Osmosis Evangelism

This week I have a guest blogger. His name is Shane Ocon. He is part of a gathering of believers I fellowship with in Nashville, TN. Shane has this week’s edition of an earthly shadow of Christ. He is writing on something he has seen in nature and how it has been revealed to him to be a shadow of Christ. I hope you enjoy his contribution to the Body as much as I do!

How do we share the Good News? Is Christ in heaven saying, “Can I get a street witness?” Or by the process of Osmosis?

Actually, Christ doesn’t need us at all. We just get in the way of letting His Spirit flow. I remember one day I thought I could make an impact for the kingdom by sharing the Gospel with a coworker, who, in my estimation, needed Jesus…. This conversation ended in a debate about hell which left me feeling quite discouraged.

Does this sound familiar? I’m sure you have your own stories. I remember being so frustrated. The next day I woke up and as I was getting ready for the day I told the Lord, “If you want to use me to share the Gospel, that’s fine, but I am done trying to save people.”

Later that very same day, I was talking with a coworker who was not a believer to my knowledge. He asked me about my perspective on the church and we wound up talking about Jesus before I even realized what was happening. I truly believe this was the Lord telling me that I don’t need to try to make things happen. He arranges these things, not me.

But do we need to save people from hell? Do we save people from hell? I believe we, in ourselves, have no power to save the lost or edify the body of Christ. Our only ability to do this comes from the Lord. Just as Jesus was dependent on his Father, so we are dependent upon Him for our spiritual power. Remember what Jesus said in John 5,

Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing. (John 5:19 NASB)

We have the same relationship with Him today as He had 2000 years ago!

The other day my wife was telling me a story about her sister. She said, “Ashley was such a precious little girl. I remember she couldn’t sleep at night because she would stay up praying for her two friends in the neighborhood to know Jesus. Ashley was afraid that if her friends did not accept Jesus as Lord they would go to hell. What a precious child. I hope because of her prayers those kids are saved today. Still, I hope she didn’t feel it was her responsibility to save them. How dreadful? This conviction to save lost souls first made it’s appearance in D.L. Moody’s Gospel [1] and is still prevalent in the Gospel we hear today.

Anyone who appreciates the fine arts can pick out a Picasso, right? Examining the essence of God’s creation has much to say about its creator. Osmosis serves as a wonderful metaphor for sharing the Good News of Christ. Let’s begin by looking at a definition of osmosis by Darel Rex Finley –

The process by which small molecules automatically cross a semi-permeable membrane, compensating for a difference in the concentration of those molecules on either side of the membrane.

Let’s break it down to a science for a moment. In osmosis we have the difference in the concentration of a solute (say water) to a solvent (say sugar-red). Both of these substances are in one area separated by a semi-permeable membrane which allows certain solvents to pass through the membrane until the pressure has reached an equilibrium.

Let’s take plant cells for example. Plant cells reach an equilibrium of water pressure by osmosis. The turgor pressure of the cell pushes the plasma membrane against the cell wall. A semi-permeable membrane allows smaller molecules such as oxygen and nitrogen to flow through it while not allowing larger molecules like proteins and ions to enter it. Thus, water moves in and out of the cell. The water gives life to the cell and prevents it from drying up and becoming damaged or dying.

I believe Christ comes to us in much the same way! When the circumstances in our lives are becoming unbearable we need some relief. The turgor pressure of our cell, if you will, is rising. We are drying up inside and we are desperate for water; the Life of Christ in us. He is the source of life just as water is life to a dying cell.

The question is, how do we open up our semi-permeable membrane to receive this life giving water? The answer: We don’t. The semi-permeable membrane is the Holy Spirit working in our lives and revealing the mysteries of the Father to us through his Son. The only thing we can do is turn to the Lord.

Osmosis relates to evangelism because the Lord controls the turgor pressure in our lives. We don’t decide when other people are ready to open their semi-permeable membrane and receive him, the Holy Spirit does. Still, just like water, when we are flowing in the Spirit of the Lord, we want to flow freely, everywhere, penetrating every cell in creation.

The whole purpose of the turgor pressure rising in the cells of our lives is that we would open up and receive His life. When we receive that water it becomes part of us. We become the same substance, the substance is Christ, and we live by the water the Holy Father orchestrates to flow into our lives. May our lives become one with Him and his Holy Spirit give life and peace to our ailing souls.

Once we have received this water, His Son, the Holy Christ, causes us to live the same Life as Him. Thus, the Life of Christ goes forth on this earth and gives glory to our Father, the Lord of Hosts. By the breathe of His mouth He strikes down the dominion of His enemies. When
we are in touch with the Life of Christ in us we can give language to this Life and edify the body of Christ. We become a part of His Living Body; able to move, receive and give Life. When we are not focused on doing things for Christ, we can simply be in Christ and, thus, influence the world for His Purpose.

Thank you for reading this article, Osmosis Evangelism, by Shane Ocon. What a revelation of Christ through a biological and created system! What biological, created system reveals Christ to you?

[1] Viola, Pagan Christianity, p. 69 (Note: If you have ever seen the movie The Matrix, this book is known as the red pill of Christianity.)


  1. jimpuntney · July 16, 2012

    Shane, I really liked your approach using osmosis as an example of the Holy Spirit moving within us.

    Several years ago I was given a project at work to provide a good source of drinking water for the facility that I work at. This ended up being a study in reverse osmosis filtration. In using this method one can take the polluted water and pass it through the reverse osmosis filter and it removes everything except H2O.

    Reading this article of yours reminded me of the need we all have to allow the Holy Spirit to have the reverse osmosis effect within our lives.

    Thanks Shane for your perspective.

    • Shane Ocon · July 17, 2012

      Jim, thanks for you comment amen brother! We all need his purifying power or we gave nothing!

  2. Trevor Honeycutt · July 17, 2012

    Good word Shane & Mark. Reminds me of Moses throwing the tree (Christ) into the bitter waters (humanity) to turn them sweet.

    • Shane Ocon · July 17, 2012

      Trevor, it’s like the difference between the tea in the North and the South. Without the life of Jesus we are just unsweet.

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