For quite a few years now major strides have been made, all over, of people changing their eating habits and turning to more natural foods. “Organic” seems to be the buzz word for health and wellbeing. Many even go out of their way to have gardens of their own, growing fruits and vegetables. Health food stores have sprung up all over the place, with almost every label signed with the ‘magic’ word - “organic”. Every supplement seems to have an ingredient that “supports” some organ or part of the body and brain. Physical fitness always goes hand in hand with these efforts to keep our bodies in good working order. Obviously there is nothing wrong with any of these efforts, because as born again believers in Messiah, disease can affect us just as it does non-believers. We could pass off this reality as a, “we still live in an unredeemed physical world”. True, but we just celebrated Shavuot and the remembrance of the giving of the Torah and the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, with the latter sealing the ‘new creation-resurrection’ life within us.
When praying for the sick, Isaiah 53:5 is often quoted: “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5 emphasis added). Peter echoes this, saying: “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness -- by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24 emphasis added). So why is there still so much sickness and disease in the “body of the Messiah”? Why are we like the rest of the world depending on the “sciences of pharmacia” to heal us? I’m not judging these dependencies, for scripture reminds us that the power of sin still works in our members, and that one of the culprits behind disease is the consequence of sin.
Many times scriptures, such as the ones cited above, are used as formulae, deemed to bring about healing or deliverance by just being recited. However, according to James the sick person should repent (James 5:16). Paul says that “many are weak and sick”, while attributing this condition to not discerning the body of Messiah (ref. 1st Corinthians 11:29-30). Yet no matter what the cause of human suffering, the effects of Yeshua’s suffering and shed blood cannot be diminished. Without His death and resurrection we would not have received the Holy Spirit. But now, having received this heavenly promise, we have the power and potential for healing, deliverance, and overcoming sin and its ensuring consequences.
The most obvious battle that we have to contend with, on a daily basis, is with the power of sin that works in our members (especially of the soul). Peter, however, reminds us that “having died to sins, we might live for righteousness” (1st Peter 2:24). In Galatians 5 Paul shares with us examples of the deadly works and characteristic of the flesh (ref. verses 19-21). Then immediately following those warnings he contrasts them with the works, or characteristics of Elohim’s righteousness: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”(Galatians 5:22-23 emphasis added). To this Paul appends: “Against such there is no law”. Why? Because we have died to sin! The Law was given because of sin, but if we have died to sin and are indeed living out His righteousness (the fruit of His Spirit) we should experience the blessings of health and healing.
The fruit of the Spirit is the most organic substance that we can edify ourselves with: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life” (Proverbs 11:30). When speaking to the Ephesus community, who had left their first love, Yeshua declares: “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of Elohim." (Revelation 2:7). As we know the leaves of the tree of life are for healing (ref. Revelation 22:2). Thus, the presence of the Holy Spirit within us gives us the opportunity to partake of this tree, taste its sweetness and receive its healing power (What a picture of the reversal of the curse resulting from eating of the forbidden fruit in Eden!) We know that when we (our soul) participate with the unloving works of the flesh, it produces sickness and other disorders in many areas of life. Therefore, the opposite is true when we participate with YHVH’s righteousness; and as mentioned above, the organic fruit of the Spirit will bring health and wellbeing to our spirit, soul and body.“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you… And if Messiah is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness… He who raised Messiah from the dead will also give life [quicken, vitalize] to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:9-11).