The spiritual gift of healing – What is it?

First Corinthians 12 contains a list of spiritual gifts in the church including, "to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:9). What is this spiritual gift of healing?

Because this verse provides no definition of the gift of healing, many interpretations exist. However, it appears clear that the miraculous healings by the apostles are in this category. For example, in Acts 3, Peter healed a man disabled from birth. In Acts 19:11-12 we read, "And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them."

These actions were used both to authenticate the message and the messenger of the gospel to new people groups where Christianity had not yet reached. As a result, some believe this gift no longer operates today, but served as a temporary sign gift.

Another view suggests that a person can still have the gift of healing today. However, this has been difficult to prove and has also been problematic due to occasions involving fake healings or attempts to provide "proof" of those who have been healed.

Still others see the gift of healing as involving more than only miraculous healings. This view would also include those gifted in the medical profession as those gifted in healing. The idea that Christian medical workers can use their abilities for helping those in need and strengthening the church is certainly biblical. However, since this definition of healing is not used in Scripture related to the gift of healing, connecting this view with the spiritual gift of healing is uncertain in interpretation.

It is true that God can and does still perform miracles today, including healing. There may be debate regarding whether a gift of healing still operates today, but there is no doubt that God continues to intervene in today's world to change lives through His power to heal.

When we are sick, God tells us to pray to Him for healing. James 5:14-15 teaches, "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up." This prayer for serious illness includes contacting the local church's leaders to pray together, using oil as a symbol of God's anointing power to heal.

More importantly, God provides spiritual healing—the salvation of our soul to offer eternal life (John 3:16: Romans 10:9). Jesus has often been called the Great Physician, the One who can heal both body and soul, offering help now and for eternity.

Related Truth:

What spiritual gifts does the Bible mention? Can you give me a survey of the spiritual gifts?

What are biblical sign gifts? What was their purpose?

Are the miraculous gifts of the Spirit still active?

The spiritual gift of encouragment – What is it?

The spiritual gift of faith – What is it?

Return to:
Truth about the Holy Spirit

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