Divine Healing, Not Divine Health

The NT teaches Divine Healing, not Divine Health.  The concept of Divine Health misconstrues the eschatological nature of Atonement and Final Redemption.  Christ’s Atonement began at the Cross, but is not to be fully realized till the Judgment.

Eschatology = “Last Things” = The Final Culmination

We are “redeemed” in an eschatological sense when we accept Christ, yet do not fully realize the redemption of our souls, nor our bodies, until the End, when our bodies are “changed into his likeness.”

Only in the culmination of our redemption do we attain to immortality — inherit Eternal Life — and become no longer subject to disease, physical death, and the “corruption” of the grave.  Likewise, only in the culmination do we transcend the carnal sin nature by which we are tempted.  As James wrote, we ought not seek to become authoritative teachers, because “in many ways we all stumble” (3:2, NASB).

Till Final Redemption, those eschatologically redeemed are granted the “earnest of our [future] inheritance,” the indwelling Holy Spirit.  A product of that earnest is the possibility of receiving “gifts of grace” (charismata).  These represent a glimpse into an eschatological window, looking toward future redemption, via miraculous intervention and signs.  Charismata, including Divine Healing and other miracles, not only represent provision for the Church Body but testimonies of the promise of future redemption, designed for our edification.

The Pentecostal charism we call Divine Healing is referred to by Paul in terms of “gifts of healings” (plural) because each healing is an individual, immediate gift of grace (not a state of being, a right, a blanket guarantee, nor Final Redemption).

All such gifts are, in addition to being granted by grace, also “distributed variously as [the Holy Spirit] decides” (1 Cor 12:11).  This is true not only from the standpoint of the person exercised by the gift, but from that of the recipient of the gift (such as the one being healed).

The fact of the Spirit’s sovereignty in healing and other gifts flies in the face of common notions such as “claiming” one’s healing and “realizing who we are in Christ” in order to receive a guarantee of healing.

© 2013 Paul A. Hughes

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