Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Non-series Sermons by Year 2021 Sermons . Eternal Saviour or Eternal Doctor (Part 3)

. Eternal Saviour or Eternal Doctor (Part 3)

HEART TO HEART ON HEALING.


Over the last two Sundays we looked at how Isaiah 53 is misunderstood when it says in verse 5 that “He (Jesus Christ) was wounded for our transgressions, and by His stripes we are healed”, and then claim that the healing is of physical sickness. We concluded that Jesus died for our salvation and rose for our justification and the healing is Spiritual. It is a directional change from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to the power of God, from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God, from a hell bound sinner to a child of God with a glorious inheritance of life eternal. I promised that I would this Sunday talk a little bit about actual healing and share what I believe the Bible teaches about healing in the church age.

 

With the time constraints I am not able to do in depth studies from the pulpit, so you need to engage your mind with my findings and figure out if I am really as honest as I can be with God’s Word. You can do your own research on the topic.

 

Today I am going to set the table on this topic and put out a few plates. Next time we will dig into the solid food of Scripture. I must start with a few definitions.

 

1. Signs and wonders.


Healing is part of the sign gifts as we see in 1 Corinthians 12. A sign always points to something. We never stop on a road to embrace the sign or to admire the sign, our goal is always where it points us to. If you travel to Cape Town, you do not get out at the “Cape Town 20 km” sign and admire it, and rejoice in it, you rather want to complete the 20 km and admire where the sign was pointing to. The miracles that Jesus did were signs pointing to His deity, His supremacy, and His pre-eminence. It was signs that pointed to the Apostolic authority of men used by God to write the Scriptures and to establish His church. John 20:30-31 (ESV) says: 30 Now Jesus did “many other signs” in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name”.

 

 

2. The uniqueness of Christ and the Apostles when it comes to signs (miracles etc.)


When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He made the claim that He is the resurrection and the life. When he multiplied the loaves and fish, He said that He is the bread of life. To affirm His deity, He performed miracles, and multitudes wanted the miracles and not the Saviour. We still see this today. In that way Jesus is unique, and throughout the ages we believe in Him as the Christ and the Son of God, as we saw under our previous point, and we find life in Him. When we look back to His miracles, they point us to Christ. If everybody else was running around performing miracles it would eclipse the glory of Christ instead of putting His glory on display. Men who claim they can do all Christ did, are stealing His glory, as Christ would no longer be unique. Jesus is our firm foundation and the cornerstone of the church and all that we are is to put His glory on display.

 


The apostles were also unique in the grand scheme of God. Ephesians 2:19-21 (ESV)19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” Christ and His disciples laid the foundation for the church of all ages.

 

The apostles were unique in their receiving of revelation and their ability to do miraculous things. Ephesians 3:4-5 (ESV) 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. It is based on this verse that self-appointed so-called apostles and prophets claim that they receive new revelation.

 

There were and there are false christs, and false prophets. Mark 13:22 (ESV) 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.”

 

But the apostles were not false. Christ actually said in Mark 16:17-18 (ESV) 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

 

 

The section I just quoted does not appear in the original manuscripts, but it is the Bible and must therefore be understood.

 

 

One might say, so those who believe will be accompanied by these signs. Some translations say, “these signs will follow”. It does not say that they must follow signs. Does this mean that all believers experience these signs? No. Mark 16:14 (ESV) helps us: 14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.” There were signs to follow the disciples who believed fully in Christ and His resurrection power.

 

The apostles and the prophets were unique as they ministered with signs pointing to Jesus Christ. They were foundational. You do not lay a foundation again; the church is built on this unique foundation of Christ and the apostles and then Christ being the cornerstone. The question we need to ask is this. Were the apostles really unique or were everybody performing these miracles? It is answered for us in Scripture. 2 Corinthians 12:12 (ESV) “12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.” If everybody, did it, would they not all be apostles, and what would the significance of the apostles be, even for us today?

 

3. Three eras of miracles by the hands of man.


What many believers do not know is that miracles were not performed by man throughout Scripture. There are three eras where miracles were performed through men, as a sign that they were uniquely God’s instruments, and each era of miracles at the hands of men was app. 70 years.

 

There was firstly the era of Moses, Aaron and Joshua. Theologians differ on the dating, but Moses was born around 1500 BC – 1400 BC. It means that there was app. 2500 years between Adam and Moses where there were no miracles performed by man. It all started when Moses experienced God at the burning bush and God says that He will accompany Moses through signs, not a sign that proves that Moses was great, but a sign that God was with Moses. Exodus 3:11-12 (ESV) 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Then there was the era of Elijah and Elisha, again app. 70 years. Elijah around 840 BC and Elisha around 800 BC. Some scholars put Elisha around 870 BC which will put Elijah earlier as well, but this must not confuse us. The important thing is that this again was a unique era of the function of God’s prophets under God’s hand performing mighty miracles, as signs pointing back to the presence of God, and the authority and sovereignty of God.

 

Then there was the era of Jesus and the apostles, again app. 70 years. Remember that the ministry of Jesus only started at 30 years of age and only lasted 3 years. The apostolic age ended with the death of John app. 96 to 100 AD.

 

We must be clear that God performed other miracles, throughout the ages, and I believe God still does that. Daniel was as an example not known to perform miracles, but they experienced miracles like Daniel in the Lion’s Den and him and his friends in the fiery furnace. I believe that what we see is that miracles at the hands of men were not free for all and two for a penny, but it was unique eras with major emphasis on the sign value of Scripture.

