Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 13, 1969

Lessons From Naaman

F. E. Sewell

In II Kings, Chapter 5 is the story of Naaman being healed of leprosy. Naaman was the mighty and brave captain of the powerful Syrian army. Leprosy was a horrible disease, incurable with the remedies known to man.

This incident is frequently used as an analogy of the function of baptism in the New Covenant. It is my purpose, however, to mention some other lessons from this event some of Naaman's wise decisions and some of his mistakes.

Naaman made the wise decision to find a cure for the disease which in a few years would result in loathsome death. He was far wiser than many people, who, dying of sin, the spiritual disease which cannot be healed by man will not go to the great physician of souls. For Naaman, it meant travelling a great distance and into a foreign country. It meant humiliating himself to a nation, often an enemy. For the cure he was willing to pay a large sum of money. For a sinner to find a cure it means but little physical effort. Intellectually and spiritually, it requires only belief in Jesus as his Savior and the determination to trust and obey him.

The captain made the mistake of going to the wrong source for healing - to the king of Israel and not to the prophet Elisha, who spoke for and acted for God. Searchers for spiritual healing often go to those highly educated in things both worldly and religious, to LLD's, PhD's and Th.D.'s. Their philosophical and theological intricate reasonings often leave people doubtful or confused. If understood, their creeds can not save. The only ones who can give the remedy for sin are those who have spoken for God through the Holy Spirit — the New Testament apostles and prophets.

Naaman made another mistake in having already made up his mind as to how the cure would in a general way be effected. He was therefore, unwilling to heed the prophet's instructions. He said, "Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of Jehovah..." Often when people hear God's word taught or preached, they will turn away because it does not agree with their preconceived ideas based on previous teaching and experience.

He also rejected the words of the prophet because of the simplicity of the cure. As his servant reminded him, he would willingly have done some "great" things. The teaching of the New Testament is so simple in its basic and fundamental concepts that learned men are often unwilling to accept them in their pureness and simplicity. They seem to think it necessary to explain them in devious, intricate, mythical and metaphysical language. Many teachers and preachers unlearned in worldly wisdom, but who deeply revere God and highly respect his word, readily understand the precepts of the New Testament and can teach them so clearly that common people understand. As formalism and ritualism increase in our worship, and as philosophical and theological concepts increase in teaching and preaching, the less spiritual will be our worship and less respectful we will be of the authority of God's Word as it is written.

He finally made the wise decision to do the exact bidding of the prophet. As the result of his obedience, God healed him. So will all be healed from sickness of the soul, if they will carefully obey God's commands which pertain thereto.

Naaman's leprosy was not washed away by any efficacy of Jordan's muddy waters within themselves. The leprosy was cured by the power of God when Naaman met the conditions which God gave him. Faith and obedience on Naaman's part, power exercised on God's part. The stains of sin are washed away by the efficacy of the blood of Christ when the sinner believes and obeys — when he from the heart believes that Jesus is the Christ, turns from a life of sin, confesses his belief with the mouth and by baptism in water is buried with his Lord and raised to walk a new life.

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