Thursday, April 29, 2010

By His wounds we are healed...

Salvation in the Old Testament and the New Testament is centered on the idea of “healing”, the healing of not only our souls, but also our bodies and our world. Hell is a real place and an inescapable reality taught in the bible. But hell is not the focus of the bible, nor should it be of the believer and his Salvation. The focus of salvation must also shift away from the Platonic notion that by simply checking a box you will escape some day to a spiritual realm where you will “exist” in a manner far different than we do today. Rather that when a person receives salvation they are ushered into the Kingdom and they begin "healing". They receive the first fruits of the recreation and in their reception they also experience the first fruit of the recreation. Biblical teaching is that Salvation is immediate in initiation, but continuous all the way until final redemption. It is not a day experience, but a daily experience where man is saved over and over and over from the bondage of sin, Satan, and death. This has enormous implications. That though salvation or healing is begun in an instant, it does not ever stop. Redemption takes both a moment and a lifetime. As a believer though I have the ability to resist and quench the spirit, but not to extinguish him (if I am truly a believer). But in so doing I rob myself of joy, freedom, life, and healing. An illustration might give clarity here. It would be as though someone wanted smoking due to a spot that has appeared on their lung. This spot and more so this habit was robbing them of life, the ability to breathe, exercise and live. So the quitting of this habit was in every way beneficial. But lets say it was initiated by an anecdote their doctor given them to free me from my addiction and begin healing their lung. Their doctor explained that the medicine he gave them was perfect. It will not let them pass away by smoking, although they (should they continue smoking) will suffer many physical ailments due to smoking, the medicine is guaranteed to save them from the death and cancer it always brings. Now should they go back to smoking because of this promise of security, they would still incur all kinds of painful, and troublesome consequences because of it. For example being incapable of running, maybe lose their ability to speak, they would be a slave to addiction, and a number of other caused difficulties. Even though they had a guarantee that smoking could not take their life away entirely, it could destroy my existence. This is like Salvation. Once saved by grace through faith the healing will surely begin, but I am able to grieve and quench the spirit of Holiness working inside of me and serve myself rather than my maker. But by doing so I will also receive every ounce of pain and sorrow that comes with “encumbering” the healing process the Spirit performs in us. All of the created order is right now in a state of longing for healing, and the good news is that the "rumors of another world existing" are far truer than anything we know. Our world is not all that it was intended to be, things are beginning to change and they will only continue to do so. Thus the story of the believer in Christ, or better yet all creation is that there is more! The Creation groans to be set free and it is almost time, “Salvation” is coming, indeed it has come! It is a healing, and the emancipation from the bondage of corruption that has echoed inside of man’s heart since the fall. It has begun to and will continue to burn away the dross, and heal its participants. It cannot be stopped; and all who cry out for healing will be saved-- but they will also be healed. Sometimes this healing hurts, as the molding of the hammer and the heat from the fire are painful, but the lump is hardly as worthy as the vessel. All who fell with Adam, but are now raised with Christ; are being daily raised and healed and brought to new life by faith in Jesus. Salvation or “the healing” of men individually, the church corporately, and the universe entirely, has begun and we may either join in and fight for it or we may work against it, but must remember “he who began the good work will be faithful to complete it” and our “God is a consuming fire” his word will prevail and nothing can stand against His purpose. He will Heal His world and His people.

Heal us God, Savior King come and heal us!