Sermon On the Mount by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834–1890) Source Wikimedia.

by Brian Shilhavy

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

Sin is the number one cause of all sickness and disease in the world today. When God first created the world, it was a perfect world with no faults: no sickness or disease, and no sin.

It is true that not all sickness is a direct cause of personal sin (personal sin in the life of the one who is sick). As we have seen in previous devotionals studying the life of David, for example, we see that David was often sick, and that the cause of his sickness was sometimes his own personal sin, but at other times the sins of others who were persecuting him.

We also see in John chapter 9 that a man born blind was not suffering from his sins or the sins of his parents in his blindness. But ultimately, sin is the root cause of all sickness (whether it is our own personal sin directly causing it or not), because if sin had never entered the world, God’s perfect creation would have continued in its perfect state where sickness did not exist. (See: Romans 8:19-22)

The Biblical Pattern for Healing

The Biblical pattern for dealing with sickness was much different than it is today, where most people view sickness as strictly a physical issue, and only seek physical remedies.

In James chapter 5 we have the Biblical pattern:

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. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:14-16)

So if sin is the number one cause of sickness, shouldn’t we be concentrating our efforts in overcoming the effects of sin to live healthy lives?

One of the things we see in the Bible that is very powerful in overcoming the effects of sin is love.

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. (Proverbs 10:12)

What is Real Love?

Of course, “love” is something that needs to be defined, because western culture and the English language has a very weak understanding of “love.”

When we read the English translations of the Bible and read the English word “love”, there are actually many Greek words (Greek was the language the New Testament was written in) that are translated by our English word for “love.” The three most common ones are: philia, eros, and agape. “Philia” describes a “brotherly” love one has for family and friends. “Eros” describes a passionate or romantic love such as exists between a husband and wife.

But the word used for “love” most often in the New Testament is “agape”, which often represents an unconditional love that is completely independent of feelings. It is the word that is used, for example, when Jesus tells his disciples to not hate their enemies, but to love them (see Matthew 5:43-44).

Such an act of love is done independent of feelings (who “feels like” loving their enemies?!) It is an act of the will.

When Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins as an act of the most supreme love ever demonstrated, the Bible records that he prayed to God to remove that hour of darkness from his life in the moments leading up to that event. He didn’t really “feel” like going through with it. In fact, he was in agony and sweated drops of blood. But he prayed “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

That is an example of agape love, which is a love shown and done independent of “feelings” of love. It is, in fact, the most extreme example of true love ever witnessed in human history!

One of the best definitions of this kind of love is found in I Corinthians chapter 13:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

So when Jesus commanded his disciples to love one another, he used himself as the example of the kind of love he was referring to: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13)

Real Love = Forgiveness

If love is the beautiful flower and sweet fragrance that has the power to overcome ugly sins and affect healing in people’s lives, then forgiveness is the soil that supplies the roots to that kind of love.

Without forgiveness, love is impossible!

bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:13-14)

The power of forgiveness is so important in life and health, that we can withhold God’s own love from working in our lives if we do not forgive others:

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)

This concept of forgiveness was hard for Jesus’ disciples to understand, so he illustrated the seriousness of this truth by telling them a story:

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”

Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.

So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.

When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.

So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:21-35)

When we are reborn into the Kingdom of Light we experience God’s forgiveness first hand, and it transforms our life. We now have the power to forgive others, even those who have hurt us deeply. Such forgiveness brings peace, and physical wellness is a by-product.

Unforgiveness, on the other hand, imprisons us and gives power to the ruler of the kingdom of darkness, which can result in all kinds of sicknesses. Paul knew that unforgiveness was one of the ways that Satan uses to harm us and affect our health, and wrote:

Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him… If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his (Satan’s) schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:7-11)

Are you suffering today from some sickness or disease that may have spiritual roots in unforgiveness? Love has the power to overcome that and make you well!

But medicine and most doctors probably cannot help you in this area. You need to seek out friends who know God, who have a relationship with him and can pray for you, helping you to overcome the power of unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, and hatred in your life.

God forgave us for our sins at the cross when Jesus died in our place. Now we can receive God’s power and love in our life, a love so powerful that it covers up our sins and the sins of those who have hurt us.

That’s REAL healing that is available for free, and cannot be purchased with money!

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting… (Psalms 103:10-17)

But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Related article:

The New Standard for Love

Medicine: Idolatry in the Twenty First Century

Medicine: Idolatry in the Twenty First Century

The Authority to Heal

Medicine: Idolatry in the Twenty First Century

The subject of “authority” and health is one that affects every living person on the planet today, and everyone reading this article. Here in the 21st Century, various government agencies regulate “health” and operate under laws and regulations as to just who has the authority to practice healing. This would include the World Health Organization (WHO) internationally, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.

“Health” of course is generally defined today as “practicing medicine,” and the authority given by government to “practice medicine” is tightly controlled through government licensing. Someone not licensed, or using unapproved products for healing, face arrest and imprisonment.

A similar situation existed during the First Century. Jesus and his disciples did not follow the laws set forth by the government body of their day, and their system of healing was far superior. When common people outside the educated ruling class dared to oppose their authority and implement healing in Jesus name, they faced arrest and even execution in the First Century.

The authority of Jesus is still in place today, as is his healthcare plan. Just as there was during the days and times of Jesus’ earthly life and immediately afterward, there is a competing health care system in place today that denies the authority of Jesus, and would feel threatened if enough people started being healed through Christ’s healthcare plan. To oppose the authority of today’s medical system and their approved cures is to risk punishment and even imprisonment.

The current healthcare system is not a “healthcare” system at all, but a “medical” system designed to bring great profit to the pharmaceutical companies and others who profit from treating sick people. If enough people started exercising the authority of Jesus to see cures without having to pay for medical care, it would threaten their business, and opposition would be just as fierce as it was during the days of Jesus and the early disciples. But will that ever happen?