Wednesday, 11 February 2015

GOD'S PILL 2015: CAPSULE 7

DOES GOD TRY US WITH SICKNESS OR DISEASE? (Part 5)

PAUL'S THORNY ISSUE AND OTHERS

In the last 4 capsules we've discussed that nagging question, 'Does God try us with sickness or disease or even refuse to heal us on certain occasions? Some might even say 'He does not try or refuse but allows it. I believe if we are true to the NT, the answer to all these, is a categorical NO! Tradition and sloppy interpretation of scriptures have crippled many. In this capsule I intend to bring to conclusion my discussion on 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 and wrap up with Galatians 4:13-15, 6:11.

.......My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (‭2 Corinthians ‭12‬:‭7-9‬ KJV) Please read in context the whole chapter.

Following on from capsule 6, in the above passage Paul said he would 'rather glory in his infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon him' . The word infirmities here have become a trap, people see this and say 'you see ! Paul was glad to be sick' what they are inferring is that having a form of chronic illness is a prerequisite for manifesting the power of of God (it might not be put so blatantly, but the intent is obvious). This is so contradictory that I really do not know how anybody would accept this line of thought. Nevertheless, let's consider it, the word infirmity I agree by common usage means sickness or disease, but that is not the only meaning. It is applied for any form of inadequacy or weakness. In Romans 8:26, the bible says the Holy Spirit helps our infirmity, why? So that we can pray effectively. In Hebrews 7:28, we are told that the law makes 'men with infirmity High Priest' . These are two instances that the word infirmity is used to describe inadequacy or weakness and it is translated as such in some other versions. Even in 2Corinthians 12, both words are used interchangeably and when you read the chapter in context Paul described the infirmities in the preceding chapter (2Corinthians 11:22-33). I hope you get the picture?
Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. (‭Galatians‬ ‭4‬:‭13-14‬ KJV)

In the above passage Paul speaking to the Galatians confirmed that he had physical infirmity which no doubt connotes some form of ailment or sickness , but what is often ignored is that at the time he was writing this letter this was no longer the case, that was why he used the phase 'at the first' . It's like saying 'when we first met I was sick'. This even confirms the power of divine healing. To help you understand this further, Galatia was a region in Asia Minor with cities like Lystra, Derbe and Iconium. Paul's first contact with them at Derbe is recorded in Acts 14:19-20, after been beaten within an inch of his life the day before, imagine the physical shape that he was in at their first contact. Those who believe that Paul had an incurable illness go further to justify this by referring to Galatians 4:15 and 6:11 claiming he had an incurable eye disease. I honestly believe that this conclusion is laughable. The first one is an expression of endearment that we even use up to this day. Nobody ever thinks of exchanging a body part if I say ' I would gladly give my right hand for so and so'. We all know we are being figurative!

Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. (‭Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭11‬ KJV)

The word translated large in this verse above appears in only one other place in the NT, and it was translated 'great' (Hebrews 7:4), talking about the importance or significance. Paul usually would use a scribe or personal secretary to write his letters, but on this occasion he felt very strongly about it that he wrote the letter himself. Unlike the book of Romans that took a scholarly approach to the subject of Grace, the epistle to the Galatians deals with the same subject without mincing words because he felt let down by them , remember this was a church that he established and had spent time teaching them. For them to regress back to the works of the law was completely unacceptable (Galatians 3:1-6).

In these last five capsules I have used the scriptures to answer the question. But if you really think about it, you don't even need to be a bible scholar to appreciate that there is something deep wrong when people ascribe sickness or disease to God either directly or indirectly.

CONCLUSION
ITS ALL THORNS AND NO SICKNESS OR DISEASE

Ps
In the next few capsules I would try and look at why there is so much resistance to the assertion that God wants you well 'all the time'/sources of sickness and disease.


'Femi Idowu
www.mindgym.org.uk