Teaching Notes: On Being A Seeker

The term “seeker” is used a lot in Christian circles today (e.g. seeker friendly, seeker sensitive, seeker focused).  I found this Bible study about being a seeker from more than 40 years ago that may be helpful as you consider the proper use of the term.

[These notes are from a Bible study taught more than 40 years ago. The notes are in outline form.]

A. The Savior

What does He seek after?

And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:1-10

The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:19-24

Jesus came “to save that which was lost.” His message was demanding and direct. He called on people to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate them even as they hated Him and would persecute them (John 15:19-21).

B. The Sinner

What does the sinner seek after? Well, to get a better idea of what the lost sinner does seek after, let’s first look at what they don’t seek after –

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:9-18

If the lost sinner does not seek after God, then what do they seek after? The Scriptures are quite clear that they seek after sin. They search out selfish indulgences, vain rewards, and hopeless dreams. They seek after position and power, pleasure and pomp. Sinful people are wholly given over to “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.” Lost sinners are totally depraved and depraved totally. They sin sinfully and are sinfully sinful.

Even though sinners do not naturally “seek” after God, God seeks for them and gives them a path to eternal life. Here’s how Paul continues his thought about everyone being “under sin” (Romans 3:19-28) –

  • Whatever the law says, it says to them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God
  • No flesh will be justified before God by performing deeds of the law for by the Law is the knowledge of sin
  • The righteousness of God without the Law is made known, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ to everyone who believes
  • There’s no difference because everyone has sinned and come short of the glory of God
  • Sinners are justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
  • God set Jesus forth to be the atonement for our sins through faith in the shed blood of Christ, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God
  • God is just and the justifier of the person who believes in Jesus Christ
  • Sinners are justified by faith without the deeds of the Law

C. The Saint

What does the saint seek after? Well, we are not saints because of what we do, but because of who we are in Jesus Christ – children of God. Our position in heaven is that of a saint, but our practice on earth may look more like that of a sinner at times. There is sometimes little difference between the actions and lifestyles of a lost sinner and a saved saint. However, there should be all the difference in the world! God has called each one of us to be seekers of those things which are above –

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LordWhat man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Psalm 34:1-14

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.” Proverbs 2:1-9

“They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the Lord understand all things.” Proverbs 28:4-5

“Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:12

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:1-6

Let’s look briefly at this list of what saints should seek after –

  1. The things which are above
  2. The Kingdom of God and His righteousness
  3. The Lord (we will be delivered from all fears and shall not want any good thing)
  4. Peace
  5. Wisdom, knowledge and understanding
  6. The Lord (we will understand all things)
  7. To build up the Body of Jesus Christ
  8. God

How do we become seekers of God, His righteousness and the things above where Christ is?

  1. Total commitment to the search
  2. Complete training for the search
  • Studying the Bible, fellowshipping and praying daily – Acts 2:41-42
  • Coming under the equipping ministry of the Body throughout the week – Ephesians 4:11-16

So, here’s our challenge –

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:17-24

[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from more than 40 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your ministry.]

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