(This post is not a book review**)
Charles S. Price wrote a book called: ‘The Real Faith.’ It was a difficult book to find when I was looking for it (not sure or re-publications at this point); I finally found a copy at a thrift store. I had read a PDF copy printed on a stack of office paper before I could find a copy.
Actually, I had found a contemporary edit of the original at one pont, and thought I struck gold. The editors of the new edition had changed the title to: ‘The Real Faith FOR HEALING’ they added two words to the title as a caveat of what they believed the book was ACTUALLY about. After parousing the book, I could see that the new edited edition appeared to have the same liberties taken consistently throughout (or, at the least, liberties enough that I was not interested in holding on to it). Thankfully (as I mentioned) I found a real copy some time later.
For those who don’t know who Charles S. Price was, he was an early Pentecostal minister who came to believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit after attending an Amy Semple-McPherson meeting which he had gone to in the 1920s in order to discredit. On arriving he saw real miracles, and was confronted by the evident power of the Holy Spirit. Price went on to become an evangelist with one of the most notable healing-miracle ministries of the 1930s and 40s. People who had experienced revivals and evangelistic crusades of the 1800s said that the power demonstrated in the Price meetings far exceeded the D.L Moody revivals, and could only be comparable to Charles Finney-led revivals.
Anyways, Charles S. Price wrote a book called ‘The Real Faith,’ and the root intention of the book was to discuss why some of those who came for healing did not receive a miracle.
I won’t get into the guts and feathers of the book here (this post is not a book review (although if you can find a copy, I do recommend the book)), but there is an essential paradigm shift in the book title that is importanat for us to grasp.
Price wrote a book called: ‘The REAL Faith’ [emphasis mine], and the book he wrote was centered not on faith for salvation, but on faith for healing. Upon first response the change that the editors of the modern edition made to the title seems reasonable ‘The Real Faith FOR HEALING’ [again, emphasis mine]. At first I didn’t like the change because it altered made the original content, and doing such (I think) detracts from the author’s intended messsage whether you are reading a novel, a biography, or another piece of non-fiction. (Hey, if you’re an editor and you want to convey a message, write your own book, will you? Don’t alter someone else’s message to make YOUR point. But I digress.)
In Mark 2, Matthew 9, and Luke 5 the story is told about a group of friends bring a man with palsy to Jesus, FOR HEALING. The man and his friends were come to Jesus for the express purpose of receiving healing. In fact, there is nothing in the text anywhere that this story is told that would indicate to us that the sick man, or those who brought him had any knowledge that Jesus could impart SALVATION. They came to Jesus because they believed that Jesus could PHYSICALLY HEAL their friend.
But here’s where Jesus turns the world on its head, and completely alters the paradigm (that is: worldview; or general perspective) of those present. While the friends of the man with palsy had brought the man to be healed – for they had faith in Jesus to heal him – Jesus gave the man something BETTER than healing.
Luke 5:20 – ‘And when he [Jesus] saw their faith [for healing], he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.’
Have you ever noticed that the friends had not come so thata the man could receive salvation – they came for healing? But because they absolutely believed in Jesus for healing of the physical body, Jesus imparted salvation to the man. His statement that the man was forgiven of his sins is the focal point of this story; all of the religious in the room were offended that a man could purport to forgive sins, and save the soul! (Luke 5:21)
But then Jesus asked whether it was easier to forgive sins, or to heal the body. And then He healed the man physically AS EVIDENCE THAT HE HAD ALREADY RECIEVED FFORGIVENESS OF SINS.
Let’s think about that for just a second: which IS easier to God? Is it easier for God to heal your soul, or your body, do you think? Both are impossible for man… but which is easier?
And let’s not forget the context: they came for healing, but Jesus imparted salvation. In essence, Jesus is saying that those who have faith for healing already have faith for salvation. They have put their total reliance upon Jesus, already.
Let me tell you that doctrinally this concept holds through the New Testament – speaking of praying for the sick, Jesus’ brother (according to the flesh) James said: ‘And the prayer of faith SHALL SAVE THE SICK, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.’
Faith for healing IS real faith. In fact, I would say that bodily healing is an instance where Christians have to employ the most real faith. It is one instance where the promise of God’s Word is clear – even as I just quoted: ‘The prayer of faith SHALL SAVE THE SICK…’ clear, unambiguous plain statement of scripture – yet we don’t see everyone healed who receives prayer, then we see a stark contrast between our situation in the world, and the promise of God’s Word.
We are not supposed to let our circumstances dictate what we believe, we are supposed to believe God’s word despite our adverse circumstances.
Praying for the sick is one of our greatest opportunities to excercise real faith. We have to trust God’s Word more than the reality we are facing in the world – that’s not presumption, its real faith.
Just a few biblical promises of healing:
Exodus 15:26; 23:25,26; Matt 10:1 & 8; Matt 8:17 (1 Peter 2:24); Luke 10:9; Mark 16:17, 18; James 5:14 ,15