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We Had Faith, So Why Didn’t God Heal My Brother?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
January 16, 2020 1:00 am

We Had Faith, So Why Didn’t God Heal My Brother?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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January 16, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 359 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Key questions answered in today's show:

1.  I have a brother in law who is a preacher and he heads up a ministry of healing. He is really into healing words and Scripture. He has gone through a major operation for his heart and he is a little depressed and wonders why he wasn’t healed. I know that the Bible teaches that not everyone is healed. But they say that if you really, truly believe then your prayers will be answered. I’m wondering about it too. I would appreciate any insight.

2.  I recently had a conversation with a coworker about how she's a Christian who believes in purgatory. My understanding of purgatory is that it's a Catholic belief and not biblical at all. Her argument is that God will provide a resting place before we go to Heaven. I got a little confused, especially remembering the Scripture in Luke where it says we will die one death and then there's judgement. Would you be able to clarify this for me?

3.  What does it mean when Paul speaks about us being, "raised up with Christ”?

4.  Is it possible to be angry but no be in sin?

5.  Should Christians observe Jewish holidays and festivals like Hanukkah and Passover?

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This is core Christianity, where answering your questions about the Christian life Monday through Friday. Your hosts are author and seminary professor Dr. Michael Horton and Pastor atrial Sanchez call right now with your question. At 1833. The core that's 1-833-843-2673 and now here's atrial Sanchez. They look back to another episode of Christianity so good to be together again. We are answering your questions about the fate I'm pastor a drill Sanchez with Prof. Michael Horton, can God supernaturally heal you go to one study, 33% of people said that they strongly agree with the statement. People can be physically healed supernaturally by God.

Another 33% agreed somewhat with that statement. 15% disagreed somewhat and 19% strongly disagreed. You can't read the Gospels without seeing Jesus healing all over the place, but that was then what about today. That brings us to a call received from Bob. Bob will call you on your ministry if you are very serious about you know every day reading about words in Scripture reading books about people. Many people on constantly major operation for his heart. He was a little depressed and his wife are your warriors and many, many years.

I think he was wondering why, really, truly leading your prayers will be answered, wondering about to appreciate any. Thank you so much. Thanks, Bob.

First of all, God heals.

He is the healer.

That's what we pray to the Lord because he has the power to heal and he's good and loving but precisely because he's good and loving. He exercises his power to heal as he chooses. And as he knows is best in any particular case, the miracles just don't work like your brother-in-law I think is expecting to hear a miracle is a direct intervention of God suspending ordinary laws.

You can't set up laws even prayer and say that God is bound to them. My grandma had a mug expect a miracle we can pray for miracles, but we can't expect them the very nature of a miracle is God does them when and where he chooses.

They're not ordinary they're not normal to say that if we have enough faith. Bob it's going to happen is to dishonor both God and the sufferer. Let me explain that for just a moment.

In none of the cases that we have reported in Scripture is faith a kind of trigger is faith something that causes God to act.

So for example you you do have Jesus saying to the woman with the issue of blood, your faith has made you well. There he set your faith in me has made you well. Your forgiven of your sins. Remember what he said the paralytic, he said, in order to prove that he has the power to forgive sins healed the paralytic. Jesus didn't just go around healing everybody with every disease and illness indiscriminately. He performed signs that pointed to something more important, namely, the forgiveness of sins, and so you can't control God's behavior by how much faith you have and it's not only demeaning to God's sovereignty is also demeaning to the sufferer.

What happens when a godly man or woman or child says I believe and God still didn't heal me.

Well, now you think maybe you're not even a Christian you know you're you're in this mess because of something that you double that's like Job's counselors. Job's counselors kept coming to them telling them well you got some secret sin in your life or you just don't know how but don't have enough faith know if you read Job start to finish. You realize that there was some greater purpose in view.

If we think sickness is the greatest problem we have that we don't really understand the greatest problem we have the greatest problem we have is that we are enemies of God and the best news we have is that he's reconciled us to himself in his son by Christ's death on the cross and his resurrection, the forgiveness of sins is what we need most.

If God uses our suffering or pain or weakness in order to show his strength in redeeming grace to point us to the cross and the forgiveness of sins.

