Faithlife
Faithlife

The Gospel and Healing

James  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts

What if it is true. I mean all of it. It is with out precedent. I mean there was this person who was dead, but then came back to life. Really a dead person who was buried, not breathing for 3 days then (gasp for air). And this is not like resurrection in your heart, or “you know for me he came back from the dead. For you maybe he didn't, but I find it meaningful.” What I am talking about true reality what if a cold dead body in a tomb was somehow no longer dead but alive.
I mean there was this person who was dead came back to life is unheard of. Really a dead person who was buried not breathing for 3 days then came back from the dead. So I told him that if I know anything at all I know that dead people stay dead. So but then, I said, when I think about it for just a little bit longer the temptation to doubt goes away.
So I told him that if I know anything at all I know that dead people stay dead. So but then, I said, when I think about it for just a little bit longer the temptation to doubt goes away.
If that is true, if the central claim of Christianity is true, that Jesus resurrection is real then it must change everything. Life cannot remain the same. We cannot just throw our hands up in the air and say well, weird things happen.
Because the evidence points to a historical truth that in this once case a dead man did not stay dead. And if I doubt that historical truth then I would have to doubt that I could know any history at all.
. And if I doubt that then I would have to doubt that I could know any history at all.
And so seems a whole lot crazier to me to not believe the historical truth that there was a Roman Empire, or a man named Christopher Columbus, or that George Washington was our first president, than to believe that a man who in fact claimed to be God in the flesh came back from the dead.
We talked some more and then we had to get dinner ready or something and so we moved on.
Everything must change, Jesus resurrection validates everything he said and did and not only that but it also validates also what he will do. I mean We all know dead people stay dead, except for this guy, he had the power to not stay dead, and if he has that power is there anything he cannot do?
James wrote this letter to these Christians who believed that Jesus was raised from the dead, and he reminded them that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work today and specifically in our passage this morning we see Jesus power to heal.
You see we are just like these early Christians. Just like they needed to be encouraged to seek the healing power of Jesus so do we.
And while if we say we are Christians and claim to believe that Jesus came back from the dead we easily affirm that, but when it comes to healing we
FCF: And there are many reasons we my not seek his healing, maybe it is our pride, we don’t want to be seen as unsophisticated or admit that we need help, or maybe we don’t seek healing because we don’t want to be disappointed, you know “what if I am not healed.”
But no matter what it is if the resurrection of Jesus is real Jesus is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do we should seek healing.
whether it is our pride, or fear of disappointment, or unbelief
FCF: We don’t think God is concerned to heal us.
We don’t think God is concerned to heal us.
And our passage shows us we should seek the healing of our bodies, our souls, and ultimate healing.
Proposition: Because the Gospel is true we should seek healing

So first we should seek the healing of our bodies.

