“BY HIS STRIPES I AM HEALED”
By Let Us Reason
Can all be healed by CONFESSING out loud God’s word and apprehend their healing by FAITH?
Isaiah 53:4: “Surely he has borne our grief’s and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” In Matthew 8:16-17 Peter applies this to Jesus healing people while He was on earth physically present with them doing ministry, not now by the means of the Spirit. Verse 16-17 says, “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”
The Holy Spirit applies this prophecy of Isaiah as to Jesus’ earthly healing ministry and not to His atoning work of death on the cross. “He healed that it might be fulfilled.” This did not occur on the cross but before in his public ministry. The purpose was to affirm that His person and message were from God.
Mt.8:14: “Himself took our infirmities and bear our sickness.” Just as in the Old Testament God healed people who were sick so did Jesus in His life ministry; this can’t be made to be part of the atonement as a guarantee. ( In Isa.53 the main theme is His substitution for sin).
If this Scripture points to Christ healing prior to the cross before his body was broken and his blood shed, then this Scripture is not fulfilled at the cross and cannot be part of the atonement! It does not say He died for our infirmities and diseases, but rather that He took them and bore them. This means Christ took away their sicknesses by removing them, by having compassion on the people, taking their sufferings and carrying them away before His death. So this was fulfilled. When? Before Calvary! When He was physically present before the people.
We also need to consider the word for healing is not narrowly limited in its meaning to only the physical. In Luke 4:18 Jesus came “to heal the brokenhearted” referring to the alleviating of heartaches. Also In Mt.13:15, the healing is in reference to salvation (Jn.12:40; Acts28:27)
The second part of the verse of Isaiah 53:5 reads, “But He was wounded (pierced) for our transgressions (Breaking the law), he was bruised (crushed, punished) for our iniquities (sins); the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” This is in reference to our transgressions and sins being removed at the cross. The Bible states that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin, not healing for sickness. Revelation 1:5 “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” “…the life of the flesh is in the blood…it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul (Lev. 17:11)
“He was Pierced for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities” both having to do with sin. Further reading says in V.6 his suffering was for our iniquities. V.8 it was for our transgressions he was stricken.V.10 he was made an offering for our sin. So included is the stripes referring to the healing of our soul from sin. The word ‘iniquity’ is found 4 times in Isaiah 53 and is the emphasis in its discourse. In 53:5, Christ was crushed for our iniquities. v.6, the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. V.11 He will bear our iniquities. V.12 and He Himself bore the sins of many. The primary concern in Isaiah 53 is not on its physical effects upon the body, but the spiritual healing on the eternal effects of sin. The context of Christ’s death centers on the issue of sin. Matthew, Peter and the Ethiopian eunuch understood Isaiah 53 in reference to sin.Both the books of Leviticus and Hebrews (which is a commentary on Levitical law) demonstrates that the intent of the atonement is primarily about our sin, not diseases. It has everything to do with our sin problem and the redemption needed to remove sin. As were all the sacrifices from the OT which were types of Christ. Christ’s atonement paid the penalty for our sin. Clearly the major emphasis of Isaiah 53 centers on spiritual salvation.
Do we see the apostles use this as a guarantee for their sicknesses or afflictions. Paul mentions Christ being crushed for our sins in the communion service, but he has nothing to say about healing (using phrases taken from atonement Scriptures). This verse is cited twice in the New Testament. In Romans 4:25: where the context is Jesus suffering for our sins. The Greek term `healing’ ( The Greek therapis from the Hebrew rapha) is not found in the text and the context deals with sin, not illness.
1 Peter 2:24 “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness– by whose stripes you were healed.” Again the context is that of healing from sin. So we see that neither New Testament reference to this verse even mentions illness. Peter applies this to the cross and the spiritual healing of sins; he says nothing about the healing of diseases in our now mortal bodies. So we see that both New Testament references to this verse do not mention illness; furthermore it is in the past tense, “ you were healed.”
When Isaiah 53:5 says we are healed. Peter refers to the stripes being on the cross (not before), and says by whose stripes you were healed, making it past tense. Showing that this event was accomplished. It is related to our spiritual healing from sin not our physical well-being. To further support this interpretation, Isaiah 53:6 speaks of us as sheep going astray. 1 Peter 2:25 also portrays us as sheep gone astray but now returning to the shepherd of our souls to be brought back into fellowship. Today Jesus heals through His death, (the atonement) and through His present ministry of intercession.
