Law of Life and Death

Bury Your Leprosy

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr


Series Code: LLD

Program Code: LLD000006

00:37 Shall we bow our heads for prayer.
00:40 Father in heaven, we thank You for the awesome privilege of
00:42 being in Your presence.
00:45 Father, as we open Your holy Word this morning,
00:48 we ask for the guidance of Your Holy Spirit.
00:51 I ask particularly that if there is anyone here this morning
00:54 who has not made a full and complete surrender
00:58 and commitment to Jesus, that today will be the day
01:01 in which they will do it.
01:04 I know that there are many people in the valley of
01:06 decision, many people who have not decided to go to
01:11 one side or to the other side.
01:13 I just ask, Lord, that You will touch hearts and You will
01:16 speak to minds, and that decisions will be made.
01:20 And I thank You, Father, for the privilege of opening Your Word
01:24 and for hearing our prayer.
01:26 For we ask it in the precious name of Jesus, amen.
01:33 The Holy Bible has very much to say about baptism.
01:40 And perhaps we have come to believe that baptism
01:44 is a New Testament phenomenon.
01:48 But did you realize that many of the most beautiful passages
01:52 in Scripture about baptism are found in the Old Testament?
01:59 In our study today we are going to examine
02:03 a very well known story, probably, to most of us
02:06 who are gathered here.
02:09 We're going to study the story of Naaman the Syrian.
02:15 And so I invite you to open your Bibles with me to
02:18 the second book of Kings chapter 5, and we're going to
02:24 take a look primarily at the first thirteen verses
02:28 of this chapter.
02:29 And then we'll also notice two or three verses
02:32 a little later on in the chapter.
02:36 And basically, we're just going to go through the chapter
02:39 verse by verse and try and draw out the lessons
02:43 that God would have us learn today about commitment,
02:49 about conversion, about giving our lives to the Lord.
02:55 Beginning at verse 1.
03:27 Now the purpose of this verse 1 of chapter 5 is to highlight
03:32 the greatness of this individual called Naaman.
03:37 By the way, Naaman was a Gentile.
03:39 He was not a member of the covenant community.
03:42 He was not a member of the chosen people of God.
03:48 And we're told in no uncertain terms that, first of all,
03:52 he was commander.
03:54 Then we're told that he was great and honorable
03:58 before his master.
04:00 We're told that he was a mighty man of valor.
04:04 In other words, he was, humanly speaking, a very great man.
04:10 But the verse ends with a big, "but."
04:15 It says, "But he was a leper."
04:20 Now today, leprosy isn't such a great thing.
04:24 Because there are antibodies which can treat leprosy.
04:29 But in biblical times, a person who had leprosy
04:32 was under the sentence of death, as we're going to notice
04:35 a little later on in this passage.
04:38 In other words, a person who had leprosy
04:41 could kiss life goodbye forever.
04:47 And so we find this great man, in spite of all his greatness,
04:52 we're told that he was a leper.
04:55 And eventually he was going to die.
04:59 Now in the household of this man, Naaman,
05:03 was a little girl who had been brought as a hostage to Syria
05:08 in one of the raids that Naaman himself had done
05:11 in the land of Israel.
05:13 Let's go on and read about this in verse 2.
05:25 Ellen White emphasizes that she was very young.
05:36 Now this young girl could have whined and complained
05:42 about being far away from home, not being with her parents.
05:47 She could have held it against her master
05:51 for taking her hostage.
05:53 In fact, she could have hated Naaman for what he had done
05:57 removing her from her household at such a young age.
06:02 But this little girl evidently had been very well
06:06 trained at home.
06:08 She had had an excellent education by her parents
06:11 in her youngest years.
06:14 And we're told in this passage that she had a passion
06:18 for the healing of her master.
06:22 In other words, instead of holding it against Naaman,
06:25 instead of whining and putting a long face because of her plight,
06:30 because she wasn't at home, she felt a passion
06:34 for the healing of this man.
