Christ our healer

Small Group Study “Fourfold” Week 3

 

 

Reviewing Last Week’s Application

Last week we looked at the idea of Christ as our sanctification, and how that is different than striving to be good “for” him. Over the past seven days, you were challenged to practice the art of surrendering your strivings and instead, taking him on as your righteousness. Begin this study by reviewing together how that exercise went.

 

  • How did it feel different taking Jesus as your sanctification rather than trying to measure up to a standard of being good enough in your own strength?

  • Any surprise discoveries about yourself, or about Jesus that came out of the discipline

 

Study Text: Psalm 103:1-5; Acts 5:12-16

 

“It is founded, not on the reasoning of man, or the testimony of those who have been healed, but on the Word of God alone. All the testimony that could be gathered from the whole universe would not establish the truth of such a doctrine, if it is not to be found in the Scriptures.”

– A.B. Simpson, The Names of Jesus

 

Why can we trust in divine healing?

  1. The incarnation– Jesus demonstrates for us that the body matters. Far from being some sort of dualist that taught about the corruption of the flesh and the purity of the spirit – Jesus came (and lives forever) as an embodied person. 

    • What are some places in the scriptures that might affirm the goodness of human embodiedness? 

    • How does Jesus’ incarnation help us understand the value of our physical bodies?

    • Both the psalmist of Psalm 103 and Jesus (frequently in the Gospels) links the forgiveness of sins with the healing of the physical body – why do you think this is? How might this speak to the nature of a passage like Isaiah 53:4-6?
       

  2. The Earthly Ministry of Jesus Christ – Jesus filled his time with the ministry of healing. He did not set it aside as a second order miracle, or of lesser importance than spiritual enlightenment. "Jesus Himself took our infirmities and bare our sickness." (Matt. 8:17) "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever." (Heb. 13:8) It is this “sameness” that leads Simpson to conclude that what was true in the Gospels must be true for all time.

    • What is your favourite story of Jesus healing someone in the Gospels and why?

    • How do these stories inform your theology of divine healing? In what way do these stories correspond to your experience, or what you are looking for when you look for healing?
       

  3. The Resurrection – The most perfect example of the fullness of the ministry of divine healing is, of course, the resurrected and glorified body of Jesus Christ. Through the resurrection, even death itself is conquered and rendered powerless.

 

“The resurrected life of Christ did not merely bring healing as needed to Christians’ old bodies, but brought new physical life, in a similar way to how Christ gave new spiritual life. The believer’s union with Christ thus applied, not only to receiving new spiritual life, but to his or her reception of new physical life by faith.” 

 

– A.B. Simpson, The Gospel of Healing

 

  • Some people appeal to the future resurrection of the children of God as a fulfilment of the promise of divine healing. In what ways does that feel like a satisfactory or unsatisfactory answer?

  • Are there benefits of Christ’s resurrection for our bodies on this side of eternity? And if so, what are they?

  • What connection do you think exists between Christ’s resurrection and our union with him? 

 

4. The Ministry of the Church

“Now this was the great mission of the Holy Ghost — to set apart the Christ, and make Him the great pattern for all future men. Having accomplished this work in the glorification of Jesus, He is now reproducing the Christ, in the ‘Christ ones’, and calling and training the disciples of Jesus to represent the Master and repeat his life through the Christian dispensation.” 

– A.B. Simpson, The Holy Spirit

 

  • Consider the passage from Acts 5, and the description of the activities of the early Church. Why do you think that healing was such a defining aspect of the Church’s ministry?

  • What does the activity of the early Church teach us about the ministry of healing in the Church Age?

  • Can you think of any other New Testament writings that talk about the ministry of healing? What might they teach us? 

 

As you conclude your study this week, take some time to review all you’ve learned about divine healing and if appropriate confess to your group the ways in which you’ve struggled to believe in this crucial doctrine. Pray for one another and ask Jesus (if necessary) to “help you overcome your unbelief.”