The fall of our first parents affected not only the spiritual nature of humanity, but also the physical nature. Because of sin, our nature became subject to physical decay and death. Hence, the plan of salvation contemplates a complete recovery of our nature—spiritual, mental, and physical—from the degradation and degeneracy sin has caused.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Correctly understood, the gospel of Jesus Christ is not only a power to save us from sin, a power to purify our souls through obedience to the truth; it is also a power to restore physical health to our bodies through the natural laws of health God has revealed to us.
In the ministry of Jesus while on this earth, it is noteworthy that He spent more time healing the sick than preaching the gospel. No doubt there is a lesson here for us. Leading souls to Christ and healing the sick must go hand in hand. Wherever proper attention is not given to the health work (Matthew 10:7, 8), based on principles of Christian temperance (Acts 24:25; Galatians 5:22, 23), the gospel ministry is severely handicapped.
As it is well known, there are many factors that influence health. However, most people pay little attention to those factors until it is too late. Each year nations spend billions of dollars on health care. Based on research conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2011), the U.S.A. on average spends $7,212 for each person on health care; Switzerland spends $4,338; $4,110 is spent in the Netherlands; $3,808 in Germany; $3,359 in France; and $3,796 in Canada. What many may not realize is that the Bible contains a complete health plan that will not only save money but prevent illness in the first place. God’s health plan, if faithfully followed, offers the best possible health—spirit, soul, and body—that this life can offer.
The Sabbath Bible Lessons for this quarter, entitled “God’s Health Plan for Humanity,” will consider the biblical principles that lead to good health. While the message of health reform is not the gospel itself, wisely presented, it can open the way for the healing of the soul.
“The gospel of health has able advocates, but their work has been made very hard because so many ministers, presidents of conferences, and others in positions of influence, have failed to give the question of health reform its proper attention. They have not recognized it in its relation to the work of the message as the right arm of the body.”— Counsels on Health, p. 434.
It is our prayer that these lessons will inspire our readers to give this work its proper place among God’s people, and that not only will each soul prosper and be in good health, but that many souls will be led to Jesus through the ministry of healing.
The General Conference Sabbath School Department