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When the Christian lady prayed for the young woman and then said, “Keep saying, ‘I am healed,’” it didn’t surprise me. I had heard this positive confession teaching for a very long time. However, in my own little snarky self, I said, “Perhaps she should rattle some snake bones, too.”

Ok, please forgive my snarky self. At least I didn’t say it aloud. And let me be clear. I am happy that the woman was praying and believed in the power of the Lord to heal. She’s a fine Christian lady. However, again, I can’t help but ask, “Where did we Christians get this stuff?”

In this case, I think I know the answer, if memory serves. It’s from Romans 10:8–10.

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

So, do I believe that it’s important to confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord?

Yes.

Do I believe that it’s important to confess with my mouth that I am healed?

No.

Why?

The primary reason is that we are not told to do so in Scripture. No prescriptive passages teach us to do so.

Second, we don’t see anyone in Scripture doing that. No descriptive passages indicate people did so. (And keep in mind that the Bible describing someone doing something is not the same thing as the Bible telling us to do something. Such descriptions are helpful but are not commands.)

Third, this practice makes my healing dependent on me, not on God. If I just keep saying, “I am healed,” the healing will “work.”

Fourth, this activity shifts my faith in the Lord to faith in my healing. Faith has an object. I must have faith in something. Christians are to have faith in God, not in an action or activity.

So, finally, since such “positive confession” makes my healing dependent on my works, not on the Lord God of the universe who has the power to do anything, I become something like a pagan, who must do and say certain “magic” things to cause God to work. So I hope that explains the snarky self-talk about snake bones.

If this makes you uncomfortable, I encourage you to study cases of healing in Scripture. I would be happy to be corrected and be told where to find cases of people who were told to confess their healing in order to be healed. In addition, I would encourage you to challenge some of the traditions that you have been taught, not to disrespect faithful men and women, but to make sure that what you think and say lines up with Scripture. Jesus was very unhappy that religious leaders taught “as doctrines the commandments of men.”

Telling people to keep saying, “I am healed,” is a commandment of men, not of God. The Lord can heal. However, He doesn’t heal everyone, according to His will and purpose. That may be hard to swallow, but it’s true. Trying to conjure up a healing by doing certain “right” things will not alter this sometimes brutal truth.

By the way, the reason I used the above photo is that this man, Pastor Francis, prayed for thirteen people to be raised from the dead—at least that was the count over ten years ago when we talked to him in Papua New Guinea. And none of those raised had to keep saying, “I am raised” in order to stay raised.

All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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