It is only through the operation of grace, applied by the SPIRIT of GOD that a man can be brought to see and understand the incurable nature and deadly extent of the wounds which sin has inflicted upon him. The “physicians of no value” (see Job 13:4) have prescribed many different poultices and remedies of various kinds for what they perceive to be the maladies of humanity. Yet “they have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jer 6:14) We live in a day and age when the prevailing winds which purport to be the “gospel” blow with a soothing message which neither fully identifies the disease which has smitten mankind nor plainly declares the completely hopeless condition that this disease has left men in.
We are often told that the sort of message which we preach is “negative” and that we could be much more “successful” (whatever that is) if we would promote the notion that men have it within their power to seek a remedy for their problem. Yet it is clear in the scripture that the problem which is facing every man is one which they have no power to even recognize, let alone, do anything about. This is an “incurable and grievous wound”.
This wound cannot even be discovered by men apart from the revelation of the SPIRIT, let alone can those who are “dead in trespasses and sins” seek a remedy for it. One could sooner expect the residents of a funeral home to rise from their coffins and seek out treatment for the disease that put them there, as one could expect that men could be caused to seek the LORD for the remedy of their sin, by mere exhortation and the exercise of their free will.
The gospel is indeed a great source of encouragement to those whom the LORD is pleased to awaken from the dead. Dead men see no need for any remedies nor can they delight in any cure for their disease. The gospel is a message for the living and it is indeed a sweet savor of life to those who are quickened and made to hear it by the grace of GOD.
The LORD delivered a message of hope to the children of Israel (see Jer. chap 30), reiterating the fact that HE would not cast them off but would surely deliver them from their oppressors. Yet HE clearly and plainly told them that they had such an incurable and grievous wound that they could not possibly deliver themselves from it. This revelation though terrible in its substance was nonetheless a premise for their encouragement because HE also declared that HE would restore their health and destroy their enemies.
When Adam sinned, his sin was then imputed to all of his posterity, passing on the seed of death to every one of HIS seed born of woman. David understood this as he lamented his condition in the fifty first Psalm. “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psa 51:5) He knew that he had an incurable wound from which he was powerless to deliver himself from. Apart from the LORD’s mercy he knew he would perish.
David did not think so at the time, but oh what a great blessing the faithful message of Nathan the prophet was when he boldly pointed his finger in David’s face and said, “Thou art the man”. David was smitten in his heart and his “grievous wound” began to fester and pour forth its putrid odor and foul discharge. This caused David to cry out, “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” (Psa 51:2-4)
The work of the HOLY GHOST always causes a man to own that his sin makes him worthy of condemnation and is a total affront to the kindness and mercy of GOD who would be just in his destruction. Even the wickedness of men will bring forth an occasion for the name of the SAVIOR to be glorified. Though the wound is said to be “incurable” we know that it is only “incurable” by the means and activities of men, for there is ONE who can heal all diseases and who alone is able to make even the vilest of sinners clean.
The LORD who is rich in mercy to all that call upon HIS NAME, delivered (see II Sam. 12:13) the message of comfort to David by the same prophet he sent to declare unto him his “incurable wound.” “And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.” (II Sam. 12:13) Before there was ever a sin committed, the LORD JESUS was already the SAVIOR of sinners. HE was the GREAT PHYSICIAN before the blow was struck that caused man’s “incurable bruise and grievous wound”. HE is indeed that ONE who alone has healed all of the diseases of those who are HIS people and for whom HE came. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isa 53:4-5)
So, it is that this “incurable bruise and grievous wound” has been completely healed by HIM who is the GREAT PHYSICIAN. Because of the purpose of GOD to glorify HIS NAME in the redemption of HIS people, the LORD does, even now, bring this awareness to the people of HIS choice. Yet because of the hardness of their hearts, by nature, it pleases HIM to cause them to first see, the putrefying nature of their sores and hopeless condition, that they might in turn forsake all quacks and flee to HIM for aid. (see John 10:4,5)
Thus, we see the glorious nature of the gospel as it sets forth the sure remedy for all who know themselves to be struck with the incurable leprosy of sin. It is for them alone that CHRIST has bled and died. It is for them alone that HE has secured a lasting cure. Great is the mercy of GOD to all who fear HIS name, for HE is their HEALER and COMFORTER. “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Mat 5:4)
The glory of CHRIST and the extent of HIS work in the behalf of HIS elect, is demeaned by those who seek to “mollify” (see Isa.1:6) the sores of sinners with remedies which depend on their free will. CHRIST came to deliver the helpless not to offer a good solution to those who decide to cooperate with HIM. HE is the ONE who raises the dead, not, ONE who lends a helping hand. HE has “obtained eternal redemption” for everyone whom HE has purposed to save, rather than offering salvation to men who may or may not be interested. HE is the SAVIOR of sinners.
One of the most comforting of scriptures for those who know themselves to be stricken with an incurable wound is John 6:37. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” There is no uncertainty in this declaration. All of those who are given to CHRIST before the foundation of the world shall indeed come to HIM for mercy. Everyone who is made aware of their incurable wound by the operation of the SPIRIT of GOD, who cry out to HIM for mercy will never be cast from HIS presence. Rather they shall receive that which HE has prepared for them that love HIM. What a glorious REDEEMER is this CHRIST. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” (1Pe 2:24-25)mam