And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Romans 8:11

Romans is a book where reformed and conservative book hang most of their theology on. It’s a tradition that I grew up in and so naturally is a book I love as well.

Such an emphasis on Pauline theology tends to shift us away generally charismatic teaching which looks at Jesus’ modeling to believers on how to walk in a supernatural life of miracles, healings, exorcisms, and power encounters. However, we need to read both the gospels and Paul, and one shouldn’t supersede the other.

All that to say is, this passage is usually used to demonstrate that Jesus will one day give life to our mortal bodies when we rise from the dead after his return. The Holy Spirit in us will be the agent of our transformation.

That’s great, but this begs an important question: where is the place for physical healing in light of this passage? Or put it another way, should the fact that one of the responsibilities of the Holy Spirit to give us a new body when we resurrect discourage us from praying and authorizing physical healing now for our decaying bodies?

An undue focus on Paul’s letters (such as usually the case from the traditions mentioned above) might lead us to only hope in the resurrection, but not boldly pray for immediate physically healing here and now. But if we not just read Paul’s letters, but Paul’s life, we’ll find that Paul was very adamant about healing the sick in the book of Acts.

So what gives?

I personally believe that the solution to the tension is that we should boldly pray and authorize healing here and now on earth because they are the immediate evidence that the Spirit will one day fully gives us a new body.

I think that to preach resurrection without having a practice of physical healing is to paint a Christianity too abstract and distant a concept for any lay person to believe. But rather, we should strive to walk out in releasing physical healing now because they are evidence that we will one day get an entirely new body.

When someone’s sight suddenly gets restored, or when someone’s legs grow out, I think that is the context in which I can boldly say to them, “God just healed you physically now, but you’ll still die one day. Take this as evidence and as a deposit that one day that same Spirit will give you an entire body.

In short, physical healing is very important for resurrection theology in Romans to come to life.