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Christ, Our Savior

by Ron Bartanen

bartenen3“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10 ).

With these few words, Jesus defined His purpose in coming into this world—to “seek and to save that which is lost.”  This poses some questions regarding the situation of man and his relationship to God.

What is there about man’s situation that would necessitate our being sought and saved? Some would assume that such is not needed.  They do not see themselves as lost.  Divine intervention into their lives is seen as needless intrusion, and unwelcomed.  For these, the coming of Jesus into our world, and His death upon the cross, is perceived as senseless.  The Bible, however, declares otherwise, affirming that man is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1 ).  For any who might think themselves an exception to the rule, it is also said, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 ).  The seriousness of this condition is that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6: 23a).  God’s word gives no credence to the popular “I’m okay, you’re okay” philosophy of life.

From what situation does Christ save? It is seen in the statement of the angel to Joseph, explaining to him God’s purpose in Christ’s birth to Mary: “She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21 ).  The central message of the New Testament scriptures is that through Jesus Christ we may be delivered from the guilt, power and consequences of sin.  The “Gospel” (Good News) of Christ is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Romans 1:16 ).  Paul defined the Gospel by which man is saved in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 : “Christ died for our sins…was buried…and rose again,” being witnessed by not only the apostles, but as many as 500 others following His resurrection.  Had He not come, and had He not fulfilled His mission, all would be without hope, still lost and alienated from our Creator.

To whom is Jesus the Savior? While He seeks and saves the lost, sadly, not all who are sought are found and saved.  Multitudes reject Him, contenting themselves with the material things of life and the philosophies rampant in the world.  Through the Gospel He calls upon man to “believe to the saving of his soul” (Hebrews 10:39 ).  In commissioning His apostles to preach the Gospel “to every creature,” He declared, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.  He that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16 ).  These believers compose the church, the community of the redeemed, who have “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine” that had been delivered to them, then “being made free from sin,” and have  thereby become “servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18 ).  While the church is not the savior, it is the saved (Acts 2:47 ), those who have been purchased by Jesus’ blood.

Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior?

 

Ronald Bartanen is minister of the Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL

 




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33