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Healing: It's for today

By Ron McManus

My family was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ through His healing power. In 1949 an Assemblies of God evangelist, Gale Jackson, came to New Orleans with a tent. We were members of a nominal church, but did not know Jesus Christ as Savior. My grandmother had a serious heart condition. She was unable to get out of bed for several months.

Healed of Hodgkin’s disease

In the fall of 1995 I had a routine checkup. Doctors discovered a large mass in my chest. I had CAT scans and biopsies and was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma stage 4.

Life became real simple in that moment. The only thing that mattered was my relationship to God and my family and church that I knew would pray for me.

After surgery to remove my spleen, I began extensive chemotherapy every two weeks for six months. Although I prayed for an instant miracle, God walked me through a process that changed my life and brought healing to my body.

Recently, I was back for X-rays and CAT scans. The doctors said my body is free of cancer today. I give God all glory, honor and praise.

What doctors can do is wonderful. God has given us doctors, but He has given us His Son Jesus. He wants us to come and receive His healing.

"These signs shall follow them that believe … they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17,18).

Ron McManus

My family was skeptical of the tent revival, but they heard that incredible things were happening. Each evening there were crowds of more than 30,000. One evening mygrandmother was taken by ambulance to the crusade.

My parents didn’t go, but in that service my grandmother was healed. She walked from the crusade to her home that night. The Lord gave her 35 more years.

My mom and dad went to the tent crusade and heard the gospel for the first time preached with power and authority. They responded to the claims of Jesus and invited Him into their lives. My dad pastored for 50-plus years in the Assemblies of God, and every family member became involved in Kingdom work.

Prayer became a focal point in our home. When I was sick, my parents prayed and healing came. We must teach our children about God’s healing touch. Once they are healed by the power of Christ, they will never forget that God has a personal investment in them.

Healing was provided in the Atonement.

The primary purpose of the Atonement was cleansing from sin. But the Atonement also brought release from the penalty of sin and brought restoration to God’s favor.

When the people complained after the judgment which followed the rebellion of Korah, God sent a plague on the Israelites. Moses then sent Aaron into the midst of the congregation. He made atonement for them and the plague stopped. Atonement thus provided for the consequences of sin, including sickness.

Full atonement for the whole man was accomplished through Christ at Calvary. The New Testament speaks of this as redemption – essentially the same meaning as atonement. This Atonement provides for the consequences of sin. Even when sickness is not the direct result of sin, it is still in the world because of sin; therefore, it is among the works of the devil that Jesus came to destroy.

Matthew 8 confirms this and shows that the Atonement includes divine healing as a means of meeting the needs of those who come to Jesus.

A healing Lord.
Healing takes place through natural means, by the help of medical science and through divine intervention. The fact is that all healing comes from the Lord.

My body doesn’t heal itself; God made my body with healing properties. The doctor doesn’t make me well; God built principles the doctors follow and He makes me well. Prayer doesn’t make people well; the God that people call upon when they pray makes them well. It is God’s nature to heal; that’s what He wants to do.

Jesus came to show us the heart of God — that He is a healing Lord and He loves to heal. Jesus heals today by being the same as He has always been.

"And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all" (Luke 6:19).

"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people" (Matthew 9:35).

"And when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all" (Matthew 12:15).

"And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. 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 15:29-31).

In these cases, large groups came to Jesus and He healed them all. Jesus hasn’t changed. Jesus heals today just like He did then. His power never changes and His love never refuses. He never turns anyone away.

The Lord wants to keep His promise to us.
Matthew 8:17 says that Jesus healed all that were sick "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, ‘Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.’" That verse refers to Isaiah 53:5: "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

Isaiah 53 tells about the coming Messiah who would suffer for our sins and also suffer for our sicknesses. The Word prophesied that God was going to send a Savior who not only forgives sin, but one who brings healing to the human body.

The apostle Peter wrote to the church of all time: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins should live unto righteousness" (1 Peter 2:24). And then he adds, "By whose stripes ye were healed." The verb is in the past tense. By those stripes your healing has already been accomplished.

Jesus not only poured out His blood to cover our sins, but He suffered in His body that we might have healing for ours. That healing has already been paid for, so the risen Messiah comes to bring healing to us now. The risen Messiah does heal.

Healing power can flow through you to touch others.
The Lord wants to use us as a channel of His healing power to minister life to others.

The greatest miracles we will see in the 21st century will be on the cutting edge of evangelism. Throughout Scripture Jesus performed miracles and this phrase followed: "that they might believe." As the church moves forward in the power of the Holy Spirit to reach and touch men and women who have yet to know Christ, as it was for my grandmother and my parents, the miracle-working power of God will cause a lost world to be drawn to Christ. This new generation is turned off by religion, but hungry for spirituality and the supernatural.

Here’s how healing happens: When you pray and ask with faith.
The faith is in the Word of God. John 14:12,13 says: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

Jesus said that greater things than have ever happened in your ministry are going to happen when you pray. He said, "My desire is for greater things to happen." It is His power. He says that’s the way it happens — when you ask in His name. Ask with faith; faith means receiving.

There are things we don’t understand about healing. We may never know all the answers to our questions, but the Lord has urged us to invite Him to minister healing.

When you lay hands on the sick in Jesus’ name.
"Jesus’ name" means by the authority of Jesus. We have been given the right or the privilege to go in His name and lay hands on the sick. The Lord says to go and touch them in His name.

The power of Communion.
When you receive Communion and believe, healing can come. As you acknowledge His life that was poured out for you, His body that was broken for you, and His blood that was shed for you, healing flows from that table. First Corinthians 11:30 says that many are sick and many sleep because they have not discerned the Lord’s body and received the provision that is made available at the table of the Lord.

Ask elders to anoint with oil and pray.
James 5:14-16 says, "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church." You need to ask. One of the ways Jesus heals today is with the anointing of oil by the elders. Oil in the Bible is a picture or symbol of the power of God. Oil is the picture of the Holy Spirit. So we anoint with oil, because we welcome the power of the Holy Spirit. Scripture says that the yoke of bondage will be broken and destroyed because of the anointing.

Ron McManus, an Assemblies of God minister, lives in Atlanta, Ga. He is executive vice president of The INJOY Group.

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