Lost And Found

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Sermon: Lost And Found Date: March 31, 2024, Afternoon Text: Luke 15 Series: Luke Preacher: Brian Garcia Audio: https://storage.googleapis.com/pbc-ca-sermons/2024/240331-LostAndFound.aac

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Amen. Church, please stay standing and turn to your Bibles in Luke chapter 15. I decide to end my tenor here as your pastor with a bang, so we're going to do a whole chapter for the afternoon service.
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Pretty bold of me. Luke chapter 15, starting in verse 1, hear ye this afternoon the word of the
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Lord. Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
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And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, This man receives sinners and eats with them. So he told them this parable,
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What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety -nine in open country and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?
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When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them,
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Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost. Just so I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the ninety -nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
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Or what man, having ten silver coins, if he loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?
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And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.
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Just so I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
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And he said, There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father,
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Father, give me the share of the property that is coming to me. And he divided his property between them.
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Not many days later, the younger son gathered all that he had and took a journey into the far country.
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And there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need.
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So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs.
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He was longing to be fed of the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
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But when he came to himself, he said, How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger.
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I will rise and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.
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I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants. He arose and came to his father.
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But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
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And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I no longer worthy to be called your son.
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But the father said to his servants, Bring quickly the best robe and put it on him. And put a ring on his hand, shoes on his feet, and bring the fattened calf and kill it and let us eat and celebrate.
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For this my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.
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And they began to celebrate. Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
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And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. He said to him,
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Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.
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But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father,
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Look, these many years I have served you, and I have never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat that I might celebrate with my friends.
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But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.
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And he said to him, Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead and is alive.
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He was lost and is found. This is the word of the Lord, you may be seated.
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The story of Christianity can be summed up in those words, lost and found.
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The beauty and the majesty of the gospel can be summed up in those words as well.
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Friends, all of us in Adam were desperately lost, and in Christ we have been found.
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What amazing grace, what love of our tender Father. This entire chapter of chapter 15 of Luke has that very same theme running through the three parables that Jesus presents.
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He first presents a parable of a lost sheep, and how a good shepherd will go after the one sheep that strays over the 99.
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I did give you an insert this afternoon, so I encourage you to one last time follow along with me in our teaching this afternoon.
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You see, the Pharisees criticized Jesus for this reason. It says again in verse 2, and the
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Pharisees and the scribes grumbled saying, this man receives sinners and eats with them. Remember just last week when we talked about the banquet that the
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Lord Jesus prepares for us, and Jesus teaching and talking about this banquet table, and the
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Pharisees when they see Jesus, they say, this man is a friend of sinners.
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This man receives and eats with sinners. How scandalous.
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Now this indeed was scandalous for a time, for the perception among the ruling elites in the religious system of Judaism in the day was that you do not associate with the unclean, whether it be from diseases, this we've been going through the book of Leviticus, we've seen the things that are considered clean, unclean, certain foods, certain clothing items, things that have touched the dead, things that have been touched during women's menstrual cycle.
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All these things make one ceremonially unclean. Sin makes us all unclean.
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And so the Pharisees saw Jesus, they say, this man is unclean because he sits in the midst of sinners.
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He receives sinners to himself. Clearly, this is not a righteous man. This is a man who calls and dines with sinners, not with us, not with the righteous, not with the ones who have it all figured out.
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The mark of a religious hypocrite and Pharisee is someone who thinks they have it all figured out.
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Friends, even our best attempts will fall short. We do not have it all figured out.
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Life, especially for the Christian, can be messy, can be difficult.
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All the theological and ethical things, it's not super complex that we can ever comprehend, but God's truth is not monopolized by one person other than Christ.
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Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. But, friends, do not fall prey to the same criticisms as the
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Pharisees. The Pharisees criticized Jesus for receiving sinners. Why don't you write that in notes? And he responds with the parable of the lost sheep.
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You see, the legalistic and self -righteous Pharisees thought that Jesus' association with sinners would make Jesus appear to be unholy, and so they implicate in their criticism is that somehow
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Jesus keeps company with sinners because he is a sinner. That was the attack levied at Christ here.
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Yet, Jesus' association with sinners does not make Jesus unclean or does it make him a sinner.
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Rather, through his radical grace and his kindness towards sinners, he was turning them, those sinners whom he was dining with, into saints.
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And that is a picture of justification, that Christ imputes his righteousness to us.
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And Jesus here is giving us a visible representation of what that looks like.
