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Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide - 3rd Quarter 2015, July 16 2015

Thursday, July 16

A New Believer

“Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift your servant” (2 Kings 5:15, NIV). In what ways do these words help reveal the experience of salvation? See Rev. 14:12; 1 John 5:2, 3; Rom. 6:1.

It would have been easy for Naaman to return directly from Jordan to Damascus after his healing. However, as a gesture of thankfulness, he and his attendants returned to the prophet’s place. This time they met Elisha in person. The confession that the God of Israel is sovereign in the world is the main theme of the Bible. These words coming from a pagan constitute one of the high points in Old Testament revelation. Naaman’s conversion made clear that his new experience had to be tied to the God of Israel. The prophet was Israelite, the river was the most important in Israel. And the number seven was a clear connection to the God of creation.

What we see with Naaman is an example of how true faith works; Naaman received something that HE could never have earned on his own. The fact that Elisha refused the gifts (2 Kings 5:16) was a ways of showing how salvation cannot be earned or bought, but is wholly of God’s grace. At the same time, however, Naaman’s willingness to give something to Elisha for what he had done for him shoes the response of faith, a response out of gratefulness for what had been given him. Elisha refused the gift. Here he followed the example of Abraham when he helped the padan kings but refused rewards with the words that no one should be able to say, “I made Abram rich” (Gen. 14:23, NIV). Elisha knew that acceptance of a fight would have spoiled the lesson Naaman should learn. The healing was the work of God and an act of sheer grace.

“Let this point be fully settled in every mind: If we accept Christ as a Redeemer, we must accept Him as a Ruler. We cannot have the assurance and perfect confiding trust in Christ as our Savior until we acknowledge Him as our King and are obedient to His commandments. Thus we evidence our allegiance to God. We have then genuine ring in our faith, for it is a working faith. It works by love.”- Ellen G. White, Faith and Works, p. 16.

If others were to look at your life, what would they see in it that reveals your love for God because of what He has done for you in Christ?

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