That's what we need a lot more than health, wealth and happiness. We make one more point here. You know sometimes we talk so much about miracles we downplay the significance of God working every day through ordinary laws that he has put into place, and through which he operates. He doesn't just set up these laws and then walk away and have a coffee he's operating through these normal everyday laws, but give you an example.

In 1928 Alexander Fleming in his basement office at St. Mary's Hospital in London noticed a petri dish left near an open window. Growing up blue-green mold kinda sounds like my refrigerator in college and that's how he discovered what he called penicillin.

Now who made the mold who created the fungus from which important medicines are made today God. God is the creator God is the one who led Fleming by" accident. To discover penicillin. That's how it works. God normally works through the stuff he made the stuff he created.

God rarely intervenes directly and immediately. But when he does, we give thanks because we don't expect it because we don't demand it were not little gods, you know, naming and claiming our blessings.

We are humble servants of the Lord don't deserve anything from his hand and yet he provides so richly for us and he will take care of us even without a miracle. He works all things together for the good of those who love him. For those who are called according to his purpose. He even works suffering and pain into a tapestry that will be ultimately for our salvation and for his glory out of the I could fit any better than that one thing that that I would just add those that really is a crushing ideology or belief. Whatever you want to call it. This idea that I'm not heal, because I just don't have enough faith to think of all the people right now who are listening who are struggling with some thumb ailment and to tell them, well, you probably just don't have enough faith. That's it out. I was thinking about Paul's words to Timothy in first Timothy five retells a no longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and frequent ailment that there he is talking about the ordinary ways that God heals and works in us, so thank you for that question. Probably that's an encouraging for you. Here's a message we received from Jen. I recently had a conversation with a coworker about how she's a Christian who believes in purgatory. My understanding purgatory is that it's a Catholic belief and not biblical it all. Her argument is that God will provide a resting place. Before we go to heaven I got a little confused, especially remembering the Scripture in Luke where it says we will die one death and then there's judgment. Would you be able to clarify this for me Jan thank you very much for your question, I would just lovingly ask your coworker where in the Bible. She's finding this idea of purgatory or this idea of rest before we go to heaven heaven is risky. Yeah, you're right in thinking this is a Roman Catholic idea. Here's with the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church says on purgatory all who die in God's grace and friendship but still imperfectly purified are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. So purgatory at least according to Roman Catholics, and so much about rest but cleansing and purification, and one of the reasons Christians have rejected the doctrine of purgatory is because of our firm belief that the cleansing we needed in order for us to enter into heaven was 100% supplied by Jesus at the cross. That was the moment of your purification, Jen, and when you trust in Jesus, the doors of heaven are flung wide open in our own holiness. None of us is worthy of heaven is a thief on the cross probably had wasted his entire life. There were plenty of bad things that he needed to be cleansed of you know what Jesus's blood was enough. When Jesus said to him today you will be with me in paradise. Not after seven weeks or seven years or 7000 years of purgation. The glorious thing about Jesus's blood is that it's sufficient to perfectly cleanse you, so we reject the doctrine of purgatory. At least two grounds. One we don't see it taught in Scripture. But on the contrary, it seems like in Scripture. Those who die in Christ, go to be in the presence of the Lord.

Second Corinthians chapter 5 verse eight in two we don't believe we need an extra cleansing on top of the one Jesus applied for us. You're either washed in the blood or you aren't. If you aren't a million years in purgatory couldn't cleanse you if you are, you have the hope of being in the presence of Jesus in the moment that you die and so Jenetta allied answer that and I just talk to your friend and say hey where you getting this in the Scriptures. Yeah, I'm number one.

Pope Benedict said very frankly a great example of the fact that the Pope can promulgate new doctrines, even without scriptural justification is the doctrine of purgatory.

So he singled us out, and he acknowledged it's not taught in the Bible and another argument is it. It's not only not taught in Scripture. It runs counter to everything that is taught in Scripture about the gospel. There is therefore now right now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 81, but Paul says in Romans five, having been justified by faith, we now have peace with God, you know, Hebrews 914 tells us that Jesus died once and for all.

So, how much more will the blood of Christ, who offered himself without blemish to God, purify our consciences from dead works to serve the living God. We don't live toward the hope that we will be purified. One day we live from the certainty that we already have been at the cross of Jesus else in a core Christianity and we are taking your questions about the faith.

