Written on December 27th, 2006 - 11:40PM Last Updated: December 28th, 2006 - 2:58PM
For the Son of Man came to save that which was lost. (Matthew 18:11)
Having just told the disciples about the importance of removing all stumbling blocks in one's life that would keep them from entering God's Kingdom, Jesus warns them not to despise or cause these little ones to stumble; these same ones whom Jesus said would be those who would be greatest in God's Kingdom (Matthew 18:1-7). Those who, rather than stumbling, are willing to go to extremes to keep it from happening (Matthew 18:8-9)—these little ones the Lord tells His disciples not to despise, for their angels always see the face of His Father in heaven (Matthew 18:10). They have spiritual messengers sent to help them, these ones about to inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:13-14).
Then Christ reveals why they are not to be despised: although they are ruining their souls (sometimes for His sake), He has once come (ηλθεν) to save them. "Come" is second aorist, active indicative. It happened at a point in time (His birth as the Son of Man by Mary through the HolySpirit), is definite (it did in fact happen), and is active (He did it Himself). He did the coming; even though the Father sent Him (1 John 3:14), the Lord Jesus did the coming itself (1 Timothy 1:15).
Why did He come? Christ came to save (σωσαι) the ones being lost. Once lost to themselves, He is fully able and willing to deliver them. "To save" means to deliver, rescue, keep safe and sound, preserve. Here it is in the form of aorist, active infinitive, meaning He came to save at a specific point in time, and He does the saving. Taken with the rest of scripture, we can see Him prophesying of His death upon the Cross and later Resurrection. Through that death He delivered those who were lost.
What of these ones who were lost? Here is our study word, in the form second perfect, active participle, meaning: these ones were the ones doing the losing of themselves, it was a completed action of losing themselves, and it was continual. This is the same form as the "lost" sheep of the House of Israel unto which Jesus was sent and also sent His disciples (Matthew 10:6)(Matthew 15:24). Whether it is done for the right reason, or is unintentional, the result is the same: they are doing the destroying, losing, ruining, of themselves, in a complete way that has lasting effects.
Jesus, the Son of Man, came to save these ones! This is the promise that enables us to follow through on His counsel elsewhere to lose our life, our soul, our mind, for His sake and the Gospel's. Whether we do it willingly, or unwillingly, His promise remains to save us, that our life, our soul, our mind, will be found continually! HalleluYah!
Jesus also elsewhere told His disciples this in another way, after they had asked whether they should call down fire on those to destroy them, because those people didn't receive him out of pride, thinking He were going to Jerusalem and only stopping in their village (Luke 9:51-55):
For the Son of Man didn't come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." They went to another village. (Luke 9:56)
This sounds like His other statement, that the Son of Man came to save the ones losing themselves. Here He reveals that the Son of Man did not come "to destroy" ("to lose") men's souls, but to save them. Both verbs are the aorist, active infinitive, just as in that other promise. Jesus came not to destroy men's souls but to save them.
As we saw elsewhere, He counsels us to do the destroying, or losing, of our souls for His sake in order to find them. Whatever in our selves and lives that keeps us from Him, we are to lose. But He has not come to do that to us—His purpose is to save us who do so!
According as we give up or "lose" those things in our lives (souls) that prevent us from Him, He promises to deliver us. Not only will we find our souls, but our entire beings will be delivered by Him—spirit, soul and body!
As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.
But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.
This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, ChristJesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.
You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.
God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.
That Son, JesusChrist, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.
His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.
The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.
So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.
Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!
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