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When he sits and dines with sinners, he does not become a sinner, but those sinners who sit and dine with Jesus become saints.
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Jesus clothes them in his righteousness. Jesus is able to forgive them their sins and give them a grace, a covering for their sins.
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He imputes his righteousness to the sinner. And so we should not look at sinners and keep an arm's distance because we're afraid of becoming unclean in that regard.
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But rather, when we see sinners who are receiving the beckoning call of Christ, we welcome them.
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We call them to come, come to the table, come to the banquet, come lay down your life, as we heard from the message this morning.
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You see, in the previous chapter, we see Jesus as the great host of a banquet. In this parable, we see him as a great shepherd.
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We see the shepherd heart of Jesus at work here in these parables.
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This parable is good news. It's good news because Jesus is the shepherd of the lost sheep.
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Friends, are you struggling? Do you feel lost?
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Do you feel as if you have nowhere to go, nowhere to find rest, no solace, no hope for your soul?
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There's hope. There's one who watches and shepherds over your soul with such love, with such care, and his name is
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Jesus. And so if you're struggling today with whatever it is that you may be struggling, in your marriage, in your finances, in your relationships, in your future, in your direction,
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I'll be honest with you, I'm kind of in that boat right now. I'm looking to the future. I have no idea what's coming next.
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I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future, and he's a good shepherd.
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He's a good and tender God. Know that you have a mighty sheep, a mighty shepherd who is watching over your soul and is willing to leave behind the 99, for he's the one who has promised, and he has promised the
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Father that not one will be lost. That is good news.
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You see in John 10, verse 27, 28, Jesus says, I am the good shepherd, and my sheep hear my voice, and they follow me, and not one will be lost.
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In Jesus, in the hands of the shepherd, we are safe and secure.
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We have a security in Jesus, not because you are righteous intrinsically, rather the only one who has intrinsic, true, and lasting righteousness has given it to you as a gift.
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He's infused you, imputed you his righteousness, so that again, not one of the sheep will be lost on that great day.
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Jesus then turns his attention, and he says this in verse 7, just so,
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I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the 99 righteous persons who need no repentance.
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God rejoices over sinners who are found in Jesus.
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God rejoices. Do you recall the moment when you repented of your sins? Do you recall the moment in which you received the
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Lord Jesus Christ? In that moment, heaven rejoiced for you. God rejoiced over you.
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Your shepherd rejoiced over you. I remember the moment that I was born again.
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I was, not everyone can pinpoint when and where they were born again, but I could by the grace and mercy of God, and I remember that moment so vividly, and I know at that moment, it was like a switch, death, life.
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I could look out the window, the sky was blue for the first time. Everything had rhyme and reason.
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I saw things more clearly than ever before. I was lost, and then
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I was found, and that is a tender mercy of God. In that moment, God rejoiced over me, just as he rejoices over every single one of us who finds repentance.
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This is always usually used in terms of salvific repentance, and I think that's probably right, but I think also there has to be something said that even for the
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Christian. When the Christian goes wayward, when the Christian loses his way,
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God rejoices when his sheep come back. So if you're a sheep who's lost your way, come.
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He beckons you, come. You won't be lost on that day, come. You were safe and secure in Jesus, come.
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You will have a shepherd who rejoiced over you, so come. The tender love, mercy, and affection of God is for you today.
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Should you come? Should you repent? So turn to Jesus, dear believer and dear friend.
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You see, Jesus and the host of heaven, they rejoiced, why don't you write this in the notes? When sinners come to repentance, again, the
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Lord rejoices over sinners who come to repentance. What a far cry then from the cold and indifferent attitude of the
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Pharisees. Jesus takes note of when his people are suffering. He takes note when they are struggling.
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He takes note when they turn from evil and embrace the truth. Again, he is a good shepherd.
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The Pharisees, on the other hand, who are the contrast to the picture of Christ that Christ is presenting in these parables, the
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Pharisees, in contrast, have a callous heart toward the suffering and disaffected sheep of Israel.
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Similar to the false shepherds prior to the Babylonian exile that we see in Ezekiel chapter 34, which
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I encourage you in your free time to read, the Pharisees, like the apostate shepherds of old and like many so -called leaders today, want authority and they want power without having a care for God's sheep.
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They fattened themselves, yet they did not feed the sheep the word of God. They rule with force while paying no heed to the concerns of the sheep.
