From Lost To Found


Sermon Outline By Terry Siverd

Cortland Church of Christ / August 13, 2017

Have you ever been LOST?

Jeannie tells a story about how, as a young girl (about six or seven years old), she once got lost in a cornfield.

Her father was visiting with his uncle Jess and aunt Bertie in northern Alabama.

The adults were on the porch and Jeannie decided to explore.  She wandered into the cornfield and got disoriented.

Thankfully she was found quickly, but she admits that she got frightened.

Our new dog, Bodie, has a tendency to teleport himself from one location to another in a mere milli-second.

On numerous occasions he has literally disappeared right out from under our feet.

This is a scary thought in light of the thick woods abutting the backside of our house and Rt.11 - -

these woods are known to harbor coyotes, plus there’s the thought of him venturing onto a four-lane highway.

Back before he was neutered, I walked him late one afternoon at Fowler Cemetery.

Siggy loved that place.  It’s fenced in for the most part and is next to a pasture with horses and a pond with ducks.

Bo heard dogs barking and took off for a kennel across the road, scampering under the fence.

Bo and I ended up meeting the owner of five beautiful bird dogs.

Bodie is a good dog and has become fairly obedient … except when his nose catches the scent of a critter.

At that juncture his ADD kicks in big time and he appears to become oblivious to calls for obeidence.

I’ve tried to train him to come to the car horn.  At our recent church camp he temporarily vanished

a couple of times, but fortunately he always came running when I tooted the horn.

Someone astutely asked, “What do you do when you’re not near the car?”

He has a micro-chip implanted in him and I’m wondering if that chip can be connected to a smart phone.

If not, this might be an open invitation for some entrepreneurial endeavor - - afte all, people love their dogs.

Harold & Eva Hibbs once told me that one of their favorite pastimes in their prime-time years

was to travel by car aimlessly so as to become lost…and then to have to find their way home.

Now that I’m a prime-timer, I have a hankering to try that!  I have gotten lost before, but not on purpose.

Physical maps are very rapidly becoming obsolete - - a tool of days gone by.

The introduction of GPS has contributed to almost eradicating the concept of being lost.

What I really what to speak about this morning is the concept of being spiritually LOST.

Once of the most obtuse (blunt) encounters recorded from the life of Jesus is found in Mt.15:21-28.

Mark’s account (Mk.7:24) indicates that Jesus was seeking seclusion or solitude.

In the Matthew’s account, which we just read, Jesus’ disciples urge him to, “send her away…” (vs.23).

Jesus, responses by saying:  “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

However, because of this Gentile woman’s intense persistence and because of her expression

of great faith, Jesus deviated from His primary mission, and healed her daughter.

This story jibes (harmonizes) with an earlier account in Mt.10:5-6, when Jesus gave directions to His disciples.

These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them, saying, ‘Do not go in the way of the Gentiles,

and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.’

If we tried to try to explain the reason for Jesus’ incarnation, Lk.19:10 would be essential to ascertaining His mission.

For the Son of Man has come TO SEEK AND SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST.

After His crucifixion and just prior to His ascension Jesus gave the disciples THE GREAT COMMISSION.

Go into ALL THE WORLD and preach the gospel TO ALL CREATION / Mk.16:15 

Acts 1:8 states: be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and all Judea, Samaria and even to the remotest parts of the earth.

At this summer’s Camp 2:52, our theme was, I am not ashamed

These words come from Paul’s declaration in Rom.1:16 - -

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation

to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Gentile).

The gospel of Christ is for all of us.

All of US need the gospel of Christ because we are all sinners.

Rom.3:9-10 makes this point with unambiguous terminology.

Both Jews and Greeks (everybody else) are all UNDER SIN.  There is none righteous, not even one.

To be under sin means to be a sinner.  A sinner is someone (anyone and everyone) who “misses the mark”.

i.e., we disobey God’s will - - whether intentionally or accidentally.

We are not “sinners” only when we occasionally behave in a nasty, vile, wicked or reprobate manner,

we are sinners because we simply do not have what it takes to walk perfectly, even on our best of days.

Some sinners are mean and ruthless and rotten to the core, the very epitome of evil.

Other sinners, perhaps most of us, may have the best of intentions but we are nonetheless weak and faltering.

Jesus came to teach us.  He came to show us how to live.


As God’s only begotten Son (Jn.3:16), Jesus was sent by His HOLY Father, to redeem us (to buy us back).

By His sinless life, Jesus paid the debt for our sin, so that our Holy God could justifiably welcome us into His presence.

Over forty years of preaching I have come to cherish one Scripture perhaps above others.

I know that all Scripture is inspired and important, but this one verse is a beautiful summary of the whole Bible.

You have heard me quote it so many times.

You might have even concluded that “I’m hung up on this text.”

And I am - - here in this single verse is what the story of the Bible is all about

If this verse is not highlighted in your Bible it needs to be.

Underscore it.  Put a big asterisk beside it.  Box it in.


He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


The first act that had to be accomplished was completed by our Savior Jesus.

He gave Himself for our sins / Gal.1:4

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross / 1Pet.2:24

This is what the cross of Christ was all about - - Jesus becoming sin on our behalf.

The next step is up to us.

God has charted a clear path whereby we might obtain atonement (to be at one with the Father).

How do we become the righteousness of God in HIM? (2Cor.5:21b)

How do we die to sin and live to righteousness? (1Pet.2:24b)

The key to how we go from being LOST to being FOUND is IN HIM (Philp.3:9).

How do we get into Christ Jesus?

God has designed something so simple, so available, so readily accessible.

This is what BAPTISM is all about.

We are not just baptized.  We are not just baptized in a watery grave.  We are baptized INTO CHRIST JESUS.

Listen to Rom.6:3-4

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

Paul summarizes in Rom.6:10-11

For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Even so, consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God IN CHRIST JESUS.

When we are baptized it allows us to say with Paul (Gal.2:20) - -

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  And the life which

I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.

Baptism in not just an immersion in water, it is the crucifixion of our own selfish will.

Have you been baptized?

Have you died to self?

Have you crucified your own self-centered will and declared Christ to be the Lord of your life?

If you have not responded to the love of God in this way, I invite you to do so today.

Don’t put off doing what you know God is calling you to do.

Don’t delay in doing what the Bible clearly instructs you to do.

Don’t turn aside from the only means that you have to go from being lost to found.

Saul of Tarsus met Jesus on the road to Damascus.

Previously he worked feverishly to destroy everything that Jesus stood for.

Yet the Scriptures reveal that God, being rich in mercy, opened the door for Saul.

In a dramatic close encounter, Jesus told Saul, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting (Acts 9:5).

Jesus also told him to rise, and enter the city, and it shall be told to you what you must do (Acts 9:6).

Saul of Tarsus was filled with remorse.  He fasted and prayed fervently (Acts 9:9 & 11).

God sent a somewhat reluctant servant named Ananias to provide simple instructions to Saul of Tarsus.

Why do you delay?  Arise, and BE BAPTIZED, and wash away your sins, calling on His name. /Acts 22:16

When we come to the end of our life on earth, the only thing that will really matter

is that we will be able to kneel before Almighty God and declare that WE STAND IN CHRIST JESUS.

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