Seven Questions That Bring Life or Death: Part 6

Question Marks Over Man Showing Confusion and Uncertainity
How Does One Get Faith To Be Healed?

“And listening as Paul preached. Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed. So Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!” And the man jumped to his feet and started walking.” Acts 10:9-10

Here is what we know from reading this story. The man was living in Lystra where Paul and Barnabus showed up to preach. He was crippled in his feet, and he had been that way a long time. In fact, the Bible says that he had been that way since birth, but Paul came to realize the man had faith to be healed. Notice that when the man had faith to be healed, nothing at all happened to change his situation. As we talked about in another lesson, it is possible to have all the faith in the world, but without works, nothing will happen.

What happened when Paul realized that the man had the faith necessary to be healed? He gave him a command or an action to do because “Faith without works is dead.” Paul didn’t want the man to have dead faith but living faith. He was doing something that Oral Roberts would later make famous. Oral Roberts called it the point of contact. He said it is important to give people a moment in time in which to release their faith. It can be when you lay hands on them and say the words, “You are made well. Receive it now.” There needs to be an action point during which the person releases the faith they have and activates that faith which is inside them. Jesus did this. The disciples did this.

Peter and John saw a lame man at the gate Beautiful. He expected to receive a gift from them. Peter gave him a moment to release his faith–a chance to exercise his faith. Even though the man wasn’t expecting healing, he was “expecting to receive something from them.” But Peter fixed his eyes on the man and said, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” That word wasn’t enough by itself in this instance. One translation says, “and seizing him by the right hand, he pulled the man up.” So the man expected something, and Peter told him words about what he could receive and offered help to the man. Suddenly, a very natural attempt to get the man up turned into a very supernatural power. It says “IMMEDIATELY his feet and ankle bones RECEIVED STRENGTH.”

So, how does one receive faith to be healed? When we go back to the healing that happened in Lystra in Acts 14:9-10, you have to back up to verse 7. It says, “and Paul preached the gospel there.” What is the gospel? 1 Corinthians 15 defines the gospel as the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus that was seen by more than five hundred people and personally experienced by the preacher himself in some way. Romans 10 says, “How can they call on Him on whom they have not believed? How can they believe in whom they have not heard. How can they hear without a preacher?” We are told in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the message of Christ.” The King James wrongly translates that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” It’s not the word “God” here. It’s the Greek word, Christos and that is always translated “Christ.” This changes everything. It is not just hearing anything in the Bible that gives a person faith to be saved and healed. (By the way, the word “saved,” as we have previously stated, always means “saved from sin, healed from sickness, and nothing is missing or broken.” It means to be “made well and whole in every way”). What gives us the faith for such a thing? The gospel. The message about what Jesus did!

What did Jesus do? Jesus took all sin, that gave Satan power to have access, and he took every disease upon himself at the Cross. Isaiah 53:5 says, “By His stripes we ARE healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 says, “by His stripes, we WERE healed.” In the Old Covenant, it was still the Cross of Christ that made them healed. They ARE healed by what He WOULD do. We WERE healed by what Jesus DID. The gospel teaches that Jesus died on the Cross. What did He do on the Cross?

The word “healed” in 1 Peter 2:24 is NEVER, NOT EVEN ONE TIME, anywhere in the Bible about a spiritual healing. The word “healed” is used to mean physical healing 100 percent of the time in the New Testament.

Isaiah, speaking of the cross, said “Surely He bore our sicknesses and carried our pain.” Jesus took the sickness, pain, and sin of the whole world upon himself at the Cross. Jesus died. He was buried. On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave. When He arose, He gave life and healing to everyone who calls upon His name and believes the gospel.

We have preached this simple gospel all over the world. We have seen the blind see, the crippled walk, and the deaf hear as we preached and laid hands upon the sick as we are instructed to do in the Great Commission. Currently, we are living in Thailand. As we have spoken many times and continue to reference often, we had the pleasure of going to the Khua Mung Village. There was a woman there about to commit mass suicide by killing herself, her husband, and her seven total family members. She had been in pain for two years after an accident and unable to lift up her arm. She could not even as much as do her own hair or cloth herself, and she relied upon everyone else. Her husband lost his job, and all her money had been spent due to helping the family. She saw NO WAY OUT. Just before Christmas in 2019, we gave gifts to this unreached community and shared the gospel of Jesus with everyone who would allow it. We prayed over many. She later said that as she thought about the gospel all night, she began to call upon Jesus Christ. She cried out all night. It was the gospel that gave her faith to believe in Jesus’ ability to heal and deliver her. The second night after hearing the gospel, a man appeared in her dream with a gift. She used her bad arm to get the present. When she woke up from the dream, she was healed. She began to cry out to everyone around her. This became a testimony that Jesus is indeed alive as the story spread throughout the village. Many came to Christ. We have three house churches now and are about to have a fourth. She is not the only one that got a miracle. There have been about as many miracles of healing and provision as there have been salvations. This testimony and others there gives the proof that Jesus is alive. I have never understood how a cessationist could believe that Jesus needed miracles to prove that He was God’s Son. The apostles needed miracles to prove their message was real, but somehow, we are better than Jesus and the apostles, and we are going to preach a gospel without miracles and have the same results of those guys? Not going to happen. This is why a real gospel will always have miracles. Read this from Mark’s gospel:

“And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.” Mark 16:20 NLT

Are they better than us? Are we better than them? In some ways, we would be saying we are better than the twelve apostles if they needed signs and wonders and miracles to confirm their words, and we don’t because we have the Bible. They had the Bible too, and as late as Acts 28, Paul was still doing miracles after most of the New Testament was in circulation. Faith for healing comes from hearing what Jesus did–not just on the cross, but His words and His life are great faith builders. I encourage you to read the gospels and the book of Acts. That’s right, Jesus continued miracles in Acts. The Bible says in Acts 1 that when Luke wrote the first account (the book of Luke), it was about all that JESUS began to do and teach, but now he continues Jesus’ teachings and miracles as he writes about the church. The Church is the body of Christ. We continue His work. It’s His gifts that He gave to the Church. It’s His Spirit that He gave to the Church. His story in the four Gospels and Acts can give you faith to be healed. Read it. Meditate on the stories. Meditate on the Cross, the death, burial and resurrection because when Jesus conquered sin, sickness, and the grave, YOU WON. Believe you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

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President, Agape International
Until Every Tribe Has Heard