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That is not good shepherding. And many churches today are governed in such fashions where the pastors, the elders, fatten themselves up, receive but do not give, who take but don't bless.
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Yes, I can say with confidence that has not been the case here and it will continue to not be the case here.
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You have shepherds, pastors who love you, who watch over your soul, diligently praying and thinking of ways how we can help you to draw nearer to Christ.
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Obviously, I've spent time with many of you, got to visit the majority of you over the last few months, and there will be a void.
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I will have a void because I will miss you greatly and I love you deeply.
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But the good news is that God can continue to work in this church.
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He has given you two capable, godly pastors who will continue to shepherd and watch over your soul and should it be
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His will, He will bring us another one. And so, beloved, hold fast to the loving kindness of God.
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Hold fast to good shepherds who watch over you, who love you, and hold fast to Christ who is the good shepherd of His people, who rejoices over genuine faith and repentance, not self -righteous legalism.
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Jesus then turns His attention in verses 8 through 10, He gives us another parable, the parable of the lost coin. And here
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He gives the analogy, if someone loses a coin, a coin has something of intrinsic value, right?
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Coin is money, you can do exchange of goods and services with it. If you lost money, you'll notice.
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That's something that you will diligently look for. One of the things that I'm usually pretty organized with my money, to the dismay of my wife when she washes my clothes, she says, you never leave money behind in your pockets.
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And I've learned that, you know, the wife likes it if you leave money behind because when she's folding the laundry, it feels like she's getting paid for something, you know?
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And she can put it in her pocket and do what she pleases with it. But she's always dismayed because I tend to rarely ever leave money in my pockets, okay?
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And so money, coins, these are of value, they have worth, you can exchange goods and services with them.
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So you will certainly, if you lost it, you'd want to find it. How much more is your life worth than a simple coin?
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Your life before the eyes of the one who made you, before the eyes of your
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Savior, is of much value. So much so that it says in verse 9, when she has founded the coin, she calls together her friends and neighbors saying, rejoice with me for I have found the coin that I had lost.
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Just so I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
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Again, God demonstrating the worth and the value that you have before Him.
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So much so that there is joy, not just is there joy amongst the
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Lord, but there's even joy amongst the angels of heaven over one sinner who repents.
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You are reason for celebration. You are reason for God and His host to rejoice in.
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You are of great value, beloved. Jesus reminds us then in the parable of the lost coin,
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I want you to write this in the notes, that Jesus is emphasizing the value He has for His people.
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God again, like a woman doing normal household chores, will not stop or relent until He has accomplished
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His work of finding His precious possession. And you, beloved, are His precious possession.
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For there is no price tag on the joy that God has for His people. Finding that which was lost and separated from the warmth of His love and kindness brings the
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Lord great joy. God does not rejoice, however, when we fall. God does not rejoice when fallen and we do not remain and He doesn't rejoice when we stay in a fallen state either.
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But by the grace of God, those who are truly His will not remain in a lost or fallen state.
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Rather, we find refuge in Him when we repent and turn from iniquity.
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This is the parable of the good shepherd and of the lost coin. Jesus is a good shepherd and if He loses,
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He will not lose not even one. All those who are seemingly lost, He'll find.
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He'll find you because He's a good shepherd. Now we get into the parable of one that's of great value and importance and it's very well known and famous is the parable of the prodigal son.
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You probably need very little description as we read it and you've heard this likely time and time again. Even the culture, even movies, even literature outside of the
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Christian religion references this story because it is of that much importance and gravity.
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You see in the parable of the prodigal son, the son, he asked for his inheritance.
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Why don't you write this in the notes? And what does he do with his inheritance? He squanders it.
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He squanders it in reckless living. Now this is the most commentated parable of Jesus in history.
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It's the most depicted parable in art because it had such power to resonate with the human experience of being lost and then being found.
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You see the son is asking for his inheritance and it's highly odd that he'd be asking for his inheritance.
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Why? Because inheritance is something that is given or bestowed upon the death of the one who owns or has possession of it.
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This tells us about the state of the son's heart. He desired riches above the life and relationship that he had with his father.
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Essentially what the son is saying is he's wishing his father were dead.
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He's wishing his dad would just die and get out of the way. Give me what's coming.
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Give me my inheritance. And what does the father do? He says, if that's what you want,
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I'll give it to you. I love you. This is bad. This is not good. But if you want this,
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I'll give it to you. I'll let this fall where it may. And so the father sells his portion and gives it to his son.
