Is healing promised to believers when they partake of the Holy Communion?
There has been strange teaching going around that believers can receive healing when they partake the Holy Communion. **
Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist, is a sacrament to remember Jesus’ sacrificial death.
- “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11: 26).
- “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me’” (Luke 22:19).
When we partake of the bread and wine during the Holy Communion, we focus on Christ’s death on the cross. We are reminded to lead a life worthy of His sacrificial death.
In fact, we are warned to examine ourselves before we partake of the Holy Communion so that we do not profane the body and blood of Christ, symbolised by the bread and wine ( 1 Corinthians 11:27-28).
Neither Christ or apostle Paul mentions anything about healing through the Holy Communion in the New Testament.
However, healing by means finds biblical support in the following instances:
- 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 (James 5:14).
- No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments (1 Timothy 5:23).
- Isaiah said, “Make an ointment from figs.” So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered (2 Kings 20:7).
- On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:2).
If Christians were to emulate the Bereans (Acts 17:11), scrutinising every teaching against the Word, they won’t easily fall for such “feel good” teaching—Holy Communion has healing properties.
This shows that many believers prefer to honour the teaching of leaders rather than accept the Bible as the highest authority in the areas of faith and doctrine.
What is lacking today is serious personal Bible study: “Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2: 15).
Why did the apostle Paul charge young Timothy to preach sound doctrine? Because the time will come—and indeed it has already come—when people will no longer listen to sound teaching but will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Please do not be mistaken. It does not mean God cannot heal. He certainly can heal. But there is no promise of healing through the Holy Communion.
This “communion-cum-healing” teaching may not cause much harm. What is more worrying is when false teaching affects the eternal destiny of believers, in which case it is termed destructive heresy (2 Peter 2:1).
You may ask, “How this is possible?” Well, here are just two examples:
If one believes that confession is redundant and live by it, one’s eternal security as a believer may be at stake.
If one believes that one’s future sins are automatically forgiven and live by it, one’s eternal security as a believer may also be at stake.
When we are confronted with sickness, what should be our approach?
Doctors treat but God heals. As a Christian for forty years and a practising doctor for thirty years, I have seen people being healed in so many different ways—through supernatural means and medicine/surgery. But does He heal always?
SEVEN REASONS WHY FALSE TEACHING THRIVES
Why it’s easy to be fooled without realising you’ve been had
SIGNIFICANCE OF COMMUNION
The Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion) is one of the important sacraments of the church (the other being baptism).
The primary purpose of observing the Holy Communion is to remember what Christ has done for believers. Man is weak and prone to forget what Christ has done. By appealing to the senses, the broken bread (body of Christ) and the wine (blood of Christ) remind us of Christ’s deaththrough which we obtain forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God.
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26)
“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’” (Luke 22:19)
Secondly, by partaking of the bread and wine, we also identify ourselves with Christ’s suffering. When we realise how much Jesus has to go through to redeem us from sin, we will be less likely to grumble when we face trials or persecution.
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16)
Thirdly, because believers participate in the process of breaking a single piece of bread, communion is also a symbol of unity among believers.
“Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Corinthians 10:17)
HEALING THROUGH HOLY COMMUNION?
Note: Dr Lim Poh Ann is a medical practitioner. He was the former editor of Asian Beacon magazine (Dec 2008 – Oct 2011). He can be reached at his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AskDrLi
SOURCE OF ARTICLE: http://limpohann.blogspot.my/2015/04/healing-through-communion.html
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Dr Lim Poh Ann