(8) Spiritual Gifts and Healing

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” (1Cor 12:7)

General Perspective. The spiritual gifts in 1 Cor 12 are supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit given to and through believers (1Cor 12:7), These manifestations of the Spirit are intended for the up-building and sanctification of the church (1Cor 12:7; see; 4:26). These spiritual gifts are not the same as the gifts and ministries mentioned in Rom 12:6-8 and Eph 4:11, whereby a believer receives the power and ability to minister in a more permanent manner in the church. The list in 1Cor 12:8-10 is not necessarily exhaustive, and the gifts may occur in various combinations.

Gifts of healing. These gifts are given to the church to restore physical health by supernatural means (Mat 4:23-25; 10:1; Acts 3:6-8; 4:30). The plural ("gifts") indicates healing of various illnesses and suggests, that every act of healing is a special gift of God. Although gifts of healing are not given to every member of the body in a special way (cf. 1Cor 12:11,30), all members may pray for the sick. When faith is present, the sick will be healed. Healing may also come as a result of obedience to the instructions of Jas 5: 14-16.

(9) Divine Healing: an overview

“When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Mat 8:16-17)

God’s redemptive Provision. (1) The problem of sickness and disease is intertwined with the problem of sin and death—i.e., the consequences of the fall. Whereas medical science views the causes of sickness and disease in physiological or psychosomatic terms, the Bible presents spiritual causes as the underlying or basic problem: (a) sin, which has affected our spiritual and physical makeup (e.g., John 5:5,14), and (b) Satan (e.g., Acts 10:38; cf. Mark 9:17, 20,25; Luke 13:11; Acts 19:11-12).

(2) God’s provision in redemption is as extensive as the consequences of the fall. For sin, God provides forgiveness; for death, God provides eternal and resurrection life, and for sickness, God provides healing (cf. Ps 103:1-5; Luke 4:18; 5:17-26; Jas 5:14-15). Thus, during Jesus’ earthly life, His threefold ministry was teaching God’s word, preaching repentance (the sin problem) and the blessings of God’s kingdom (life), and healing every kind of sickness, disease and infirmity among the people (Mat 4:23-24).

Revelation Concerning God’s Will. God’s will concerning healing is revealed in four main ways in Scripture. (1) God’s own pronouncement. In Ex 15:26 God promised health and healing for His people if they remained faithful to His covenant and commands (see Ex 15:26).