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Did Christ die for our sicknesses or our sins?

February 4, 2014 5 comments

Arthur PinkFirst it must be said that much of the teaching which has been given out on this subject is decidedly unscriptural. For example, the majority of those who emphasize “Divine healing” insist that it was “in the Atonement,” that on the Cross Christ was as truly our sickness-bearer as our sin-bearer, that He purchased healing for the body as well as salvation for the soul, and that therefore every Christian has the same right to appropriate by faith the cure of bodily disorders as he has forgiveness for his transgressions. In support of this contention appeal is made to Christ who

 

“healed all that were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet: Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses” (Matthew 8:16, 17).

 

Here is where the expositor is needed if the unlettered and unstable are to be preserved from jumping to an erroneous conclusion, where the mere sound of the words is likely to convey a wrong impression unless their sense be carefully ascertained—just as, “the dead know not anything” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) is not to be understood absolutely, as though they who have departed this life are in a state of utter unconsciousness.

Had those words “Christ bare our sicknesses” occurred in some passage in the Acts or Epistles where one of the apostles was explaining the purpose and character of Christ’s death, then we should have been obliged to regard them as meaning that the Lord Jesus vicariously endured the sicknesses of His people while on the Cross, though this would present a very great difficulty, for there is no hint anywhere in the Word that the Redeemer experienced any illness at that time. But instead, Matthew 8:16, 17 has reference to what transpired during the days of His public ministry, the meaning of which we take to be as follows. Christ employed not the virtue that was in Him to cure infirmity and sickness as a matter of mere power, but in deep pity and tenderness He entered into the condition of the sufferer. The great Physician was no unfeeling stoic, but took upon His own spirit the sorrows and pains of those to whom He ministered. His miracles of healing cost Him much in the way of sympathy and endurance.

Thus He “sighed” (Mark 7:34) when He loosed the tongue of the dumb, “wept” by the grave of Lazarus, and was conscious of virtue going out of Him (Mark 5:30) as He cured another. By a compassion, such as we are strangers to, He was afflicted by their afflictions.

That the interpretation we have given above (briefly suggested by the Puritan, Thomas Goodwin) is the correct meaning of “Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses” appears from several considerations. If those words signified what the “Divine healing” cults say they do, then they mean that in His act of healing the sick Christ was then making atonement, which is absurd on the face of it. Again, if the healing of the body were a redemptive right which faith may humbly but boldly claim, then it necessarily follows that the believer should never die, for every time he fell ill he could plead before God the sacrifice of His Son and claim healing. In such a case, why did not Paul exhort Timothy to exercise faith in the Atonement rather than bid him “use a little wine for his stomach’s sake”

(1 Timothy 5:23), and why did he leave Trophimus at “Miletum sick” (2 Timothy 4:20)? A glorified body, as well as soul, is the fruit of Christ’s atonement, but for that the believer has to wait God’s appointed time.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

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Concerning our Blessings because of Prayer

Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayers and won with thanks.

Thomas Goodwin

Christ’s Riches

“Christ’s riches are unsearchable, and this doctrine of the gospel is the field this treasure is hidden in.”
Thomas Goodwin (1600-1679)

We Have Been Given All Things

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

“My brethren, when God first began to love you, he gave you all that he ever meant to give you in the lump, and eternity of time is that in which he is retailing of it out.”

Thomas Goodwin (1600-1679)

The Love of Christ

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

“The poets themselves said, that amor Deum gubernat, that love governed God. And, as Nazianzen well speaks, this love of God, this dulcis tyrannus, —this sweet tyrant,—did overcome him when he was upon the cross. There were no cords could have held him to the whipping-post but those of love; no nails have fastened him to the cross but those of love.”

Thomas Goodwin (1600-1679)