Alfred Place Baptist Church

5:13&14 The cleansing of the leper

2 Kings 5:13&14 “Naaman’s servants went to him and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, “Wash and be cleansed”?’ So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.”

Naaman was the most famous man in Syria after the king. He was the commander in chief of the triumphant army of that country, but he had this major problem that he was a leper. A captive slave girl from Israel, an Old Testament believer, told Naaman’s wife that there was a prophet serving Jehovah the God of Israel who could cure him. So Naaman, laden with gifts, came to Israel and found where Elisha lived, arriving outside his door with his full entourage of troops and servants. However, the prophet did not leave his room, merely sent out a message to the general telling him to go and dip seven times in the river Jordan if he would be cleansed of his leprosy. The general felt humiliated by the refusal of Elisha to speak to him personally. Why was there no ceremony and no opportunity to hand over his gifts? Naaman didn’t appreciate the snub, the skimpy prognosis of Elisha’s cure for leprosy, and his insistence that the washing had to be done in this little local river, the Jordan. What was wrong with the fine clear rivers of Damascus? Naaman was a scornful, angry, bitter leper heading for home. Is he going to turn from the one place of deliverance? Are you?

Dr. Leo Winters is a Chicago surgeon, and one night he was woken up by the phone ringing. A young boy had been badly injured in a late-night accident. The wounds were so severe that Dr. Winters was probably the only person in the city or maybe even that whole region of Illinois who was capable of saving the boy’s life. The fastest route to the hospital happened to pass through a rough area of Chicago, but with time being such a critical factor, the doctor took the risk. He’d almost made it through the neighbourhood and then, at a red light, his door was jerked open by a big man in a grey hat and a dirty flannel shirt. “I’ve got to have your car!’ the man shouted, and he pulled the doctor from his seat. Dr. Winters tried to explain the gravity of the situation, but the man wasn’t listening. He shot off in Dr. Winters’ car. The doctor ran around for about 45 minutes to find a phone that worked. When he finally got a taxi and had made it to the hospital, over an hour had passed.

He rushed through the doors to the casualty department but the nurse on duty only shook her head. It was too late. The boy had passed away 30 minutes earlier. “I’m so sorry. My car was hijacked on my way here,” he explained. The nurse told him that the boy’s Dad had got there before he died. “He is outside. He’s heart-broken. He doesn’t understand why you never came.” So Dr. Winters walked hurriedly down the hall and saw a man sitting there his head in his hands. There was a grey hat on the floor in front of him and he wore a dirty flannel shirt. It was the same man who had stolen the doctor’s car an hour earlier. When he did that, he had pushed from his life the only one who could help his son. The point of my story is this, that Naaman was about to make the same mistake. People push out of their lives what could save them. Naaman was going back home with his illness. He was turning from the only thing that could cure him of leprosy.

Thus far we have come in our narrative, the angry Naaman disgusted with Elisha’s treatment of him and the silly message of dipping himself seven times in the Jordan.

1. WISE WORDS WERE SPOKEN TO NAAMAN.

My words often seem to me to be very weak. I don’t mean when I’m preaching but when I’m talking to individuals. There doesn’t appear to be a gravitas, a wisdom or authority about what I’m saying to people. My words usually seem lightweight, paper thin, forgettable words, uninspiring words, spoken without much conviction. Yet I have learned, with all my breast-beating, that sometimes they have impacted the hearers; occasionally they’ve actually been quoted back to me months later; they helped; they had an effect; people saw things in a different way because of my words . . . my words . . . That’s also been my own experience listening to other people. The words of men and women and young people and sick persons in hospital and housebound pensioners have lodged in a memory cell in my brain and I still remember them, some of them years after they were spoken to me. Some things said were quite trivial, but for some reason I remember them.

