They … fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: And there they preached the gospel. And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men – Acts 14:6-11
In contrast to this new age of faith, genuine Christian faith is simply knowing the promises of God, the provisions of the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, and the Word of God, and then accepting and believing that what God says concerning those provisions is undoubtedly true. The book of Hebrews contains best verse in the Bible to define faith; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (11:1). To have faith to be saved or to be healed means we can confidently hope in God for His will to take place.
In Acts chapter 14, ‘a certain man’ whose name we are not given was healed. He had never walk, crippled from birth, and impotent in his feet. Indeed, God is a God of justice. He did not demands that we have faith when it is impossible for us to have faith. God places within our hands the means whereby faith can be produced just as it was in the case of ‘a certain man’ in Acts. Just as the responsibility rested with ‘a certain man’ to whether or not have faith, the responsibility rests on us today to whether or not have faith.
God demands that we have faith because it is possible for us to have faith. In Hebrews 11, we understand that, ‘… without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him’ (Heb. 11:6).To please God we must have faith and the question is how does faith comes. The key principles of finding salvation and healing is faith based on hearing and preaching based on the Word of God, the Bible, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17). The importance of preaching is clear: without it no one would hear the Good News of Jesus Christ to believe in and so call on Him. Lack of faith is human fault not God. Beloved, faith for healing, faith for salvation “… comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Eph 2:8, Rom 10:8-17). Practically, in response to the preaching of the Gospel in Lystra, we read, “This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet.” And he leaped and walked.’ Faith for healing come the same way faith for salvation comes – by hearing and believing God’s Word (Acts 14:7-10).
Apostle Paul preached the Gospel, he perceived that the man had faith to be healed and he told the man to stand up and walk. The ‘certain man’ heard Paul preach, had faith to be healed and he leaped and walked. The man received faith to be healed from what he heard. He heard Paul speak. Paul preached the Gospel.
There is famine of healing and salvation today because there is famine of the preaching of the Gospel, the Scripture authority alone, hence, the world and the church are in a life-long cripple experience. In one of my books, Revival of Preaching: ‘Juvenility’ to Maturity of Faith and Preachers, I explained that, the common decline in modern and ancient preachings points to the lack of ‘the manifestation of the incarnate Word, from the written word, by the spoken word.’ There is famine of healing and salvation today because, ‘preaching which severs itself from the Bible can have little or no valid authority over men’s mind or heart.’
The world is waiting for the manifestation of the children of God that will preach like Paul and Wesleys, a Gospel of salvation and of healing, declaring, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). Beloved, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is “the power of God unto deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness.”