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READING:    1 COR. 12/27-14/1    




In this last study in the present series, we need to focus on what should be the very heartbeat of any aspect of any ministry- and that includes a "healing" or "wholeness" ministry. Although this series of studies has focused on healing & wholeness, this final study has application to every aspect of our Christian life and any ministry in which we may be involved.  


So let the theme address the particular subject of healing but allow the truth of this session to touch you wherever you are in your life and journey with God.    


1.  Consider the following qualities or characteristics and indicate what you believe are the three most important in a healing ministry to people.  Just number 1, 2, 3 in your preference.  


(  )  Power    (  )  Love    (  )  Discernment    (  )  Prayer   

(  )  Authority   (  )  Bible Knowledge      (  )  Faith   

(  )  Holiness    (  )  Courage     (  )__________   (  ) ___________    


2.   One of the major problems that evidenced the immaturity of the Corinthian believers was the idea that they could minister effectively without the love of God motivating them. Without the pervasive power of God's love to motivate and minister, our ministry (of whatever kind) will be so much scaffolding.  It will be impersonal, insensitive, self-centred and often hurtful instead of healing.  


3.  What is your responses to this statement:   "It is not the presence and practice of gifts (including healing) that causes division.  It is the neglect or absence of love."  


a)  Do you agree or disagree?  

b)  How would you re-state that observation in your own words?  


4.  Look at the following Scriptures and write down a summary phrase or sentence concerning the significance of love in the mind of Jesus.  


a)  Matthew 22/34-40

b)  John 13/34,35

c)  John 15/12-17  


5.  "Love" is a reality that almost defies definition.Yet, if you were called upon to explain what you meant when you spoke of love in a Christian context, what would you say?    


6.  1 Corinthians 13 is the most complete exposition of love in the New Testament.Particularly read vs. 4-8 and identify one specific "aspect" or "expression" of love mentioned there concerning which you need a fresh enabling from God to make that aspect more of a reality in your life.  Can you share that with the group and ask for their prayer?  


7.  There is one final passage of Scripture that we have not addressed thus far in the series and, in many ways, it is at the heart of the Church's healing/wholeness ministry. Take time to read James 5/14-16 and notice these key components:  


a. The call to the sick person to request the Elders of the Church. The initiative rests with the person who is sick to call for the Church Leaders (as those who represent the whole body of believers) to anoint him/her and to pray for the sick person.


b. The anointing with oil. Some believe that the oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Others see it as simply as a focus of contact (e.g. like the laying on of hands) that stirs a sense of expectation. Still others think this is nothing more than the application of some medicinal oil - more of a medical procedure rather than a religious ritual. What do you think?  


c. The prayer of faith. This is the prayer offered in faith or inspired by faith. It's important to recognise that faith is not something that we can create or manufacture or "whip up" when we choose. Such a product is more akin to presumption rather than faith. True faith is always a gift of God that comes by hearing and believing the Word of God (Romans 10/17). The "prayer of faith" is the same (kind of) prayer that we prayed when we first trusted Jesus Christ to be Saviour and Lord of our lives.


d. The evident love of the whole church in prayer for one another. Such love is indispensable if we are to fulfill the directives of v.16.  Notice that the call to prayer does not apply only to the Elders. The whole Church is to engage in this prayer ministry.


e. The link between physical healing and spiritual healing (vs. 15,16). This involves the confession of sin and the prayer for wholeness. One helps facilitate the other. Note the same link in the healing of the paralysed man in Mark 2/1-12.  


Are there any other aspects of these verses that you note as being important?   Do you believe these verses to be a valid exhortation for our day? If so, why do you think such a healing ministry is so rarely practiced in the Christian Church?    


Because this is the last in this current series, there could be great value in sharing as a group your individual responses to the series as a whole. Take a few moments to comment on those aspects that....  

a. have concerned you  

b. have confused you  

c. have encouraged you  

d. have motivated you  


By way of feedback to the Church Leadership, could your group compile a response as to what action (if any) you would like to see emerge for the Church out of these studies. Some of the comments below might provide you with a basis for a more comprehensive response about healing and wholeness..  


a. "Leave it alone! It is too divisive for any church to pursue".  

b. "We need to do more in this area but it really is fraught with danger".  

c. "Yes, let's go further with this ministry but make haste slowly"  

d. "Let's go for it! We have been neglecting this for way too long".      


Let the conclusion of this study (and this series) be a time when, as a group, you pray for a fresh outpouring of God's love on your life and upon the whole Church.    

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