Let me give you an illustration. There was a trivial problem of bringing a summer copnference visitor (who happened to be in the process of getting over an operation) from a village outside Aberystwyth into the August meetings for its four mornings, at a time when our house was full with sixteen people and we were trying to take family and children to different meetings at that very time. I told the late Douglas MacMillan about this problem just in passing, how this man had asked me if I could do this for him that week or arrange for someone else to do it. I told Douglas what a strain it would be on our household – this drive out of town to meet him and bring him in. Then find him at the end of the morning and take him back afterwards when there were other family members to organize and chauffeur. I must admit I didn’t like being inconvenienced in that way. Then Douglas said in that beautiful Scottish accent, “Ah . . . these things have a way of working out.” How facile, but it was quite reassuring, and so it happened. The man discovered near that village another person coming to the conference who happily took him back and fore. I didn’t have to pick him up on a single occasion. I’ve found it useful to say those words of Douglas to worried people, “These things have a way of working out.” They are based on a great truth that all things work together for good to them that love God. That is a trivial example. There have been other cases when more important things have been said to me, books or preachers have been recommended, invitations made and accepted and so on, very important counsels given, but the point I am making is that we are not to belittle our simple words of help to others. We are not to think that our quiet personalities and stammering tongues might not be any help to anyone. It’s the devil who is telling you that. They may be powerful; they may be life!

The servants of Naaman had made a long hazardous journey from their homeland to Israel in the hope that their master would be cured. They’d finally found Israel’s healer and he had told the general how the leprosy could be removed, but Naaman was outraged and so disdainful, and now they faced the whole return journey back to Syria with Naaman still a dying man but now with no hope at all. What a journey this would be, like cats on a hot tin roof they would tip-toe all the way home to Aram accompanying angry and disappointed Naaman. So some of the servants took their life in their hands and said gently to Naaman, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’?” (v.13). It was a word spoken in season. The word spoken to Naaman by the men was very respectful – “my father” – this was not an arduous, costly demand. What Elisha had told him was simple, attainable, safe; it wasn’t difficult or dangerous. If there’d been a costly and laborious task to perform – to climb a nearby mountain on his knees – Naaman would have done it without a murmur. Why not try this, even if it is so simplistic, and humbling?

Now I want to urge you to be my supporters at the end of every service when some strangers you have brought or others sitting near to you have obviously not enjoyed the meeting, or the sermon, or me, that then you will have some helpful, kindly, biblical explanations of why we believe what we believe and do what we do. In this age of ours people are bound to find disconcerting our whole stand about worship, and the place occupied by a man called by God the Creator to be his preacher, and the message of the gospel itself. This is all new for them. I need you to speak up when you see people about to walk off in a huff in the same spirit as Naaman’s servants spoke.

You know we face different kinds of non-Christians. There are a few who are argumentative and self-confident braggarts who oppose the Christian faith. There are not so many of those in these post-modern days. We meet more people who will say that they admire our faith but it is not for them. There are others who are on the borders of the kingdom of God, under serious impressions about the gospel but are prejudiced against God’s way of salvation. We will answer according to the questions people have. You think of the different approaches Jesus adopted. He didn’t treat everyone as if they were Pharisees. We speak to them all personally and sweetly and meekly. A gentle answer turns wrath away. We say; “O make but trial of his love; experience will decide how blessed are they, and only they, who in the Lord confide.” Of course whoever we speak to we do so remembering ourselves and our own many sins; we speak humbly to them.

We can be more pointed when people we love are making a shipwreck of their lives. Young Arthur Pink of Nottingham was leaving his church and actually attending séances, listening to messages from the ‘spirit world’ (really the evil spirit world). His father was aware of this, and one night in 1908 he was waiting up as usual until Arthur came home. His custom was to pass on to his son a verse from Scripture, and that night he looked at Arthur and said, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). One sentence, but it became written in Arthur’s mind and for three days he had to wrestle with God about his life and its future. He couldn’t go to work until he had settled this.

You don’t know how your words can help. What would have happened to Naaman, humanly speaking, if these men had not plucked up courage and said this to him? The Acts of the Apostles has a number of places where someone’s word in season was very valuable. I am thinking of the incident recorded in Acts chapter five when the Sanhedrin were considering killing Peter and John. A man named Gamaliel spoke up and said, “Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38&39). Or again Philip came across a man reading the Bible and he looked at the situation and he said to him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” (Acts 8:30). It was the start of a long conversation in which he explained the gospel to him. It resulted in wonderful new life for this African. Or you think again of the superb encouragement a soldier named Cornelius was to a preacher when he said to Peter at the beginning of a meeting, “We are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us” (Acts 10:33). What a reassurance to a preacher.

