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June 16, 2021 12:01 am
A beloved portrayal of the gospel itself, the parable of the prodigal son is a story that we should be eager to hear again and again. Today, R.C. Sproul celebrates the lavish mercy of God toward prodigal sinners like ourselves.
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Today on Renewing Your Mind. The prodigal son.
There are a few things of this world more futile than waste to take good gift a beautiful gift and wasted thing the ways that we have wasted the gifts of God is given to us from the way of this young man was the epitome of that kind of living. That's why he's called the prodigal.
Unfortunately, this is a story that repeats itself in every generation.
We see the stark contrast between the wastefulness of the sun in the morning of his hurting father. Many Christians can relate to the rebellious son story as part of their testimony, but to understand the extent of God's grace and mercy. We also need to pay close attention to his brother is Dr. RC school. This session were going to look at one of the most popular parables that we find New Testament one that's very popular with the people of the church everywhere. It's called usually the parable of the prodigal son. Although in some Scripture texts it's given by another name.
It's called the parable of the lost son and in Luke's gospel in chapter 15. This parable does not stand alone, but it is linked with two other parables much shorter in scope. The parable of the lost coin in the parable of the lost sheep, but the context for these three parables is virtually the same and before I read the parable. Let me read the text that introduces all three of these parable that all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to him to hear him and the Pharisees and scribes complaint saying this man receives sinners and eats with them, so he spoke these parables so you get the context in which Jesus gives the parable of the prodigal son, along with the loss going and the lost sheep. It was in response to the complaint of the scribes and the Pharisees that Jesus had dealings with sinners and tax collectors saying that that is the background let's look them at the parable, then he said, a certain man had two sons and the younger of them said to his father. Father give me the portion of goods that falls to me, so he divided to them.
His livelihood and not many days after the younger son gathered all together journey to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when it spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country and he sent him into his fields to feed swine and he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine eight and no one gave him anything when he came to himself, he said, how many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger. I will arise and go to my father and will say to him. Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants. And he arose and came to his father but when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him, and the son said to him, father, I've sinned against heaven, and then your site and am no longer worthy to be called your son. The father said to his servants, bring out the best robe and put it on him put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet and bring the fatted calf here and kill it and let us eat and be merry for this my son was dead and is alive again.
He was lost and is found. They began to be married. Those older son was in the field. This he came and drew near to the house. He heard music and dancing so I called one of the servants and ask what these things meant and he said to him, your brother has come in because he is received him safe and sound. Your father has killed the fatted calf, but he was angry and were not going there for his father came out and pleaded with them then. So he answered and said to his father, lo these many years I have been serving you. I never transgressed your commandments at any time, and yet you never gave me a young goat that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came was the bar your livelihood with harlots. You killed the fatted calf for him and he said son you are always with me and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry, and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again and was lost and is fun. A short story, but what a story.
In this story we have a parable of the gospel and all of its magnificence. Wonder and beauty and grace.
The story begins with one of the Tucson's who wants to have his inheritance now. The idea of deferred gratification was not in his vocabulary. He wanted to get his hands on that money as soon as he possibly could and so he begged his father for that gift and his father allowed him to have and we are told that in a very short period of time. This boy took this treasure and they went off to afar country.
Now we gotta stop right there.
Why didn't he say where he was white and they spend the money on riotous living. Every night, and then come home to his father's house. Let's not the way sin works friends were told that we are by nature the children of darkness that we do not like to be in the light, we prefer darkness over the lights because our deeds are evil.
Every time I read this parable here this girl you know I think about living here in central Florida I think about an event that takes place every year nearby spring break right up the road at Daytona Beach where the media will give us television pictures of the riotous behavior of these college students who are spending this time. Basically using drugs, alcohol, and engaged in on bridled sexual activity. When I see the scenes on the television. I wonder about the parents of these young people how they would feel if, on the 9 o'clock news. They saw their daughter or their son involved in this debauchery why the students carry on like this in Daytona their way from home. There were nobody knows them.
And so their inhibitions, their familial ties.
Their cultural taboos have been left back where they came from, and now their free as can be to live however outrageously. They choose mess with this young man did he want to afar country were nobody knew it, or his father wouldn't see him where his brother wouldn't see them where the family servants wouldn't see him there, he wasted his possessions with prodigal living. He went through his inheritance like that throwing away acting as a prodigal wasting everything that his father had given him that story right there at that point should move us deeply because there are few things in this world more futile than waste to take good gift a beautiful gift and wasted thing the ways that we have wasted the gifts of God is given to us from the way spent them foolishly. While this young man was the epitome of that kind of living. That's why he's called the prodigal when this money was gone when it spent all the very same time came, not a recession but a famine, a severe famine.
So this man had nothing to eat and he began to be in want and so he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed the swine. This is a Jewish young and he has to now go be a servant to takes this detestable animal to the Jewish people in LA has to care for the pigs yes to live with the pigs.
He's living in a pigpen and he so hungry he so destitute that he's trying to take the food that is meant for the plagues so that he doesn't starve to death. He would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine eight but no one gave him anything that everything changes in verse 17 with the verse that I think is extremely important. We read but when he came to himself, he said, how many of my father's hard servants of bread enough and despair and I perish with hunger. In the 18th century in America the greatest revival that ever hit this Nation Took Pl. in New England and it was called the great awakening, not the great revival, not the great conversion with the great awakening because people were awakened out of their torpor. The people were awakened out of their on conscious life of unbridled sin. Their consciences were aroused, they began to realize that they were perishing, and so the conversions that took place under the ministry of Wesley and Edwards and others there in New England was called awakening when that's what happened to the prodigal son he came to he woke up he came to himself. I want to make it clear that he didn't come to himself by himself. Nobody comes to themselves by themselves. No one is awakened to the things of God by an alarm clock. Only God can awaken a torpid sinner from their slumber.
