Non-charismatic evangelicals can minister effective miraculous healing without “the gift of healing”


“Are you evangelical or charismatic?” “Neither.”


Within the non-charismatic evangelical community there is little teaching on what is known as “the gift of healing.” This is due to a long-standing disagreement between evangelicals and charismatics over the nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit as taught in 1 Corinthians 12. The former tend to disregard these gifts while the latter are free to focus on the gifts and their operation.

To the loss of those among us who are committed to the gospel, however, few understand that according to Scripture evangelicals can actually minister supernatural healing even apart from the gift of healing. Within the context of proclaiming the kingdom of God to the lost, evangelicals can in fact heal the sick effectively and cast out demons in Jesus’ name—quite apart from “the gift.”

Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2  and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 

Here Jesus clearly gives his Twelve disciples supernatural power and authority over demons and diseases—to be used when proclaiming the kingdom of God to the lost. A measure of this power and authority was also given to the Seventy-two disciples when Jesus sent them out to proclaim the good news.

Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. …9  ”Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ “ …17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

This power and this authority over demons and disease were given to the disciples in the gospels well before the gift of healing was available—which was only after Pentecost when the Spirit came. A second crucial difference between the power & authority and the gift of healing is the purpose for which they were given. The former are clearly to be used in the context of proclaiming the kingdom of God to the lost. By contrast the gift of healing—according to 1 Corinthians 12—is for building up and ministering healing to one another in the Church, the body of Christ.

There is also a third difference between the two. A measure of power and authority over demons and disease are given to every disciple who is sent out as a witness of Jesus Christ to proclaim the gospel—which of course includes every believer. But in 1 Corinthians 12:30 Paul teaches that not everyone has the gift of healing.

The fourth difference is perhaps the most critical one for our present argument. It concerns the difference between how authority and power operate on the one hand, and how the gift of healing operates on the other hand.

Proper operation of the gift of healing of course depends heavily on the leading of the Holy Spirit, the Giver of the gift. As an example, take the practice of “treasure-hunting” familiar to some charismatics. Before going out to minister, believers will pray and ask the Spirit for supernatural words of knowledge and wisdom—gifts of the Holy Spirit—regarding the people they are going to meet later outside. The Spirit will give them supernatural understanding as they pray. Then the believers will go out and meet with people. They will share with them the information the Spirit has given to them supernaturally. The people will be amazed and their hearts open to hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

ARTICLE/ENDORSEMENT by Senior Associate Pastor of Second Baptist Church, Houston

 

“Treasure-hunting” can be quite effective and fruitful. It relies heavily on what is called “the leading of the Holy Spirit.” Few non-charismatic evangelical believers will have been exposed to this type of ministry. Now the operation of the gift of healing, like the other gifts, also relies on “the leading of the Spirit” as well. For that reason, evangelical believers might be unfamiliar (or even uncomfortable) with this gift. But this clearly need not be the case with the operation of authority and power. Instead of relying on the leading of the Spirit, authority and power are in operation whenever the gospel is preached to the lost—an activity which both trained evangelicals and charismatics should be able to do quite comfortably.

Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2  and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 

Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others… 9  ”Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ “ 

According to the above two Scriptures, whenever we proclaim the kingdom of God to the lost, we have authority and power to heal the sick and cast out demons. It is not only the Lord’s will—but in fact his command—for the sick to be healed by disciples as confirming evidence to the lost when we proclaim the kingdom of God to them. Authority and power are available for believers—whether evangelical or charismatic—to be used for that very purpose at that time. This teaching is not simply theory, but has been applied consistently countless times resulting in miraculous healings confirming the truth of the gospel to the lost, especially to non-Christian people groups highly resistant to the gospel.

The four gospels clearly teach that authority and power over diseases and demons—and not the gift of healing—were in general used to heal the sick as supernatural evidence to the Jews that He was the Messiah. A study of Acts following Pentecost confirms that this very same authority and power over demons and disease continued to be in operation through the disciples as supernatural evidence now to Gentiles as well as to Jews that Jesus was the Messiah and the only way to the One True God in heaven. Specific instances of the gift of healing in Acts by contrast are not explicitly recorded and clearly identified as an actual manifestation of the gift.

Therefore, the Lord’s authority and power are still available to us today. Both evangelicals and charismatics can be trained to use them effectively and fruitfully in the context of preaching the gospel to the lost—-without debate or disagreement.

Here we find a basis for further reconciliation and unity between evangelicals and charismatics during these last days—a result much desired by our Lord Jesus according to his priestly prayer in John 17:21.

“…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”

The purpose is the fulfillment of the Great Commission during these Last Days.
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Another basis for UNITY between Evangelicals & Charismatics during these Last Days

Powerpoint Presentation accompanying this article

 

 

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