Are there any good Biblical reasons to believe God still heals today?
There is no valid Scriptural reason to suppose that Christ ever withdrew
his healing gifts from the church, or that the Biblical promises concerning
physical healing have been abrograted by God. This means that all the promises
and instructions relating to divine healing are for today, since the Scripture
is the final authority in matters of faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16).
However, there is every reason to suppose that, just as in Bible times,
unbelief limits the hand of God. “Now He [Jesus] could do no
mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and
healed them. And He marvelled because of their unbelief.” (Mark 6:5,6).
Some try to invoke 1
Corinthians 13:8-10 or Matthew
7:21-23 to deny the validity of the ministry of divine healing today.
The first passage refers to the second coming of Christ and says nothing
about healing miracles. Here
are more details on the subject. The second merely demonstrates that the
existence of sign gifts in a person’s life does not guarantee them a status
of being right with God. It was lawless activity and not the casting out
of demons which Christ condemned. After all, the early church leaders cast
out demons and healed the sick in Jesus’ name. And this was not just limited
to the apostles (see Acts 8:5-8).
Besides the testimonial evidence, there are a number of very powerful
Biblical reasons to believe that Jesus Christ still heals today. Taken
together, they provide a formidable case for the validity of this kind
Reason Number One: The Unchanging Nature of Jesus Christ
The Bible declares that, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today
and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Our God is a living God – full of power, full
of love and ready to hear the cry of the afflicted. Jesus loves people
today as much as He did then. He regards sickness as a work of the devil
now just as He did then (see Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38). He is full of the
same compassion and mercy NOW (Hebrews 2:17) which moved Him to heal all
who came to Him THEN (Mark 1:41). In fact, He is referred to as our Compassionate
High Priest. If Jesus healed his enemies THEN (Luke 22:51), will He not
heal His worshipers NOW?
If Jesus Christ is truly the same, we can expect Him to respond to faith
now in the same way as He did as in the first century. Therefore, divine
healing is available to those who come to God through faith in Christ.
Reason Number Two: The Bible reveals sickness to be
a work of the devil
“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)
This Scriptures plainly reveals that sickness is a work of the devil.
When Jesus cast out demons and healed the sick, it was a manifestation
of the Kingdom of God. The coming of that Kingdom, even in part, meant
a defeat for the powers of darkness. When God effectively rules, and His
will is done, things are in order. In the physical realm, this means good
Many times the Scripture declares that an evil spirit was behind the
sickness or infirmity that Jesus cured. The story of the hunchbacked woman
in Luke 13 was one such example. It is the desire of the devil to humiliate
and crush humankind – and sickness is one of his tools to do this. Jesus
wanted us to know that He has come with a greater power than the power
of Satan in order to set us free from such oppression. The demonstration
that Jesus can do this in the physical realm is a powerful incentive to
believe that He can do it in the spiritual and psychological realms as
In Luke 9:42 Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed a boy of epilepsy.
Epilepsy is generally caused by an unclean spirit. This in itself says
nothing about the moral character of epilepsy sufferers. Demons attack
us in different realms, but Jesus in us is more than enough to overcome
them, if we remain in Him.
Another example is found in Matthew 9:32-34. “And as they were going
out, behold, a dumb man, demon-possessed, was brought to Him.And after
the demon was cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the multitudes marveled,
saying, “Nothing like this was ever seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees
were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”
The translation “demon-possessed” from the Greek is unjustified. All
it means is that the man had a demon which affected him. The degree of
demonisation in people varies from none at all (rare) to total possession
by the powers of darkness. The word ‘possessed’ is misleading because it
leads us to think that Scriptures like this are not generally applicable
to the cases we find in life, when in fact, they are.
Jesus healed “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8; Acts
10:38). Demons are still active in defiling mankind today. Their attacks
are directed not only against the spirit and soul of mankind, but also
against his body. Armed with this knowledge, we have powerful motives to
understand God’s opposition to sickness and disease and to have faith that
He really does want to heal. By entering into the conflict with this conviction,
we enter into conflict with demons, which we must overcome by means of
the spiritual weapons which God gave us.
Reason number 3 – The Generosity and Goodness of God
He [God] who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us
all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans
God is a good father. No good father ever wilfully made his child sick.
If they did they would be a child abuser. God wants to give us all good
things. Healing and health is a good thing – it is a blessing of the covenant.
Therefore God is willing to freely give us healing. Any difficulty in receiving
is not due to God’s unwillingness, but rather due to satanic opposition
OR a lack of faith. These are bold statements which fly in the face of
many outworn traditional excuses of theologians for the lack of power in
the church, but they are true none the less. See the answer to the later
question “But what about Paul’s thorn?”
The whole thrust of New Testament teaching is to encourage us to believe
that we will get answers to prayer from God. “Ask and you shall receive”
(Matthew 7:7). “Whatever things you desire when you pray, believe that
you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). “Ask and you shall
receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). These statements of Jesus
are bulit upon the foundation of the knowledge of God’s goodness. “If you,
being evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more
will your father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” (Matthew
Reason Number Four – The Scope of the Atonement of
The apostle Peter knew something about divine healing. In his first
letter to Christians, he said concerning the sacrifice of Jesus, “who
Himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, having died
to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.”
(1 Peter 2:24). Here the Scripture explicitly states that we were healed
through the stripes of Jesus. That this Scripture refers to physical healing
and not just spiritual healing or healing of the soul can be seen from
the context in which it is quoted in Matthew 8:17, where it refers to the
healing ministry of Christ.
“And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all
who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the
prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses’
” (Matthew 8:16,17).
These two verses from 1 Peter and Matthew respectively, quote Isaiah 53:4,5,
which reads as follows:
Surely He has borne our sicknesses [Heb. choli] and
carried our pains [Heb. makob]. Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten
by God and afflicted. 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”.
