1 Corinthians 12:28-31, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”
I feel led to focus us on the portion of “gifts of healings” this month.
Several years ago, I ask one of my Bible College brothers the question of “Why didn’t our Bible College faculty discuss with us more about our gifting?” This question stemmed from my own heart searching that led to asking what is my gifting. I was almost 50yrs old and was re-considering what my gifting was.
I’ve heard verse 31 quoted many times, implying that we are to “covet earnestly the best gifts…” but we seem to stop there and do not quote “yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” As I pondered this gifting situation, I was challenged with Paul writing to the church in Corinth about the coveting of certain gifts. In his letter to the Corinthians he transitions from speaking about a gifting being from the selfsame Spirit (1 Cor 12:7-13) and all working for the church body as a whole. We have a chapter break from chapter 12 and moving into chapter 13, but in his letter there were no breaks. So, his statement in chapter 12, and verse 31, simply leads into chapter 13 which is the “love chapter”. Without Charity all is for naught! No matter what our gifting, if it doesn’t stand firm on the foundation of love, then all ministry through our gifting is lost.
Gifts of Healings. The word translated as “healings” also can mean, cure or make whole. A gifting to bring wholeness to the body of Christ. James 5:14-15 tells us that if there are any sick among you, call for the elders of the church and they will pray the pray of faith and save the sick. If the gift of healings is listed behind “miracles”, as stated in our subject text, it quite possibly is more than just laying hands on the sick and seeing them healed of physical sickness.
Jesus healed ten lepers and one came back and worshipped him and in doing so, that one was not only healed of leprosy but he was made whole. He was made complete. That one was restored. There was an outward and inward healing that was complete! The other nine still held onto scars that told the horrifying story that they were lepers. But, this one fell at the feet of Jesus and worshipped him and was made as though he never were a leper.
With that said, I’m compelled to reach for my fellow ASR members, and especially to those called as Chaplains and Pastors…those that have stepped into the realm of ministry to people. Not everyone has the gift of healings. Not everyone has a gift to cure and make whole. But, may I challenge us today to accept the gifting from the same Spirit that called us into various administrations of ministry, that we accept and strive to heal. To heal the broken hearted, and to set at liberty the captive. To go beyond the superficial or cosmetic changes of mankind…but for those who come back and worship…those that fall at the feet of Jesus, then we, through the power of the Holy Ghost, can make whole.
This gift of healings goes far beyond the laying on of hands, but it is “hands on”. Its seeking to restore a fallen brother or sister. Its a heart (gifting) that says, I’m not just settling for the miracle of salvation alone, but to press in the spirit realm until we have brought emotional, mental, and spiritual healing to all.
Oh how the church needs more of those who will go beyond the doors of religious pious where we make the outside clean, but, where we go into the hidden rooms of the heart and make a soul complete. To have a burden to heal to the uttermost. To cure, healing all aspects of a believer’s life, to seek to make them complete in Christ Jesus our Lord. To make them Whole.
It is a gifting that few will strive for….the Gift of Healings is for those that love.
Mark A Hardin
ASR International Chaplain