And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. 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.
Have you ever wondered how the crippled man in today’s scripture, who had never walked, came to be filled with faith when he heard Paul speaking? What words generated such faith?
Let’s look at this closely in today’s reading. The Bible only says that Paul was “preaching the gospel” (Acts 14:7). It doesn’t say that he was teaching divine healing.
The Bible also states that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17 NASB). So the man at Lystra was filled with faith because he heard the word of Christ!
I know that in most Bible translations, it says that faith comes by hearing “the word of God.” But if you study the original Greek word for “God” here, it is not Theos for “God,” but rather Christos for “Christ.”
You see, faith does not come by simply hearing the word of God, because the word of God would encompass everything in the Bible, including the law of Moses. There is no impartation of faith when you hear the Ten Commandments preached.
Faith only comes by hearing the word of Christ—teachings that have been filtered through Jesus’ finished work and the new covenant of grace. That means hearing preaching of the Word from Genesis to Revelation as long as it is from the perspective of Jesus and His grace.
After all, Christ is in the Old Testament concealed, and in the New Testament revealed. In the Old Testament, you will find shadows of Christ in the five Levitical offerings, the tabernacle of Moses, and even in the high priest’s garments, but it takes a new covenant understanding to draw Christ out. Only when Christ is preached will faith be imparted.
I can just imagine how the man at Lystra responded when he heard Paul proclaiming that he could be justified from all things if he only believed in Jesus. When he heard the good news of Christ, faith came and filled his heart to believe that he was forgiven of all his sins.
And at that very moment, he heard Paul commanding him in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” Before he had time to hesitate, he found himself leaping to his feet with joy, and for the first time in his life, he walked! Hallelujah!
This is so similar to a praise report I received from Lizzy, who lives in Virginia. For ten years she had been praying for a young woman who was molested as a child and developed anorexia as a teen.
The girl’s condition worsened and she was placed in a ward for cardiac patients because her heart became too weak to function properly. In spite of the counseling and treatments she received, her condition did not improve and the doctors pronounced her as “dying.” Then, this happened:
Too weak to even read, this young woman began to watch Joseph Prince and hear the messages of God’s love and grace. Shortly before Christmas, her permanent feeding tube fell out on its own and she began to do what the doctors said she would never do again—eat solid food! She said she had heard Joseph Prince saying that when her spirit got stronger, her body would follow, and it has!
She is now able to attend church. Her pastor has even placed her to minister to the family of a fourteen-year-old girl who is anorexic. She is telling the girl that nothing worked for her except the grace of God. Hallelujah!
My friend, faith for healing or any other breakthrough you need comes when you are simply hearing the gospel of grace preached, as the crippled man of Lystra did. The Bible declares that the gospel is the power of God unto your salvation (Rom. 1:16), which includes total wholeness, preservation, and well-being.