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Consumer Reports on Health published the above headline. Simply stated: “You have cancer. Now what?”

SHOCKING WORDS!

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 cancer.”

THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT JESUS CHRIST—YOUR DIVINE PHYSICIAN!

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 YOUR LIFE!

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 ingredient, SIMULTANEOUSLY, 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.



Your human physician can give you a medicine with the same active ingredient—in various forms.
                   
      11_pills                  11_liquid        11_syringe



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.


11_baptism           11_communion        11_absolution               11_preaching

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 work. 


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 16–­21.

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