And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
—James 5:15 (NKJV)
Although many believers regard healing as a miracle that might occur, it is more than that! Healing is at the core of our faith in the finished work of Jesus on the Cross. Miracles, of course, happen. But healing is a promise that is a part of our salvation (Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24). Just as you receive salvation by faith, you also receive healing by faith. The ability to believe comes through faith. And faith grows from a spiritual understanding of the Word of God.
The pain of illness can cause exhaustion and discouragement. You may feel yourself desperately hanging on to what you believe is true. Your faith may need the faith of others to encourage you and believe with you. The prayer of faith rendered on your behalf is powerful. In the NKJV version, James says that the prayer of faith will “save” the sick and raise him up. In other versions, “heal” is used instead of “save.”
The word “save” in the NJKV version of James 5:15 is “sozo” in the Greek. “Sozo” is the word for salvation, but its meaning expresses more than just the forgiveness of sins. Strong's Concordance imparts that “sozo” also indicates being healed physically of illnesses and delivered from the enemy. “Sozo” translates in James 5:15 as being healed. Places where the Greek word “sozo” is used in the Word, “heal” is used in many translations. Some examples of this are Luke 8:36, Mark 5:23, and Acts 14:9. The prayer of faith, James instructs, will "save" the sick. "Healing” will be manifested in the one receiving it.
You know the story of some friends carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. These men are great examples of the power of faith. They tried to take their sick friend inside the house where Jesus was teaching, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. But their faith made them determined. They went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered their friend on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Jesus, realizing the faith of these friends, said to the man, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The Pharisees cried out, “Who does he think he is? Only God can forgive sins!”
Jesus knew what the Pharisees were thinking. He asked them, “Why do you question this? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
"Your sins are forgiven" and "stand up and walk" are used in the same context. The Son of Man has the authority to forgive sins! He reveals it by healing the paralyzed man! Jesus saves and heals.
In Isaiah 53:5—where salvation in Christ is prophesied—at the end of the verse, you read, "By His wounds, we are healed." And what does James say about the prayer of faith? It will “save and heal” the sick. There is a question here. Is it easier to say, “your sins are forgiven” or “stand up and walk?”
The prayer of faith rendered on your behalf will heal. Be encouraged in your faith. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be “healed.”
©2020 Lynn Lacher