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He gives it to his son. You see, nothing in this parable tells us that the father is bad toward his son.
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Yet the son is lost in the depravity of his own heart as he wishes to indulge himself in the riches and wickedness of the world.
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He is turned wayward. He's turned wayward. Some of you may identify with this parable.
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Some of you may identify because you've had a season in life where you became wayward and you left the loving protection of Christ for the false embrace of this world.
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Maybe you have a son or a daughter who has departed from the faith. Maybe you have a close friend who has heard and been in the church and has received
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Christ and maybe they've also fallen away. This parable offers us much hope that even in the midst of reckless living and being lost, that we can still be found.
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Notice some of the details surrounding this parable, in the parable of the prodigal son.
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It says in verse 13, not many days later the younger son gathered all that he had and took a journey into the far country and there he squandered his property and reckless living and when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country and he began to be in need.
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So what does he do? He goes and gets hired and as he's hired, his working conditions are less than ideal.
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He's not treated well. He's not getting a fair wage. Things begin to go bad for him. And it says in verse 16 that he was longing to be fed of the pods that the pigs ate and no one gave him anything.
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It's a picture of how destitute we become when we leave the loving embrace of the shepherd.
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When we think that the world offers something better than Christ, we often find that it is all but an illusion.
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The world is very enticing, friends. It's enticing. It offers something that it can never actually deliver though.
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So many people fall into the prey and the trap of the riches of this world and fall into the prey and the trap of reckless living only to find that it was all for nothing.
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All of the wealth, all of the treasures that they accumulated go down into the waste bin.
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Yet, is that the end of the story for this son who forsook his father, who wished him to be dead, who cursed him and went on in his own life, in his own course?
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Friends, fortunately that is the case for many people, but it doesn't have to be so with you.
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It doesn't have to be so with your loved ones. The hope in the imagery of the prodigal son is not just his destitution or his depravity, but the heart of a father towards his son.
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You see, the story doesn't end at the son, but it ends with the loving embrace of a father.
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Notice again what it goes on to say in verse 20.
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And he arose and came to his father. First and foremost, that's probably the hardest part.
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I want you to hear that out again. Just getting up after you've fallen, when you fall into sin and depravity, it's messy.
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He's eating with the pigs. He's living with the pigs. He's messy. He's stinky. He's got all this filth on him, and yet he could have stayed there because it's all that he knows now.
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This is his lot in life now. And sometimes when we find ourselves in the messiness, in the pit of life, the hardest part is just getting up again.
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It's hard. And so what does he do? He arises. That's the first step to being a prodigal son.
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That's the first step of coming back to the father. Knowing your condition, that you're living in the midst of pigs, that you're living in a depraved way, in a reckless way, and then you get up and you go to the father.
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The son had no idea how his father would respond. And sometimes when we consider our state, we have no idea how
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God will respond because we tend to think to ourselves, how can God love me after this? How can God forgive me after this?
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I am worse than the worms of this earth. I have no inheritance left. It's all gone.
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It's all been squandered. What else can I go back to? Friends, it's the loving kindness of God.
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It's God's kindness and mercy that you run to. Run to it.
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Just as this young man runs to his father, and it says this, and he arose and came to his father, but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion.
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When you are getting up, God sees you from afar. He sees you from afar, and he beckons you, and he calls you to himself.
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And just as the father here has compassion, so does God the father have compassion over his people.
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And it says he has compassion, and not only does the father then just sit there and wait, the father ran to his son, ran to him.
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Consider then the loving kindness of God for us when we fall. Not only is God up there, he's not up there like a legalistic judge looking down and saying, nope, you got to do better.
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Nope, you got to do better. Nope, get yourself up and come meet me all the way over here. No, he comes and he meets us halfway.
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He says, you got up great, son. I love that. Please keep going. Meet me here. And the father arises and meets his son and embraces him.
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He says this, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And notice who he's embracing.
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Notice who the father is kissing. This man covered in filth, covered in the messiness of life and of the pigs.
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And the father comes, embraces him, kisses him.
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And the son said to him, father, notice the position of the son's heart. I have sinned against heaven and before you.
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I'm no longer worthy to be called your son. When you come to the father, know your true state.
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You are not worthy. You are not good. But you have one who is worthy and good, and he's the shepherd.
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I've sinned against heaven and before you. I'm no longer to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, bring quickly the best robe and put it on him.
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And put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet, demonstrating the covering that we have in Jesus Christ.
