Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, May 24th. We continue this series on the promises of God by once again learning about the subject of healing. James chapter five outlines how we're supposed to respond when we need help for our healing. Well, we are the richest nation in the world. We'll be probably about one of the sickest. And if you'll think about it, we spend billions of dollars every year on medical research and all kind of medicines and pharmaceutical this and that. And why is it we're still so sick? And so when I think about what the Bible says about the human body and its place in the eyes of God and think about the fact that we could put a man on the moon and in space and somehow we can't even stay healthy.
It's like there's something not right about all that. What does the Bible say about the human body? What does it say about our health? And usually we look everywhere else.
Look in the magazines, we watch the TV, all the ads about this will cure that, this will cure this. But there are fifteen other things that may happen as a result of you taking this. And so, we end up in confusion. We're not too sure what we believe about it. So, I always want to go back and say, well, God, what did You say about it? And in First Corinthians chapter six, listen to what Paul said. He said, Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you're not your own? For you've been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body. Now, when he says that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in us, somebody says, well, God's everywhere.
Well, let's ask ourselves a question. When people say, well, God's in trees, God's in the ocean, God's in mountains, God's in the moon, God's in the stars. No, He's not. He's not in it. He is above it. He is beyond it. He is the Creator of it, but He is not consumed in it. And people who believe that have a very unbiblical, non-biblical view of who God is. He's not in all that. He's the Creator of all of it.
But now when it comes to the human body, it's a different story. And the story is simply this. He created you and me for the purpose of indwelling us. And so, when a person is filled with the Spirit of God, you'll find the character of God in that life.
That person's conduct, their conversation, their character is going to represent, it's going to symbolize, it's going to be something about that person that's more like God, that's more like the Lord Jesus Christ. So, He is in us. He dwells in us.
He doesn't dwell in anything else. He dwells in us. And so, He says this, because He does, these bodies of ours, from God's perspective, is the temple of the Holy Spirit. And He says, who dwells within us, these bodies are not our own. They're not our own. And so, when a person is filled with the Spirit of God within us, we have been purchased with a price.
That is, the blood of Jesus Christ purchased you and me so that we could represent, we could exhibit the life of Christ here on earth. That makes the human body very important in the eyes of God because it's the housing of the soul, it's the housing of the body, it's the housing of the body. So, that being the case, you and I should ask ourselves a question, how should we treat it? For a lot of people, they treat it with abuse. They treat it with neglect. They get sick as a result of their ignorance or their abuse.
They treat it with fear. And so, the human body is the housing of the Holy Spirit of God here on earth. And so, we all get sick at times for different reasons, whatever it might be. A lot of times, something that we have nothing to do with and a person can be sick a long time before they even discover it. But healing ministry, we're not talking about a healing ministry.
We're talking about being a child of God and having something happen in the human body that causes us to be sick or some emotional issue that goes on that causes us to be thrown off course a little bit. So, what I want us to do is I want us to look at the Scripture to see what God says and to see what He says when you and I need healing in our life. Now, first response is call the doctor.
First response, go to the pharmacy. If I can get enough pills of this, enough of that, enough of the other, then I don't need anything else. You realize what that means? That means my first choice is what man made instead of what God made. And so, I want us to be open and honest and look at this according to what God says in His Word. So, I want you to look, if you will, in James. This fifth chapter of James, and he tells us how we are to respond when there is illness, when there is sickness in our life.
And in this fifth chapter, he's been talking about lots of things we're familiar with, about trials and so forth. Then he comes to the thirteenth verse and he asks this question, Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He's to sing praises.
Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church. And they're to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, on the basis of all that, confess your sins to one another.
Pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. And then he gives us this illustration. He says, for example, Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.
I'm glad he put that in there. He was a man, and it was not this spiritual giant. He was a man with a nature like ours. And he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again and the sky poured rain and the earth produced fruit. My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. Hallelujah.
Amen? So, when we witness the people, God begins to work in their life. Now, a help for our healing begins with understanding a few basic things of what the Bible teaches about healing. So, I want you to listen carefully.
I won't go into detail, but just mention them because we've already taken care of this in the message before. The question is, is sickness a result of sin? Sometime it is, sometime it is not. Is it the will of God to heal everyone of their sickness and disease?
Sometime it is, sometime it is not. Where do physicians fit in God's healing plans? Well, Paul had a friend in Luke. He called him Luke, the beloved physician who probably was with him oftentimes. And the Bible speaks of physicians.
They're called of God. And then, what should be our response when God does not heal us? Romans eight twenty-eight says, I'm to look at all things that's coming from God and trusting Him to work out His good will and purpose and plan, whatever may be His purpose and plan for my life. Well, can a lost person expect God to heal their prayers for healing?
Absolutely not. You say, well, why can't I? Because you don't have a relationship with God. Sin separates you from God.
You have no relationship to Him. You have no right to call for Him for anything until you trust Him as your Savior. Now, does God in His mercy and grace and love do things that none of us deserve? And even for people who are lost, yes, He does. But it isn't an answer to your prayer. It's a result of His grace and His goal is to bring you to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Then, of course, can sickness in the life of the believer be profitable? In the hundred-nineteenth Psalm, written by David, look at this. The hundred-nineteenth Psalm and the sixth, the seventh verse, look at this. Here's his testimony. David said, Before I was afflicted, I went astray. That is, he got out of God's will. But now I keep Your Word. You are good and do good. Then in the seventy-first verse, he says, It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.
Can you say that? How many of us, for example, would be where we are in our relationship to God today were it not for pain, suffering, hurt, loss, misunderstanding, rejection, disease, you name it. He uses all of that on our behalf. Therefore, because He uses that on our behalf, God isn't always quick to heal us. Sometimes He allows something to go on in our life for years and years and years. Sometimes He takes a person home at the end of a long period of time of suffering and sickness. But God always has a goal in mind. His ultimate goal, He says, is this. Romans eight, twenty-nine, He has predestined us to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.
So, you know what He's up to? Whatever it takes to make us like His Son, He's working at it. Sometimes that's difficult. Sometimes it's hard to understand. Sometimes we don't like it. Sometimes it causes us to doubt God, to question God's ways or His love.
But He knows exactly what He's doing. So, when you look at all the questions that people have about why God does this and why He does that and so forth, the question is, how should we respond and how should the body of Christ respond? So, what I want us to look at for a few moments here is the help for our healing. Whoever we are can involve other people.
Now, think about this. We talk about the church being the body of Christ. Talk about the church being an organization. The church is also a family. And every single local church is a family of the people of God. And if you'll think about the church in the early days when they didn't have buildings like we have, for example, for one thing.
They didn't have doctors as we have them today, of course. And so, church was different and they didn't have all the assets that we have. And there was that interdependence. And you remember in Acts when all those folks got saved, the Bible says they were doing this for each other and they were selling everything and making sure everybody had their needs met. It's a different day.
It seems today we are much more concerned about our needs than we are the needs of other people. And so, in this chapter of James, he gives us a pattern. Now, I want you to listen carefully because this pattern affects everything. Not just sickness, not just emotional things, not just physical things, but notice what he says and I want us to look at it again and read it just for a moment.
And I want us to look at what's involved here. And so, he is asking this question, Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful?
Then he's to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? So, what I want you to notice first of all here, he separates sickness from suffering because we need each other not only when a person is physically sick, because there are many, many emotional distraught people who are suffering far more intensely than people who may be physically sick. There is emotional hurt and pain, suffering. There is rejection and hatred and bitterness and resentment and unforgiveness and all the rest. And people suffering loss, loss of their home, loss of their children, loss of their family, all kind of things going on. So, when he says, Is anyone suffering? And if we were to ask this one, Is anyone suffering? Raise your hand.
Most people would probably raise their hand about something. So, well, I'm saying all that to say this, and that is we're not just limiting what he's saying here to somebody who has some physical ailment. Physical sickness, yes. Emotional sickness, yes indeed. And I think oftentimes it could be even worse on the emotional side. So, he asks the question, If they are.
So, the condition we're talking about here is a physical condition, or it can be an emotional condition. And he says, In light of that, this is the way we're to operate. And he says, We're to call for help. And so, what does he mean by that?
And notice what he says. He says, If anyone among you is sick, then he must call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him of all in the name of the Lord. Now, somebody says, Well, what's an elder? Well, in the New Testament days, the apostle Paul, for example, when he would establish churches, what he would do, he would go back through that fellowship and he would call out and choose people that he felt would be good leaders for the church.
