Stained By Sin

2Kings 5:1

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This morning I want us to address a topic, Stained By Sin. In this sermon, we will explore the natural state of human being, that is, what does the Bible say about our natural state? I believe we all know the answer: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The glory of God is the image of God in which we were created. But that image, that glory has been tainted by sin. Our life is discoloured by sin and difficult to remove. That’s what basically the definition of Stain is: it is “a coloured patch or dirty mark that is difficult to remove” It was J.C. Ryle, an old Anglican Minister who said

The best of men are only men at their very best. Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles—martyrs, fathers, reformers, Puritans—all are sinners, who need a Savior: holy, useful, honorable in their place—but sinners after all

I believe we all have heroes, people we admire, people we learn from, people we look up to. But there is no man out there without sin. No matter how great a person we admire is, they are humans at their very best: They are Stained By Sin. And the text we read, gives us a picture of the Stain of Sin in our lives. We are introduced to a man called Naaman. The Bible describes him in such moving ways: he was a commander; he commanded the Kings army. He was a great man. He was held in high esteem by his Master a king. On top of all that he has won many battles. He was a mighty man of valour. This phrase is used to describe a courageous or wealthy person. And Naaman was both. He has won victories for Syria and was wealthy: because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria (v.1). He also had horses, chariots and servants which depicts his greatness: (v.9). The Syrians were a Gentile nation who were used by God to chastise his people (v.2). One of the lessons we learn here is that God will always chastise and discipline his children. So in the life of the Israelites, we see this constant carrying away into captivity.

Now in every generation there are great men and women who stand out as great leaders: scientists, politicians, theologians and pastors, authors, inventors and the list goes on. The world has never lacked great leaders. But here is the thing. No matter how great people are, they are just ordinary human beings stained by Sin. There is a little phrase in the text that amplifies the Stain of Sin: “but he was a leper”:

What Has His Leprosy Got To Do With Me?

We started with a great man. A commander of the King of Syria. A mighty man of Valour. But despite all these wonderful descriptions given Naaman, he was a leper. Suddenly, this one thing we are told about him, negates all that has been said of him. And this is true of all of us. We all carry one form of leprosy around: a Stain of Sin. Think about yourself: Pride, Lust, Anger, Impure Thoughts,Lies…think of all the known sins you commit and walk around. It is a Stain of Sin. Imagine wearing an all-white attire and a spot of palm oil splash on that. It messes you up.
It takes all the shine from the attire. And that is what Scripture has just done. Taken away all the shine from Naaman. Leprosy in biblical times were various skin diseases that render people unclean (Leviticus 13—14). And this uncleanliness demanded people be separated and quarantined to avoid spreading the disease. In the text, we see clearly this uncleanliness mentioned (vv. 10; 12;13;14). Naaman’s Leprosy here paints a picture of sin and uncleaness. This one problem is in a spiritual sense, a problem everyone of us carries around. By virtue of been born into this world, Scripture condemns all of us as sinners. Our human nature is corrupted by sin as a result of the fall of Adam.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me (Psalm 51:5)

Will you dispute this, I will tell you to look at your own life in the last 24hours or last hour or right now while you listen to me. Have you done everything right? Has your thought patterns been all perfect? Why do we say to err is human? That indeed affirms something about the human race. We are all sinners by nature. Sin makes humans unclean. Sin us separates from God. Sin makes people enemies of God. A people without hope. And the nature of sin is such that only

God Can Remove The Stain of Sin

One remarkable point in this narrative is the hand of God at work in Naaman’s life. We look at the text again and it says: “by him the LORD had given victory to Syria” The LORD…Everything Naaman is, is because God has made him. Naaman isn’t a self-made man. And none of us is. Whatever we are in this life, is all the hand of God. Therefore there is no room for pride in us. Look also at vv.2-3 (READ). A little girl from Israel was taken captive during one of Naaman’s military conquest and she was taken to Naaman’s house to serve. That little girl could have been sent to any other house and not to Naaman’s house. But because of God’s providence and his electing grace at work, that girl was sent to Naaman’s house where she was needed. Again, in Naaman’s house, this little girl could have remained silent. But she spoke. God uses various means to bring people to himself. This little girl, a servant, ordinary, is a picture of all of us who have believed in Christ. Consider her as One who points others to a Saviour. Look also at v.7. Naaman communicated the girls’s message to the King of Syria and he was given a letter sent to the King of Israel. The response of the King is instructive here: “And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive , that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.” That little phrase: “Am I God, to kill and to make alive” speaks of something only God does. Only God gives life. Leprosy—Sin— is a spiritual death and it is only God

Who Can Restore Sinners To Newness.

There is something common with humans. We are proud when it comes to God. We don’t like the simplicity of the gospel, God’s way of salvation provided in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Somehow, we want to work for our salvation. We want to do something to merit salvation. Sinners resist God’s offer of salvation always. When Naaman went to Elisha, he was given very simple instructions. However, he came with his own ideas of what should happen for his cleansing: “And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.(vv.10-13)

Do you see that? He had his own ideas of what can cleanse him of his leprosy. But Elisha, speaking as a prophet of God, provides God’s means of Salvation (verse 8). Elisah, says there is a prophet in Israel. Brethren, this is profound. There is indeed a prophet whose lineage is Israel who will cleanse sinners from their leprosy. Elisha’s words are just like what Jesus told the Samaritan woman: “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). The only provision God has made for the removal of the stain of sin is One man who doesn’t carry The Stain of Sin. That is Jesus. He is the commander of the Lord’s army.

When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14 And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped[c] and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15 And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so (Joshua 5:13-15)

Who is this Commander of the Lord’s army? (i) He accepted Joshua’s worship. (ii) He gave Joshua the same instruction God gave Moses in the burning bush. This is Jesus. The Saviour of God’s people. This commander, unlike Naaman, is a sinless commander. He has won the victory over sin and death for us by dying on the cross for sin and resurrecting the third day. God testifies of him in Hebrews: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” (Hebrews 1:3-4;8-9). This man–Jesus–has favour with God, just as Naaman had favour with his King. But Jesus carries no stain. therefore he is able to save those who come to him (Hebrews 4:15-16).

What must be our Response v.14

After Naaman has refused Elisha’s solution, his servant spoke to him and he heeded. He turned around and went to dip himself according to the word of the man of God…

“He did according to the word of the man of God”… The word of the man of God is God’s word and Naaman acted in faith according to the word. Sinners can only be saved by faith in God’s word (Ephesians 2:8…For by grace you have been saved through faith). We also see his faith in God (vv 15-17). He made a commitment to God. That is faith. Naaman believed—he obeyed and was made clean. What sins are holding you back from believing in God? What pleasures are you still holding to? Christ calls sinners come to me.



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