Sin

Is Healing in the Atonement?

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. – 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20

Today I want to start a series on one of the most controversial topics in the Church – whether or not healing is in the atonement of Christ. To start with, re-look the above verses and study them. In fact, from my study of the Bible (and indeed of life) so far, I have come to the conclusion that healing is in the atonement. Let me explain why I think so…

Note: This is not a discussion about whether or not the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in operation. This series deals primarily with whether bodily and soul-level healing are the (new) birth right of every born again child of God.

We have been bought with a price. The first part of this verse says that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. By all accounts, it means our physical body and not the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit is in us – God gave Him to us. So we do not belong to ourselves. We are purchased with a price. If our body were not purchased with a price, how could it be God’s property? It would still have to be Satan’s property or our own. But it is God’s property. Next point… If the body is the temple, can sickness dwell in the house of God? Jesus said:

“It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” Matthew 21:13

So clearly, sickness (symbolic thief) does not have a right to dwell in the temple of God. What should you do if you spot a thief where he should not be? Evict him, or call the police and throw (cast) him out. Well, then, if there is sickness in the body or mind of a born again Christian, it needs to be thrown out in the name of Jesus Christ or have the police (pastor, elders etc.) cast it out through prayer and/or commands, again in Jesus’ name.

And if you think sickness – a state of ‘less than perfect, divine health’ – can legally be in a believer’s body (other than as a result of sin), it means imperfections can be tolerated in the house of God. Then even a handicapped lamb (or a sinful Jesus) could be offered as a sacrifice in the temple. Then the very basis of our Christian faith would be voided! People would say, “Why get cleansed of sin – you would anyway make it to heaven!” So if you believe that bodily healing is not in the atonement, do you know what it implies?

Ahead in the series, we will look at other sensitive issues like:

  • Does God sometimes allow sickness to come upon believers for His glory?
  • If Jesus is not the answer to our sicknesses (that is, if Jesus is not enough to heal us), should we worship another ‘god’ to get healed?
  • Is sickness totally unconnected to sin (despite being the result of sin)?
  • Are medicines to be avoided if you believe in diving healing (consult your doctor!)?

What has been your experience? What do you think? And what do you think the Bible says? Keep visiting this site. I would love to hear from you!

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Easter Egg and Jesus Christ

Is there any connection between the Easter egg and Jesus Christ? Well, none that I can think of. What, then, is Easter?

Most of us know that Jesus Christ died on the Cross 2000 years ago. That day was a Friday. Jesus died according to prophecy – to take the sins of all mankind upon himself, so that “whoever believes in him should not perish (die) but have everlasting life (in Heaven).” (John 3:16) Not everybody though, is aware that he rose from the grave on the third day – a Sunday. That day happened to be the day on which people from many cultures celebrated a festival called Easter. They worshipped a fertility goddess and used the egg as a symbol of fertility. So the Easter egg has no connection with the central message of the Bible.

The Bible is a collection of 66 books with a single theme: God’s love for us so deep, that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) And Jesus walked out of the tomb on Easter Sunday, in a resurrected body – one that could pass through locked doors! To all those who receive Jesus as their personal Saviour (one who saves) and Lord and repent of their sins; God promises a similar indestructible body even though they may die physically. That’s the only theme of the Bible: forgiveness of sins and salvation through belief and faith in Lord Jesus Christ.

So should we celebrate Easter? Well, that depends on what you want – fertility only, or
fertility plus everything else plus eternal life! The choice is yours to make… This post can help you make that choice.

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Promised Land: Foreshadow of Things to Come

And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:7, 8)

God had a great plan for the lives of His people. He promised that He would take them out of bondage and being slaves to the Pharaoh in Egypt. He would take them to the Promised Land. However, many of them grumbled. They continued in their wicked ways and rebelled against the true living God and consequently died. But God was faithful Moses and kept advancing the group towards the fulfillment of His promise. In the end, only a handful of them managed to step into the territory God had promised. But irrespective of people’s sinful ways, God did hold fast to His promise! And “the rest,” as they say, “is history.”

With the birth, life, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, God turned history to our advantage. How? He now promises to set us free from bondage to sin and the resultant spiritual death. This freedom can be had by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and mankind’s only Saviour – your personal Saviour. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)

It’s easy…it’s free. No conditions…no fine print…no hidden cost (because it’s free!).

