Are sin and disease linked?
Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Sin and its effects are a recurring theme in the Bible. Have you ever noticed, for instance, that God’s nation of Israel were on a cycle going from prosperity, to sin, to disease, to repentance before the rotation started all over again?
Psalm 106 is a synopsis of the history of that ancient people and I want you to notice that maladies came on them, nationally, as a result of their sin. These are variously described as a “terrible disease (v15, 29) or a “plague” (v30).
Why are diseases and sicknesses generally linked to sin? The first sin in Eden brought death and its primary cause, disease, into the world and I believe God is constantly reminding us, in national pandemics, that we are living in a broken and fallen world full of rebellion against God and we need to repent and return to our Creator.
The Bible clearly teaches that illness and sin are not directly connected (John 9:3) but sins like alcohol, drug and sex addictions are causal links to diseases (and people who are sinned against carry emotional illnesses). Any sin you commit will not incur direct Divine retribution by way of disease in you, for God rains blessings abundantly on the just and unjust (Matt. 5:45), but sickness can result naturally from your own sinful behaviour.
When Jesus healed the invalid at the Pool of Bethesda He later told him: “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you” (John 5:14 NLT). Jesus had the prescience to know the root cause of the man’s afflictions.
Not every time the Holy Spirit reveals to us what is in a person’s heart which is why James taught that if anyone in the church was sick, that they should call for the church elders to rub them with olive oil and pray for their healing. That prayer of faith would heal the person and IF they had committed any sins, then those sins would be forgiven them (James 5:15).
When we are healed of our disease (whatever its root cause) we are assured that our sins have been forgiven us, also. Jesus taught this in Capernaum when the 4 friends lowered the paralysed man through the house roof and Jesus first forgave the man of his sins and then healed him (Mark 2:1-12).
Sin and its effects have been completely and utterly dealt with by Jesus. It is up to you to claim that victory and pray in faith for the healing of your spirit, soul and body and it will be done for you just as you believe (Matt. 9:29, Mark 11:24).