06:37 And we find this described in verse 3.
06:47 Can't you just kind of experience the attitude?
06:59 By the way, that would be Elisha.
07:13 So this little girl, instead of having a negative
07:17 frame of mind, actually witnesses to Naaman.
07:21 She becomes a witness to the salvation of this man.
07:27 And so we're told that the king gave Naaman authorization
07:31 to go to the land of Israel to have an interview
07:36 with the prophet Elisha.
07:40 That's described in verse 5.
08:03 Now by the way, this is tens of thousands of dollars
08:09 worth of gold and silver, not including all of the
08:13 precious materials.
08:14 In other words, he thinks he might just have a chance
08:17 to buy his healing from the prophet.
08:22 Interestingly enough, his travel would have lasted several days.
08:28 I don't know whether you've looked at a map of Israel,
08:31 but you have Syria which is north and east
08:36 of Israel, of Samaria.
08:38 So he would have had to travel several days
08:41 in order to arrive there in Samaria where the prophet
08:47 Elisha was found.
08:50 And so he goes with all of his gold and his silver,
08:53 and with all of his chariots and all of his soldiers,
09:00 and he says, "This is going to be easy, because you know,
09:03 Israel has been somewhat enslaved by us.
09:07 So this prophet is going to have to do what I ask him to do."
09:13 And so he arrives in Samaria.
09:19 Let's go to verse 6.
09:33 This is a letter sent by the king of Syria
09:35 to the king of Israel.
09:40 Can you imagine how the king must have felt?
09:45 We catch a glimpse of it in verse 7.
10:03 Why would he say something like that,
10:05 "to kill and to make alive?"
10:06 As far as the king of Israel was concerned,
10:09 this man, Naaman, was what?
10:13 Was dead.
10:15 In fact, it was believed that a person who had leprosy
10:18 was a living dead person.
10:21 And Pastor Jensen would certainly understand this,
10:23 having lived in India where undoubtedly he's seen this
10:27 phenomenon time and again.
10:28 It was considered that though the person was alive,
10:31 the person was actually dead.
10:32 And so the letter from the king of Syria comes to the
10:35 king of Israel, and the king of Israel say, "Oh, I'm doomed.
10:40 This man is dead.
10:42 Only God could make this dead man alive.
10:45 It's an impossible thing."
10:49 And so it continues saying, once again verse 7,
10:53 "It happened, when the king of Israel read the letter,
10:56 that he tore his clothes and said, 'Am I God,
11:01 to kill and to make alive...'"
11:12 In other words, he's picking a fight
11:15 by saying that this man should be healed by the prophet Elisha.
11:21 Notice verse 8.
11:27 Notice the terminology, he's coming to the man of God.
11:30 He's coming to God's minister.
11:51 In other words, "Send him to me.
11:53 It's okay.
11:54 You know, God can certainly take a dead person
11:58 and make him alive."
12:01 And so we find in verses 9 and 10 the arrival
12:05 of Naaman at the home of Elisha.
12:08 And here's where the story becomes very interesting.
12:12 It says there in verse 9...
12:19 What is Naaman trying to do? He's trying to what?
12:22 He's trying to impress through his greatness.
12:28 And it says...
12:34 Now, what would you expect Elisha to do
12:38 if he knew that Naaman had traveled many, many days
12:43 to have an interview with him?
12:45 Well, the most respectful thing that he could do
12:48 would be to go and answer the door.
12:53 But I want you to notice now that the story begins to turn.
12:57 The story begins speaking about the greatness of this man.
13:01 You know, great man of valor.
13:04 Greatly admired by the king.
13:07 Great conqueror.
13:10 It begins by telling of his greatness.
13:12 But as the story goes along, we're going to find
13:15 that Naaman gets smaller and smaller.
13:21 So he comes to Elisha's house.
13:24 And we're told, "And Elisha sent a messenger to him."
13:31 Would you consider that an insult?
