Lost in the Church
I want to speak on the subject this evening of lost church members. I presume that the majority of you are members of a church. In fact, the overwhelming majority of you are members of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida.
These lengthy words which I have read to you from the pen of the Apostle Paul are found in the first major division of the book of Romans. I think it will be helpful for us to set the stage of these verses to understand the thrust of what I want to speak to you this evening concerning.
In the opening chapters of the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul is something like a prosecuting attorney. His purpose is to put the whole human race on trial and to show that every person everywhere is a sinner and that all people everywhere need a Savior.
As you read through you will discover that he is making the case that all people are sinners and that all people need a Savior. He is laying the black velvet of human sin. He is showing the fact that all people everywhere are sinners.
Then in the middle of the third chapter of Romans he will lay the beautiful diamond of the gospel of the Lord Jesus. The beautiful gospel, the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, is made even more beautiful and glitters and sparkles even greater against the backdrop of human sin.
The gospel is good news. It is the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the sins of the whole world. But the good news is seen more clearly and in more beauty when it is seen on the backdrop of human sin.
As you move through these opening chapters of Romans, one by one Paul begins to address different groups in the human race. For instance, in chapter one, he talks to the total pagan. He talks about that person who is in pagan darkness.
In Romans 1, right toward the conclusion of that chapter, he proves the case that the total pagan is a sinner and is in desperate ...
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