An Old Testament example serves to teach us some very valuable lessons. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 15:14, "The things which were written aforetime were written for our learning that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."
The account of Naaman is found in 2 Kings 5:1-14. Naaman was a very prominent man of his day. He is recorded as being Captain of the host of the king of Syria. Naaman's problem was that he had leprosy. Through a captured Israelite maid who served Naaman's wife, Naaman learned that he could be cured of his leprosy by the prophet in Samaria.
The first mistake made by Naaman was going to the wrong source. He first went to the king of Israel. Many people in the religious world make the same mistake. They go to the wrong source for the cure to the sin problem in their lives. The correct source can only be found in the Word of God. Preachers who teach the doctrine of "faith only" or "grace only" are not the proper source for one's salvation.
The next segment of the story of Naaman deals with a problem. That being: Naaman became angry. Verse 11 says, "But Naaman was wroth..." And in verse 12, ". . . so he turned and went in a rage." The reason for Naaman's anger stemmed from two sources.
First, the prophet did not heal Naaman in the way in which he expected. He already had in his mind the manner in which the healing was to take place.
Secondly, the source of healing did not agree with Naaman's idea. He believed that the waters of Damascus' rivers, Abana and Pharpar, were far better than all the waters of Israel.
We should not be too quick to condemn Naaman, for many in the religious world have the same problem. The plan of salvation revealed in the Bible does not harmonize with what they have been taught and with what they believe. Rather than search the Scriptures for truth, some become angry and go away in a rage.
Finally, one of Naaman's servants reasons with him about what the prophet told him to do. After reconsidering, Naaman followed the prophet's instructions and upon completion of doing what he was told to do, Naaman was totally and completely healed.
Is it not necessary at times for someone to reason with us and for us to give reconsideration to a new truth learned in order for us to solve the sin problem in our lives? We are human and prone to the same feelings as was Naaman.
The prophet's instruction was for Naaman to go and dip himself seven times in the Jordan River. There was no healing power in the waters of the Jordan. The power of healing was in following God's instructions through the prophet. To be healed, it was necessary for Naaman to obey fully what he was told to do. Naaman remained leprous until he came up out of the water the seventh time.
Today, you and I are plagued with a disease similar to leprosy but with far more serious consequences. That disease is SIN. God has given to us in his Word a cure for this dreaded disease. The cure for the sin in the life of every individual is obedience to the Gospel. Jesus said in Mark 16:15-16, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved . . ." Like "faith alone," "baptism alone" does not save. Baptism must be preceded by faith in Christ, repentance of sins and a person's confession of faith in Christ. The Book of Acts sets forth very plainly that this is what people did under the preaching of the Apostles.
People the world over may fuss and fume and become angry because of what the Bible teaches one must do in order to be saved. They may be like Naaman and say, "I thought salvation came at the point of "faith only." However, God's Word can neither be changed nor can we devise a man-made plan to save ourselves.
It is our sincere prayer that you will be as honest as Naaman and consider very seriously what the Bible says. Obey God's plan and enjoy cleansing from sin. Your eternal destiny is involved. Please don't become angry, but rather consider these matters very seriously.