So the import.
This is a message of how God saves people who are living in pigpen's.
He came to himself and when he woke up he said I will arise and go to my father and I will say to him, I have sinned against heaven and before you. This is what happens when a sinner is awakened by grace every sinner who's ever been awakened by grace when they come to themselves, not by themselves. They say I will arise and go to my father and I will cite father, I have sinned against heaven, and I've sinned against you, make you make me one of your servants, father, I was a son in your house and I left, but now all I want is to be a slave in your house that's the heart of a converted person is not.
I'm no longer worthy to be called your son. I will ask you to call Mesa make me like one of your hard servants and so he rose and he came to his father.
Now the focus of the story changes from the prodigal son to his father reread when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran no so often in the Bible were told to gird up our war for battle or for labor, and that's imagery that is used in the New Testament would speak vividly to somebody in antiquity because they didn't wear blue jeans. They didn't wear trousers.
They wore robes that look pretty much like dresses and they would come down below the knees and the so if you're dressed in that outfit and you wanted to run you had to hike up your skirt above your knees and then put a belt around it to keep that skirt from tripping you, so that your legs would be free to run and I see the prodigal father looking off in the distance and he sees this figure approaching and he tears into the distance. He notices the manner of walking or something familiar about this figure that is coming and hoping against hope is thinking this is maybe his son, who had been gone.
I thought he might never see him again. He hikes up his skirt, heat puts the belt around them.
And this man starts running down the street to welcome his. He ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. No rebuke schooling. No admonishment, just filial love expressed with the embrace and the kiss of a joyful father in the sense of father absent against heaven and in your site and the longer worthy to be called your son. I want to hear his father says of the servants bring the best robe. Find the best robe in the house put it on.
Put a ring on his hand. The family ring signet ring ring of authority says he's my son that has full membership in his family, and in this house put sandals on his feet and bring the fatted calf here and kill it because were and have a party let's eat and be merry for this my son was dead and is alive again.
He was lost and is found. They began to be married now the focus goes on the other. Some who represents clearly the Pharisees in this parable the older son was in the field and he came drawing her to the house and he heard music and dancing so I called one of the servants what's all this noise what's going on and he said, your brothers, and because he has received him safe and sound.
Your father has killed the fatted calf.
What my no good, useless brother who took their inheritance and took off and left me back here to do all the work he's back. I will have a party. He was angry and would not going the father noticed that he was missing. So the father came out and pleaded with him and he answered and said to his father, lo these many years I've been serving you. I never transgress your commandment in a time that you never gave me a young goat that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours not as soon as my brother as soon as this son of yours came was debarred your livelihood with harlots, I haven't ever disobeyed your commandment. I've been serving you faithfully.
All this time and this kid goes out and lives with harlots, and he comes he has the nerve to come back here and you throw a party for Sisson, you're always with me.
You know that all that I have is yours. That was right that we should make merry, it was right that we should be glad your brother that is alive again. He was lost and is son he's your brother. He was dead. Now is alive. It was lost when you know where he was confined him knowing anything about it and I was found elsewhere. The New Testament tells us there's a party in heaven. Every time a sinner is converted the angel's rejoice with the Pharisees got mad. The Pharisees hated sinners, and the one thing that they like about the sinners that they thought that they were worse sinners than they were and they couldn't stand to see a sinner receive a blessing from Almighty God. If that's the heart of the Pharisee. It's the heart of an unconverted person. It's a heart of a person who doesn't understand grace at all because if I understand the graciousness of grace. How can I do anything but rejoice in anybody's receiving that grace from God.
Even if it's my worst enemy when a tremendous story Jesus could what a tail story. We need to hear and hear again and again because that person is converted to Christ as one who was dead in sin in trespasses and now has been made alive.
That person was lost like a lost sheep or loss: now that's a gospel much the men you're listening to Renewing Your Mind on this Wednesday I'm Lee Webb Dr. RC Sproul today has reminded us of the limitless nature of God's grace. The old hymn, company sinners, poor and wretched states it so well, but not conscience make you linger, nor of fitness fondly dream all the fitness he requires is to feel your need of him. The prodigal son certainly felt his need and ran home to the loving embrace of his father all week. We are examining the Unique Way, Jesus instructed his disciples. His parables capture the attention of the crowds and through them. Jesus taught about himself and the kingdom of God.
You may be familiar with these parables, but Dr. Strohl explores aspects of them that you may not have considered before. I think you will benefit from this 12 part study requested when you contact us today with a donation of any amount you can reach us by phone at 800-435-4343 or email@example.com I hope you're taking advantage of all the resources we made available online. You can always visit the archive of past Renewing Your Mind programs and listen for free.
1 Easy Way to do that is with our Lincoln air app to find audio and video clips, articles and blog posts, among other resources to search for linear in your app store tomorrow. Dr. Strohl points us to a story that warns us about being prepared for the Lord's return.
One is for the parable of the foolish versions. Thursday on Renewing Your Mind