By Grace We Are Saved Through Faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)
1. In our lesson we are examining two key elements that are involved in salvation: "grace" and "faith." 2. In showing us that we are saved "by grace," these verses tell us that: a. salvation is not of ourselves b. salvation is the gift of God c. salvation is not of works, lest any man should boast. 3. These verses also show us that we are saved "through faith." 4. It is unfortunate, but many people today are confused about how we are saved by grace through faith. 5. Today we are studying an Old Testament story that will help us properly understand how grace and faith relate to salvation. a. The story we are studying is found in 2 Kings 5:1-14. b. In our lesson we will be comparing the cleansing of Naaman's leprosy to "salvation" [cleansing from sin].
I. NAAMAN'S CLEANSING HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND THE ROLE THAT GRACE PLAYS IN OUR SALVATION
A. By examining Naaman's cleansing we see that salvation is "not of ourselves." 1. As we are introduced to Naaman, we learn that he was a great man. a. He was "captain of the host of the king of Syria." b. He was "a great man with his master." c. He was "honorable" [highly respected]. 1) He was respected because God had used him in delivering Israel to Syria. 2) (vs.3) He was even respected by his wife's Jewish servant. d. He was "a mighty man in valor." 2. As great as Naaman was, he was still a leper, and he could not cure himself of his leprosy. 3. Regardless of how great or how good a person might be, he is unable to cleanse himself of his sins. B. By examining Naaman's cleansing, we see that salvation is "the gift of God." 1. (vs.4-7) Naaman found out that he could not: a. be cleansed by the king of Israel 1) Naaman told the king of Syria what the servant girl had said. 2) The king of Syria sent a letter to the king of Israel requesting him to heal Naaman of his leprosy. 3) However, even the wicked king of Israel realized that only God could cure leprosy. 4) He thought the king of Syria was planning a war against Israel. b. purchase the "gift" of cleansing. 1) Naaman could not buy his cleansing, regardless of how much gold, silver, and clothes he offered. 2) If he could have bought his cleansing, it would not have been a gift. 2. Through His grace God grants salvation from sin, and no amount of money can purchase it. C. By examining Naaman's cleansing, we see that salvation is "not of works, lest any man should boast." 1. (vs.8-13) Naaman learned that he could not cleanse himself by his own great works. a. Elisha sent for Naaman, and Naaman went to his house. b. Elisha sent a messenger to tell Naaman what to do. c. Naaman became very angry. d. He thought that Elisha would surely: 1) come out to him and stand 2) call on the name of the Lord 3) wave his hand over the leprosy and heal him. e. He wanted to substitute the rivers of Damascus for the Jordan. f. He went away in a rage, but he was still a leper. g. Naaman's servants reasoned with him. 1) They told him that he would have done any "great thing" commanded by Elisha. 2) They asked him why he did not simply accept God's cleansing through faith. 2. We cannot be saved from our sins by any great works that we might invent - salvation must be accepted by faith.
II. NAAMAN'S CLEANSING HELPS US UNDERSTAND THE ROLE THAT FAITH PLAYS IN OUR SALVATION
A. (vs.14) Finally, Naaman was cleansed by God's grace through faith. B. He was cleansed when he dipped himself 7 times in Jordan through faith.
1. These same principles are illustrated in John 9:1-7. 2. (Mark 16:15-16) Jesus gave a plan whereby anyone can be cleansed from his sins by grace through faith. a. This salvation from sin is offered through God's grace. b. We must accept it through faith by complying with the conditions set forth. 3. Have you received the salvation that Christ offers?