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Healing in the Atonement

by Tom Brown

There are three views of divine healing: first, that it past away; second, that it is a special grace; and third, that healing is in the atonement. The following is a short summary of the three views.


    Passed away. Healing was a gift given to the apostles to attest to the validity of the gospel.

    2. Special grace given only to some. Rejects the view that healing was included in the plan of redemption.

    3. Healing is part of man's redemption in Christ; therefore it belongs to every believer. There need be no questioning as to whether it is God's will to heal; if it is in the redemption, it is His will.


How you view healing will determine the level of faith you have regarding divine healing. I believe it is vital to believe that healing is in the atonement. It is my goal to prove this from the Scriptures. Please read the article carefully with an open mind, and I’m sure you will see from the Scriptures that healing is God’s will for you.


Passed Away


There has been so much light on the subject of healing in the last century that there are very few people that still believe healing past away. The number is growing smaller. I would rather not take the time to discuss this view in this article. (Click here to read my answer to this view.)


Instead I would like to use this article to discuss the subject of whether or not healing is in the atonement. If it is, then you don’t need to question whether or not God wants to heal you. If Jesus took your infirmities and diseases on the cross then there is no reason for you to continue to bear them.


Special Grace


The most prevalent view in the body of Christ concerning healing is the view of "Special grace." This theory supposes that God still heals so long as it is His will to heal. If God does not wish to heal a particular individual then no amount of faith is going to get God to heal him. He must accept the sickness as the will of God.


With this view, there is no steadfast faith for healing. It is almost impossible to exercise persistent faith, because according to this view if the healing does not manifest then the assumption is that God does not wish to heal you, at least, not now. So how does the person pray for healing? Well, faith is not very important, in fact, it really cannot exist with this view. People who hold to this depend more on God’s sovereignty than on one’s faith. They generally pray something like this: "Lord, if it is your will, please heal me."


Of course, in the Bible, the emphasis is not on God’s sovereignty, but on faith. Jesus repeatedly said to the sick, "Your faith has healed you." Never once did He say, "God’s sovereignty has healed you." There is no solid faith with the view of special grace. A person can only have sure faith if he holds to the view that healing is in God’s redemptive plan. He can pray with faith, "Father, in the name of Jesus, according to your Word Jesus took my infirmities and carried my diseases. With His stripes, I am healed. I stand on your word that I am healed. Thank you for healing me now!"


Do you see how your view determines the level of faith when you pray for healing?


Sin brought Sickness


We need to start at the beginning. Where did sickness come from in the first place? Did God make this world filled with diseases? Many people think so. Since sickness is so universal, people have attributed it to God.


However the Bible gives a different reason why there is sickness on the earth. When God made the world, the Bible says, "God saw all that He made and it was very good" (Gen 1:31).


God did not originally create a world filled with anything bad. Everything was very good. The Bible also teaches that something awful took place. Adam sinned against God. Paul comments on his sin:


…sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—( Rom 5:12)


The result of sin was death. What is sickness? Sickness is an agent of death. Sickness wants to kill. Without sickness, death would be postponed for most people. Sin brought death, and sickness is the offspring of its parent, death.


We could say it this way: Disease entered the world through sin. Without sin, there would be no sickness. Sickness exists because sin exists.


Other scriptures affirm this:


His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"


"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. (John 9:2-3)


You might be thinking Jesus contradicted what I just said. But look at the scriptures carefully. The disciples knew sickness was caused by sin; they just did not know whose sin caused the boy to be born blind. They supposed that either the boy sinned in the womb or the parents sinned.


Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned." Jesus did not say, "No one sinned." He only says that the two people mentioned were not responsible for this sickness. Jesus could have used this as a golden opportunity to teach that sickness and sin are unrelated but He did not. The reason: sickness is related to sin. It is at least related to the original sin.


Jesus healed the man at the gate called beautiful. Later he met the man and said, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you" (John 5:14). Jesus accused the man’s sin as causing his infirmity. Sin caused his sickness.


There is the case of David committing adultery with Bathsheba. They had a child as a result of it who was born sick and eventually died. Why?


Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die." (2 Sam 12:13-14)


So we see that other people’s sin can cause diseases. After all, we know of cases where pollution and second hand smoke has caused diseases. Can you imagine an innocent child developing emphysema or asthma because she inhales her parent’s cigarette smoke? Sickness can be caused by other people’s sins.


Sin causes diseases. It may be original sin, or personal sin, or other people’s sins that causes sickness and diseases. But sin is still the cause of sickness.


What does all this have to do with healing being in the atonement? Well, we know the cure for sin is the atonement. And since sin causes diseases, the only cure for sickness is the atonement. Sickness came on the wings of sin, therefore, the true remedy for sickness can be found only in the redemption of Christ, commonly called the atonement.


Atonement is the payment that corrects the relationship between God and man, which was broken through sin. Redemption is ultimately the answer for sickness, not doctors, medicine, or diet. They can help but not heal. (Click here to read my view on medicine and healing.)


Sickness is part of the curse, and who can remove the curse but God alone. Evangelical ministers quickly point to the cross for people’s emotional sickness, but then point to the doctor for their physical sickness. How inconsistent! Jesus is the cure for all diseases.





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