This Scripture refers prophetically to the work of Jesus at the cross.
At the cross, Jesus took the curse, that we might receive the blessings
of God. These Scriptures refer to the provision of healing which
is available to all who believe, just as spiritual salvation is available
for all who believe. Both provisions were made through the work of Jesus
at the cross.
The blessings of the atonement are not received automatically. It requires
a living faith, specifically directed towards the relevant promise, in
order to receive what God has provided. It may require the co-operation
of someone in the Body of Christ. So even if the Scriptures say “we were
healed” it is does not mean that true Christians are never sick. Christians
have a legal status of being healed, just as we have a legal status of
being perfectly righteous before God. To appropriate and experience the
benefits of our legal status requires the kind of faith that contacts God
Himself through the Holy Spirit.
Usually, but not always, God chooses to use others to minister the blessing
of healing to sick ones in Jesus’ name, through the laying on of hands,
anointing with oil or by other means. However, the basis for all divine
healing is not in the individual through whom it comes, but rather in the
sufferings of Jesus which were endured for our benefit.
Reason Number Five – The Covenants of Healing
“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.”
David here states the fact that the Lord heals all his diseases. This
is because of the healing covenant God made with his people shortly after
they left Egypt.
“If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God, and do what
is right in His sight, give ear to his commandments and keep all His statutes,
I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians.
For I am the Lord who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)
Some may object that these promises no longer apply to us under the
New Covenant, but such objections seriously misunderstand the guiding principle
of interpretation concerning Old Testament promises which Paul gives in
the New Testament:
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yea, and in Him
Amen to the glory of God through us.”
This Scripture means that if we are in Christ, then all the promises in
Scripture are valid to us. God gets glory when we receive the promises.
Just as people gave glory to God for the healings done by Jesus, so people
will give glory to God when we receive the manifestations of healing that
we need, which Christ has provided for us. All the promises of God, including
the covenants of healing in the Old Testament, are applicable to us today.
In fact, the New Covenant is a better covenant, with better promises than
were contained in the Old Covenant. Now that we as Christians can have
Jesus the Healer living in us (which Old Covenant believers could not have),
so much more is God willing to fulfil His covenant when we meet the conditions,
overcome the roadblocks created by traditional teaching on the subject,
and get a hold of God for ourselves.
Reason Number Six – The Instructions and Promises of
the New Testament
We can see it is God’s will to heal through the instructions, promises
and declarations contained in the New Testament. For example, James says
in his epistle:
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of
the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name
of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save (Gk: sosei) the sick, and
the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that
you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails
much.” (James 5:14-16)
This Scripture teaches any and all sick Christians, including those who
are bedfast, that they should call for the elders of the church to minister
to them as this passage describes. Elders are supposed to be able to pray
the prayer of faith. The Scripture promises that the prayer of faith will
have great effect and save [heal] the sick, raising him or her up.
Jesus Christ also said, “These signs will follow those who believe,
in my name … they will lay their hands on the sick, and they shall
recover” (Mark 16:17,18). This Scripture makes a definite promise concerning
those who believe according to God’s definition of faith. The sick they
lay hand on in Jesus’ name [in Jesus’ place, authority, cause] SHALL recover.
These Scriptures prove that it is God’s will to heal the sick.
Reason Number Seven – The Greek Word for ‘Healing’
and ‘Salvation’ is identical.
The word for ‘save’ in Greek is ‘sozo’ and is used for both physical
and spiritual restoration. The a form of the word ‘sozo’ is used in Mark
“Wherever He entered, into villages, cities or the country,
they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might
just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made
well [Gk: sozo].”
Jesus said to the leper he healed on one occasion, “Arise, go your way.
Your faith has made you well [Gk: sozo]” (Luke 17:19).
The word ‘sozo’ in its various forms is translated 36 times in the New
Testament (NASB version) as saves, and 50 times as ‘saved’. Yet it clearly
also refers to healing. James 5:15 quoted above is another example of this
This is further evidence that healing is in fact part of the great salvation
package which God offers mankind.
Reason Number Eight – Sickness is Part of the Curse
which Jesus Redeemed Us From
Deuteronomy 28:15ff reveals a huge list of curses which would come upon
the people of God who refused to obey God’s law. Since the law makes no
one perfect, it was inevitable that this curse would come into operation
at times. All forms of sickness are included in the curses listed here
(Read Deuteronomy 28:61). But part of the good news of the gospel is that
Christ Redeemed Us from the Curse of the Law! Again this was through Christ’s
death in our place. We are legally placed by this sacrifice in a place
where we can be free from all curses and we can receive the blessings that
come through the Holy Spirit of God.
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having
become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs
on a tree’) that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in
Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”
Jesus suffered to restore to mankind all that was lost through the fall.
He became a curse for us that we might receive the blessings of righteousness,
peace and health – and anything else that pertains to the Kingdom of God.
These blessings are administered by the Holy Spirit, who is in us and with
us today. There are multitudes today who, having learned to draw upon God’s
resources and provisions through the Holy Spirit, have received divine
healing in our times. It is a promised blessing, an offered blessing and
a relevant, up-to-date blessing because God has not changed. He still responds
We therefore see in the Bible strong reasons to believe that divine
healing is for today. We see it in the unchanging nature of Jesus Christ,
in the fact that sickness is called the oppression of Satan, in the goodness
and generosity of God, in the Scriptures concerning the substitutionary
atonement of Christ, in the covenants of healing and the associated promises,
in the New Testament instructions concerning ministry to the sick, in the
choice of language used by the Holy Spirit linking healing and salvation,
and in the promise of redemption from the curse of the law.