I have an acquaintance called Terry Atkinson who has been a preacher in Greece and Italy for many years. When he was in private school he went through a religious phase and Terry began to carry a rosary around with him and go through the beads standing in the dinner queue or waiting at the tables at the end of the meal to be dismissed. There was an older boy in the school who saw him doing this and he said to him, “Oh, Atkinson, you’re religious? Good. We have a Bible Study today; will you come along?” Terry went and began to understand the way of God more perfectly. It was the beginning of new life that eventually took him to Seminary, the ministry and a life of missionary work. Terry said to me, “If he had mocked me, ‘A rosary! Ho, ho, ho!’ then I’d have turned away from him and what a different path I’d have taken.” I asked Terry if he still kept in touch with the boy. “O yes. He is a Christian doctor in Yorkshire,” he said.

So Naaman’s journey to life began when a little slave girl plucked up courage and told her mistress of healing for her master’s leprosy in Israel if he would only see Elisha. Why should Naaman the mighty general pay attention to a girl barely in her teens? Because the mighty power of God was blessing her words. God would not let the girl’s words fall to the ground. The final step of the journey to new life came with some servants expostulating Naaman, what harm could there be in actually doing what the prophet said about washing seven times in the Jordan. We think about this and ask why should furious Naaman, the mighty general, listen to a couple of his servants? Because the power of God’s Spirit was blessing their words. We look at it from God’s perspective and realize this that God has made the decision to put the treasure of the gospel in clay pots. In other words he uses imperfect and lowly instruments to accomplish his purposes. He uses you and me as we speak his word. The Almighty had decreed the deliverance of Naaman in Israel in order that the Lord’s name should be exalted in Syria, and God does so, as always, by human instruments. He moves the little slave girl to speak; he moves Elisha to send out a servant with this particular message; he moves some of Naaman’s own servants to ask the commander to reconsider. These people were mere servants, men and young women, who all brought the message to this mighty man who served one person alone in the world, the king of Syria. We are being told today to take the servant’s place and have the servant’s spirit if we hope to live useful lives serving God.

Isn’t there great hope in this passage for some of you who are like Naaman today and moving away from God? Some of you are angry with God for who he is and what he has done in your life. When you hear the gospel you are even more angry. You are not on your knees crying to God for mercy, but rather you have turned your back on the Lord and his servants in a rage. Yet God has brought you here and caused you to read these words. It is at this dry, rebellious period in your life that God is acting, not when you were a younger seeker, but now when you are against him, exasperated with him and his people and his ways and his message. Now, when sin is abounding in your life grace is much more abounding. Why? Because sovereign mercy has ordained you to be a child of God, honourable and glorious, for all eternity. There have been times in the life of every Christian here when we kicked against the goads of providence, and how infinitely patient God was with all of us. We were quite against God and moving out of his orbit, but the Lord had set his heart upon us, and one day an innocent remark was made by someone, our mother, our wife, our daughter, our friend, and God brought us up with a jolt and turned us around. We could see the folly of where we were going and what we were doing and we determined by his grace to change. So that is my first point, that wise words were spoken to Naaman.

2. WISE DEEDS WERE DONE BY NAAMAN.

We are told of Naaman, “So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him” (v.14). Why did Naaman do this? One reason, because God had commanded him, through his servant, to do it. It was nothing to do with a warm glow. He had no warm glow at all. Naaman was still angry and humiliated, but a power far greater than himself, the God of the universe, was constraining him to do something, to listen to his servants’ counsels, and Naaman was made willing to obey. This was the beginning of the great change. This was the test of who really was the lord of his life. Was Naaman the captain of his own soul? Was he the hero inside himself? Or would he bow before the God who had made him, in whom he lived and moved and had his being, the God who is and is not silent? The gospel that comes to each one of us is not only an invitation, it is a divine proclamation which is to every sinner. It demands that our rebellion against God come to an end, that we stop ignoring him and living as though he did not exist. God now commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). We are told by the beloved apostle John, “This is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ” (I Jn. 3:23). Paul tells us that the gospel is for “the obedience that comes from faith” (Roms. 1:5). The author of the letter to the Hebrews says that Christ “became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Hebs. 5:9), while to those who “obey not the gospel” (2 Thess. 1:7&8) the Lord Jesus will come in flaming fire taking vengeance. Aren’t you afraid? Shouldn’t you be afraid of such a message coming from the Lord of the universe?

