Is healing part of the atonement?
Hello Susan, welcome to connect and thank you for asking this important question? Perhaps you could share on the welcome page more about you so we can get acquainted with the rest of us here. Please stay safe in this covid climate.
In as far as your question what type of healing are you referencing? Our Father heals in every way imaginable, could you give some clarity to your question please.
For example the pain we experience with unforgiveness when we accept His forgiveness and desire to forgive ourselves and others including God.
Thank you so much for raising this important question!
It seems to me that the answer to your question is both ‘yes, eventually’ and ‘no, not yet.’
I think we can conclude ‘yes!’ with confidence because we are assured in Revelation 21:3-4 of this great promise:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
That is, because of the atonement, we have been saved from our sin. And therefore, though we will eventually die from some cause, we can be confident of enjoying eternal life in a new heavens and new earth with the Triune God of love.
At the same time, surely we must also conclude, with sadness, that the answer is “no, not yet.”
For instance, even the most ambitious faith healers all die.
In addition, as we look at the Biblical evidence, we see many examples of people with exemplary faith who nevertheless suffered physical sickness.
David Cooke, a pastor in England, lays out a summary in this way:
Examples can be multiplied of Bible characters who suffered illness without the slightest hint that it was through unbelief on their part. Consider the following examples.
Job was struck by painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head (Job 2:7) as part of troubles inflicted on him by the devil. This was with the Lord’s permission to try his faith. When urged by his wife, ‘Curse God and die!’, he replied: ‘Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?’ The Bible adds: ‘In all this, Job did not sin with his lips’ (Job 2:10).
There is no hint that he would have suffered less if he had had greater faith. On the contrary, it was because of his faith that he endured this trial.
Paul was given ‘a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet’ him (2 Corinthians 12:7). We are not told what this was (there has been much varied speculation), but it was probably a physical ailment of some sort.
Though he prayed repeatedly, and doubtless in faith, for its removal, the Lord’s response — ‘My grace is sufficient for you’ — made plain that the ‘thorn’ would remain with him. So, by God’s grace, Paul was enabled to affirm that he took pleasure in his infirmities (v.10).
Paul advised Timothy, his son in the faith, that because of his ‘frequent infirmities’ he should use a little wine for his stomach’s sake (1 Timothy 5:23). Why did he not simply tell him to claim the healing that was in the atonement? In a similar way, was Paul just being cruel by leaving Trophimus in Miletus ‘sick’ (2 Timothy 4:20)?
You may also find my friend Tim Barnett’s analysis of this question to be helpful to you:
I was referring to physical healing, particularly as referenced in verses like James 5:14,15 and Matthew 8:16,17. We quote Hebrews 13:8 and say that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. There are some who say that if he went about “doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil”(Acts 10:38), and we know that was an integral part of his earthly ministry, then wouldn’t he do the same today. Modern theology does not commonly support this view. Most would say that God can heal the sick, but sometimes chooses not to. I was wondering about the views of those affiliated with RZIM.
Please accept my thanks for the clarification on your question about physical healing as was demonstrated throughout the divine healings and scriptures you mentioned. Atonement was made for us after His ultimate sacrifice. His healing power is evident all through the bible old and new Testament alike.
In fact you are right about miracle healing not being a mainstream theology. None the less miracle healings do take place. In the link below about a man I know personally and was an eyewitness to his blindness as well as an eye witness to regained sight I have no doubt what God did for my friend.
As Carson someone who has helped me, pointed out in his post, there are times when God does not intervene and they still trusted God and His wisdom.
Right now Ravi Zacharias has cancer and I guarantee we are all praying for God to intervene in his situation and asking in faith for Christ to touch our friend? Will God do that, may His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, no one in Heaven is sick. Ultimately it shakes out, why sometimes and not others, I am so sorry but I do not have that answer I do not know the bigger picture. My one leaf of understanding does not compare to all the leaves God has.
Scriptures teach us about faith in Hebrews Chapter 11.
Can we say that those who are not healed did not have faith, I think not, as Paul an Apostle of faith and others with tremendous faith did not get healed. Let me here also add God is not a respecter of persons.
With that said i will share my belief on why we in developed areas of the world do not see healings as common anymore is that we have become so dependent on medical means as an answer because it is easier than reaching out in faith with only a hope that He will come through for us, because He doesn’t always, instead of knowing that He will come through.
For many in Christs day He was the only answer today in our post modern world He is a choice.
In these difficult times in our world
I pray that Gods will shall be done in your situation.
I would like to offer a practical perspective. How does my view of atonement affect my attitude about my own physical ailments, present or hypothetical? If I hypothetically suffer COVID-19 infection and lay in an isolation ward unable to breath without a ventilator and unable to hug my wife and child, what is my hope? Does the fact that I am saved bring physical healing? Is that all my hope?
No! It is not my hope! I long more for Eternity than anything else this side of it. I long as Job did to see my Redeemer’s face (Job 19:25-27). I concur with St. Paul: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21, ESV). I believe that I am morally obligated to contribute to whatever healing process may be available to the best of my ability because God commands me to take care of my family. On the other hand, I know that I will see them in Eternity. God forbid that I think so little of the atonement’s eternal healing that I become angry if God chooses to bring me into it! What kind of example would that be to my son? I am horrified that I might teach him by my example that physical healing in this increasingly evil world is more valuable than Eternity with his Redeemer. I believe in the core of my being that the Atonement is about Eternity. If God chooses to bring me into those Gates in the vehicle of suffering and illness, than to Him be the Glory!
Thank you for your reply. Interestingly I recently read a detailed account of Rev. Dunn’s blindness and healing.