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To Seek and to Save

March 8th, 2017

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10 KJV)

The words of Christ are simple enough, one would think, in virtually any language to clearly teach us the purpose of His coming, the impact of His death and His life, and even the means by which He will accomplish His purpose in this world. We can break it down into simple and digestible bites.

He has come with a purpose. John 3:16 in fact says that He was sent by the Father. Philippians 2:6-10 stresses His willing participation in the Father’s plan. But it means that His very being in our world was part of the divine plan of God. So anyone whose life He impacts can say that he or she were touched by God:

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13 ESV).

He has come with a mission, to save the lost. To be lost is to be under the wrath of God, according to John 3:16 and 3:36, it to perish or to abide in eternal lostness. The word translated “to be lost” is also translated “to perish.” To be lost also means to be in spiritual darkness, unable to perceive and understand the truth.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor 4:3-4 ESV)

To be saved means to be forgiven, included in the kingdom of God’s rule, illuminated in our souls to know God and to know His truth.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col. 1:13-14 ESV)

He has come with a passion. He is a seeking Savior and the first step of being saved is to be found by Christ. The text above is from His visit to a tax collector named Zacchaeus, seeking him as part of the lost of Israel. While on earth He sought out people with His presence and His message, whether it was private or public the result of the invitation was the same – to turn from sin and turn in faith to trust in Christ and surrender to His authority. His Person and His message were inseparable – as the Word of God (John 1:14) He lived the message He preached and He preached the message He lived.

Today though He searches people through the voice of His church, and the lives and influence of His followers. Paul wrote, “So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed” (1 Cor. 15:11 NLT). The principle of Christ seeking is also the principle of the Father seeking – though the difference is slight it seems to indicate Christ seeking through personal means and the Father through providential means. Christ said: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44 ESV), but we should be careful about over analyzing the seeking of Christ or the drawing of the Father, for they work together, with the Spirit, to bring people to Christ.

So He sends us into the world with a purpose – that the world may know Him – and with a mission – that people may be saved and come to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God – and with a passion – to love and to seek the lost. This is the mission He entrusted to His followers in Matthew 28:19-20, Luke 24:46-49, and Acts 1:8.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8 ESV)

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