2012-02-19 NO ANSWERS YET
Thank you all for coming to listen again. I hope that you’re getting something out of this. It gives me an excuse to dig into the scripture and see what’s revealed and to share things and to ask for prayer on different subjects, and here’s something that I’ve been dealing with for over 40 years. It’s kind of a confession. I read the scripture and I have a hard time reconciling what the scripture says with my personal experience. I was taught a lot, and I have taught a lot of things that now I think were improper. It wasn’t done with maliciousness. It was done with misunderstanding, and I was teaching the best that I had with the best understanding that I had, but a few years ago God kind of shook my world, rocked my world and said you’ve got to pay attention to grace, pay attention to what the scripture actually says so there’s where I’m at.
Honestly, here’s the biggest thing, when I read the scripture I didn’t read what it actually said, I read what I thought it should say. I read what I thought it ought to say, or if I would read it literally and say this is what it actually says, I would immediately add an interpretation to that scripture to fit my experience rather than to follow the hermeneutical principle. Hermeneutical principle. Don’t you love it? That’s just a big word for rules of interpretation, and one of the rules of interpretation is you let scripture interpret scripture. Here’s the one that most people who are really trying to walk in the way of the master and trying to live by or experience His word. This is one that they come right up against, just head on and they slam into it and I’ve done it and been upset, very angry with God, very questioning about the whole thing.
I went to the ministers and teachers that I turned to, to try and understand why my experience is different. First of all let me read to you the scripture. This is the one that keeps getting brought up most. It’s 1 Peter 2:24. The apostle Peter is writing and he says, “And Jesus himself bore our sins in his body on the cross so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness,” now here’s the phrase, “for by his wounds you were healed.”
This comes right out of Isaiah, and Peter has changed the phrase in Isaiah from by his stripes you will be healed to the phrase that he uses, for by his stripes you were healed. We all know the word “were” is past tense. By his stripes we were healed. So here I am sick, not today, but in the past I had been sick with the flu and other people have had other health issues of various kinds, and we would go to church and at Sunday School, church meeting, Wednesday night services they’ll bring up so-and-so is sick, lets pray for their healing. By his wounds you were healed.
Then I would say to the minister, or the teacher, why is this person still sick when it says by his wounds you were healed? So we have the experience that we or our friends and Christian church members are ill when it says we were healed, so we feel the obligation to make a reconcilliation of what the scripture says to what our experiences are.
In other words, we’re using our experience to interpret our scripture rather than the scripture to interpret our experience. So, it says by his wounds you were healed, and then I was told to interpret it this way and they would say something along these lines, yes, we were healed. By his wounds, by his stripes we were healed, and that is a past tense because he died on the cross almost 2000 years ago. That healing is an accomplished fact, and we will see it as a fulfilled promise in our future at resurrection time. All Christians will experience the accomplished healing in the future at the resurrection.
Granted, they would say some people do get healed quite miraculously even today, but as a general experience it will be in the future. Well, you know, it solves the problem of why aren’t we all healed right now. It gives us a way of ducking the issue when we talk to other people, and I went with it. It worked for me, and it works for most other ministers too, but the hermeneutic rule is not to use our experiences as the rule to interpret our scripture. Again, hermeneutics means the rules of interpreting scripture, and one of the rules of interpreting scripture is not our experience, but rather, you use scripture to interpret scripture.
We have Paul here saying by his wounds you, past tense, were healed. Now, to use scripture to enlighten that or give us a better understanding, if we go back to Acts 3:1-11, let me compress this story down, Peter the apostle and John the apostle were together. They were going up to the temple. It was the 9th hour. It says there was a certain man who was lame and every day they brought him in and he begged for alms, and Peter and John come up on him and they said look on us and he did, and this is what Peter says. “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I thee. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth rise up and walk”
He confesses straight out guy; I don’t have any money to give you, but what I have got I’m willing to give it to you. I’m willing to share it with you, in the name of Jesus rise up and walk, and the guy gets up and walks. That’s once again Acts 3:1-11. The reason I bring this up is using this scripture we see that Peter didn’t duck the issue like I’ve been taught and have taught to say; guy, silver and gold have I none, but I have this. Your sins have been forgiven, and your healing is an accomplished fact and some day off in the future you too shall receive the ability to walk just like John and I do, but its in the future and its a resurrection thing, and you will experience it and then walk away and leave the guy.
