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Summary: Using the Old Testament story of Naaman, this message illustrates what takes place in salvation, and the misconceptions about it.

Conversion Of A Captain

Text: II Kings 5: 14

Intro: We find in II Kings 5: 1-19 a man who seems to have everything going for him. At the beginning of this chapter we are introduced to a man named Naaman. The Bible describes him as a man of position, power, and popularity in his native land of Syria. He had won many victories over the enemies of his nation, due to his skilled leadership. Naaman’s military leadership had earned him the respect of Syria’s king, as well as its people.

In spite of all Naaman’s good qualities, all was not well. Like a dead fly lying on top of a freshly baked lemon meringue pie, there was one problem that marred everything else in Naaman’s life—he was a leper. Naaman’s position, prestige and power could not change the stark reality of this disease. And if it continued unchecked, it would eventually result in a horrible end.

In the Bible, leprosy is often used as a type of the destructive nature of sin. With this thought in mind, I would like for us to take a look at Naaman’s life and see a type, or picture if you will, of the lost sinner, who is under the ravaging effects of sin. If he continues on unchanged, he faces certain spiritual death. But if he accepts God’s cure, joy and eternal life will be his.

The story of Naaman is a beautiful picture of what God does for sinners who will trust His remedy for their spiritual condition. Naaman’s story involves three progressive stages. I want us to take a look at those all-important stages today.

Theme: In Naaman’s conversion we see:

I. NAAMAN HEARS OF A REMEDY

A. He Had A Horrible Disease.

II Kings 5: 1 “Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.”

NOTE: [1] Be careful to notice that in spite of Naaman’s prestige, he was still a leper; in spite of his position, he was still a leper; and in spite of his power, he was still a leper. In the same way, sin afflicts everyone, regardless of who they are, what they’ve accomplished, or where they live. The Bible is perfectly clear on that fact when it says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rom.3: 23).

[2] Notice also that though Naaman was held in high esteem by the king of Syria, and though he was an honorable man, he was still a leper. In the same way, a person’s admirable qualities do not change what they ultimately are in the eyes of God—a sinner. Just like the leper of old, “…We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” (Isa.64: 6a).

B. He Heard Of Help From A Damsel.

II Kings 5: 2 “And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.

3 And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.

4 And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.”

NOTE: [1] Let me be quick to point out a significant spiritual truth illustrated in these three verses. That truth is simply this: Before one can be saved they must hear the good news of the Gospel; they must hear of God’s remedy for their problem, for “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom.10: 17).

[2] Syria and Israel were enemies, but apparently at this point in time there existed a truce. However, during the earlier conflict, the Syrians had taken a little maid captive. If we were to stop reading at verse two, we would no doubt view this young girl only as a prisoner. But as we read verses three and four, we find that she was actually God’s plant. God had His message bearer in the right place at the right time. Again the Scriptures tell us, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things” (Rom.10: 15).

The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He cried out to God to save him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a rough hut and put his few possessions in it. But then one day, after hunting for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; he was stung with grief. Early the next day, though, a ship drew near the island and rescued him.

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