can't be lost, God maintains our salvation because Jesus is the author and finisher of it.

 As good as this Good News is many believers still fight this truth. They reject a Grace alone salvation for a works plus grace salvation. They insist we are saved by Grace but after we are saved we must persevere through good works and abstinence from wrongdoing to remained saved. In essence, it's a Christ begun salvation but a man completed salvation. 

 “Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24 MEV

And he has entered once and forever into the Holiest Sanctuary of All, not with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the sacred blood of his own sacrifice. And he alone has made our salvation secure forever! Hebrews 9:12 TPT

neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Hebrews 9:12 21st Century KJV

 We have conclusive proof from God that salvation is eternal and irrevocable. This is the Good News. This proves beyond doubt that Christ won and the enemy lost. That the Cross truly was a Finished Work. Yet again even in the face of this good news, works and performance-driven believers dismiss these passages and make light of God's keeping power and declare man can undo what only Christ could do.

 Eternal Security rejected leaves believers without security and diminishes hope. Everlasting hope in Christ becomes everlasting hope so. Is your salvation permanent? I hope so. This is the real fruit of rejecting Eternal Security.

Eternal Security rejected means there is no promise for eternal life once one believes. If there is no Eternal Security, there is no eternal life, for how can one know for sure they won't forfeit their salvation at some point? All that truly remains is not a promise but a possibility. Not everlasting life but temporal life. 

 When Eternal Security is rejected what we are left with is not the promise of eternal life, but the possibility of potentially obtaining eternal life in Christ. We have potential life, not eternal life. We have the possibility of eternal life but not the guarantee. Salvation becomes merely a probationary phase until we draw our last breath or Christ comes back for us. 

In summation Righteousness received brings with it great hope. The great hope and promise of sustained eternal life by God, not ourselves. It brings with it the understanding that Eternal Security rejected means all that is left is a works and performance-based salvation. Thank God though the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable. Thank God, Jesus has obtained an eternal redemption for all those who believe. We are irrevocably loved and never will we be separated or apart from God. 

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay