Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Healing In the Atonement, part 12 of 16

V. How do people take advantage of healing in the atonement?

There are three different views in answer to this question. I'm sure there are more, but these seem to be the basic categories.

A. Instant upon salvation

If healing is provided for in the atonement along with forgiveness of sins, and if a person becomes saved immediately upon accepting the gospel, then people also ought to be completely free of physical maladies as soon as they become saved. According to this view, whenever a person gets saved, his entire slate is wiped clean. All past sins are forgiven, and all former ailments are eliminated as a result of coming under the healing blood of the atonement. The view further says that any future sins will be dealt with individually. Though a person who is saved should have a clean slate, he is able to "dirty" his slate later on. Any sin he commits could make him vulnerable to sickness again, and he may have to reap what he has sown for the rest of his life, which means his healing would never again be guaranteed. Ideally, if everybody lived like a Christian after they got saved, there would be no need for the gift of healing. In this view, the gift of healing seems to be a provision to restore fallen Christians.

B. Gift of healing

According to this view, a person who gets saved still may be oppressed by a demon or a sickness resulting from a generational spirit, a generational curse, or the effects of past sins. The person need only be delivered from whatever is ailing him, and he will from then on be immune to future sicknesses provided he doesn't return to a life of sin. The major problem with all of these views is that none of them have any basis in scripture. These are speculations people have to make to accomodate the inconsistencies in their theology. If a person believes in this teaching, then he can't use the argument that because Jesus died for sins, and sins cause sickness, that Jesus died for sickness, because it would not make sense that if both sin and sickness were covered under the atonement, that a person would have one thing immediately, and the other thing would require some additional means of grace to obtain. If a person is delivered from a physical malady by the gift of healing, then it was not the atonement that caused it.

C. Positive confession

This view is based on the scripture that says, "by his stripes we are healed." Because it says, "we are healed," in the present tense, many believe that once they are saved and under the atonement, they are already healed despite evidence to the contrary. Consequently, their apparent illnesses are only lying symptoms which are a ploy of the devil to rob a person of his joy and make a person doubt his healing. They believe that all one need do is "positively confess," that they are healed, and the healing will manifest itself. If people are going to use the fact that "we are healed," is written in the present tense to mean they are presently healed, then they would be led to the illogical conclusion that Christ atoned for their sins before he ever came to earth, because this scripture comes from Isaiah in the Old Testament, and it's written in the present tense in Isaiah as well. While it's true that having a positive attitude can have a great effect on a person's healing, words cannot create reality. Denying reality is nothing short of self-delusion. In many cases, the symptom itself is the disease. Can you imagine a person having lying symptoms of blindness but not actually being blind? That's absurd! If a person can't see, he's blind. The symptom is the disease. The Assemblies of God wrote an excellent position paper on positive confession called, "The Believer and Positive Confession," so rather than go into the positive confession teaching, I'll defer you to this document. I highly recommend it.

Continue to Part 13.

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