13:34 Here he's traveled all these days, and Elisha says,
13:38 to the messenger he says, "You go out and talk to him."
13:41 What is Elisha trying to do?
13:44 He's trying to humble this man.
13:48 Exactly.
13:49 In the right sense of the word.
13:52 And so it says...
14:00 Which by the way, in many places is a very muddy dirty river.
14:05 It's not crystal clear.
14:08 So he's adding insult to injury.
14:12 First of all, he doesn't have the courtesy to come out
14:15 and meet him personally.
14:16 And now he says, "Go wash in the Jordan River."
14:20 And mind you, not only once, but seven times.
14:26 By the way, the number seven is symbolic of totality,
14:29 of completeness.
14:33 You know, it took seven days to complete creation.
14:39 Seven drops of blood were sprinkled on the mercy seat
14:47 to totally cleanse the Sanctuary from sin.
14:50 Seven times Israel marched around Jericho
14:54 for the city to be totally destroyed.
14:57 The furnace was heated seven times hotter.
15:00 Which means that it was heated to the maximum.
15:03 Seven churches in Revelation describe the totality of
15:07 the history of the Christian church.
15:08 Seven horns on the head of Jesus represents total power.
15:12 Seven eyes, total wisdom.
15:14 Seven plagues, the total wrath of God is poured out.
15:18 So in other words, the number seven represents totality.
15:21 Something total is going to happen now.
15:25 And so Elisha says...
15:29 And now notice the promise.
15:34 God never gives us a command without, at the same time,
15:37 giving us a promise.
15:50 Have you noticed several times in this passage
15:52 that it contrasts unclean with clean?
15:57 Before he goes to the Jordan River and submerges himself
16:01 seven times, he is unclean.
16:04 When he goes to the Jordan and submerges himself,
16:07 he is going to be what?
16:09 He's going to be clean.
16:11 So what is the ceremony between unclean and clean?
16:16 It's the ceremony of dipping himself seven times
16:20 in the Jordan River.
16:21 That's a transition point between unclean and clean.
16:26 Let's go to verse 11.
16:29 "But Naaman became furious."
16:34 Do you think he had any right, humanly speaking,
16:35 to be furious?
16:38 Humanly speaking, yeah.
16:40 The old man was coming out.
16:42 The flesh, if you please, was coming out.
16:44 He says, "How dare this prophet.
16:46 First of all, he's a prophet of Israel.
16:50 I traveled many days, he doesn't come out personally.
16:53 And now he tells me to go wash myself in that dirty ole river,
16:58 the Jordan River."
16:59 So it says...
17:12 "Certainly he would come out to me personally."
17:18 And now notice, this is important.
17:20 "...and call on the name of the Lord his God..."
17:25 Don't forget that.
17:27 Before he submerges himself in the Jordan River,
17:31 what does he call God?
17:34 This is Elisha's God.
17:37 It's not his God.
17:40 And notice how he expected to be healed.
17:41 He says, "...and wave his hand..."
17:44 "I wanted him to come out and just pronounce me clean.
17:49 Just wave his hand and say, 'You're clean.'"
17:53 But you see, Naaman had to take the plunge
17:58 in order to be clean.
18:02 And he says, "If he would wave his hand over me,
18:06 he would heal my leprosy."
18:08 A symbol of sin, by the way; leprosy.
18:11 Jesus healed many lepers.
18:13 The leprosy on the body represented
18:15 the leprosy in the soul.
18:18 And now notice what he says...
18:35 "Why do I have to do what the preacher says?
18:39 Why do I have to go dip in the Jordan River?
18:41 Why seven times?
18:43 I could actually go and do it in one of my rivers."
18:47 It says, "So he turned and went away in rage."
18:54 I like to imagine what it must have been like.
18:56 He must have been fuming.
19:00 "Doesn't this prophet realize who I am?
19:04 The great Naaman.
19:08 A mighty man of valor, great conqueror.
19:13 Commander of the Syrian armies.
19:16 How dare he not recognize my greatness."
