ASK Commentary
September 1, 2005 

Seek God's Grace for Atonement

Commentary for September 1, 2005 — Seek His Mercy for Healing 
God is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4). It is God’s mercy to which we should appeal for physical healing at present. This was clearly explained in last month’s newsletter and article. 
The “September 2005 ASK Newsletter” and article by Dr. Ernest Martin for this September 2005 clarify the nature of Christ’s Atonement, and how it does not have (and cannot have) any relation to healing in your present life or anyone’s life prior to the resurrection. 
However, the Atonement of Christ has everything to do with the healing of your body, soul, and spirit at the time of the resurrection. Christ’s Atonement deals with sin; and all the sins of our body, soul, and spirit will be covered by Christ at the time of our resurrection. At present, the down payment of God’s Holy Spirit within us does not give us a right or expectation to be healed at the present time. 
Keep in mind that when you request mercy for healing from God, His decision to grant mercy may seem capricious, but that decision has a purpose, even when mercy is not given to us or to our loved ones. The apostle Paul made a special point of communicating this to the ekklesia at Rome regarding Israel and Pharaoh:

“For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.’ So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy. For the scripture says unto Pharaoh, ‘Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.’ Therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will, he hardens.” 

Romans 9:15–18

God’s operation of His mercy may seem “unfair” and, according to some false human standard of fairness, it is indeed “unfair.” However, while God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), He will judge and act as He sees fit. He frequently uses Israel as an example. Israel suffered (and still suffers) greatly because God often refused to show mercy to them, because of their sins.  
It should not be surprising that Israel should have asked (read Jeremiah) for mercy in spite of their sins. Do we not do the same when we request healing? We ought to ask for healing based on God’s mercy, not on the basis of any imagined righteousness or good works on our part. 
In fact, in the book of Romans, just after stating that all Israel shall be saved (Romans 11:26), the apostle Paul has additional words to say about God’s view of future mercy:

“As concerning the gospel, they [Israel] are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as you in times past have not believed God, yet have [you] now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy [the mercy given to you Gentiles] they [Israel] also may obtain mercy. For God has concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been his counselor?” 

Romans 11:28–34

The Roman ekklesia (as well as those of us who are Gentiles), called of God, were shown God’s mercy by being given the belief that Christ was their Savior whose Atonement covered their sins, all of which shall work out eventually, in spite of Israel’s unbelief and suffering, for the benefit of all Israel (11:26–27). 
In the article by Dr. Martin, read about your Atonement through Christ and how it differs from God’s mercy. Your final healing, and the healing of your loved ones, will come as God raises everyone — eventually — to be members of His divine family. Paul’s life experience was the example, the pattern, of what we should expect from God as believers:

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting [age-lasting].” 

1 Timothy 1:12–16

The apostle Paul never received healing for his several illnesses. He was brought back to life several times from severe injuries to complete the job God intended him to finish. This was done for our example, as a pattern for us who believe that Christ is our Savior. Read, enjoy, and learn what the Bible truly says on this vital aspect of Christ’s Atonement from Dr. Martin’s excellent teaching.

David Sielaff

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