 

4. Miracles defined.


How often do we not hear people claiming miracles? A farmer once told me that a traffic cop pulled off his unlicensed tractors and trailers, and did not give them a fine. It was a miracle according to him. Somebody needs a parking space in front of the post office, and they arrive there, and there is one open. It is a miracle according to them. In the same way in keeping with our theme, healing is far too often defined as a miracle when it was not.

 

Miracles are an extraordinary event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.

It is not a miracle when a car leaves a parking bay that you wanted, but it is a miracle when that car levitates 30 meters into the air so that you could park there. We need to get this definition right, as far too often we claim miracles when they are not. A while ago it was on the news that a family were involved in an accident, and all died except their baby. People claimed it was a miracle that the baby did not die.


5. Divine Providence defined.


Divine providence is the governance of God by which He, with wisdom and love, cares for and directs all things in the universe. The doctrine of divine providence asserts that God is in complete control of all things. He is sovereign over the universe as a whole (Psalm 103:19), the physical world (Matthew 5:45), the affairs of nations (Psalm 66:7), human destiny (Galatians 1:15), human successes and failures (Luke 1:52), and the protection of His people (Psalm 4:8). This doctrine stands in direct opposition to the idea that the universe is governed by chance or fate.

 

Through divine providence God accomplishes His will. To ensure that His purposes are fulfilled, God governs the affairs of men and works through the natural order of things. The laws of nature are nothing more than God’s work in the universe. The laws of nature have no inherent power; rather, they are the principles that God set in place to govern how things normally work. They are only “laws” because God decreed them.

Let me give you two examples of divine providence.


An example of divine providence in Scripture is found in the story of Joseph. God allowed Joseph’s brothers to kidnap Joseph, sell him as a slave, and then lie to their father for years about his fate. This was wicked, and God was displeased. Yet, at the same time, all of their sin worked toward a greater good: Joseph ended up in Egypt, where he was made the prime minister. Joseph used his position to sustain the people of a broad region during a seven-year famine—including his own family. If Joseph had not been in Egypt before the famine began, millions of people, including the Israelites, would have died. How did God get Joseph to Egypt? He providentially allowed his brothers the freedom to sin. God’s divine providence is directly acknowledged in Genesis 50:15–21.

 


Another clear case of divine providence overriding sin is the story of Judas Iscariot. God allowed Judas to lie, deceive, cheat, steal, and finally betray the Lord Jesus into the hands of His enemies. All of this was a great wickedness, and God was displeased. Yet, at the same time, all of Judas’s plotting and scheming led to a greater good: the salvation of mankind. Jesus had to die at the hands of the Romans in order to become the sacrifice for sin. If Jesus had not been crucified, we would still be in our sins. How did God get Christ to the cross? God providentially allowed Judas the freedom to perform a series of wicked acts. Jesus plainly states this in Luke 22:22: “The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!”

 

I have often said that so much of healing is simply by Divine providence. That hospital building you are lying is built from all that God has made, whether it is the clay for the bricks, metal on the roof, wooden doors, copper for electrical wiring etc. Nothing is created by man, but is manufactured from what he has made. The story is told of the scientist who arrived before God and told God that he can also make man out of dust. God told him to prove it. The scientist bent down to pick up dust from the earth, and God said, no, no, no no – use your own dust, not what I have made. Farfetched, but you get the point.

 

The scanners whether CT or sonar or x-rays and all other machines, even the computers are all made from that which God has made. It is providence. Even our medicines come from a variety of sources. Many were developed from substances found in nature, and even today many are extracted from plants. Some medicines are made in labs by mixing together a number of chemicals. Others, like penicillin, are by-products of organisms such as fungus. And then the doctor whether he is a Christian, or an Atheist is given to us by God’s providence, and all that he knows is acquired from that which God has made and understood in a life and brain given to him by his creator.

This is a major topic, but you get the point. All healing is at minimum by God’s providence and is only a miracle when there cannot be a scientific or a natural explanation above the surface of how it came about. That is why I always give God the praise for healing and regard all healing as come from the Lord whether miraculous or providential.

 

6. Coincidence defined.


I have often said that so much of my experience in life is coincidence, and immediately what comes to mind is chance. So, where does providence and miracles come to play in all of this? Well, coincidence is not chance. It is when two incidences coincide. Coincidence is a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.

 

I am a firm believer that when God’s incidence and my incidence coincide, I find my rest that whatever the outcome, I know I am in the hands of God. I pray daily that His incidence will coincide with mine, as I walk in obedience, and that in every event in my life God’s providence or even His miracle power will coincide with my incidences. This leads to what some term as synchronicity. A synchronicity is a collision of events where something other than the probability of chance is involved, and this confluence produces results ordained by God for my well-being, correction, or learning. We often talk about divine moments or divine appointments. You meet somebody and you know that meeting is from the Lord, and that the outcome is based on coincidence. You take a business decision and glorify God in it and suddenly God opens doors you never even knew exists.

 

Oh, how I pray that all my incidents will coincide with the will of God either through His providence or miracle working power. God can do far above what we can think or pray.

 

Co-incidence is large in the Christian life. Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

 

Luke 5:17 – 39 tells the well-known story of the man who was let through the roof by his friends and Jesus healed him. What a glorious story of man’s incidence and God’s incidence coming together. They did what man can do, and Jesus did what God alone can do. May this be the story of our lives.

 

Right, the table for the topic is set. Next time we will eat from the table and chew together on a Biblical understanding then of healing.

 

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

05 June 2021