19:19 Well, what Elisha is doing is he's reducing him to size.
19:25 Remember what our theme is in this series of sermons?
19:29 He who exalts himself will be what?
19:32 Humbled.
19:34 And he who humbles himself will be exalted.
19:37 Let me read you a statement from Ellen White
19:41 on the attitude of Naaman when Elisha told him to
19:44 go bathe in the Jordan River.
19:46 This is in the book, Conflict and Courage, page 228.
19:49 She says...
20:01 See, below his dignity to humble himself.
20:07 Now notice this.
20:08 There was a reason why he wanted to wash in those rivers
20:10 besides the fact that they were cleaner than the Jordan River.
20:35 Because he would be doing what everybody else was doing.
21:07 In Prophets and Kings, page 249, Ellen White explains in a
21:11 short statement, "But faith conquered.
21:16 And the haughty Syrian yielded his pride of heart
21:20 and bowed in submission to the revealed will of Jehovah."
21:28 So did he humble himself?
21:31 Did he? Yes, he did.
21:33 Did God help him a little bit?
21:36 For the prophet, the Lord helped him.
21:39 He brought him into circumstances
21:41 that would humble his heart.
21:42 Because it would do no good for him to bury his leprosy
21:44 with a proud heart.
21:49 And you know, when God actually heals,
21:52 He heals fully and completely.
21:53 Now I'd like to go to verses 13 and 14.
21:57 Because we have something very interesting in them.
21:59 You know, when God asks someone to do something,
22:01 sometimes they get furious.
22:03 Let me ask you, can the friends of that person help to kind of
22:06 alleviate the situation if you're really a person's friend?
22:10 When a call is made, can the friend kind of give a nudge
22:14 and say, "Come on."
22:17 Let's notice. Verses 13 and 14.
22:37 "I mean, he could have told you to jump from the
22:38 earth to the moon."
22:47 Do you notice once again that the washing makes us what?
22:50 Clean.
22:51 Verse 14...
23:01 Whose counsel did he obey?
23:04 The counsel of the man of God.
23:06 And who had given that counsel to the man of God?
23:09 God Himself.
23:11 Can you imagine what it must have been like
23:13 for this man Naaman, this great man Naaman?
23:15 He's doing what an Israelite prophet is telling him to do.
23:18 He's in the dirty Jordan River and he's dipping himself
23:21 in front of his soldiers?
23:24 What a humiliating experience.
23:28 Then of course you can imagine, dips himself once; leprosy.
23:32 Twice; leprosy.
23:34 Three times; leprosy.
23:36 Four times; leprosy.
23:39 Maybe he's starting to wonder, "Hmmm, who knows
23:42 whether I'm going to look ridiculous here."
23:45 Five times, six times.
23:48 And then he dips himself the seventh time.
23:50 Totality; remember the number seven represents
23:53 fullness or totality.
23:54 He dips himself the seventh time and when he comes out...
24:00 I want you to notice what Scripture says.
24:03 Once again, verse 14...
24:05 "So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan,
24:09 according to the saying of the man of God."
24:13 In other words, he obeyed the command of God
24:15 through His minister.
24:17 "And his flesh was restored like the
24:20 flesh of a little child."
24:25 Listen here.
24:26 It was not restored like an old man.
24:30 Because he was a grown man.
24:33 I mean, it was like he was born again.
24:37 Because we're told here that the flesh that he had
24:40 was not the flesh of old Naaman scarred in battle.
24:45 It was the flesh of a little child.
24:47 In other words, he had died and he had
24:49 resurrected to newness of life.
24:51 He was like a little child.
24:54 Is that what happens when we're born again?
24:57 Yes.
24:59 That's what happens when we're baptized.
25:01 The past is buried and we're born, according to the Bible,
25:05 to newness of life.
25:10 The old has passed away, according to the Scriptures.
25:16 Now, how did Naaman look upon the religion
25:18 of Israel and the God of Israel after his conversion?
