This past Sunday I preached on Acts Chapter 3 which is the passage about the healing of the lame man. He was healed in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The lame man eventually died. What was the purpose of the healing? It pointed to the healing of our soul as well as our bodies permanently in heaven.
This reminded me of the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:3-5 when John the Baptist was in prison and heard about the works of Christ. He sent two of his disciples “and said to Him, ‘are you the coming one, are do we look for another’? And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘go and tell John the things which you hear and see. The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.’”
It dawned on me that Jesus was speaking here about the coming kingdom of heaven. His miracles were sign gifts showing us that as Paul teaches in I Corinthian 15:42-44 that all the struggles with sin will physically be removed when our new bodies are given to us on the day of resurrection.
Even if an unbeliever is healed it is God’s common grace pointing them to Christ. In Luke 17 Jesus healed 10 lepers and only one returned to give Him thanks. The other nine went about their business with, as far as we know, no thought about God. Even when we experience healings (we have seen God answer many of our prayers concerning the sick in our church), it is a testimony not only to God’s grace but a foretaste of eternity.
The same thing can be said about our souls. We now as Paul said in I Corinthians 13:12 see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. We enjoy the fruit of the Spirit but not in its completeness. In John 4:14 Jesus said “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst. But the water than I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” Jesus is telling us that we can enjoy the benefits of the Spirit now but it is also pointing us to better days yet to come.
How do we know this? In Ephesians 1:13-14, Paul said “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” The word I want you to notice is the word underlined: guarantee. It literally means a down payment. The apostle Paul is telling us that though we enjoy being sealed with the Holy Spirit, our inheritance is not complete. The best is yet to come.
This reminds me that though Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden due to their sin, God made a promise to them in Genesis 3:15 which says: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” This is called the first gospel. It is prophesying the victory of Jesus Christ over sin and death and points us to the new Eden of which we now have a foretaste and will one day enjoy it in its fullness.
See you Sunday.