One of the most controversial, divisive and sometimes hurtful questions to talk about in all of Christendom is, “Are healings and miracles supposed to happen in today’s Christian Church as they did in New Testament times?” Charismatic and Pentecostal Christians say, “YES! We only have to have the faith to believe it and we will receive whatever we pray for.” Most other Christian denominations say, “No! The gifts of healing and miracles, along with the gifts of tongues and prophecy, were ‘sign gifts’, given by Christ to His chosen 1st Century disciples, for the purpose of authenticating and demonstrating that God was doing something new – Jesus fulfilled the Law through His death and resurrection, the inclusion of all nations into the family of God and the “birth” of His Church.” These denominations do believe that God still does heal and God still does miraculous “signs and wonders” outside of the natural realm of possibility, but He is not limited to the use of specific individuals or places or items, such as “holy water” or “holy oil” (Read James 5:14) or “healing handkerchiefs” (Read Acts 19:11-12) or “healing rooms” or “healing stones” or “healing pools” (Read John 5:1-9) or “holy images or icons” to accomplish His will.
What is my answer to the question, “Are healings and miracles supposed to happen in today’s Christian Church as they did in New Testament times?” My answer may surprise you. My answer is “YES!” But, before you stop reading, my answer comes from studying all the healings and miracles recorded in the New Testament. I base my answer on the answers to other questions God has answered for me, during a careful search of the New Testament Scriptures, along with praying for the Holy Spirit’s help and guidance and illumination of God‘s Word. Here are my questions: Did Jesus only heal those who had faith in Him? Did Jesus heal everyone who came into His presence? Did Jesus heal everyone who sought Him out for healing? Did people have to “come to Jesus” to be healed? Did Jesus heal people in the same way? Did Jesus only perform miracles for those who had faith in Him? Did Jesus always miraculously save His followers from danger? How many times do healings and miracles take place in the Book of Acts and the other Books of the New Testament? What was the Apostles’ main ministry? Did Peter, James and John make their ministry focus healing people and performing miracles?
These are the questions I asked in a one-and-a-half year study of the healings and miracles found in the New Testament. My 70+ pages of writing are not in the same category as the writings of the Apostle John, in the Book of Revelation or any other Book of the Bible – far from it! However, these are not only my conclusions. I have found that there are many far more learned theologians who agree with my findings (or is it better to say I agree with their findings?). This encourages me and tells me that I’m in “the right ballpark.” So, you too be encouraged. This is not “Healings and Miracles According to Lydia.” My answers are right there, in black and white (and sometimes red), already written in the Scriptures. All I had to do was read and study God’s Word and the Holy Spirit answered my questions. I did not like or understand some of the answers, but I am not God Who sees and knows everything from beginning to end (Read Isaiah 40:10-14). I encourage you, dear readers, to do the same and read the New Testament. Don’t only take my word for it, but go to God’s Word and read it for yourselves. All true Christian denominations, including Charismatic and Pentecostal, have at least two things in common: 1. We all believe that Jesus Christ is the “Cornerstone” of our Faith (Read Ephesians 2:19-22), and 2. We believe in the inerrancy of God’s Word and the close of the Canon, at the death of the last Apostle, John (Read II Timothy 3:16-17 and Revelation 22:18-19).
It is my prayer that as I share the answers to the above questions found in the Scriptures, along with the Scripture passages listing the Gifts of the Spirit, in their contexts (Don’t worry. The posts won’t be 70+ pages long), they will bring clarity and promote unity and (yes) bring healing to all who read both my posts and, more importantly, God’s Word for themselves. Jesus wants to bridge the gap between us and give us the Spirit of unity through His bond of peace.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it” (Ephesians 4:2-7).
(Photo taken of the Bridge of Flowers from the bridge next to it, on the Buckland, MA end. Both bridges connect Shelburne Falls and Buckland. Jesus wants to do the same for all His followers – connect us with each other.)
(In Shelburne Falls, on my way to Buckland – where the ice cream shop is!)