It Is By His Stripes We Are Healed

December 21, 2018

Once when I was a young Christian I turned to a friend and I asked him if he was going to go to heaven whenever he died. He enthusiastically said, “YES!” When I asked him why he said, “Because I always do everything right and I never do anything wrong.”

 

He also believed that because his performance and behavior was perfect he and his family would have a problem free life. His logic was faulty because it was based on his own perfect performance and the Bible teaches that this is impossible.

 

“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)

 

As Christianity has devolved into a more and more consumer-friendly business doctrines have emerged that we never intended by God. Oh, a person can “cherry pick” scriptures to make the Bible say anything they want to communicate; but, if we just let it speak as the Lord wrote it through the hands of men, most of those false doctrines and teachings turn to dust.

 

One false teaching is that if you do everything right you can PROTECT YOURSELF from bad things happening to you.

 

I believe we can, as Christians in whom dwells the Holy Spirit, dedicate ourselves to walking in obedience to God and, doing our best to perform perfectly, we can live as righteously as possible. But we will ALWAYS fall short of God’s perfection.

 

We live in a mean world and thrown our way are many distractions and temptations. If….WHEN we fail, the Lord will discipline us. Why?

 

Because that is what a loving Father does.

 

“Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, as do stripes the inner depths of the heart.” (Proverbs 20:30)

 

This Proverb contrasts the welts we receive on our skin when our bodies are wounded (“Blows that hurt”) with the chastising that comes to our souls (“stripes [in] the inner depths of the heart”).

 

The things satan successfully brings into our lives will hurt. As God chastises us for our sin….that, too, will hurt.

 

One is a hurt that will pull us down and damage us; the other is a restorative hurt. The second one is a healing pain but God uses both to purify us.

 

God has a history of this (Genesis 50:20). He still does this:

 

“…we know that GOD CAUSES ALL THINGS TO WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 - NASB)

 

This morning, as I read the “Proverb of the day”, I pondered this and meditated upon it. I prayed about it.

 

I know our Father in heaven is a good father and I know that good fathers discipline their children. Hebrews 12:5-7 tells us this is true – therefore, it is.

 

But as I thought about it a verse popped into my head which I believe was the Lord reminding me of something…..connecting dots, if you will, from His perspective. Here is the verse:

 

“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)

 

Peter quotes that last part when he writes “and by His stripes we are healed.” This is a popular snippet of a verse in some church styles and is often quoted while ministers anoint with oil and lay on hands to pray for healing.

 

I believe that God DOES heal (when He sees fit to do so) and that any healing that occurs does so because of the stripes Jesus received in His scourging. But….what if there is a second thing the Holy Spirit had in mind when he had Isaiah prophesy those words?

 

What if “by His stripes we are healed” ALSO refers to this statement in Proverbs 30?

 

“Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, as do stripes the inner depths of the heart.” (Proverbs 20:30)

 

I believe it does.

 

I believe that His stripes are His active real time chastisement of my heart when I have sinned. That’s why it hurts to be convicted by the Holy Spirit.

 

As I read this I decided it would be good for me to thank God and praise Him for the consequences of my sin that I experience when He disciplines me AND for the hard things that happen to me that satan intends for my destruction (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20)

 

I suspect it would be good for us all to do that.

 

“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth’; Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 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. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:21-25)

 

Experiencing those stripes is a good thing.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

Pastor Mike McInerney 

Decatur, TX

© December 20, 2018

For use with permission

 

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