Give us a call with your question at 1-833-843-2673. That's 1833 the core or send us an email at questions at core, Christianity.com want let you know. But at an opportunity that we have for you today to partner with us. Yeah we like to invite everybody to consider coming alongside us and showing your support for the program by joining we call the inner court and before I tell you how to join. I want to just take a second here to thank all those inner core members were listening. You don't know how grateful we are for your generous gifts. New listeners discover the core Christianity program every day and your support helps us keep reaching people all around the world. We get letters and calls from people who say that they just discovered the gospel. What could be greater than that in with your monthly gift of $25 or more. You can be part of the team, making it possible for us to answer these questions and share the core truths of the Christian faith. So head on over core, Christianity.com/inner core. To learn more or give us a call. It 833. The core think CNN number is 1-833-843-2673 let's move on to the next question now. I now yeah and I have a question for my wing of our life and what Christ and God mean request Nadia. When Paul speaks of our having been raised up with Christ. He speaking of our union with Christ in his death and resurrection, but also it in his ascension and this is one of the greatest truths in Scripture that were united to Christ by the Holy Spirit through the gospel and the faith that he gives us to cling to Christ for all of his benefits. So were adopted in him to inherit everything that he has from the father and it's it's not just that Jesus secured our salvation by his work. We think of obviously were saved because he died on the cross. 2000 years ago and rose again from the dead.

That's true but it's more than that, it's that were actually baptized now into his life, death and resurrection, so it's actually by his life, death and resurrection that we are buried with Christ and raised with him so he didn't just make it possible for us to be saved actually saved us, by his life of obedience. His death in our place. In his resurrection for our justification. We died with him.

We were buried with him. We are now alive to God the father in his resurrection, we find our total salvation in his work.

Everything that happened to him happens to us because were united to him and one day will ultimately be glorified because he is glorified. We can't help but be glorified because her head is glorified so intimate is this bond with Christ that Paul can say I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. You know he's not saying that my personal identity is being swallowed up in Christ what he saying here is that who I am is so defined by who Jesus is and what he accomplished for me that even though I still have my own personhood. My own personal identity.

I can't talk about myself anymore without Christ being my reference point.

Nadia, thanks for your question. I would also recommend Mike's book core. Christianity is a helpful resource on this topic, you can request a copy of core Christianity by calling 1-833-843-2673. That's 1833, the court will send you a copy for your donation of any amount. Your donations help us to continue to show the truth of God's word with people like you. So again, thank you is another wonderful truth a row. I mean, you and I I know we both agree that this is this like the thing that pulls together all the doctrines of salvation that in Christ we have election we been chosen in him we been redeemed by him. We been justified by him made alive in him seated with him in heavenly places. And one day he's coming again for us were being conformed daily to the image of the sun.

He is the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. I mean all this imagery I am the vine, you are the branches. John 15 it's really replete throughout Scripture is not that we don't have our own sort of identity over here and then Jesus over there but from now on I am who I am because I'm in Christ. He had these are really the truths that we as followers of Jesus Christ need to be reminding our ourselves of daily because it's so easy for us to forget that very reality that our identity is not in ourselves are and what we do every day. It's in Jesus Christ and that helps when you know I think what is my identity. I mean I am a soccer mom I'm a middle-aged guy who's kind of bolding in the middle.

Is it time to to get the Maserati in my dad and my coach MI. This in my that and yeah I mean we can be all those things will ultimately that the main thing is getting back on track. Who am I in Christ and once I enumerate all the blessings I have in Christ and dig into that and find out more and more what that means, which is what we try to do on this program.

The more people really begin to appreciate who they are in him, not defined ultimately by the world by being a Republican or Democrat are being this ethnicity or that ethnicity having this kind of job or that kind of a job but ultimately ultimately more than anything else that we are all together in Christ you speak about being in Christ, you know, the book where that phrase appears time and time again probably more often than the other New Testament book is the book of Ephesians we got an email here about the book of Ephesians is from Peter in Ephesians 4, Paul says to be angry and do not sin to not let the sun go down on your anger and did not give the devil an opportunity.

Is it possible to be angry and not to sin.

And what does it mean to not let the sun go down on your anger, and how does this relate to not giving the devil an opportunity. In other really is Peter such a thing as righteous anger at the quick we don't have to look any further than Jesus Christ to recognize that there a few accounts in the gospels.

