ONE – Does God Still Heal Today?
Yes, there is nothing in the Bible that indicates that he has stopped. And in fact, there are several passages that positively argue he still does. A couple of examples include:
TWO – What is the spiritual gift of healing?
Actually, 1 Corinthians 12:9 and 29 teach that the Spirit gives gifts of healings. Both are plural. This might mean there are many different gifts or powers of healing, each appropriate to and effective for its related illness, or each that healing constitutes a distinct gift in its own right.
THREE – Can people heal at will?
No. 1 Corinthians 12:11 teaches us that the Spirit apportions to each one individually as He wills. So one day God might give you a gift of healing and another day he might not.
John Piper very helpfully points to the Apostle Paul’s experience as proof of this. God gave him the grace to heal the crippled man in Lystra (Acts 14:10) and many people in Ephesus (Acts 19:12) and the demonized girl in Philippi (Acts 16:18) and Eutychus whom he resurrected (Acts 20:9–10). But then Paul could not heal himself from the ailment that he had when he preached in Galatia (Galatians 4:13–14). And evidently, he could not heal Timothy from his stomach ailments (1 Timothy 5:23), Epaphroditus from his life-threatening sickness (Philippians 2:26–27), r Trophimus whom he left ill at Miletus (2 Timothy 4:20). So sometimes Paul was given gifts of healings and sometimes he wasn’t. God is sovereign in this affair and there’s nothing mechanical or automatic about it.
FOUR – Should hope of supernatural healing replace seeking natural cures?
No. In 1 Timothy 5:23, the apostle Paul recommends the use of wine to ease Timothy’s stomach ailment: No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. Here we see Paul does not only rely on faith healing.
Additionally, it is God who created substances in the earth that can be made into medicine. In this light, they are a part of his “good” creation (Gen. 1:31). Moreover, the creation mandate is for humans to subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28). We’re to harvest its resources and use them for good. This includes medicine.
Wisdom is needed to discern God’s will for our healing: should we pray for healing, receive medical treatment, pursue “natural” remedies, or do all of the above? A lot could be said on this but a good place to start is this podcast/article by John Piper: “Does Medicine Impede God’s Plan for My Suffering?”
The following suggestions are drawn and adapted from Sam Storm’s book Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life.
ONE – Interview
TWO – Diagnosis
THREE – Pray
FOUR – Follow-up