Spiritual Healing
Look with me at verses 14 and 15
Relational Healing
James 5:14–15 ESV
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
So James encourages those who are sick to seek healing by asking for the elders or pastors to come and anoint them with oil and pray for them. So lets answer some questions
First, what is up with the oil? Well oil a symbol for tangibly showing that this person is being set apart for God in prayer. The physicality and smell of the oil encourages faith and trust in us.
The way holding someones hand during a hard time is more encouraging than just words, so the oil is a way that God reassures us with the presence of his Spirit.
What is the oil?
Next we see this statement: “The prayer of faith will save you, and that word save “sozo”in the Greek also means heal. So the pastors and presumably others were to pray for saving and specifically healing, asking in faith, trusting that God will heal the sick person, and through this God will then heal.
So as we pray if we ask in faith the person we are praying for will be healed.
Now if we take this passage in isolation from the rest of Scripture it seems to be automatic, prayer plus faith and voila the person is no longer sick.
But James does not intents us to think this way. Actually his words are very similar to Jesus words when he says ask me anything in my name and it will be done.
It's a mistake to congratulate ourselves for strong faith when God grants a request and a mistake to blame ourselves when he refuses to do as we ask.
Implied and undergirding both of these saying is what Jesus also taught and that is to pray “your will be done.”
God will grant our request as he wills and when he wills.Sometimes that means bodily healing now, other times it means later.
But a Christian can know that it is God’s will for us to be healed. We just don’t always know the when. For we know that one day when we are resurrected from the dead as Jesus was, we will be completely healed, today we are not completely healed, because even when we re healed we still face death. But when we are healed we get a taste of that future healing today. So we should pray in faith asking for God to heal our sick bodies.
If it is God’s will to heal them at that moment.
Who does the healing?
and many times we get to experience the future resurrection healing now.
So we pray in faith trusting that God desires to heal us and many times we get to experience the future resurrection healing now.
this senerio of someone who is so sick they are stuck in bed and says they should call the pastors to come anoint them with oil and pray in faith so they can be healed and raise up and walk.
Illustration:
Just a little bit ago Sara Frances and I went out on a date. We had a courageous couple of people who risked stepped into our family circus and babysit our three little ones and so we went out to the bistro in Pendleton square. And when we go there we sat down and ordered an appetizer. We ordered some deliciously funky beats made obviously made with the foodie in mind. And while beats is not ussually something I seek out when I go out to eat it was really good.
Sara Frances and I dug in and we were talking about how good it was and after a few bites Sara Frances looked at me and said “I had no idea how hunger I was.” And I was like: “Me too!” It was like as soon as I tasted the funky delicious beats I was ready for the main course.
Application:
When God heals us today it points us to the ultimate day of healing to come. God healing us today is like the appetizer to the complete healing to come. Healing is a foretaste of heaven. The appetizer before the main course.
So God says in the bible that if we are sick we should have people pray for us to be healed. So what do we do about this? well, If you are sick you should have people pray for you to be healed. You should do this. If you are sick and your body needs healing have someone pray for you, ask for it.
Who does the healing?
You should do this. If you are sick and your body needs healing have someone pray for you, ask for it.
Why do we resist seeking bodily healing? What if I am not healed?
Set aside your pride, resit the fear of disappointment. Because the God who will heal you and raise you up out of your death bed on the last day, just may heal you and raise you up out of your sick bed today.
Why do we resist seeking bodily healing?
resit the fear of disappointment. Because the God who will heal you and raise you up on the last day, just may heal you today.
-What if I am not healed?
We should seeking healing for our bodies, as well as

we should seek healing for our soul

In verse 15 and 16 we read
James 5:15–16 ESV
And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Not all sickness is because we have sin in our life, but sometimes we are sick because we holding on to sin, whether it is bitterness, unforgiveness, or we hold on to the guilt and shame of our sin and that eat away at us.
You see it is not like we have bodies, we are bodies and our soul and body are interconnected. Our soul affect our body and our body affects our soul.
So if we are holding on to unconfessed sin and we are sick, maybe chronically so,
Now Scripture clearly teaches us not to make too close a link between sin and sickness, and then at the same time teaches us that sometimes they go hand in hand.
So if you are sick you may need to add confession of your sins as part of your “treatment plan”
Illustration:
So there is all sorts of evidence that our invisible self, what we might call the soul effects the wellness of our body. In one simple way if you have anxiety (which is a kind of fear) you may end up with an upset stomach.
Also it has been widely shown that those who suffer from depression also have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.
And it swings the other way too: People who rate happier on psychological tests develop about 50% more antibodies than average person.
Application:
And there is more and more research coming out everyday that shows that our bodies are effected by our invisible realities, what we might call our soul.
Application:
So the Bible presents that we need healing of our whole self, our bodies and souls and the health of our soul affects the health of our body.
If you are sick, add confession to your treatment plan. Examine your soul and ask God if there is any sin you need to confess.
And if you know you are holding on to secret sin, past or present, you need to seek healing by finding someone to confess it to. It can be a close friend or confidant, or you can come see me or John.
One of the things that many people lost after the Protestant reformation was the rite of confession. Certainly it was abused, but the proper use of confession could be really healing. Imagine if you had a designated person you knew you could tell anything to and who would keep utmost confidentiality, and they would hold out the promises of grace and forgiveness, and not only that but that person knew and expected to have people confess to him.
It is already hard enough to confess your sins, having a confessor breaks down the road block of having to set it all up yourself.
You see sometimes sin can feel so burden some it is hard to even know how to start confessing it. When do you open up your soul to a friend? after a workout? over dinner at community group? At a coffee shop surrounded by people?
Having a designated confessor breaks down these road blocks of having to set it all up yourself.
So if you feel burdened by your sin and don’t know who to talk to or where to start, do this. Set up a time with me or John and we can walk through a rite of confession and forgiveness before the face of God and you can receive healing for your soul.
We need to seek healing for our soul as well as

