Wholeness: Body, Soul, and Spirit
Recently I have been doing a verse by verse study of the book of Mark at my church. If you spend any time at all preaching from the gospels you have to deal with the subject of healing. To do otherwise would be to ignore a major portion of the life and works of Jesus. So I want to just take a second to share with you the three types of healing talked about in the Bible. These types of healing many times are interconnected. One type of healing leads or opens the door to another type. Many times spiritual healing leads to emotional healing, and sometimes physical healing leads to spiritual healing ect. So a biblical viewpoint on the subject of healing is important in the life of every believer.
The Three Types of Healing in the Bible.
Man was created in the Bible as a triune being. What I mean by that is that there is more to a human being than meets the eye. He was created in the image of God and has 3 parts. He has a body, a soul, and a spirit. So since man has 3 parts to his make-up, he also has 3 parts of him that at one point or another may become sick or in need of healing. The Bible talks about all three of these types of healing.
The first type of healing in the Bible is spiritual healing.
Spiritual healing is when the human spirit becomes damaged and ill from the effects of sin in our lives. Now do not think that I am the type of person that points fingers at people. I am not! I have had more than my fair share of sin in my life and have seen the devastating effects of it. Sin, in it’s simplest definition means missing the bulls-eye on a target. When we miss it, we cause harm to our human spirit and cause spiritual death. Spiritual healing then is the renewal and restoration of the human spirit. This is what is talked about by Jesus when He said a person must be born again. This healing comes when a person receives forgiveness from God by accepting the forgiveness offered by God when they start a personal relationship with Jesus. Even for the Christian, forgiveness is something that needs to be maintained on a regular basis. If not, then once again our spirit will become ill and wounded. This is one reason why some people become spiritually proud and religious rather than walking in humility knowing that they are no better than anyone else, just forgiven. They have forgotten their need to maintain a constant flow of forgiveness.
The second type of healing is emotional healing.
Emotional healing or the healing of the soul, is where a person no longer has an emotional reaction to either the sins that they have committed or the sins that have been committed against them. When we sin, we feel guilt. Guilt is not just a fact but it is an emotional reaction. When somebody else sins against us, we feel all kinds of emotions, anger, shame, bitterness, ect. Emotional healing is when you no longer react with those emotions when you think about or remember what you did or what others do. King David after being confronted about his sin of adultery and setting up the death of Uriah, got honest with God and received not only spiritual healing but emotional healing. In Psalm 32 He says
5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Not only was David forgiven but He also received the removal of the feelings of guilt. He was emotionally healed.
The third type of healing is physical healing.
I know that physical healing can be a controversial subject. If all I knew about physical healing was the circus acts I see on Christian TV, I would throw it out too! However I do not get my inspiration and beliefs from Christian TV. I get it from the Bible and for better or worse, physical healing was God’s idea. He is the one that said He was the Lord that Heals us. (Exodus 15:26} And it was Jesus who fulfilled the prophecy that was made concerning the coming messiah that said the messiah would take all our sicknesses and carry all our diseases. It was Jesus who said that one of the signs that would follow believers is that they would lay hands on the sick and they would recover. So physical healing was God’s idea, not some creation of television evangelists. They just took it and used it for their own motives and gain.
How Are the Three Types of Healing Connected?
These types of healing can be connected to one another. What I mean by that is that one may lead to another or one may prevent another. This is not always the case, but many times it can be.
- Spiritual healing can be connected to emotional healing. Just as we saw with the example of King David, he received emotional healing after he received spiritual healing. Many times I have found that you are not released from the torment of being emotionally wounded until you first get things right with God and receive forgiveness yourself from God. It is pretty hard to give something that you have not received in the first place.
- Many times I have seen people get healed physically after they have dealt with an emotional wound. A person who is bitter and angry at someone has a much harder time trusting and believing God will heal them physically than does the person who has dealt with trust issues. How can you trust a loving heavenly father to heal you if you still have in the back of your head the idea that those in authority let you down?
- Sometimes it is just the grace and compassion of God. There have been many times I have seen that the grace and compassion of God poured out on someone who is not a believer but receives physical healing lead to spiritual healing and the person getting their life and heart right with God. It is the goodness of God that leads a person to repentance.
So as you can see, we need all 3 types of healing to be understood and offered to this world. It truly is an important subject that Jesus modeled for us while He was here on this earth.