We all come into this world as damaged goods. The sin of our first parents destined us to be born dying. And then things get worse. The sins of the world become ours. Even under the best of circumstances we are wounded in every facet of our being and we become the wounders, sinners by birth, sinners by choice. For this Christ came into the world that we might be forgiven and we might be healed, the double cure.
I am so very thankful for the assurance of salvation. When we repent, believe and confess Christ as Lord we are washed clean, forgiven, justified, and regenerated. I don’t recall any of that initial experience, yet I know it is true. I was so young when I gave my heart to Christ I cannot remember not being a Christian. I know the new birth is true because I live in a state of repentance and redemption; I live with full assurance of my salvation. The Spirit bears witness in my soul. I am forgiven.
Healing is another matter all together, or is it? I believe Christ died not only for our cleansing but also for our wholeness. He arose victorious over death, Hell, and the grave not just so that we might go to Heaven but also that sin might not rule over us. He gave Himself for our sanctification. When the power of sin is broken so is the curse of death. Thus, in His atonement is healing for all our brokenness: physical, emotional, and psychological. We receive healing by faith in Christ, it is a gift. Yet in this time between times, the already but not yet, we know the healer while waiting for His return. The promises of His Kingdom are breaking in on us even as we anticipate their full arrival. Healing is provided for all in the atonement of Christ even if not everyone receives their healing before His appearance.
This year I have already given thanks for my general good health. Physically I have little to complain about. That does not mean I am unscarred in my soul. I bear in my inner being the unspoken pains of broken promises, betrayal, deception, and other ailments common to the human race, those hidden realities that go unnoticed by the closest of friends. I have swum in the bitter, cold waters of disappointment. I have wandered aimlessly in the dark night of the soul. I have despaired for my life. And I preached some of my best and most uplifting sermons in those times.
This I have learned, the hope of our salvation and the hope of our healing are inseparable. We have One Lord, one faith, one baptism. There was but one atoning sacrifice and it covered all our sin and all our brokenness. And so we wait, not in despair, though racked by pain, but in hope. The hope of our salvation is the hope of our healing. The assurance of our salvation is the assurance of our healing. This I proclaim, I am healed by the blood of the Lamb, by the stripes that He bore.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.
March 15, 2010