Vines Dictionary says STRIPE molops “a bruise, a wound from a stripe,” is used in 1 Pet. 2:24 (from the Sept. of Isa. 53:5), “ not referring to Christ’s scourging, but figurative of the stroke of divine judgment administered vicariously to Him on the cross. W.E. Vine explains this is “ not referring to Christ’s scourging, but figurative of the stroke of divine judgment administered vicariously to Him on the cross (from the Septuagint of Isaiah 53:5, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words and the Collected writings of W.E. Vine)
Jesus while He was physically on earth healed people physically. Because of His death His healing is applied to our sins for those who accept His sacrifice. The word “stripes” is in the singular, which probably relates to his being struck once (Moses was to strike the rock once). Jesus the rock was struck only once to cure sins, and Christ died for sins once. The stripe on the cross is related to sins, He bore our sins on the cross, not our sicknesses. While sicknesses can be caused by sin, there is no inclusion for them. Death is a disease that terminates life, just as sicknesses limit our quality of life now. Today death still occurs to non-believers and believers alike. If our sicknesses were all to be healed now, we would not die, for death is a consequence of sin.
The phrase “we were healed” in Strongs Concordance the Hebrew word is chabbuwrah- meaning bound (with stripes), i.e. a weal (or black-and-blue mark itself): The root word is #2266 chabar-1) to unite, to join, to bind together, to be joined, to be coupled, to be in league, to heap up, to have fellowship with, to unite, to join oneself to, to make an alliance. When the Scripture says by His stripes we were healed, it means our healing came through being united to God spiritually. We now have fellowship where sin once kept us from it. While this does not dismiss the possibility of physically healing, but it in no way guarantees it. To teach that this is an absolute promise can be just as much a disservice as to teach someone that God no longer heals!
We do not see the apostles use this Scripture as a guarantee for their sicknesses or afflictions. Paul mentions Christ being crushed for our sins in the communion service he has nothing to say about healing using phrases taken from atonement scriptures. In 1 Corinthians 11 people were becoming weak, sick and dying because they partook of the Lord’s Table in an unworthy manner. This Church ordinance looks back to the atonement, the very thing that faith teachers refer to when they say, “by his stripes we are healed.” But some of the Corinthians were becoming sick and dying from remembering it wrongly. They did not respect it or confess their sins.
1 Peter 2:24 “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness– by whose stripes you were healed. Peter applies this to the cross and the spiritual healing of sins. He says nothing about the healing of diseases in our now mortal bodies.
One of the primary rules of biblical interpretation is context. If it is violated you can come up with your own personal interpretation for just about anything. What is the context in 1 Peter 2? Salvation. There is no way to interpret it in any other sense. The verse is talking about Jesus on the cross dying for us, enduring punishment and bearing our sins, thereby providing salvation for us. (with it relieve of suffering and healing by his mercy).
Notice Peter also says to live to righteousness, not to health. Physical healing is included in the cross but is no guarantee. The disease of the soul are to be healed — and the primary disease of the soul is man’s unregenerate state, which is rooted in our sin nature, that is the focus of our healing. Notice Peter said you were healed past tense. Not you are continually being healed of your diseases otherwise we can apply this to salvation scriptures, you were saved meaning you are continually being saved. This would make no sense at all since salvation is a single time event. The good news is that God has provided healing for this disease of the soul. And that is what Peter is talking about in 1 Peter 2:24. He is not saying physical healing is guaranteed to every believer. Healing for the body is a benefit of Christ’s death, included at the cross. it has never been considered in the history of the church — a guarantee that God has to heal your body; He doesn’t have to! One thing that needs to be pointed out; there is no account of any person saying to Jesus by your stripes I’m healed when He was physically present on earth. If it was a promise like some say we would see examples of this in His ministry. No one stood before Him and claimed their healing by faith or recited the promise of Scripture.
The atonement brings redemption from sin but has not eradicated sin. Neither should we think it can do so for healing. We have not yet received the redemption of our bodies this will be dealt with at the resurrection not before. In other words we die because we are not cured physically from our sickness of sin. This is reserved as the last enemy to be conquered by the resurrection.
