(Luke 17:11-19 NASB) "And it came about while He was on the way to Jerusalem, that He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. {12} And as He entered a certain village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; {13} and they raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, HAVE MERCY ON US!" {14} And when He saw them, He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And it came about that AS THEY WERE GOING, they were cleansed. {15} Now ONE OF THEM, when he saw that he had been HEALED, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, {16} and he fell on his face at His feet, GIVING THANKS to Him. And he was a Samaritan. {17} And Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine-- where are they? {18} "Was no one found who turned back to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" {19} And He said to him, "Rise, and go your way; your faith has made you well."

The word Leprosy, means to strike, to be smitten, or to receive a blow. The Hebrews believed that Leprosy was God striking or punishing the afflicted person. It was a God given disease and, therefore, could only be cured by the Lord.

The disease, as you well know is awful. It begins with specks on the eyelids and the palms, gradually spreading over the whole body, bleaching the hair white, crusting the affected parts with white scales causing terrible sores and swelling. From the skin the disease eats inward to the bones, rotting the whole body piece by piece. In the later stages one's limbs can actually fall off. Leprosy was a fatal disease. Leprosy is often used as a picture of sin. Just as Leprosy invades every part of ones body, and is finally fatal, so sin has invaded every aspect of our being and has killed us spiritually. There is not human cure for either the physical or spiritual disease.

A good description of our Spiritual Leprosy is found in Isaiah 1:1-6 NASB. "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. {2} Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; For the LORD speaks, "Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted against Me. {3} "An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master's manger, But Israel does not know, My people do not understand." {4} Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him. {5} Where will you be stricken again, As you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick, And the whole heart is faint. {6} From the sole of the foot even to the head There is NOTHING SOUND IN IT, Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, Not pressed out or bandaged, Nor softened with oil."

>From the top of the head to the soles of our feet, sin has done its work. Our bodies and souls are overwhelmed with the effects and consequences of sin. Every part of us, both spiritually and physically, is damaged. The theological phrase that describes our condition is Total Depravity. This phrase does not mean that we are as bad in behavior as we could be. For God graciously restrains us. Rather, the phrase, Total Depravity, tells us that there is no part of us that is not fallen and in rebellion against God. From the top of our head to the sole of our feet and every where in between we are sinners. We sin with our minds, mouth, hands, hearts and feet. The bible teaches that there is no human cure for this disease, we are beyond all self-help. We are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins without hope and without God in this world.

One of the things this Spiritual Leprosy does is render us incapable of understanding God's truth. This aspect of our fallen condition is described in I Corinthians. 2:14. "But a natural man ( a man born only once, i.e., unsaved) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot (is unable to) understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." In other words the Gospel can only be understood by those who have been born twice or born again and have the Spirit of God living in them. Till this is true the Gospel cannot be comprehended. The truth is, man has fallen and he can't get up.

When a person understands what sin has done to mankind he will also understand why a "Sovereign Salvation" is the sinners only hope. We have been infected to the center of our being with sin and we cannot cure ourselves. Anyone who believes there is some goodness in them that might merit the favor of God does not understand his own condition as a sinner. To say, "Sure I've sinned but I'm not all bad," is to seal your fate and prove that the Spirit of God has not been your teacher. You must recognize that you are dead in sin, separate from God and without hope unless God intervenes in your life. When God causes you to see the extent of your sin and inability you will, with Paul, declare that in you there is no good thing. This awareness is essential to one's salvation.

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