25:21 Did he just say, "Oh, it's wonderful.
25:24 I've been healed. Hallelujah.
25:25 Now I'll go on worshiping the gods of Syria."
25:30 No. Notice verse 17.
25:33 There's a very interesting little custom here.
25:37 You know, he lived in Syria.
25:38 He didn't live in Israel.
25:40 And God was the God of Israel.
25:43 So notice this, verse 17...
25:49 Because Elisha had not accepted the gifts that he had brought.
25:52 "If you're not going to take the gifts," he says...
26:05 What is he asking for?
26:07 He's asking for two mule loads of dirt.
26:12 From where?
26:14 From Israel.
26:16 Interesting.
26:20 And he says...
26:33 Do you know why he takes the earth?
26:37 Because he wants to put that earth in Syria.
26:41 And because it's earth from Israel, he's worshiping
26:45 on Israel's earth the true God.
26:50 Had he been converted?
26:52 Had his outlook on life been changed?
26:55 Yes, he says, "I live in Syria, but I'm taking a little piece
26:59 of Israel so that I can worship the God of Israel."
27:03 Wow, what a change.
27:06 He says, "I will not worship any of the pagan gods anymore."
27:09 Had his life changed?
27:11 Not only his skin, but his heart had actually been converted
27:15 by this baptismal experience.
27:17 He had been totally transformed, totally changed.
27:22 What a beautiful illustration in the Old Testament on baptism.
27:28 Go with me to 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and verse 17.
27:32 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and verse 17.
27:34 Do you know that we are all afflicted with leprosy?
27:38 In one point in our lives we were all afflicted with leprosy,
27:42 the deadly disease of sin.
27:46 Which is a mortal disease.
27:49 And we're told there in 2 Corinthians 5:17
27:53 that something happens when we choose to take
27:55 the step of baptism.
28:08 Is that true of Naaman?
28:10 Physically, was he a new creation?
28:12 Yes, he had the skin of a child.
28:19 The leprosy is gone.
28:24 That was the experience of Naaman.
28:27 The old Naaman was buried and the new Naaman came forth.
28:32 Not only physically, but also spiritually.
28:38 The big question is, however, how is it that we are in Christ?
28:43 Because it says here, "those who are in Christ."
28:45 How do we get to be in Christ?
28:49 Well, the Bible says it very clearly.
28:51 Go with me to Galatians chapter 3
28:53 and verses 26 and 27.
28:55 Galatians chapter 3 verses 26 and 27.
28:58 It tells us how we become in Christ.
29:02 See, according to the Bible, I am either in Adam or in Christ.
29:06 If I'm in Adam, I have the disease of leprosy.
29:09 I'm doomed to death.
29:12 So I have to change families into the family of the new Adam.
29:16 I have to be born into a different family.
29:17 But in order to do that, I have to bury the old family.
29:22 The question is, how do I get rid of that Adam nature,
29:25 that leprous nature, and how am I born to newness of life,
29:30 like Naaman was?
29:33 It says in Galatians 3 verse 26...
29:42 And now notice this...
29:55 At what moment is it that we cease being an Adam
29:58 and we are in Christ?
30:00 At the moment of what?
30:02 Baptism.
30:05 How important then is baptism?
30:08 It's vitally important.
30:10 It's the moment when we bury our old leprous Naaman nature.
30:15 And when we come forth, we're born to newness of life.
30:19 Like Naaman who had the skin of a child,
30:21 and he had the heart of a child too.
30:23 Because Jesus says that we must become like children
30:26 in order to see and in order to enter the kingdom of God.
30:31 Go with me to Romans chapter 6 and verses 3 and on.
30:39 Romans chapter 6 verse 3, notice the apostle Paul says...
30:53 How are we baptized?
30:55 We're baptized into what?
30:57 Jesus Christ.
30:58 If we're baptized into Jesus Christ, are we then in Christ?
31:02 So what happens before baptism?
31:05 We're outside of Christ. Right?