When certain people get hold of this passage, they change the context from salvation to physical healing. Every time such people see the word “heal” in the Bible they assume it refers to the miracle of divine healing for the physical body, regardless of what the context indicates. It’s like those who when they see the words cleansing and washing and think it always means water baptism.
At the Last Supper Jesus stated, “This is My blood…which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Notice He did not say for our physical healing, but sin….The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7). It is always sin, not sickness that we are promised to be healed from in the atonement. Now the question comes up “Isn’t sickness from sin, so we should not be sick. So is old age, pain, failing eyesight, and so is death. The Bible says “ the wages of sin is death.” Have you seen any faith healer survive this yet? No. So it must mean we are forgiven and cleansed in a legal sense and not in a completed sense, until the day of our resurrection. Then sin will be dealt the death-blow and we will live in an immortal body.
Our physical healing is included in the cross but is not guaranteed at this time. The diseases of the soul are to be healed — and the primary disease of the soul is man’s unregenerate state, which is rooted in our sin nature. Notice Peter said you were healed past tense. Not you are continually being healed of your diseases or will be healed. otherwise we can apply this to salvation scriptures, you were saved meaning you are continually being saved or will be saved. This would make no sense at all since salvation is a single time event. The good news is that God has provided healing for this disease of the soul. And that is what Peter is talking about in 1 Peter 2:24. He is not saying that physical healing of the body is guaranteed to every believer. Healing for the body is a benefit of Christ’s death included at the cross. It has never been considered in the history of the church — a guarantee that God has to heal your body; He doesn’t have to! The atonement brings redemption from sin but has not completely eradicated sin, neither should we think it can do so for healing.
Healing is in the atonement but it will be fully given in the resurrection when we shall each receive new bodies. Only then will we not become old or sick. Look at those prosperity teachers who preach this doctrine do they not grow old and sick like everyone else?
We have not yet received the redemption of our bodies this will be dealt with at the resurrection, not before. Any healings we receive before the resurrection are the blessings of Gods grace which are a foretaste of the immortal bodies we will receive.
Does God only heal?
Not all sicknesses come from Satan, nor are they all contrary to the will of God. If this were so there would be no divine chastisement for God’s children, we are told he chastens those he loves. We need to discern, as Scripture states in Hebrews, that whom God loves He chastens. It is God who either directly or indirectly allows punishment, sickness and even death for the believer. We cannot simplify good and evil it to “the Devil only does bad and God only does good.” The reason God afflicts somebody is not for evil, because His intention and goal is for good. The Devil afflicts someone to destroy them, but God allows it in order to work good in their life. God is in control of the believer’s circumstances and life. Duet. 32:39 “Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Exod.15:26; Deut.7:15, 28:60, 30:19-20, 32:45 all teach that God can afflict the people for chastisement, even though he does not want to.
In Luke 1:20 Zacharias is struck dumb (mute). In Acts 5 both Ananias and Sapphirra were judged by God for lying to the Holy Spirit, it wasn’t Satan who killed them. In Psalm 119:67 David says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep they word.” Verse 75 says, “In your faithfulness you have afflicted me.” David attributed his affliction to God’s hand, not the Devil’s. Does the Devil afflict? He certainly does, but he can’t afflict the saints without the Lord’s permission. God is in control of the believer’s life. Jesus has the keys of death and hell, not the Devil. We see in the New Testament taking communion without reflecting on the Lord’s body have caused many to be weak , sick and some have even to die (1 Cor.11:29-30).
God’s ability to heal extends to all of us. The issue isn’t “does God heal today” but will He heal, and how and when. No true believer is without the possibility of divine healing. One way which the promise of healing is found in the atonement is in James 5:14,15 ( Psalm 31:10). It is when an illness is a direct result of someone’s unconfessed sin. James writes when that sin is confessed and repented of healing comes as a result through the local church elders. (Not all sickness is direct from sin but because of sins affect on the world we live in).
Is there healing in the atonement. Yes, but it is not a standard promised to all believers at the present time. To say this is in my opinion an injustice. Nowhere will you find that he died to heal us in the body, but to set us free from the domination of sin. Rom. 6:6-7: “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.” Rom 7:17: “But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” We still have sin in us and this is the reason we die. It also is the reason we can get sick
Heb. 9:26: “But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Jesus purpose was to deal with sin so that we will not be punished for it but we still have sin. This will not be dealt with until we are glorified as Paul writes the last enemy to be conquered is death, which is a result of sin.