Learn more about God’s simple plan of salvation here

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Tongues at Babel vs. Tongues at Pentecost

“And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”” (Genesis 11:4)
“…the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 11:9)

God is the great restorer! The people at Babel thought that by trying to build a tower, they could get to heaven on their own. So the Lord confused their tongues and they began speaking in diverse languages, not understanding each other. Thousands of years later, Jesus gave the promise of restoration. What was it?

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth;” (John 15:13)

And He did. At Pentecost, God sent tongues of fire from heaven. People began speaking in different national languages. Representatives of different nations began to hear the Gospel in their respective national languages and believed. Some did not. The fact remains though, that at Babel, God sent His judgement upon sinners; while at Pentecost He sent the message of forgiveness through Christ Jesus – both using the same tool – tongues (languages). And He’s still doing it!

Did you know that the Bible has been translated into 4027 languages and still counting? Read 10 Bible Facts Worth Knowing. Read it to learn how the Bible can become your trusted and friendly companion wherever you are and wherever you go. (You can buy one from Christianbook.com)

O He loves us so much, doesn’t He! Not only did He give the gift of His Son Jesus, but also made sure that we all got a chance to hear this message. Truly, to praise Him, a whole lifetime is not enough!

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Adam, Eve, You and the Blood of Jesus

“…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

Most of the time, we tend to think only about our own sins being washed away in the blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross 2,000 years ago. But his blood washed away Adam and Eve’s sin too.

In the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve sinned, they hid themselves, being ashamed of their nakedness. Remember, just a few verses before that, the Bible says that “they were both naked…and were not ashamed.” (Gen. 2:25) So how come this change? Because of sin! When they sinned, though they gained in terms of knowledge, they lost trust in the LORD. Their sin – and consequent shame – created a distance between them and God. Their former nakedness was innocent and baby-like. Their post-sin nakedness was a symbol of their sin being ‘exposed’ in front of God.

God is gracious and merciful. He did not want sin to get in the way and separate His children from Him forever. But as we saw in an earlier post, sin must be paid for – innocent blood must be shed to prevent sinners from going to hell. So God killed an innocent animal (there was no human being other than Adam and Eve at that time and they had already sinned). God used the animal’s skin to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness (exposed sins). This event foreshadowed the covering of our exposed sins by the Blood of Jesus Christ. That covering applies to you only if you have confessed Christ as Saviour. Covering implies “blotting out” of sins. So if you believe (as per John 3:16), that Jesus is the Son of God, God promises to save you and take your sins as far away from you “as the east is from the west.” (Psalm 103:12)

Praise the LORD for this promise!

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Is Salvation a Free Gift?

The words FREE GIFT attract the attention of most of us. Marketers especially like to use these words in upper case to draw people’s attention to what they are pitching. But is a gift really FREE?

A gift is free for the person who receives it but not for the person who gives it. The giver always pays a price – unless of course you ‘forwarded’ the gift that you got on your birthday but didn’t like! In that case, neither you nor your poor [ 🙁 ] friend will pay anything. ‘Forwarding’ such a gift is so easy – much like forwarding an SMS joke when you have subscribed to a free SMS pack with your cell phone service provider.
The gift of salvation that Jesus Christ promises to give us, comes at a very hefty price. But that price has already been paid by him on the Cross at Calvary. [Read this post to learn more] We simply need to open our hearts and lives to him, in order to receive that gift. So there is no dollar value attached to it – no rituals to carry out, no mantras to be chanted, no sacrifice we need to offer. Salvation is a gift of grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8) Jesus paid the price. The moment we open our hearts, we start gaining from the value of the sacrifice.

Price vs. Value
Jesus’ work on the Cross was the price he paid for our sins. The salvation we get when we receive him, is the value of this sacrifice. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12)
In the next post, we will take the birthday gift analogy a bit further, to explain the urgency (time-sensitivity) of the need to claim this FREE GIFT of salvation. So stay logged-in!

