Paul, an apostle, believed in the supernatural working power of God to perform miracles, raise the dead, open blind eyes, heal the sick, and so forth. (Acts 13:11, 14:10, 16:18, 19:11-12, 20:10-12, 28:5, 8) Furthermore, Paul believed that a bit of wine would help Timothy with his stomach problems and frequent ailments. (1 Timothy 5:23)
Within the charismatic tribe, this idea that the supernatural and natural could work in tandem is an uncomfortable truth as charismatics mostly believe exclusively in the supernatural working power of God.
Paul shows us otherwise.
Paul believed in the supernatural working power of God to do miracles and believed that God’s grace expresses itself in the natural order of things. Paul understood common grace – God’s goodness in natural things.
This is the same approach a Christian must take towards the COVID-19 vaccine. Yes, as a Christian, I believe in the supernatural power of God, and yes, I also believe that the vaccine is God’s grace in action.
I have a six month’s blood pressure medication the doctor prescribed. I also receive communion daily with my eyes on Isaiah 53: 5 – By his stripes, my blood pressure will normalize. At the same time, I observe a healthy lifestyle – I often gym and try to eat the right foods. All these are resources God’s grace has made available so that I can live a long full life.
It would be wrong to think that only the blood pressure medication, or only gyming and eating right would cure my elevated blood pressure. It would also be wrong of me to only believe in Isaiah 53:5 without consulting a doctor.
The woman with the issue of blood sought help from medical doctors, and when they failed, the supernatural power of God kicked in. (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48).
It would have been wrong of her to wait 12 years for the Messiah to come and heal her. If she didn’t take the doctors into her confidence, she might have died before Jesus reached her. While the doctors could not cure her, the therapies they gave her provided relief. That’s what medicine does. Again, we see the natural (doctors) and supernatural (Jesus) working together for her benefit.
The Christian faith, when properly understood, does not advocate for the supernatural against the natural. When the whole counsel of God is taken into consideration, the supernatural and natural work together. These are not mutually exclusive. The Christian, unlike the non-Christian, benefits from both.
In view of the vaccine, I think a Christian should settle for all that God’s grace has made available to them – Take the vaccine. Receive communion and the anointing oil. Eat right and exercise – a guaranteed win, in my books.
That’s what grace looks like.
Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash