TOPIC 1. “Becoming The People God Wants Us To Be.”
Most people when they hear the word “healing” immediately think of physical healing. However physical healing is just one part of the healing that God wants to bring to His people. God’s salvation in Christ has provision for wholeness in every dimension of life. Salvation (soteria in the Greek) has the sense of wholeness. Wholeness in body, mind and spirit. The verb deriving from soteria (salvation) is sozo and is translated as “save” or “heal”. God wants everyone to come to know Him and to experience His healing power and love. He wants them to be in the centre of His will for them as His saved people.
The people of God as God’s saved people are to be prepared for the Second Coming of Christ their King. It means submitting to Him now as King and becoming His “holy” or “set apart” people.
How do believers prepare for His Coming? Peter asked, 2 Pet 3:11-14. “What people ought you to be… ? ” The answer is by becoming the people God wants us to be. It appears from 3:12 that when we live as we should we can “hasten” the coming of that day. 2Pet 3:11-12, “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12) waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!” Of course God knows when that final day will be. It won’t catch Him unawares! But He encourages us by telling us that we can make a difference in the world as we live for Him.
We need to look at three concepts in connection with this.
1). The first is the concept of the Kingdom of God and what it means to live under God’s rule.
2). The second is how Jesus lived and ministered on earth as perfect man in submission to God.
3). The third is how we are to follow that pattern as we live for God today.
1). THE CONCEPT OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
i). Everyone is meant to live according to Kingdom principles
The kingdom of God means God’s rule over His people. They are meant to live in willing submission to Him. Humans today can have an inner motivation and power to live as they should. God promised a New Covenant in which He would work in the lives of His people to motivate them and empower them to do His will. Such promises were seen in the following verses. Jer 31:33, I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts…. Ezek 11:19-20, And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. Ezek 36:26-27 is similar but adds, 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
Those promises were fulfilled in what Jesus did in His death and resurrection and in the gift of the Holy Spirit He poured out on the church. God’s resources have been made available to believers by the gift of His Spirit to them. Paul wrote in Rom 7:6 that believers now “serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.” In Eph 1:13 he wrote of the inheritance believers have in Christ. “In him you also… were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” The Holy Spirit brings life and imparts kingdom resources to God’s people.
ii). Living contrary to kingdom principles causes damage
a). The danger of effect of hate, resentment and unforgiveness.
God has commanded people to love one another. If however they refuse to do so and continue to live with wrong negative emotions such as hate and resentment and refuse to forgive others, this can cause physical and emotional stress which can lead to illness.
b). Psychosomatic illnesses. Many health professionals see a link between unhealthy thinking and physical illness. They say that unhealthy thinking in the mind (psyche) can affect the body (soma) adversely.
Believers, as those indwelt by the Holy Spirit, can have victory over damaging negative emotions through renewed minds.
iii). If we lived according to those kingdom principles, we would be more likely to maintain health.
Healing is accelerated as negative factors are dealt with. For example, seeking to obey what God has commanded, such as loving one another and forgiving those who hurt us, opens us up to His healing power.
The prayer Jesus taught His followers , “Your kingdom come, Your will be done” should include, “Begin in ME!” Jesus commanded us to pray for His kingdom to come but it is necessary to pray that God work in us as well as in other people. That is, we need to allow Christ as the King to establish His kingdom in our lives. This should be seen in terms of Christian living (kingdom righteousness, kingdom love, kingdom wisdom and kingdom power) by the kingdom resources He places within us by the gift of His Holy Spirit.
2). JESUS AS THE PERFECT HUMAN LIVING UNDER THE RULE OF GOD
What does Phil 2:5-7 really mean? Jesus “emptied Himself?” Paul never suggests that Jesus emptied Himself of His divinity. He never ceased to be the Son of God or ceased to be divine. Rather He “emptied Himself” of many of His privileges that were His as the eternal Son of God.
Even though He was the Creator He limited Himself to a human body. He became tired, hungry and thirsty like other humans and he expressed Himself through human emotions.
• He didn’t continue to “grasp” or hang on to the privileges of being omnipotent (He said He could only do what He saw the Father doing. He said that of Himself He could do nothing.)
• He didn’t hang on to the privilege of being omnipresent because on earth He could only be in one place at one time.
• He didn’t hang on to the privilege of being omniscient in terms of knowing all things. As a human he asked questions to obtain answers. He grew in wisdom.