One, for example, in Mark chapter 3 where Jesus is upset because of how the Pharisees are responding to a man that he heals on the Sabbath day in Mark chapter 3 verse five says he looked around at them with anger grieved at their hardness of heart. I think also of Jesus cleansing the temple in John's Gospel. He can read about it in John chapter 2 verses 13 and 14 and was interesting.

Here in Ephesians that Paul says be angry. That was righteous anger isn't simply something that were allowed to have. It's commanded sin and its effects injustice in the community should make us angry and I have three small children you imagine speaking of getting a thing of being angry. I will.

You can imagine you someone trying to intentionally harm your children God for bid life that didn't make you angry. There's a problem there. When God's good creation is being ravaged by sin and when the worship of God isn't taken seriously. The people of God should be grieved the second partier question. The how does this relate to not giving the devil an opportunity and not letting the sun go down on on your wrath. I think there's a clue in that this is actually a quotation from Psalm chapter 4 verses three and four. Listen to what the psalmist said, but know that the Lord is set apart the godly for himself, the Lord hears when I call him be angry and do not sin ponder in your own hearts on your beds and be silent so I think with the apostle Paul is doing. Here's a couple of things you say one be angry because of sin that that's okay. There is this righteous indignation that we can have but to don't use your anger as an excuse to go and sin. Mort don't allow your anger to grow into bitterness and and give Satan an opportunity to exploit that against you. And isn't that what he says do not let the sun go down on your anger, the sort of easiest barometer of whether we are sinning in our anger, rather than expressing righteous anger is whether we go to bed with it were holding onto it and have resentment instead of taking it to the Lord in prayer. Interesting him when we go to another call hi Mme., why was never a point of Israel, why was there never a Queen of Israel.

Thanks, Adam will I think we can.

First of all, point, creation, Eve. Of course, was also created in God's image and was given the vocation alongside Adam to extend God's kingdom, but Adam was appointed the representative head of the human race into his created first, and was created with a particular position as the covenantal head of the whole human race, but we can also point to redemption in Genesis 315 God promised that his seed of the woman, the Messiah would crush the serpent's head of that is would destroy Satan and then the kings of Israel pointed to this Messiah. Now, none of those kings, not even David pointed very well at the end of the day.

David did better than most, but they were appointed in their office to point to Christ, the true king and actually kind appointed to them by not just positive, even more than positive, negative, anticipated areas with a failed yeah exactly.

So Israel, that is the church in both Testaments is the bride of Christ. And so the point is that this Messiah will be the sun and seed of the woman will be the son of Abraham and Sarah will be the son of David will be the son of God and all of these pointers like a runway landing the plane.

All of these lights are directing our attention towards the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Now there were some great women leaders in the Bible we think of Deborah, the judge of Israel. For example, but the main focus is on this coming son, the true king of Israel who would save his people from their sins. Here's a Facebook question we received from Rachel. Should Christians observe Jewish festivals like Purim, Hanukkah and Passover well you know what it's like to watch a movie when you go to the climax of the plot you don't go back to the trailer and in the same way, Paul says, don't go back to the elementary principles of the law.

Now that Christ is come, he argues this, especially in Galatians 4. Particular chapter 4 verses three through nine, so when Jesus came. Paul argues he fulfilled these festivals.

Paul likens those who continue to observe the festivals to pagans who follow an astrological calendar for me that's really strange but that's this argument he said is all superstition.

Now why because the old covenant fulfilled its job of leading us to Christ.

It it was true then it was the right thing to do then to follow these feasts actually not Hanukkah necessarily because it's on a biblical institution, but now that Christ has come, the Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. He is the true temple. He is the true sacrifice. He is the true priest. All of these festivals in the Bible.

The biblical feasts were tied to the temple were tied to the land were tied to the high priests. None of that is there anymore and you can't just pick and choose the bits and bobs that you like so when you're watching a movie. Do you don't go back to the trailer when the climax is come. Jesus has brought the types and shadows of the law to an end because he's their fulfillment. Christ is everything. He's not like 80% and then festivals will make up for the 20% know he's everything that now we have the gospel clearly proclaimed, we have baptism rather than circumcision as the sign and seal of the new covenant week, Christ continues to give himself to us in the Lord's supper don't go back to the earthly Jerusalem with its anticipations of Christ.

When Jesus himself has come and delivers himself to us now in word and sacrament. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us@corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu for or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33 core when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together


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