Summary: A sermon on salvation using the illustrative parable of the lost sheep.
Last weekend as I sat in the hospital room with my wife, our nephew Trenton, found a can of shaving cream sitting on the table. He picked up the can, brought it over to me and began to ask questions about it. So, I began to explain to him that when he got older like Uncle Paul and Grandpa, he would have to use shaving cream on his face to shave off his beard. I explained to him that Aunt Franny and Grandma use shaving cream to shave their legs. I paused for a moment as said, "Trenton, when you get a little older and go to church camp, you will need to take some shaving cream just like this to camp with you." I left it at that.
However, Grandma began to reminisce of her days at church camp. She proceeded to tell her story. "Trenton, when Grandma went to camp, the other campers waited until I had left the cabin, then they took toothpaste and wrote on my pillow, ’We love you Ginny!’".
This story caught Trenton’s attention. Anytime someone would come into the hospital room to visit with Frances, Trenton would say, "Grandma, tell them that story." To which Grandma would reply, "What story Trenton?"
"You know, the camp thing," said Trenton.
Grandma would then proceed to tell the simple little story of how the kids wrote with toothpaste on her pillow. This past Wednesday, we road to church with Grandma and Trenton. Trenton was in the back of the van. About half way to church, Trenton said, "Grandma, tell me that story again." To which Grandma replied, "What story, Trenton?"
"You know, the camp thing." To which Grandma replied, "Trenton, honey, you have already heard that story several times. You do not need me to tell you that story again."
Trenton then said, "But Grandma, would you please tell me that story. I like to hear it." Grandma then proceeded to tell the story once again.
There is something about Grandma’s story that just captivates Trenton. I don’t what that is. But, I do know that whatever it is that catches his attention in that simple little story, keeps him coming back again and again to hear the story. As I thought about that, I thought about the fact that there is a story that I love to hear told over and over again. This story which I love to hear is wrapped up in one simple statement that Jesus made, "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." (Matthew 18:11-14)
The Story Begins With The Reason That Jesus Came
Let me remind you that in Genesis chapters 1 through chapter 3 we have recorded for us the history of the creation of the human race and it’s fall into sin and depravity. In the midst of the creation, God gathered some dust up on the ground and breathed into this form the breath of life. He then took this human being, which we know to be Adam, and placed him in the Garden of Eden. There he was to have dominion over the garden and over the animals.
It was during this time, that God came to Adam and revealed to Adam the food that he could and could not eat. While Adam was there in the Garden, God saw that it was not good for him to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Therefore, God placed Adam into a deep sleep. He then miraculously removed a rib from Adam. He placed the rib on the ground next to Adam, formed the dust around this rib and breathed into this form the breath of life. God then awakened Adam and presented him with his new wife, Eve, the mother of all living.
Please remember that at this point, Adam and Eve were in complete harmony with God their creator. Their lives were complete in Him. They had a relationship that was an intimate relationship with Him.
Then, Satan slithered his way into their lives. He took Eve off to the side and began to question the word of God to them. He lied to them. He convinced Eve that if she would eat of the tree which produced the forbidden fruit, that her and Adam would not die, but rather the would gain knowledge and "be as gods."(Genesis 3:4-5) Eve took the fruit and ate. She then convinced Adam to eat. When this happened, their relationship with God their creator had been severed. God was no longer their life. Thereby, when Adam and Eve stepped into sin by their disobedience, that unrighteousness and sin is not placed upon every person born into this world.
The reason that Christ came was for the purpose of saving those who are lost in sin.