31:08 And so it says, "...or do you not know that as many of us
31:11 as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized
31:15 into His death?"
31:21 Notice, we died with Him.
31:29 But not only did we die with Him, not only were we buried
31:33 with Him, but notice that we're also resurrected with Him.
31:52 Now listen to what I'm going to say.
31:53 Many people, even within the Seventh-day Adventist Church,
31:56 misunderstand the meaning of baptism.
31:59 See, baptism is not my own little death to sin
32:04 and my own little resurrection from sin.
32:08 Did you notice here that it says that whoever has been baptized
32:10 has been baptized into His death?
32:14 And that we were buried with Him.
32:17 And that we resurrected with Him.
32:20 In other words, when I'm buried in the waters of baptism,
32:24 when in humility I come to God and I say, "I'm a sinner.
32:28 I'm leprous. I have nothing to offer You.
32:30 I'm doomed to death."
32:31 When I come to God and I say that, and I'm baptized,
32:35 at the moment of baptism you know what God says?
32:38 God says, "What you just did right now makes you
32:44 to be included in what Jesus did back there."
32:48 He died so you don't have to.
32:52 He was buried so you don't have to.
32:55 He resurrected so that you can resurrect with Him.
33:01 In other words, at baptism we're transferred back
33:03 to what Jesus did.
33:05 We're included in Him.
33:07 See, the law demands a perfect life, doesn't it?
33:10 The law says, obey and live.
33:13 And if you don't obey the law, you what?
33:15 You die.
33:16 How many of us have lived in harmony with the law perfectly?
33:20 None of us.
33:21 So we're all on death row, right?
33:24 So how can we be saved?
33:25 It's very simple.
33:27 We receive Jesus as our Savior.
33:30 We announce it through baptism.
33:32 And then at the moment of baptism, His death
33:35 counts as if it was mine.
33:39 His life is reckoned as mine.
33:42 And therefore now, when I come before the Father,
33:45 when I'm in Jesus, when I've buried my old self with Him,
33:50 and I've resurrected with Him, now when I appear before God
33:53 the Father, the Father doesn't see me,
33:56 He sees Jesus because I am in Him.
34:01 Isn't that good news?
34:03 In other words, at the moment of baptism
34:05 is when the Father no longer looks at me as me.
34:10 He looks at me through Him.
34:14 And because He lived a perfect life,
34:16 the law doesn't condemn me.
34:19 Because His life stands in place of my life.
34:22 And because He suffered the death that I should suffer,
34:24 I don't have to suffer death.
34:26 Because His death counts as my death.
34:28 So at baptism, I am included in what He did.
34:32 That's what the Bible means when it says that we are in Christ.
34:36 If we are in Christ, we are a new creation.
34:39 All old things have passed away and everything is new.
34:43 Because we are in Jesus.
34:47 In other words, at baptism we're transferred back
34:49 to what Jesus did.
34:50 And God includes us in Him.
34:53 We're accepted in the Beloved.
34:54 We have an Advocate before the Father; Jesus Christ.
34:57 And when Jesus appears before the Father,
34:59 He says, "Father, I come here representing Steve Bohr."
35:03 And I'm dramatizing.
35:04 The Father says, "Where is Steve Bohr?"
35:06 Jesus says, "Well, he doesn't have to appear,
35:08 because he's in Me.
35:11 And so when I appear here, it's as if he appears.
35:15 Because he is in Christ."
35:18 That's what happens at baptism.
35:21 We are reckoned dead and alive in Christ.
35:24 His death and His life now stand in our place.
35:26 Is that good news or what?
35:29 Baptism is a marvelous ceremony.
35:31 It's the way of passing from death to life.
35:33 Now I don't believe in baptismal regeneration.
35:36 I don't think that baptism saves.
35:38 But baptism is a sign of salvation.
35:41 It's an external announcement of an internal experience
35:45 with Jesus Christ.
35:49 Have you ever noticed what Jesus said to Nicodemus?
