May Christ Be In You (Newsletter 4-5)

by Bruce Howell

In Isaiah 53:4-6 the prophet states that we are as. sheep gone astray. In a world of political cor­rectness the truth is really simple. Without God one is not “un-churched,” “inactive,” or “of a different faith.” He is lost!

There are ten instances in the New Testament where the word lost is used directly or metaphorically in reference to being separated from God. Jesus referred to lost sheep, lost sons, and lost coins. The word means “unable to find one’s way.”l One definition of the Greek word is “given to the misery of hell.”2 The fact is simple. Without Jesus Christ in his life, one is lost and on his way to hell!

But Isaiah said that Jesus “bore our iniquity,” therefore, salvation is possible through Jesus Christ. The sentence of death for sin was paid by the sinless One. Jesus was the only sinless One, therefore, salvation is not possible without him. Indeed, Acts 4:12 declares that there is salvation in none other than Jesus.

Second Corinthians 4:3-4 reveals that if the gospel is hidden to a person, then that person is lost. He is not “less saved,” but totally lost. The Bible to not ascribe to the idea being “saved, saved-er”, and saved-est.” If they are saved without the gospel, then why preach the gos­pel? Paul said, “The god of this world (Satan) has blinded their minds lest the light of this glorious gospel of Jesus Christ should shine in them.” He did not see people without the gospel as “less saved” – he saw them as lost! Until this revelation comes to a person, he will never understand the beauty of grace. Man needs salvation!

One also needs to understand that, in his lost con­dition, he is under the threat of judgment because of what he is, what he has done, and what he has not done. In Psalm 51:5 David declared that man has a fallen nature. He claims that there is an inborn nature that has hounded him since birth that pulled him to­ward sin and iniquity. In other words, man has a fallen nature because of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.

As with Adam and Eve, guilty people seem to hide themselves from the presence of God. First Corinthians 15:22 reveals that Adam’s choice affected all of human­ity. Man is born into a fallen state. No one has to teach a child to be dishonest. They have to be taught honesty and integrity. Man is first under threat of judgment be­cause of what he is.

Man is also under threat of judgment because of what he has done. If his corrupt nature was not enough, his actions are certain to doom him. Romans 3:23 lets us know that man is indeed in trouble. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The Biblical declaration that the soul that sins shall die
(Ezekiel 18), added to the reality that all have sinned, really seals man’s doom. Romans 6:23 declares that “the wages of sin is death.” Therefore, man is under threat of judgment because of what he is and what he has done.

The third crime is the sin of omission, what man has not done. The remainder of I Corinthians 15:22 says, ” … even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” There is a way out. The remainder of Romans 6:23 adds, ” … but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

“The god of this world has blinded the minds of many lest they see the light of this glorious gospel.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) Failure to believe and obey the gos­pel leaves a person under the curse of sin. Therefore, man is under threat of judgment because of what he is, what he has done, and what he has not done. This leaves everyone who has not obeyed the gospel in the same condition – lost! Once a per­son receives this revelation, then, and only then, is he ready for the message of salvation. Jesus can most certainly find you, no matter how lost you are!