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Substitutionary Death: Jesus for Jesus

In the post “What is Death?“, we saw the difference between physical death and spiritual death. If we are to avoid spiritual death, someone must die on our behalf – to pay the price for our sins; so that we are released from the bondage to sin. That ‘someone’ was Jesus – he died in our place!

Jesus’ dying on the Cross in our place is termed “substitutionary death.” One man dying for another man’s folly. And all this out of grace and mercy – just so that we could walk away free! “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Jesus for Jesus – Man for man

When Jesus was brought before Pilate, the multitude demanded that Jesus Christ be crucified and a prisoner – also having the name ‘Jesus’ (and called ‘Barabbas’ – meaning ‘son of the father’) – be released. As per the custom in those days, one prisoner would be released at the Passover feast. So Pilate ordered that Jesus the “notorious prisoner” be released.

The Jesus who was a sinner was let off while the innocent Jesus (Christ) was sacrificed at Passover. In a sense, we too are in Barabbas’ position – we have offended God. But God, in His mercy and grace, anointed His Son Jesus to die not only in place of Jesus the prisoner, but also in place of you and me. Jesus for Jesus – Man for man!

Let us, then, offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God by praising Him and thanking Him for the way of salvation He has worked out for us in Christ Jesus:

“Praise the LORD,
For His mercy endures forever.” (2 Chr. 20:21; Ps. 106:1; Ps. 136)

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What is Death?

What is the meaning of ‘death’? In one of our Sunday services, the guest speaker Bro. Rajkumar Ramchandran explained the meaning of death:

Death is separation. Physical death occurs when the spirit gets separated from the body. Spiritual death occurs when the spirit gets separated from God – its Creator. While physical death merely brings to an end your journey on planet Earth, spiritual death begins the spirit’s eternity in hell. Here’s how…

“Grave” Sins
The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) So when you die a sinner, i.e. without your sins washed away (forgiven), there is no reason why God should allow your spirit to enter Heaven, into His presence. The only other place is hell, far, far separated from God, from where you can never return – neither to Earth nor to God, who created your spirit. This is how you are separated from God – forever! That is why I choose to call sins as ‘grave” – they actually ensure that your body is deposited into the grave and your spirit burns forever in hell. So what is the way out?

Jesus Forgives Sins
God knew that we will sin, having inherited Adam’s and Eve’s genes. He loves us so much that He wants us to come back to Him after physical death. That’s why He worked out a simple plan of salvation. Salvation is free, my friend! Unfortunately, sometimes great scholars fail to fathom God’s love for us and His simple plan of salvation. So if you aren’t a born-again child of God, you need to learn about this plan, now – before you log-in to check your emails! Read this post

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Mercy vs Grace

Mercy and Grace are 2 sides of the same coin. Mercy is when God does not give us what we deserve, i.e. punishment for our sins against Him and others. Instead He forgives us for our sins. Grace is when He gives us what we don’t deserve, i.e. the assurance of everlasting life in heaven with Him and the strength and wisdom and the heart to pray to Him, to wait upon Him and cooperate with Him so that His plan for our life bears fruit. So actually, it’s not Mercy vs Grace, but Mercy and Grace.

The unique thing about the coin of Mercy and Grace is that it falls with both sides up, making you a winner 2 times over!

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Forgiveness, God’s Way

Forgiveness of sins is difficult. Forgetting them is even more so. This small but interesting story conveys a significant point:

Two monks were walking down a path when they came to a river. A lady stood there, beautifully dressed. She requested them to carry her on their back so she would not get wet. Immediately, one of the monks lifted her up and began carrying her on his back. The other monk followed them. As soon as they had crossed over to the other side, the monk carrying the lady put her down. She went her way, while the monks went theirs.

After covering some distance, the other monk, who couldn’t contain his inquisitiveness and self-righteousness, asked his buddy: “In our religion, we are not allowed to touch women. So why did you carry her?” Pat replied the first monk, saying “I put down the lady a long time ago; but why are you still carrying her?”

Sometimes, we tend to carry grudges against others long after even God has forgiven them. By sinning against us, they had offended God first and us only next. And if He has forgiven them, who are we to hold it against them!

So, have you put down the lady, or are you still carrying her on your back? If you are, why bear the burden? Hand it over to Jesus. Think about it. Then forgive and forget, God’s way.

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