In this sermon, our founding pastor, W. Graham Smith, preaches on 2 Kings Chapter 5– the story of Naaman and how he looked for substitutes. He relates this desire for substitutes to people in our own time and the things people see as substitutes for Christ today– modern substitutes for Christ.  Here are some excerpts:

“In our text, we find Naaman, the four-star general of the Syrian Army, complaining bitterly. You see, Naaman was a leper, and he had come to the Jewish prophet Elisha to be cured. But Elisha hadn’t even troubled to come out of his house to greet his eminent visitor. He had simply sent him this message by his servant, “Go and wash yourself seven times in the River Jordan, and you will be cured…”

“Naaman was completely enraged. “He thinks I’ll bathe in that dirty mud puddle Jordan?!” he roared…”

The Challenge Today

“Today this old story of Naaman is so up-to-date that it challenges each one of us…”

“When we are truly honest with ourselves, we really have to admit that we are a bit “dirty inside.” Indeed, if God were to place a placard on your back recording the ten worst things you have ever thought or said or done, who of us would not blush with shame?…”

“But that is precisely why the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth, to deal with our sin by dying for it on a Cross. And because He took our place, and died to make atonement for our sins, a holy God can now accept us back into His family if we come to Him through Christ, and in repentance and faith….”


Modern Substitutes For Christ. Graham has a lot more to say about this topic. If you would like to learn more, please download and read the attached transcript of the sermon, as the above excerpts do not even scratch the surface. If you would like to do a word search on the transcript, download the file, and then open the file with your web browser after downloading and use your browser’s find feature.


January 1, 1989

2 Kings 5:12

Rev. W. Graham Smith

Download Transcript (PDF)