Heb 10:6 “In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure. All the sacrifices were about sin, not for physical healings.”
What the faith teachers do is apply physical blessings pertaining to the time of the Millennium for us today, which can be summed up as a over realized eschatology. Our complete physical healing will come in the resurrection when our corruptible bodies will become incorruptible and immortal bringing us into total health. Jesus’ life ministry was a foretaste of the future Millennium when he will again be here physically on earth to heal all and rule.
Today God does heal in answer to prayer according to His sovereign will , but He is not obligated to heal by any promise in Scripture. Physical healing in this life is not guaranteed by Christ’s death, but is a provision. There is no promise in the New Testament like “whosoever believes will be healed.” Whenever God heals our body today its by intervention of his mercy not by an obligation of a promise.
In Phil. 2:25-27: Epaphroditus was sick almost to death, Paul did not recommend to use any Scripture by faith. Certainly we can assume he prayed for his fellow worker in the Gospel. Some use this and other Scriptures to say the gift of healing faded away. I don’t think that is the case. Look at what Paul states in v.27 “But God had mercy on him.” It is by God’s mercy that He heals, it was not in the hand of the apostles to do anything they so desired unless it was Gods will. Neither can we today.
Paul personally had his own struggle 2 Corinthians 12:1-10: “Paul requested healing from the Lord three times. And three times he got an answer back: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Translation: God said no to Paul’s request for healing. He didn’t confess by his stripes I’m healed and continue in faith for it. Why? Because Paul was mature enough to accept the answer God gave. And we should be also.
Questions to be asked, if Healing is in the Atonement
L. T. Halsey said, “ If one who believes that healing is in the atonement on the same basis as the forgiveness of sins, is anointed and prayed for and not healed, then how could they be sure their sins were forgiven ? 1 Jn.5:13 tells us we may know that we have eternal life NOW. On the same basis, we would know that we have immortal bodies now. Our diseases would be taken away just as our sins are taken away. This we know is not the case. Christ redeemed our spirit, soul and body on the cross. But the curse, though judged is still operative. Satan though judged is still at liberty. Sickness and death. Though judged, are still taking their toll. The day of full redemption has not come. We see not yet all things put under his feet (Heb.2:8) The redemption of our bodies will come when Christ comes for the church, this is our blessed hope (1 Cor. 15;51-53; Titus 2:13; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).”
Why didn’t we receive physical healing when we first believed? The same faith we used to be saved spiritually certainly would be enough to be healed with. So, in essence if this faith is a guarantee of healing then all should be physically cured automatically when they are first saved. We have not seen any such demonstration in the history of the Church or in the Bible. The truth is some of the most spiritual people who have Christ’s fortitude are afflicted with sickness, and know Him in a way many of us will not. They are the ones who need to exercise complete faith each and every day, sometimes for the smallest of needs that we all take for granted.
If you pray to be healed and are not, does this mean you don’t have ANY faith? Because Jesus said it only took the smallest amount to move a mountain. Does this mean you may not be saved because you have not been healed? How much more faith do we need for our healing than we had used for our salvation? If people can be sick or even die because of a lack of faith, then how can they be assured they have salvation? That same faith they exercised for their salvation cannot make them well. This doctrine would mean that only those who are physically healed are really saved. If a believer asks for healing and is not healed, how does he know that when he asks for forgiveness that his sins were actually forgiven? These are logical questions that need to be answered by the Bible.
If someone came up to you when your child was sick and said he was a doctor let me prescribe medicine for him. You would probably say I don’t know you, your not my physician let me see your credentials before I accept what you say. Why do we not do this in the church when someone comes in and says he can lay hands on the child and he will be healed or let me lead you into a new experience of the Holy Spirit. Should we not ask their views on Christ and other essential doctrines before we give our loved ones or ourselves into their hands. I think So!
Do not be deceived by the false promises and false teachings of popular charismatic leaders that take Scriptures out of there context. Follow the Bible and avoid those who promote error and confusion. Then peace will come in any situation you’re in, whether you’re sick or healthy.