Summary: The Bible is clear about how we can receive the salvation offered to us by God through Jesus Christ.
Introduction: In 1 Corinthians 10:11, we read, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” The witness of the Old Testament is an example to the New Testament church. In the stories of the Old Testament, we learn types and figures that have been fulfilled for us in Christ. When we read the account of Naaman the Syrian, we a type of sin and a symbol of baptism that can teach us some important truths.
Observe, first of all, that Naaman was a good man. Naaman was a commendable man. He was a “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. . .” (2 Kings 5:1). We know a lot of people like Naaman. Some of them are leaders in our country. Some of them are military heroes. Some of them are leaders in our community, or in our churches. There are members of our family that we look up to. I’m talking about good people. I’m not talking about criminals. I’m not talking slackers or hackers. I’m not talking about two-bit thieves or two-timers. I’m not talking about liars, or cheaters, or wife beaters. I’m talking about good people. Naaman was a good man. But . . .
Oh, then there is that “but.” Look what the Bible says next, “. . . but he was a leper.” Naaman was a good man . . . but he was a leper. Naaman was a mighty man . . but he was a leper. Naaman had a serious problem. Even though he was a good man, Naaman suffered from the deadliest, most despised disease imaginable. Leprosy was a disease that literally ate its victims alive. In the early states, there are often few symptoms and little discomfort. The process is slow . . . the average duration of the disease is 18 ½ years. The worst form of the disease begins
. . .with little specks on the eyelids and on the palms of the hands, and gradually spread[s] over the whole body; bleaching the hair white . . . crusting affected parts with . . . scales . . . causing swelling and sores. . . it slowly [eats] its way through the tissues, to the bones and joints, and even to the marrow, rotting the whole body . . . The lungs, organs of speech and hearing, and the eyes, [are] attacked in turn, till . . . at last [it brings] welcome death. (Pelobet’s Bible Dictionary).
What a picture of sin that is! Sin, like leprosy, is a most loathsome, polluting, disforming, unclean thing. It might start out with symptoms that are almost unnoticeable on the outside of your life. Maybe at first other people won’t see. If you don’t listen to your conscience, you might not suffer much discomfort. But in the end, sin will eat you alive and rot your soul. Sin will cause you to walk in a rotting spiritual death in this world, and condemn your soul death and torment in eternity. And friend, I don’t care how good your neighbors are, I don’ care how good your friends are, I don’t care how good your family is. It doesn’t matter one bit how good anybody thinks you are, or how good you think you are. Every one of us is just like Naaman. Whether we’re good or whether we’re bad, we all live with “but.” But . . . Naaman was a leper. You may be but. I may be good. BUT. . . we are sinners. The Bible says, “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:12), and, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. . .” (Romans 3:23).
Naaman was a good man, but he was a leper. His life was one of accomplishment, yet all of his accomplishment was nothing but despair because of his dread disease. Leprosy was a disease for which there was no cure. Leprosy left no hope. And there are many who have lived lives of great deeds and great works and great accomplishments – only to find themselves in despair. In spite of all they have accomplished, sin has brought them to ruin. Sin has wrecked their marriage. Sin has squandered their finances. Since has wasted their health. Since has separated them from God until it seems their prayers go unheard. Sin takes the hope out of life, and without hope, life is empty and filled with despair. Naaman was there. Have you been there? Are you there? Listen to what comes next . . .