by Ed Smithson
Naaman was a “captain of the host of the King of Syria” (2 Kings 5:1). His problem was his leprosy, a deplorable and incurable disease with which he was plagued. He was fortunate to have a little Jewish girl as a slave who wanted to get him help and persuaded him to seek it in Israel.
There was a little bobble because he went to the king instead of the prophet, but that is another story.
When the prophet Elisha heard about it, he had Naaman sent to him, and when he arrived, told him what to do to cleanse his leprosy.
Naaman was angry! He thought the prophet would come out, make a big production and recover his health. When you read that story and remember the malady would kill him, you think he was absolutely silly.
But was he any different?
Today, people think they should be able to dictate how they are saved and what they should do, even though God is our creator and Savior and retains for himself that right.
“I think,” says one, “that one can be saved without baptism.” “There is nothing to it and it should not be required.”
God says, “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38), “which also after a true likeness doth now save you, [even] baptism” (1 Peter 3:21).
Another says, “I should not have to stay married if it doesn’t work out. I should be able to find someone more compatible.”
God says, “from the beginning it hath not been so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery” (Matthew 19:8-9).
Then another says, “Since the New Testament does not address instrumental music in worship, we can use it as we please.”
God says, “Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not [to go] beyond the things which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other” (1 Corinthians 4:6). “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:15).
All you have to do is ask what God says, not what he did not say!
Ed Smithson is the webaster for oldpathspulpit.org and writes “Frankly Speaking Notes,” from which this article has been reproduced.
People think they should be able to dictate how they are saved.