Naaman had not trembled at the word he’d heard. He was angry with God; he thought it was a ridiculous word, and he was about to turn away from this opportunity of life until some concerned men remonstrated tenderly with him. It was because of that that the most reluctant leper on his way to be healed that angels have ever seen, obeyed God; “so he went down,” (v.14); Naaman did it. This was something he had to do, and until he did it there would be no healing. He did it, as we ourselves, each of us in the loneliness and isolation of personal discipleship, have to do what God tells us to do, to turn from our sin and believe in Christ. We must do that ourselves; God will not do it for us. Naaman went down – that means he got off his high horse. He came down to the same level as the meanest servant in his company. We too have to stand in solidarity with a world of sinners guilty before God. We stand on level ground before Christ’s cross. There’s no grandstanding on Golgotha. We stand before God just as we are, lost and defiled and guilty men and women.

Naaman went down – that means he took off his medal-laden uniform, the helmet and breastplate and belt, and he stripped down to his undergarments as his officers and body guard lowered their heads or looked away. And when we come to God, for the cure for our sin, we must lay aside any credits, any achievements, any virtues and righteousness, everything that we think has made us good, all the things we are still hiding behind. We have to admit that none of that is even close to being good enough. “Nothing in our hands we bring . . . Naked come to Thee for dress.” Seven times Naaman must dip in the Jordan, God had said, so that he would learn his defilement was great in the eyes of the Holy One of Israel. “Totally unclean,” is God’s verdict on us. If you’re perspiring from working in the garden a quick shower will have you smelling sweet very soon, but this general had to plunge again and again into the river because his filthiness was great.

“He went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him.” How important is that? It is all important. It was not that he dipped himself ‘as his servants had persuaded him.’ If Naaman had done it to please men he could have dipped seventy times and ended as defiled as when he began. Naaman did it “as the man of God had told him.” What had Elisha told him? “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed” (v.10). That was his hope – the promise that God had made through his servant. Naaman laid hold of that. He believed the words, “you will be cleansed.” Have you done that? Have you appropriated the gospel and its promises, that if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved?

So, Naaman went down – that means he waded out into the river stumbling across its rough stones. Naaman went down – that means he immersed himself in the water once. Naaman went down – that means he ducked himself in the water twice, but nothing at all occurred. Naaman went down a third time but emerging his skin was just as it was when he waded in. Naaman plunged in a fourth time . . . still nothing. A fifth time he sank under the surface of the river . . . and there was still no change at all – “What am I doing here?” A sixth time . . . and nothing. Every leprous spot was as it was before, and the deathly white pallor of his skin remained. One more time . . . what will happen now? Every servant has been counting; each man has his eyes glued on Naaman in the breathless silence. A seventh time Naaman went down and down into the depths of the river Jordan . . . but this time, when Naaman came up out of the water the Bible says “his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy” (v.14). His cleansing was instantaneous. He was fully and perfectly healed, there and then. Not one single spot of leprosy remained. His skin glowed with life and health.

Most of us, thank God, don’t know what it is like to have problems with our skin, an irritating rash that never goes away, weeping flesh, raw and painful to the touch, no comfy place to find in bed, how embarrassing to see children staring at us, and on and on the discomfort goes, trying all the treatments and visiting all the dermatology experts and even cranky ‘alternative’ healers with no improvement whatsoever, no cure at all. But more than having an incurable skin complaint (which would have been bad enough) Naaman had leprosy.

Then, after doing what God said and dipping in the Jordan seven times, then . . . in the twinkling of an eye, a divine miracle occurred and he was completely healed. How clean did his skin become? Like that of a young boy. Someone said, “Do you know the beautiful smell of a clean baby? Well, Naaman was the only person in history to smell like that as an adult.” Naaman did what God said, and it was then that he was rid of his leprosy. Of course he was rid of it for ever. It couldn’t be otherwise, for God had said he would be cleansed. He is faithful who has promised. None ever laid hold of a divine promise and found it to fail, and no one ever will. God’s word cannot fail. He cannot depart from it; he cannot alter it; he cannot break it. Saving faith is taking God at his word and trusting in what he says of Jesus Christ his Son, the Saviour of all who put their trust in him.

