Many Christ-followers miss a key principle when exploring the New Testament concerning divine healing. Fascinatingly, it’s the Greek word for “saved” itself.
…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10 (emphasis mine)
The word “saved” in this passage is translated from the Greek word sozo. According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, sozo is defined as follows:
- save (sozo)
to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to save one (from injury or peril)
to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health
to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue
to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment
to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance
Sozo occurs 110 times across the New Testament. In the KJV, it is translated as “saved” 93 times, “made whole” 9 times, “healed” 3 times, “be whole” 2 times, and what Thayer’s inexplicably calls “misc” 3 times. It is the same Greek word James used when instructing the Church on how to minister to sick folks:
Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. James 5:14-15 NLT (emphasis mine)
From these verses we can safely draw the following conclusions:
- Divine healing is inherent to our salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This is inescapable fact.
- Therefore, it is God’s will for the sick to be healed, period. It says the prayer of faith will heal the sick, not may. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it, no “if it is God’s will” or any other religious escape clauses. It says what it means and means what it says.
- It is the responsibility of all church elders to pray for the healing of the sick under their authority, not encourage them to endure while God is testing them or any other such religious nonsense.
- We can only conclude that any elder who does not pray accordingly is not doing his job and has disqualified himself to be an elder.
I know these are stout words, but that’s what God just said. If you’ve got a problem, it’s with Him, not me!
Thanks for reading!