Susan and I were in Seaford, Delaware this past Sunday. We praise God for His goodness. An older man received healing in his ears. He said the doctor tested him and he had 50% loss of hearing in both ears and a ringing in his left ear. I prayed and commanded the ears to be normal in Jesus’ Name. He said the ringing stopped instantly and his ears opened up and he could hear clearly. I whispered faintly behind both ears and he promptly repeated every word I said. Praise God! This was a gift of healing. Previously I wrote a blog about The Gift of Faith and a healing that occurred in Selbyville, Delaware earlier this month. Today I’d like to teach a little about Gifts of Healings.
We’ve been to this church a few times and they want us back for at least three days after the first of the year. The pastor’s wife said, “Come teach our people, Brother Tony.” As the Lord leads, I intend to. This is a small church. Numbers and finances are not the reason we accept invitations to preach, teach, and minister. But we do need finances to pay the expenses of the ministry and the monthly bills, even our personal bills. We so value our partners and others who help us go to any size church and congregation … and even expand.
Gifts of Healings
In 1 Corinthians 12, there are nine gifts of the Spirit mentioned. These might be understood more correctly as manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Seven of these operated in the Old Testament and in the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. According to John 3:34, Jesus had the Spirit without measure … all of the anointings, abilities, and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. That infers that we today have the Spirit by measure. This is further understood by realizing that when on the earth, Jesus was the entire Body of Christ. Today He is the Head and we are the Body of Christ, and members in particular as taught in 1 Corinthians 12. The gifts of the Spirit are now divided and given to His Body and the separate members of His Body as He wills … and these gifts also operate as He wills, but as we yield.
In 1 Corinthians 12:28, we’re told that God has set gifts of healings in the Church. Notice the use of the plural word, healings. Elsewhere in the chapter, the word is healing, singular, but in the original Greek text, it’s the same word. I want to explain why I believe it’s appropriate to understood these as gifts of healings, plural.
In Acts 8:5, Philip went to Samaria to preach Christ. The people with one accord gave heed unto the things he said, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. In verse seven it says that unclean spirits came out crying with a loud voice, and many taken with palsies, and that were lame were healed. There was great joy in that city. I want you to notice that we do not have mention of any healings other than those with the palsy and who were lame. No other conditions were mentioned. I believe Philip had specific gifts of healings to minister to these specific conditions.
Again, Jesus had the Spirit without measure. All of the gifts of healings operated in Jesus’ earthly ministry. Even so, they still operated as God willed. In John 5:19 after healing a man with this manifestation of the Spirit, Jesus explained that He could not do anything of Himself, but only what He saw the Father do. In John five, Jesus didn’t preach here, but where Jesus preached, more of these manifestations were in operation. There were times where Jesus preached and He healed them all. But in John chapter five, He only healed one person. Where people cried out and called out to Him, where people received healings with their own faith, Jesus could minister to them. He often would make mention that it was their faith in operation, which released the power and anointing in His earthly ministry. But again, in John chapter five, the man did not even know it was Jesus. It was not the man’s faith this time. It was a gift of the Spirit, and that operated as the Spirit willed. It was a gift of healing.
Jesus had all of the gifts of healings. But He was the entire Body of Christ. We today are members in particular. It seems that Philip only had some gifts of healings to minister to those with the palsy and who were lame. That’s not to say that ministers should not pray for all the sick. Mark 16:18 says for all believers to lay hands on the sick … of any condition … and expect them to recover. But that’s not the same as what I call “ministry gifts.”
The passage in 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 teaches that God has given some, not everyone, gifts of healings. The question is asked, do all have these gifts? The answer to all of those questions in that passage is, “no.” For example, though all Spirit-filled believers can speak in tongues in their own private prayer lives, that’s not the same application of tongues and interpretation as a message to the Church. As a ministry to the Church, a message from God to the Church requiring interpretation, not every one would have those gifts of tongues and/or interpretations. But yes, in the private prayer life, every child of God can be filled with the Spirit and speak in tongues to God in prayer. Again however, the answer to all of those questions in that passage is, “no.” I call these “ministry gifts.” Every child of God can pray for the sick. Anyone might pray and see a miracle. Every Spirit-filled believer can speak in tongues in prayer to better worship and praise God, to better pray about things when we don’t know just exactly how to pray completely. But there are also those gifts that are a part of those called into the ministry. It’s somewhat like a carpenter and his hammer. You might not be a carpenter, but you may still own a hammer. Your hammer just might be the very same kind that a carpenter would own and use. But a carpenter would use his more … and quite possibly would be better when using it. A carpenter would use a hammer more often even though you might have one and use one on occasion. Healings can occur through anyone in the Body of Christ, but some ministers may have them as ministry gifts. Jesus had all of them. In Acts chapter eight, Philip had some of them. Today there are gifts of healings in the ministry. These operate in conjunction with the calling and anointing of the specific minister. They operate as the Spirit wills and as the minister yields. The one receiving the healing may not need as much faith to receive, but God does require more of those who have grown in His Word, or should have. Very often, the individual faith of the one healed is necessary to keep the healing even though the healing was administered as a gift of the Spirit and a part of that specific minister’s anointing. God doesn’t expect as much from someone young in the Lord. Just like us and our children, He expects more of His children who have grown … or those who should have whether they did or not. But it is easier to keep a healing even if you do use your own faith to do so. Having a gift of healing is a great manifestation from God and we give Him glory for His goodness!