The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 3/25

Posted on | March 25, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 3/25

Scripture reading: Leviticus 13:1–8

The Leprosy of Sin

Jesus touched the leper and said, “Be clean!”(Mark 1:41)

 

In the Bible, leprosy helps us to understand the nature of sin. What leprosy does to the body, sin does to the soul. In Leviticus 13–14, Moses writes about various forms of skin disease. Reading this passage enables us to see at least seven ways in which leprosy is similar to sin.

,. Like leprosy, sin in its early stages is very difficult to detect. Not every rash was leprosy, and not every person who appeared healthy was healthy. It took a trained eye to discern the truth! So with sin. Things are not always what they seem. Some sinners are more spiritually healthy than you think. And some who look like saints are literally dying in their sins!

,. Like leprosy, sin spreads. One day you notice an itch on your scalp, then a rash on your thigh, and then numbness in your hand. Leprosy never stays in one place. Neither does sin. Once permitted in our lives, sin spreads to other areas (thoughts, words, actions, habits, etc.). But not only does leprosy spread within the body, it also spreads through the community. It is contagious. That’s why lepers had to live outside the camp lest they infect the entire village. And so it is with sin. If left untreated, one sinner can contaminate an entire church.

,. Like leprosy, sin causes separation. Lepers had to live alone, separated from the community. This disease caused families to split and friends to separate. Sin has the same effect. At first, it separates us vertically from God. But as it continues, it begins to affect our horizontal relationships and causes separation from those we love the most.

,. Like leprosy, sin is a deeper problem than you think. Leprosy is not just some- thing you have. It is who you are! It takes more than creams and lotions to get well. The disease goes to the very depths of your being. And so it is with sin. You are not a sinner because you sin; rather you sin because you are a sinner. A real cure for sin must do more than alleviate symptoms and change behaviors. True health comes only when the heart is cleansed!

,. Like leprosy, sin destroys one’s pain sensors. Lepers can therefore have a broken leg and not even know it. This means that lepers often develop secondary issues that are almost as bad as the leprosy itself! Sin does the same thing.  When left unaddressed, sin will sear the conscience so that it no longer serves to warn us of the danger we are in.

,. Like leprosy, sin in its advanced stages is repulsive. In the latter stages, lepers often have oozing sores, deformed body parts and a foul odor. Like- wise, sin becomes ugly and hideous through the years. The smiling social drinker becomes the drunken bum. The happy promiscuous teen becomes a sex addict. The person who tells “little white lies” ends up in prison for grand larceny.

,. Like leprosy, sin will kill you! Because there was no cure for leprosy, all lepers eventually died of their disease. Sin is like that. Unless a cure can be found, sin will bring spiritual death in this world and eternal death in the world to come. (Romans 6:23)

Perhaps nothing Jesus ever did was more revolutionary than when he touched lepers and healed them. Wait a minute! There is one thing he did that was much more revolutionary than that: he loved sinners, forgave them and sent his Spirit to cleanse their hearts!

 

He breaks the power of canceled sin, he sets the prisoner free;

his blood can make the foulest clean; his blood availed for me.—Charles  Wesley

 

point to ponder You are not a sinner because you sin. You sin because you are a sinner.

prayer focus That the blood of Christ would forgive not only the “fruit” of your sin, but that the Spirit of Christ would also cleanse the root.

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