And as a result, that's the way they became elders, as they would call them. And it's interesting when he left from Aletus to Ephesus and called this group of men. Here's what the Scripture says. He said to them, Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.
To shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. So, when he said to shepherd the church of God, he talks about what our responsibility is. And in the light of doing that, he comes to this whole issue of how we're to deal with people who are going through troubles and trials and heartaches. And he says, Here's what you're to do. So, he doesn't leave it for us to guess what to do. He makes it very clear.
And so, I want us to look at this couple of verses here because he makes it so very clear. He says, Here's the course of action. He said, Now, then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him.
Now, watch this. The elder doesn't call the person. The person calls the elder of the church.
For example, if you become ill and you want somebody to pray for you, don't wait for somebody to guess that you're sick. He says, You call for the elders of the church. They are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. Now, what's his oil business got to do with it? Well, somebody says, Does the oil heal? No, it's the prayer that's important here, not the oil. Though the oil, for example, is a symbol of the presence of the Holy Spirit in some places. And then you'll recall also with the Good Samaritan, when he found this man lying on the side of the road, he poured oil in his wounds and wine. And so, that helped him.
And so, they didn't have many things that would help, but those two would. And so, he says, We're to anoint them with oil. There's nothing magical about that. And there's no evidence in Scripture that Jesus was anointing people with oil.
And when Jesus sent the disciples out preaching and teaching, sometimes they did. In other passages, there's no mention of oil. So, it's not something that's magic. It is a symbol. It is an indication.
It's a reminder. And so, he says, We're to anoint them with oil. He says, And He says, Do it in the name of the Lord. That is, I'm doing this in obedience to the will of God, the Word of God, indicating that we're trusting the Holy Spirit to work in your physical body or in your emotions, whatever happens to be going on in your life. And then he says, And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who's sick.
If he's committed sins, they'll be forgiven him. Now, the most important part of all of this is right here. Because we're talking about what makes the difference.
It isn't the oil. It's the praying. Now, I want you to think about this. Let's say, for example, that you were sick and you wanted some elders to come and pray at your house for you. What kind of people do you want? Well, you'd want people who certainly believe that God heard and answered prayer.
And so, you'd probably have some characteristics. You'd think, Well, I want people I know. I want people that I know know the Word of God.
I want people to live a good life and so forth. Well, he doesn't leave it for us to guess. Listen, he says, offered in faith. He says that prayer needs to flow out of a life of faith, somebody who believes the Word of God. If God says this is what He'll do, then I must believe that's what He's going to do. If I come to your house, for example, to pray for you and I don't believe that God answers prayer, wasting time. And so, he says the prayer of faith is a prayer based on the Word of God. A prayer of faith is a prayer based on our experience with God in answered prayer, the prayer of faith. So, ask yourself the question, Do you believe that God still answers prayer?
Oh, yes. Do you believe that God still answers prayer for healing? Because you see, the truth is most people don't.
Now, they'll give you some reasons, but it happens and people don't really and truly take seriously that you have a need. I'm going to pray for God to meet this need in your life and believe that He will do it. So, if there's going to be healing, there must be a prayer that flows out of a life of faith, which means, watch this, you can't go seven days a week, pick up the Bible on Sunday morning and come to church and read the Scripture with us and go home, lay it on the desk, on the table. It gets all dusted up before the next week and bring it back and have a life of faith.
You can't. Because our life is so invaded by so many things and things we hear and incidences, you name it. We need to be in the Word of God continually. Reading the Word of God, listening to Him, being reminded by Him, challenged by Him, directed by Him, we need the Word every single day of our life. Listen, the truth is your effectiveness as a follower of Jesus is absolutely related to your relationship to His Word. So, if I'm going to be praying a prayer of faith, it's going to be based on the Word of God. And if I haven't read the Bible for about a week or two weeks or whatever it might be, I guarantee you, if you'll just stop and think about it in your own life, you don't read the Scripture, your faith level starts down.
And the longer you stay away from the Word of God, the less faith you have to genuinely trust Him in those serious times. Thank you for listening to Help for Our Healing. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-15 06:05:16 / 2023-04-15 06:13:42 / 8