John Piper on healing

John Piper on healing January 30, 2013

John Piper has been getting us all in the mood for his pastor’s conference next week by speaking about the gifts of the Spirit in short videos shared online.  Today I want to share the one on healing.  Here are some excerpts from it:

“I dont see any reason that any [of the gifts] should in principle be eliminated from present experience, at least the possibility of God giving it at any time. So I would say, yes there is a gift of healing . . . the Holy Spirit gives them according to his sovereign will . . . God is sovereign and he is supernatural and he touches and he heals. . . it is something that goes beyond what doctors can do, though I love doctors . . . God heals, he heals cancer, he heals sore throats  . . . so we should ask for the gift . . . I put my hands on people and I ask God then and there to do something. . . there have been a few where they have come back with excitement that they have been touched and healed. Not many with anything extraordinary, just a steady stream of thank-yous for praying . . . some people are granted success more regularly in praying for healing than others, I wouldn’t call them healers because that has bad connotations . . . the gift can come at any moment for the moment, and therefore you don’t ask to become a healer, you ask for a gift of healing for your sick life . . . God has ordained that most of his blessings are given us by other people.”

I have also written about the gift of healing before:

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  • I’m confused on what Piper (and I guess you, Adrian) believe about the gift of healing. I don’t see the spiritual gifts as something that can temporarily come on people and then leave. I’ve never thought of the gift of hospitality or teaching as something you ask for in a moment. And is that also implying that every believer has access to any spiritual gift at any time if the Lord grants it to them? That doesn’t seem to be how Paul talks about it, but I’d be interested in clarification.

    • I think there is much confusion about this subject, particularly between gifts that are more the Spirit working on a natural ability, and those in 1 Corinthians which are much more supernatural for want of a better word. I do believe that a specific prophecy is a specific gift from God distributed as he wills. But, I do also believe as does Piper I think, that some will operate in certain gifts more frequently. In most cases, however, I do not believe these gifts are usually like a tap you can turn on or off. Tongues does seem to be something of an exception to that as most people I know who can speak in tongues can do it whenever or wherever they want. I don’t know of anyone who can heal anybody they meet.

      • Hello Mr. Warnock. I am excited about hearing Tope Koleoso at upcoming conference. I have enjoyed listening to your pastor preaching online. I enjoy that he is Nigerian and that he is spirit filled reformed (as I am). We work with a Nigerian pastor currently who is planting a church. Does Jubilee engaged in church planting in Nigeria. Just interested. Thanks for your posts and blog, is very encouraging and edifying. God Bless and would love to meet you some day.
        Joel Nunley
        City on a Hill Scottsburg, Indiana

        • It would be a real pleasure for me to meet you at the conference. We do have some work in Nigeria that we are involved with through our work with Newfrontiers. Email me at Tope and I are both also preaching in different churches this Sunday morning. He in St Louis, I in New Jersey.

  • Realist1234

    Healing is one of those difficult subjects. I have no doubt that some people have been healed by the prayers of others, and I would agree that some individuals may have a gift, such as John Wimber appeared to have. Though I dont tend to agree with his teaching that the ‘gift’ of healing is given to the sick person themselves, hence it can be given through anyone. That would be treating this gift as different from all the others, and would not seem to fit in with Paul’s view of the church as a ‘body’, each part (or individual) having their own function in using their gift (or gifts). But I struggle when I see so many not healed despite prayers. I suspect only a small minority are in truth healed by God directly, despite the claims of some so-called ministries (its a gift, not a ministry?) .