Instead, we have Peter saying such I have give I to you, in the name of Jesus rise up and walk. Now, evidently Peter had something I don’t have because he says such as I have give I to you. I spend my time trying to reconcile my experience with the word of God. I still don’t know the answer. I’m not a faith healer. I’m not a person that walks around doling out miracles, making the lame walk and the people who got the flu to get well instantly or sore throats or anything like that. I don’t have that, but I can’t duck out on this issue any longer. I don’t want to add to the word of God. I don’t want to invent experiences as an excuse for God or as an excuse for why my life is not measuring up, but instead, I think we should approach it this way. Father, instruct me in this. How is it that Peter says by His wounds we were healed and yet our experience is so much different? Would you instruct me in this, because Peter himself did not see this as a future fulfillment to be only accomplished at the resurrection. He actually prayed for people.
I think our way of approaching it should be asking God himself to instruct us in this matter and wait for Him to enlighten us. Peter says, remember, such as I have. Now, what did he have that we don’t? For one thing, he had three years of instruction walking around with Jesus Christ and seeing him perform all sorts of miracles, seeing the resurrection, one big thing experiencing Pentecost Sunday, having all that under his belt, he could say that he had come to a place that the word says you will be healed and he says we are in that place now that was a prophetic tense in Isaiah, is now an accomplished fact in Peter’s lifetime. Therefore he said this is the experience, you were healed. He passes it on to us, as folks you are healed. You were healed back then. It’s an accomplished fact.
Let’s first of all seek by ruminating, that’s meditating, muttering is the word. Meditate means to mutter. Repeat again and again by his stripes, by his wounds we were healed and then instead of trying to interpret it away lets go at it like this. By His stripes, by his wounds we were healed. God would you please enlighten me on this? Now, tell the truth. I’ve done this kind of stuff, and usually I’m sick and I’m angry, why isn’t God performing this healing?
So take the problem off of the healing itself and let’s go by faith and trust to God for enlightenment that He would teach us. Most of us have no problem with God teaching us we have a problem with God healing us. So, lets ask God to teach us on this subject because I think as He teaches and enlightens us and we trust Him to teach us and as we place our trust first in Him to instruct us so that we can have what Peter had, I think the experience will start following after that. The grace of that experience will come as we have what Peter had, which is teaching and walking with Christ and I really believe that we will start to understand and experience the part of we’re healed.
Seek first the instruction, and I really believe that the experience will follow after. Ruminate, meditate and seek God’s enlightening Holy Spirit to give us wisdom so we can deal with this issue and not try to write it off, explain it away, ignore it and try to steer other nonbelievers or young Christians away from this concept but instead help us to get to that concept so we can tell them the absolute truth.
Sorry if I rambled on, but I think there is something here that we should be going after and its that phrase of Peter’s, not that we were healed, but such as I have, give I thee. I think we need to find out the such as I have, what he had, and we need to understand we’ve got it also, because God gives us all good gifts, but when we come to that understanding, what we have, then as he was using what he had to perform a ministry of healing, the ministries that we personally are called to like teaching, governance, pick a subject that God says this is what I want you to do, we need to be doing our ministries not out of ourselves, but such as I have that was given to me in Christ. We need to find such as I have and apply that, or let Him apply it rather to our lives so we can accomplish the ministry of whatever He has called us to.
Shall we pray? Father, in the name of Jesus I ask you now, Peter says, “By His stripes we were healed,” as an accomplished fact, and yet God our experiences are usually different. God, I ask in the name of Jesus that you would teach us, enlighten us in that area. I ask you to bring our experiences into accordance with your word, and Father don’t let us interpret away what you are actually saying because our experiences aren’t lining up with what we think your word ought to say. Instead, change us. Give us enlightenment and give us direction, and as we repeat this word over and over again let it sink into our hearts and let us experience your reality. Show us what Peter had. Better yet, give us what Peter had so that we can give out of that also and fulfill the ministries that you have called us to. Father, I ask it all in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Well, I have also experienced this. Usually I ask God to teach or show me something, and He always does. I say usually, but I mean when I have asked God, God, show me this, it might take a week, 10 days, even a year but sometime down the road He will say here is the answer to the question you asked me, and its just like the lights go on. Bingo. There it is. I got it. It’s mine. So, I’m expecting God to really show us the things on this subject so we can share them with others.
Now, this is something I’d ask. If you receive some enlightenment I ask that you contact us on this site. Type it up. Share it with us so that we can read it. I’m not a computer person so I don’t know what blogging is all about, but let’s start something, a conversation of what things God has shown us so that we can share it and grow together in the knowledge and the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am here to learn just as much as I am to teach, so help me.
Anyway, you guys have a blessed week. God be with you. Enjoy his presence and know that He is with you.