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In the ministry of Jesus and in the first century church, people experienced God’s healing.

Luke 4:18-21 ... “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

Acts 3:6 -- But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

Healing continues in the church. In the name of Jesus, his disciples continue this ministry in his name and with his presence.

I don’t think we’ve truly left healing in the past as some odd artifact of a legendary age. Look at our prayer list. That’s a witness to our hope and faith that God heals. But how wide and how broad is our understanding of God’s healing power – the in-breaking of the kingdom?

All sorts of healing ... James 5:13-18

Some practical responses for the church ...

Thomas Aquinas went to visit Pope Innocent IV. Aquinas was amazed at the trappings of wealth, gold and treasures. So the Pope commented to Aquinas, “Well, Thomas, I suppose the church cannot say as Peter did, 'Silver and Gold have I none.'” Aquinas replied, “True, Your Excellency, but neither can we say, 'Arise and walk.'”

What’s our message? Can we say “Arise and Walk”? Are we willing to be so bold? Is our faith in our own resources (silver, gold, science, human effort) or in the Spirit of God? Let’s be agents of God’s healing in God’s ways ...

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 18 October 2009

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