The Afterglow: The Gift of Healing
In this Afterglow service at Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville, Pastor Allen Victor dives deep into the transformative power of God's Word. In this message, we explore a vital topic that speaks to our hearts: "The Gift of Healing." As we delve into this, Pastor Allen poses a question, inspired by a moment from the life of Jesus. In John 5, Jesus approached a man who had been waiting by the pool of Bethesda for healing for most of his life. Jesus asked him a profound question: "Do you want to be made well?" Seemingly obvious, right? But it forces us to reflect on our own desires for healing. Are we here because we genuinely want to be healed, or are we merely going through the motions of religion? This Afterglow service is not just about knowing; it's about doing and walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The basis of this sermon comes from 1 Corinthians chapter 12, verses 1-11. In these verses, Apostle Paul speaks about spiritual gifts, which encompass more than just gifts but also diversities of activities and ministries. Paul emphasizes that we should not remain ignorant about these spiritual blessings. We were once Gentiles, lost in idolatry, but now, through the Holy Spirit, we confess Jesus as Lord. There are various gifts, ministries, and activities, but it is the same Spirit, Lord, and God working in us. These spiritual manifestations are given to each one for the profit of all, distributed according to the Holy Spirit's will.
Pastor Allen clarifies the context of the message by asking what we actually mean by the term "spiritual gift?" While the term "gifts" is commonly used, it can be limiting. Paul talks about diversities of gifts, ministries, and activities, highlighting that they are available to every believer. These activities are not limited to certain individuals but are accessible to all within the body of Christ. The purpose of these spiritual blessings is for the profit of all, and we must desire them, as stated in 1 Corinthians 14, while recognizing that it's the Holy Spirit who determines their distribution.
As we explore the gift of healing in this reading of the Bible, we must address four hindrances that can prevent us from experiencing this divine blessing. Firstly, there's unbelief, which differs from a lack of faith. Unbelief is a hardened rejection of what God can do, even when we see it. Second, ignorance can hinder us. Some might deny the existence of spiritual gifts because they haven't personally witnessed them. Third, abuse of these gifts by certain individuals can deter others from embracing them, as it may seem like a mere spectacle. Lastly, bad teaching can misguide us, as some doctrines claim that these gifts ceased with the completion of Scripture. However, this misinterpretation can hinder us from fully embracing the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now, here's an essential truth: we can't always explain why God heals some and not others. God's sovereignty and His higher plan surpasses our understanding. While faith is crucial in receiving healing, it's not the sole factor. Some instances in Scripture, like the blind man at Siloam or Lazarus, show that faith wasn't a prerequisite for God's miraculous work. God has His reasons, and we must trust in His perfect plan, whether it involves healing or not.
We should approach this study of the gift of healing with open hearts, seeking God's guidance, and setting aside any doubts or misconceptions. Remember that Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville is here to support you in your spiritual journey.
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