35:51 Was Nicodemus kind of similar to Naaman?
35:55 He thought he was a pretty good guy.
35:58 He was a leader in Israel.
36:00 He was a rabbi.
36:02 He thought he knew a lot.
36:04 But notice what Jesus said to Nicodemus.
36:07 John 3 and we'll read verse 3, and we'll also read verse 5.
36:11 John 3 and verses 3 and 5.
36:17 To this great man who thought he knew much,
36:20 who thought he was great in Israel, we're told this...
36:40 What did He mean?
36:41 Notice verse 5.
36:42 "Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly I say to you,
36:46 unless one is born of water and the Spirit...'"
36:51 This is talking about water baptism, being born of water.
36:55 In other words, that's for forgiveness of sins.
36:57 And the Spirit is breathing new life.
37:02 Which also, we receive the Holy Spirit at baptism.
37:04 So, "Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of
37:07 water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
37:11 Let me ask you, is baptism then absolutely indispensible?
37:16 Is it?
37:17 According to the Bible, it's absolutely
37:19 indispensible, Jesus says.
37:21 You must be born of the water and of the Spirit.
37:24 Your old self must be buried and you must resurrect
37:27 to newness of life.
37:28 You know, God couldn't have chosen a better ceremony
37:30 than baptism to illustrate this.
37:34 You've seen baptisms here in the church.
37:36 A person stands, the pastor is up there in the baptistery.
37:39 The person is in front of him.
37:41 The pastor says, "In the name of the Father, the Son,
37:43 and the Holy Spirit."
37:44 The person who is going to be put under the water
37:47 stops breathing.
37:49 Like you do when you die.
37:53 And then the person is what?
37:56 They stop breathing, they're buried in the waters.
38:03 And what's the first thing they do when they come
38:05 forth from the water?
38:06 They breathe.
38:09 Newness of life.
38:13 Could God have chosen a better symbol or better ceremony
38:16 to illustrate death to sin, resurrection to newness
38:20 of life in Christ?
38:22 There could be no better symbol that God could have chosen
38:24 than this symbol of baptism.
38:29 It makes me think of one last person that I would
38:30 like to mention that experienced what Naaman experienced.
38:36 That's the great Saul of Tarsus.
38:39 The great apostle Paul.
38:41 You know, if you want to read an interesting passage,
38:43 read Philippians chapter 3.
38:46 There, the apostle Paul tells us how great he was
38:50 before he accepted Jesus.
38:52 In fact, let's go there quickly.
38:54 Philippians chapter 3.
38:59 And let's notice the apostle Paul's self evaluation
39:02 before his conversion.
39:03 He was just like Naaman.
39:06 Chapter 3 and verse 4, he says, "...though also I might have
39:15 confidence in the flesh.
39:18 If anyone else thinks he may have confidence
39:21 in the flesh, I more so.
39:23 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel,
39:28 of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews.
39:33 Concerning the law; a Pharisee.
39:35 Concerning zeal; persecuting the church.
39:37 Concerning the righteousness which is in the law; blameless."
39:43 Typical Naaman.
39:46 But he had leprosy.
39:50 So then Jesus confronts him on the road to Damascus.
39:54 And Saul of Tarsus goes through the conversion experience.
39:56 And he goes to Ananias' house.
39:58 Do you know what Ananias says to him?
40:02 Let's read it.
40:03 Acts 22 and verse 16. Acts 22.
40:07 Even Saul of Tarsus had to go through this experience.
40:10 Acts 22 and verse 16.
40:16 Ananias says to Saul...
40:24 I like that, "Why are you waiting?"
40:34 And what does baptism do?
40:49 So what happens at baptism?
40:52 Saul's sins were what?
40:55 Were washed away.
40:58 So baptism is a glorious ceremony.
41:02 It's a ceremony where we pass from death to life.
41:06 As Naaman the Syrian passed from death to life.
41:09 He buried his leprosy and he came out to newness of life.


Revised 2014-12-17