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When we get up from the mess of life, the mess that we often make of our own lives, you know who's ready to embrace us?
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The Lord Jesus. God the father meets us, embraces, and he clothes us with Christ.
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So that in Jesus, we are clothed though we were in the filth of life, in the filth of sin, in the filth of depravity, he clothes us with his righteousness.
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His righteousness. Not only does he clothe you with fine linen, but he puts a ring.
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You know, that's interesting because the ring is a picture of his inheritance. He gives the son his inheritance back.
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The inheritance that he squandered, the riches that he squandered. God, he gives it back.
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Here's the ring, son. You are part of the family. Here's your inheritance.
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No questions asked. He didn't have to meet a period of time. He didn't have to do this or that.
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He was embraced by the father. Clothed in the best robe, put a ring on his hand signifying his inheritance, and shoes on the feet demonstrating that he was no longer destitute.
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He was no longer lost. The son was found, and the son was home.
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And he goes on to kill a fattened calf and to celebrate, and he says in verse 24, For this my son was dead and is alive again.
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He was lost and is found, and they began to celebrate. I want you to write this in the notes.
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The heart of the son turns to his father and asking for forgiveness.
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Friends, may your heart always turn to the father.
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Seek his forgiveness, because the father will respond with compassion.
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Compassion. The heart of the son turns to his father in asking for forgiveness, and the father responds with compassion.
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Now, we usually stop there, but there's another son in the story. The other son says, why are we doing this for him?
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Why are we celebrating over this brother of mine, this son, who wanted you dead?
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You know what that sounds like to me? Sounds like a lot of Christians. Sometimes when we see someone get up again, why is he preaching again?
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Or why is he coming back to this church? Or why does he think he has a right to do X, Y, and Z?
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And we put our noses up towards heaven instead of our hearts. And this is a picture, this righteous son is a picture of the self -righteousness of the
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Pharisees. The Pharisees thought themselves to be the righteous son, who had it all figured out, who had life all meticulously figured out.
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And they were righteous. They were without sin in their eyes. And if they did sin, they had the proper ways and laws and regulations in order to make them right again with God.
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This was their mindset. And so, they would look towards sinners, like the ones
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Jesus was dining with, the ones that Jesus was hanging out with, and they'd say, why give preferential treatment to these people?
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They squandered the inheritance of Israel. They squandered their covenant rights. They squandered all these things.
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And yet, it's the love and compassion of the father that the
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Pharisees failed to comprehend. Do not fail to comprehend the loving kindness of God.
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You see, the righteous son was angry, behaving like the Pharisees, while the father rejoiced in that his son, who was what?
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Dead. He was dead and lost, was now alive and found.
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You can write that in notes. The righteous son was angry, behaving like the Pharisees, while the father rejoiced in that his son, who was dead and lost, is now alive and found.
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Church, let this be your anthem. That all of us, in sin and in Adam, were desperately lost.
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In Christ, we've been found. In Adam, we were dead.
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In Christ, we've been made alive. Trust in Jesus.
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My prayer, my hope for you, Silicon Valley Reformed Baptist Church, is that you would continue on the path of righteousness.
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But should your foot stumble, come back to the father.
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Embrace the loving kindness of God. And know this, your best days are yet to come.
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All for the glory and praise of our compassionate shepherd, even the
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Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep. May he bless you, may he keep you, and may you be found in him.
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Let me pray. Lord Jesus, what a privilege it has been mine,
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Lord, to be a shepherd over these sheep. Thank you for allowing me,
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Father, to just share a glimpse, just a portion of the love that you have for them.
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Lord Jesus, watch over these people, protect them, be their strong tower, be their deliverer, be their great shepherd.
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And Father, may you watch over them with such love and compassion that they would be compelled to share this good news of being lost and found, being dead and now alive, through the hope of the gospel to men, women, and children all around the
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Bay Area, in California, and even to the ends of the earth. Lord, may the mission of this church continue to be a place where sinners can be reconciled to God through the gospel of reconciliation, that God made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that in Christ we might become the righteousness of God in him.
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Lord, shepherd and watch your people, protect them from every device and every scheme of the devil, and Lord, bless the work and the hands of these pastors and these deacons as they continue to serve onward and forward to the upward call in which we are all called so that we may reach together that prize, the upward calling in Christ Jesus, the heavenward calling of eternal life with you, not only now and upon our death, but also in the world to come.
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We pray these things in your awesome and wonderful name. All praise be to you, King Jesus.