“The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
There is one word in this portion of holy Scripture to which we would call your attention. It is the word lost. This is God’s own word, used by Him to describe the natural state of every man, woman, and child. There is no possibility of excluding ourselves from the ranks of the lost. People may, as they often do, compare themselves with others, as to the measure or number of sins they have committed. In doing so, the self-righteous person congratulates himself that he has never been guilty of the most “serious” sins. However, these self-righteous ones are just as much lost sinners before God, as the most immoral person you can imagine. “Lost” applies to the entire human race without one solitary exception.
You or I can never be saved until we have first discovered that we are lost. The question is, has this solemn and sad truth been brought home to your soul by the awakening power of the Holy Spirit? The terrified jailer of Philippi (Acts 16) felt his lost condition under the mighty power of God: hence his alarm and fervent exclamation, “What must I do to be saved?” Unbelieving reader, do you question that you are a lost sinner? Then let me remind you that Christ came to seek and save none but the lost. God says you are lost, and His dear Son would never have left the glories of heaven to come and seek you had you not been lost. Without His wondrous grace and immeasurable love, we would all be lost forever.
See to it, then, that you do not fail to seek your true place before God now as a lost, guilty, and ruined sinner. It is God’s will for you to see and know that in His infinite love He has provided a present, perfect, and eternal salvation for you through the work of His own dear Son.
—Adapted from “Four Words” by R.A., originally published in Things New and Old.
People do not really believe that they are lost. They believe that they have sins, but it is quite another thing to have the consciousness that “I am lost.”—J.N. Darby