Jesus Christ says that all mankind is sick and that it was for the sick he had come. The sickness is described by the prophet as an advanced state of leprosy; “Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness – only wounds and bruises and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil” (Isa. 1:5&6). What an evil things sin is. How loathsome! You hate it, and God hates it too, in fact you hate it because God hates it, but God has sent his Son to deliver us from it, to cleanse us lepers. To all who trust in the Lord it is the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, that will cleanse us from our sin (I Jn. 1:7). The phrase ‘blood of Jesus Christ’ means his life savagely taken from him, a life sacrificed, laid down in a brutal death, not a life ending on a bed in old age surrounded by weeping family. That death of the Son of God is the way of redemption; the very nature of God demands atonement be made for sin. That is how God is in himself, and ever will be, world without end, Amen. So through the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, sinners may be cleansed from all their sin.

What divine words! Who speaks as majestically as that but God. “Let there be light!” Who speaks like that but God. The blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son cleanses us from sin. These are words from another world. What can wash away my sin? The blood of the Son of God and nothing else. It is the blood of a righteous man? Yes. If there had been one sin in Christ he would have been incapable of being the Saviour of others. He himself would need a Saviour, but he was as a lamb without spot and blemish, but far better than the holy, blameless, innocent man here is the blood of one who was also in eternal union with God. If Christ were only a great man, even the greatest man who ever lived, there’d be no efficacy in his blood to save us. Nothing but the blood of Deity, an infinite, eternal, unchangeable death could make atonement for human sin. It must be the God-man’s blood, the fellow of Jehovah, co-equal and co-eternal with him, who must bear the bitterness of divine wrath upon sin. The one who is Son of Man and Son of God, he has come and shed his blood. He was scourged and pierced, bruised and torn, until at last he tastes death itself and lies rigor mortis in the grave. Christ died for our sins.

I must remind you of this, that only great love could have provided such a great sacrifice. How the Lord must have loved us to have descended from heaven to this groaning world. How he must have loved us to know all about us, and still he picked sinners like ourselves to be reconciled to God by taking our guilt and blame. He remained under the anathema hour after hour, enduring all that because of his pitying, saving love for trash like ourselves. He has taken all my sin, think of it, and so I . . . no longer . . . have any sin . . . if Christ has borne it, and suffered under its condemnation, then it cannot be on me as well. It cannot be in two places. If he has borne it then I do not bear it. If he has endured the punishment that it deserves then I cannot be punished for the same sin. If he has cleared my debt there is no more left for me to pay.

“Justice can demand no more,
Christ has paid the dreadful score.”

God is totally satisfied with how Christ has dealt with the leprosy of my sin. His blood has cleansed us from all sin, not from some sin, but from every particle of sin. Now I cannot bestow upon you the sweetness of those words, but I long that the Holy Spirit will. No one can know the sweetness of it who hasn’t experienced the bitterness of sin. To people like John Monsell who wrote, “My sins, my sins, my Saviour! They take such hold on me. I am not able to look up save only, Christ, on Thee.” What joy to look up and see him there dying for me, and hear his word “My shed blood cleanses from all sin,” from the sin of Adam imputed to us, from all that inherited sin, from our actual sins, the sin of my childhood, the sin of my teenage years, the sin of my riper years, and the sin of old age that make many a hoary head a head of grief. Sins against the law, sins against the gospel when I stifled my conscience, sins against truth, sins against the Spirit, sins against Christ Jesus since my conversion – all these sins gone! Sins of commission, sins of omission, greater sins and lesser sins, they are all cleansed. There is not a single one left, do you know it? The sins against God – and how many of those there are – sins against his book, his day, his people, his worship, his name, his grace, his law, forgetting him, ignoring him – all gone, all cleaned up and disappeared. Not a stain remains. Sins against people, friends and enemies, against my neighbour, against my father and my mother, my wife and my husband, sins against my children – all the leprosy of sin cleansed, all gone. Sins of presumption, sins of ignorance, forgotten sins, unknown sins – all gone. The purging is complete; the leprosy has vanished. The skin has become clean like that of a young boy. Whether the bill is little or great every penny has been paid. The blood of Jesus Christ is so powerful that all the stains, however deeply dyed, have been washed away. They are all gone, and all gone at once, and all gone for ever.