Ultimate healing

Look here at verses 19 and 20
James 5:19–20 ESV
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
That word for save, sozo as I mentioned earlier also means heal. And here at the end we are encouraged to love others souls as we love our own and go and seek out those who are wandering so they might be saved from death, healed from death and experience ultimate and final healing of resurrection life.
You see the sickness we experience today is a foretaste of our future death. But healing is a foretaste of resurrection. We are sick now because our bodies are breaking down and we will die, and we experience healing now because though we die, yet shall we live.
But healing is a foretaste of resurrection the ultimate healing of our souls, salvation.
the ultimate healing of our souls, salvation.
And as Christians we should be concerned to
In this passage James seamlessly weaves the present healing from sickness and our future salvation healing together. That is because they are really not separate things. If we are concerned about the salvation of our souls we should seek to experience that healing now. And if we desire and seek healing now we should keep our eyes on the ultimate healing and see healing not as the end in it self, but a foretaste of the ultimate healing the salvation of our souls.
He does not see them at odds, like some just care about healing now and some just care about healing after death.
He does not see them at odds, like some just care about healing now and some just care about healing after death.
Look with me at verse 15 again
To save, to heal. This is what Jesus came to do. And this passage reminds us that Jesus saving our souls and bodies happens now.
James 5:15 ESV
And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
and it also remins us that
That a Christian is not just “saved” and then just waiting it out until we go to heaven when we die. And it also teaches us that while we can have substantial healing in this life that ultimate healing will come later, that though we die yet will we live. This is the tension of the reality of the already saved and healed and not yet complete.
S
James is intentionally using death and resurrection language. Save the sick and the Lord will raise him up. With these words James reminds us of Jesus words in
John 6:40 ESV
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
The lord will raise him up.
Application:
We should seek this ultimate healing. We are so often blinded and distracted by business that many of us don’t consider that we will die. In the same way that at some point you will get sick, at some point you will die. And we should seek not only healing for when we are sick today, but we should seek healing from death itself. The healing of our souls.
Some overly emphasize that healing is not yet so that we don’t expect or pray for healing, this resolves the tension it is neat and tidy. We get sick sometimes we get better sometimes we don’t and that is it. This gives us a sense of control.
Or some deal with the tension with naivete. Expect that every Christian should have complete healing in this life. And this resolves the tension too, because this gives us a scene of control
Oh and it does not good to compare the two, James does not, like I am only concerned about future healing, and don’t really bother about present healing. Or push back on future saving of souls like that is somehow not as real or needed as present alleviation of suffering.
over emphasizing the already. That every Christian should have complete healing in this life. And this resolves the tension too, because this gives us a scene of control if we have enough faith or say the right prayer or have the right person pray for us then we would be completely healed.
if we have enough faith or say the right prayer or have the right person pray for us then we would be completely healed.
How silly it would be to seek healing
And this resolves the tension too, because this gives us a scene of control if we have enough faith or say the right prayer or have the right person pray for us then we would be completely healed.
But rather God invites us into the tension where he is the one in control. And yeah it can feel a bit messy: Why this person now and not that person.
But in this tension God meets us
Conclusion:
In this passage James seamlessly weaves the present healing from sickness and our future salvation healing together. The reason he does this is because they are really not separate things. Present healing is a gift, a taste of the future healing to come, the future breaking into the present. God’s kingdom coming. His will in heaven being done on earth.
What if Jesus really was raised from the dead. If it is true it means that Jesus words in are true
John 6:40 ESV
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Jesus resurrection validates everything he did and said. And it validates everything he will do which means
The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and Jesus will raise him up.
James 5:15 ESV
And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Jesus promise of eternal life has begun now. Jesus has the power to heal the ultimate diagnosis death, that same power is at work healing today.
So pray, pray with expectation that God will heal, because Jesus will raise us up of our sick beds today, but if not today then out of our death beds tomorrow.
If the resurrection is true healing is real. Do you believe it?
John 6:40 ESV
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
The lord will raise him up.
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