Summary: God’s heals what REALLY ails us.
The Greatest Physician
Introduction: Any doctor can cure most illnesses and treat most broken bones, but God is the greatest physician of all, for He cures us of our sin and heals our broken spirits.
I. Our Sickness
A. Naaman was a great general. – ILLUS – 4 year old with 6 in. ruler. “I’m 8 ft tall!” The measure we use for ourselves is equally inadequate.
1. He was witnessed to along the way. (Slave girl)
2. Still, he spoke to Elisha about “the Lord his God.”
B. He appeared to be great to everyone, but inside he was wretched.
1. Often, the people we admire the most are pitiful and unhappy.
2. ILLUS - Stories about drug addiction and alcoholism among movie stars.
3. Wealth and power cannot change what we are on the inside, only God can.
C. Naaman had his own ideas of how to be cured. – ILLUS - In the 1700s, George Whitfield evangelized thousands in the “Great Awakening.” Rich and poor loved him, but the duchess of Buckingham said this: "It is monstrous to be told that you have aheart as sinful as the common wretches that crawl upon the earth. This is highly offensive and insulting, ... and so muchat variance with high rank and good breeding."
1. As a great leader, he expected a ceremony from the prophet himself.
2. Instead, he had to bare himself in a dirty little river.
D. We must all bare ourselves before God; we’re not hiding anything from Him anyway. – ILLUS – Guillemot is an arctic seabird that nest along narrow ledges by the thousands. With all the eggs lined up, the mother knows her own eggs so well that even is one should be moved to another nest, she can recognize it and retrieve it.
1. He sees our sin.
E. Like leprosy, sin is ugly, contagious, deceptive, and fatal.
1. This is especially obvious when it is exposed.
2. We cannot hide our sin forever.
F. We are all level before God.
1. We are inadequate to save ourselves.
2. We cannot be clean until the “cure” is applied.
II. God’s Cure
A. God is willing to heal our problems, if only we will let Him.
1. Naaman thought he could “buy” his cure, but the cure came through faith and the grace of God.
2. An increase in faith cannot be bought, neither can the grace of God be bought.
3. Naaman had to get down off his “high horse” and humble himself. – ILLUS – To humble yourself is not to make yourself smaller than you really are, but to stand tall next to something greater than you and see how small your greatness is
4. We must do the same if we are to be cured.
B. The solution seemed too simple, but so does salvation by grace through faith.
1. Naaman began to go away angry, but his servant stopped him.
2. If salvation were harder, would more people be saved?
3. What are the options? Be cleansed or stay dirty.
III. The Result
A. Naaman was totally renewed, BORN AGAIN! – ILLUS – A cabinetmaker is not the father of the cabinet. Nor do we belong to God just because He made us. We must be born again into His Kingdom.
1. His skin was “like that of a young boy”.
2. No longer like a general: gruff.
B. He was a new creature in God.