Consumer Reports on Health published the above headline. Simply stated: “You
have cancer. Now what?”
All over the world, physicians give this shocking news to some of their
patients: “You have cancer. Now what?”
If you were the patient, and if your physician told you: “You have cancer,”
your response would surely be: “Is there any hope?
What is there to do? What do you recommend? Doctor, if there’s no cure for
cancer, is there some way to control my cancer?”
Now, imagine your doctor saying to you: “Sorry! I can’t help you. I only
give a diagnosis. I do not prescribe any help, or medicine, to control your
THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT JESUS CHRIST—YOUR DIVINE
The Good News for you is this: Jesus Christ is your divine Physician. Jesus
not only gives you His diagnosis, He gives you His prescription and His
divine Medicine, free!
To help you understand Jesus Christ’s divine Medicine for you, please first
consider this secular illustration. Everyday, physicians are diagnosing
diseases and prescribing medicines. Many countries in which these physicians
diagnose and prescribe have strict laws. These laws require drug companies
to clearly label the active ingredient in each medicine.
For example, a label on a bottle of pain reliever may say, “active
ingredient in each tablet: “Aspirin 81 mg.” or “Ibuprofen 200
mg.” Without an active ingredient, medicine is useless.
THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT IN JESUS’ MINISTRY IN
Jesus has also given you an active ingredient for your
life. Here is how it works. As Jesus prepared to finish His public ministry,
He gave His followers instructions on how to continue His church after His
ascension. Jesus explained that the healing power He had for His disciples,
He gives to you—power to fight Sin living inside you. How does He do this?
Jesus comes to you through those who minister to you on His behalf. When
Jesus’ living Words (John 6:63) are spoken to or
breathed on you, these divine and living Words
are the active ingredient of Jesus’ medicine for you. When
you go regularly to church, you go there first to hear Jesus’ diagnosis of
your condition. You go to church also to receive the Good News that, through
Christ’s living Word in preaching and in His
Sacraments, you receive His divine Medicine, His active ingredient.
As in preaching, Absolution, and Christ-centered teaching, it is not the
eloquence of the presentation that cleanses, heals, forgives, and saves you.
In Baptism, it is not the water, in itself, that saves you, but the water
connected with the Word, as God promises. In Holy Communion, it is not
simple bread and wine that gives you spiritual nourishment, cleansing,
healing, and forgiveness, but the bread and wine together with God’s living
Word. This is how He delivers His active
ingredient, His divine Medicine to you. It is not the beauty of a
musical anthem or hymn that cleanses you from Sin, heals, and saves you.
However, when God’s living Word is the lyrics,
then God is “at work” in those who sing and hear this Word (1 Thessalonians
2:13). Through His living Word God works in you
His cleansing, forgiveness, and healing.
A VISUAL COMPARISON
To understand more clearly how earthly physicians diagnose and prescribe as
compared to how Jesus, your divine Physician, diagnoses and prescribes,
consider the following: When your doctor prescribes medicine for you to
overcome your affliction, he may give you different forms or ways to take
the medicine, such as an inoculation, pill, liquid, powder, skin patch, etc.
For example, the pain killer Tylenol can be administered as a pill, as a
liquid, or both forms given simultaneously. Sometimes, physicians insert
into the bodies of diabetes patients a tiny pump to give them regular doses
of insulin. However, when a patient has an increased need for insulin during
a sugar spike, the insulin treatment can be increased by adding a separate,
outer insulin injection.
So, in treating patients with modern medicine, even though the method of
administering the medicine may be different, the active ingredient
is always the same. In very much the same way, to overcome the deadly power
of Sin now working in you (Romans 6:6–23), God gives you His divine Medicine
in a variety of forms—and sometimes simultaneously. God gives you the active
ingredient of His divine Medicine through Baptism, Absolution,
Holy Communion, Christ-centered preaching and teaching. Through discussions
of Jesus and His Word in Christian fellowship and singing Scripture-based
hymns God’s active ingredient comes to you.
Below is a comparison of how your earthly physician and your heavenly
Physician use a variety of means to administer the medicine for your
treatment and healing.
GOD’S WONDERFUL TREATMENT COMES TO YOU IN
A VARIETY OF WAYS, CONTINUING ALL YOUR LIFE—TO FULFILL HIS
PROMISE IN ROMANS 6:6–23!
Finally, as you continue your daily struggle with Sin, always remember: As
God gives His treatment for your fight against the infectious power of Sin,
His active ingredient is always the SAME: His “living and
active” (Hebrews 4:12), Sin-destroying Word. However, for your spiritual
health and protection, God wants you to receive His same active
in a variety of ways: At your Sunday worship you may receive God’s “living
and active” divine Medicine by ear through Absolution,
preaching, and teaching, and by mouth through Holy Communion. God’s
prescription is not a matter of either/or, but both/and. He does this for
you, for your perfect and total forgiveness and for your hope of eternal
life with Him.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your divine Medicine of Your living
and disease-fighting Word. Lead me to take Your medication,
often in various forms, for my spiritual health and for the assurance of
my salvation. Amen.
human physician can give you a medicine with the same active
ingredient—in various forms.
Earthly medication for earthly disease
Your divine Physician, Jesus Christ, gives
you His same active ingredient—His living Word—also in various forms, or
in different ways, often simultaneously.
Heavenly medicine for your spiritual disease of Sin
The following recent example may also be
helpful. In late summer of 2012, U.S. public television interviewed
a specialist from the National Center for Disease Control. The
doctor spoke about a newly discovered medicine for HIV/AIDS. When
asked if this new medicine needed to be taken every day or whether
once a week would be adequate, the doctor responded that once a week
might be adequate, but once a day would be much more helpful—and
would provide much more assurance that the medicine would
Likewise, to fight the power of Sin in your life, God’s gives you
His weekly divine treatment of His living Word,
in various forms. This is indeed a great blessing.
However, if the daily devotions and Bible reading give you
additional assurance of the forgiveness of Sin—and strength to fight
the power of Sin within you—then why limit the frequency of God’s
medication for you, His living Word, to
one treatment on Sunday? If the secular world strongly encourages
daily treatment for physical HIV/AIDS, why would we think Jesus
would encourage anything less to combat spiritual HIV/AIDS?
For further study, turn to the Bible Study on page 36, questions
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