Only through the blood of Christ does this cleansing come. There is not the slightest atom of saving power anywhere else in the universe but in the blood of Jesus. That blood alone has the power to save. Golgotha is the only laundry for sinners to purge away their stains in this world or in the world to come. Add nothing to that blood, absolutely nothing at all. Let me illustrate my point like this; I write an article, or I write a book, and it is all my words, and I give it to a publishing house and some editor gets to work, and he adds his ideas and attitudes and preferences chapter after chapter to what I have written, and when I see his finished work I groan because it is no longer mine. I will take no responsibility for it. He has imposed on my work himself. So you be careful not to add yourself to the work of Christ. How jealous God is for what you join to his blessed Son. You would join your good works to Christ’s work? Were they perfectly done out of 100% pure love and done only for God’s glory? No. The best of them is riddled with sin, and you are going to join that to Christ? You might as well join a snake to an angel as to yoke yourself to the cross of Christ in some joint enterprise of redemption. Your righteousnesses are as filthy rags. It must be Christ alone – he who is holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. Would you cover the crucified One with your filthy rags? It cannot be. You must rely on Jesus only, and then you will be ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven. Rely on anything else and you may as well rely on your sins. Jesus only is the fount of life.

You are thinking that it’s easy for God to forgive. He just has to say, “You’re forgiven . . . You’re forgiven . . . You’re forgiven . . .” Pooh, pooh, easily forgiven. No! It was not easy for the righteous sin-hating God to say words as momentous as that. Are you looking at the same Bible as I look at? I see in the New Testament a third of the gospels dealing with a single week in the life of my Lord; out of the more than 1700 weeks of his life it concentrates on one week of his story for a third of its narrative, those last seven days, the week of his agony and bloody sweat, the week of the whip, and the nails, and the spear, and the tomb, the week of the cry of dereliction and the darkness at noon, and the chanting hating mob. One third of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, I say, pours over those events of my redemption. So then a moment’s thought and I come to the conclusion that my sin must be a potent evil. My sin is indeed moral leprosy, if it cost all that for the eternal glorious Son of God, then who dares to say that forgiveness is easy? The words ‘the blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son cleanses us from all sin’ may be simple words to grasp but obtaining this cleansing wasn’t easy even for God’s holy Child Jesus, especially for him. Survey him as he is described for us in the New Testament hanging on that central cross and then say to yourself, “The blood of that man who is dying there must be my redemption, and if I would be saved from the leprosy of my sin, I must put my trust only in what he suffered for me.” My regrets cannot save me; my good intentions cannot save me; my tears cannot save me. His blood, that flood alone, has power to redeem.

“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”

(William Cowper)

The Bible says that the blood of God the Son cleanses us; it makes us clean, just like Naaman coming out of the Jordan on the seventh time. It does not say that it will cleanse us, but from the moment that a sinner trusts in God that sinner is as comprehensively clean as the time he attains ten thousand years of life in heaven. Cleansing is a present reality; it is a privilege which every Christian enjoys today. The blood was cleansing us yesterday; the blood is cleansing us today; the blood will cleanse us tomorrow. The day of our death, as we cross the river and stand before God, then the blood of God the Son will present us spotless in his presence. How much certainty there is in those words. There is no ‘perhaps’ here; there is conviction; there is assurance. What these simple words say is indisputable, and the Spirit takes it and bears witness to my heart of its truth. I know one thing with utter certainty that Satan is always trying to keep back this truth, to distort this truth, and hide this truth from sinners, that the blood, the blood of Christ alone, has power to save.

One of you says, “If only I had your experience then I could believe as you believe.” Friend, it is not your experience, or my experience that cleanses me from the leprosy of sin, it is the blood of the Son of God. God did not say that your experience will save you, but the blood of my Son. Think of the blood, plead the blood, run from every other cure to the blood of the Son and then experiences will come, and Christian graces will flow, but do not put anything today between yourself and God save the fountain filled with blood. Go to God through that fountain.

“I hear Thy welcome voice that calls me, Lord, to Thee
For cleansing in Thy precious blood that flowed on Calvary.
All hail, atoning blood! All hail redeeming grace!
All hail the gift of Christ our Lord, our strength and hiding place.”

24th September 2007 GEOFF THOMAS