My guess as to why the word “gift” is plural here is due to a distinction between physical and mental, which is a common distinction found in Scripture. Demons were usually the cause of mental disorders in the Gospels, and casting them out was also called healing (Mt. 4:24). There is very little written about it in the NT epistles.
Why does sickness exist? God did not create the world with sickness in it. He created it very good. Sickness exists because of sin. Our mortal bodies began failing because of Adam’s transgression (Gen. 3:19b). We inherit the horrible after-effects of Adam’s sin. In addition to the global problem of sin, God sometime inflicts sickness on us as discipline for our own individual sins (1 Cor. 11:30). Sometimes God uses illness to cause contact with people who need Christ (Gal. 4:13-14), sometimes as a test of faith in suffering (James 5:10-11), and sometimes as a preemptive check against pride (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
God also uses sickness to steer life’s circumstances, such as Paul being forced to leave his co-worker Trophimus sick in Miletus (2 Tim. 4:12). This is called “divine providence.” Sometimes sickness is self-inflicted due to foolish actions, such as people who smoke and develop cancer, commit immorality which infects them with dreadful diseases, or do acts of violence that lead to injury.
God in Moses’ Law promised the Jews good health as a blessing for obedience (Dt. 28:4), while sickness was His curse on rebellion (28:21-22). This was not a promise of absolute health, since even faithful people still aged and passed away. Some of the health blessing would have been the natural result of leading a godly life (e.g., not getting drunk, not committing crimes, contracting venereal disease), and some of it was direct divine intervention. Caleb’s exceptional health and strength in his elderly years appears to be an example of direct divine reward for his earlier faith (Josh. 14:11).
I don’t regard the healings of Christ and the apostles to be manifestations of the NT gift of healing, since they were operating before Pentecost. The Lord Jesus was first enabled to heal when the Spirit anointed Him at the Jordan. Christ later delegated healing power to the apostles (Mt. 10), and then even later to seventy others (Lk. 10). These were all signs of His Sonship, a truth which has timeless application. But their ministry was limited to the Jews (Mt. 10:5-6), a rule no longer in force.
The Gospels are a unique historical and theological bridge between Israel and the Church, so we cannot indiscriminately apply every example or rule in every Gospel story to the Church. For example, John 3:16 is a timeless promise, but, in contrast, Jesus’ command not to pack extra clothes is not (Lk. 10:4). Not being careful about applying Gospel material is a common mistake among preachers. I’m not saying we disregard the Gospels. But we must weigh Acts and the epistles together with the Gospels, in order to discern which principles and practices in the Gospels apply today and which ones do not.
Christ gave healing authority only to twelve disciples, not all. When He gave healing authority to the Seventy, no one else got it. The idea that God has granted healing authority to all believers is wrong. Christ even gave this power to an unsaved man (Judas Iscariot, Mt. 10:4), which no longer happens.
Christ died for your sins. There is no Biblical evidence that Christ by His cross made any provision for the miraculous healing of the body. For instance, He fulfilled Isaiah 53:4 by His three years of earthly ministry of healing, a long time before He died (Matt. 8:16-17). Isa. 53:5 says that His cross solves the problems of our transgressions, our iniquities, and our enmity with God, so the fourth parallel term (healed) also refers to sin. This is how Peter interpreted it (1 Pe. 2:24-25). The Bible promises forgiveness of sin to all, but not healing for all. God will meet our needs, but He might meet them in the midst of bodily infirmity.
The teaching that God wants to heal all believers of all illnesses is a devilish doctrine that has broken the spirits, emptied the pockets, and ruined the lives of thousands of Christians.
God’s ability to heal isn’t limited to the gift of healing. The believing prayer of any righteous believer is powerful (James 5:16). The faith of any Christian can move a mountain (Lk. 17:6). Any elder can anoint a sick believer (James 5:14-15). Anyone’s faith in the Lord’s promises will work mighty miracles (Gal. 3:2). It’s faith enough, when you ask, to believe Jesus can do it. You don’t need to believe He absolutely will, or “claim” anything (Mt. 8:1-3).
Unlike evangelist, prophet, pastor, and teacher, there is no ministry role called “healer.” No one in the NT was a healer. They were apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. God worked healings to confirm the message (Acts 14:3), not so much the man. Stay away from people who claim to have professional healing ministries. A godly man never takes credit for what God does through him, but gives all the glory to God (Acts 3:11-13).
There were Christians, such as Stephen and Philip (Acts 6:8, 8:4-8), through whom God worked healings consistently. Repetition and consistency seem to be the key marks. God could potentially work a healing through any believer, such as Ananias in Acts 9:17-18, but God did it through Stephen and Philip on a regular basis. In both their cases, the Holy Spirit worked healings in conjunction with their preaching. They were not apostles. If they are representatives of this gift, then we should expect the healing gift to especially show up in mission settings, which makes sense, since divine healing is a sign of Christ’s Messiahship.
The proof of a healing gift is obvious. If a Christian prays for sick people, and if the sick people on a regular basis get well (maybe instantly), without the aid of medicine, that is the gift. The proof of the pudding lies in the eating. But the gift is not controlled or caused by its users. They can’t just empty out hospital wards. Not even Christ could heal at His own will. When Christ healed, it was because God the Father was going on before, and Christ was following the Father’s will (John 5:19).
Any Christian can pray for any sick person, and, through faith and in accordance with God’s will, God could answer and heal. But some Christians seem to have a distinct power in prayer, where those for whom they pray become well very rapidly (sometimes instantly), apart from normal medical ministrations. Other Christians seem to have a distinct power for ministry to demon-oppressed people, which deals with mental healing. It all seems to happen through prayer. I would suggest these second types of Christians are gifted to heal, especially as part of lifting up Christ to the unbelieving world.
 Health-&-wealth preachers claim that Christians should claim these healing promises because we’re sons of Abraham. However, Galatians 3 says that sonship results in justification, the Holy Spirit, and everlasting life, not the material blessings of the Law.
 His eternal, divine nature could always heal, but His human nature could not unless enabled by the Father.
 I cannot tell from Scripture if the Seventy continued to have this power after Christ’s ascension.
 This fact undermines a classic cessationist retort, “If this gift is for today, let’s see them empty out a hospital ward, like Christ did!” But Christ didn’t have the NT spiritual gift of healing, and neither did the apostles. So, it’s consistent that the NT gift would operate at a lower level than the Messiah and His apostles. Also, the manifestation is not under the person’s control. You can’t just heal someone like tapping them on the head with a stick.
 An error taught by Vineyard founder John Wimber in his original book Power Evangelism.
 Judas could be used in this capacity by the Spirit of God because he belonged to God’s covenant nation, just as He worked through King Saul (1 Sam. 11:6).
 In my opinion, healing ministries are overrun by frauds, or, at best, exaggerators and wishful thinkers.
 Healing was God’s confirmation of the Gospel message to unsaved listeners, not merely that someone was an apostle. The apostles no longer exist, but the message still needs confirming.