The Certainty Of Christ’s Forgiveness
Book of Luke 15
Forgiveness of our sins is the first part of our justification before God.
We are justified by our “faith” in the work of Jesus Christ.
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
BUT, We are saved by God’s “Grace”!
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
As sinners, with faith in the work of Jesus Christ to erase our sin debt, we are forever freed from the guilt and penalty of sin.
Justification is the exact opposite of condemnation!
We already know that Jesus used many parables to teach the truth of the “Gospel”.
The parable of the Prodigal Son is the greatest and most beloved story ever told in human language.
The title “prodigal” describes someone who is given to live an extravagant lifestyle making expenditures on things that go far beyond their actual needs. A prodigal will also possess a very liberal attitude toward the Word of God and the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.
What is the truth of God?
God loves and reaches out to all the prodigals of this world!
God will run to embrace any prodigal who calls on Him for salvation and repents, no matter how terrible their sin!
*****Luk 15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
Luk 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
Luk 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
Here is a man who is the son of his father by birth.
He belonged to the estate(the world) by natural birth of his father.
The facts will show that he did not belong to his father with his heart, his mind, nor his spirit.
This son wanted two things:
1) He wanted his inheritance given to him. Which means “dad I wish you were dead”.
He wanted all the worldly possessions which he would inherit.
He wanted to get all his father would give him in order that he could enjoy it in that day and time.
We should consider:
a) He had not earned any of it, it was all his fathers, therefore he did not deserve it.
b) He was selfish, self-centered, rude and unkind. He demanded for his father to just “give”. (Not please nor may I have) He cared not what effect this would have on his father’s estate or on his other brother.
Kind of sounds like the world we live in now where the many want handouts of things they did not earn themselves and feel like this world owes them something. They are all, selfish, self-centered, rude, and unkind to those who work and contribute to the system that provides all these things.
The Bible says:
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
This prodigal said “give me my independence” and “finance me” the way I want to live because “I refuse to live by your rules”.
We know that so many of our youth have these very same thoughts today!
He felt he was tied down by his family and was held responsible to help care for his father’s property.
He felt his father made to many demands on his life.
He felt his father hindered his freedom.
He felt his father restricted his pleasure.
He felt his father just had to much control of his lifestyle.
SO, His father gave him his freedom and his portion of possessions at that time. His father let him go to live as he wished to live.
He rebelled, he revolted and he went to a far country.
He chose a place that had different rules and a place that was full of sinful pleasures.
He chose the pathway to death and Hell, though he did not realize it at first.
And what did he do?
“He wasted his substance on riotous living”.
Jer 44:16 As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee.
What would this prodigal find out about the world?
He would find that this world would leave him homeless.
He would find that worldly happiness is unsatisfying.
He would find that this world will degrade and humiliate those who place their trust in it.
He found out that he did not possess the knowledge of his own future as he had thought.
What is the truth of of these things?
Men will desert the world when the world deserts them!
This is the feeling many of our young have today.
This is the feeling many of black community have today.
This is the feeling many of the so-called middle class have today.
There is already a famine of those that trust the Word of God in our world today!
Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
*****Luk 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
Luk 15:15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
What happens when we abandon the truths of God?
What happens when we underestimate the value of our Heavenly Father?
What happens when we pursue our own will and ignore the will of the Heavenly Father?
We will begin to be in want!
Instead of finding happiness, this prodigal is over taken with poverty.
He can no longer provide for himself.
Things happen in this world that are far beyond man’s control and he had no more control of his surroundings.
The fruit of evil deeds will always reveal it’s poison!
He has not become a citizen in a better land, he has only become a stranger and a slave to a citizen of that place where he had searched for happiness.
A worldly lifestyle cannot bring a life of peace!
To a Jew to play any part in the care of swine is about as low and degrading as they can become.
The lust of his flesh had brought poverty.
The lust of his eyes had brought no satisfaction.
His pride of life had brought humility.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
This world will never have anything better to offer than these 3 things!
He found out husk are only food fit for swine!
For the most part swine are heavy, stupid, animals, that delight to wallow in the mire of this world!
He was destitute of all spiritual help, and left out in the world.
In the world as long as you have money you will always have friends to help you spend your money but when the money goes so goes those friends.
Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
*****Luk 15:16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
This man was suffering through a natural disaster that affects all in an area, good or bad.
This man had lost all his friends.
This man was a Jew in the world of the Gentile.
Those husk were actually the fruit of the Carob tree.
This tree is very common in Syria and Egypt and produces pods 6 to 10 inches long and shaped like a horn.
These husk were part of the diet of the truly poor but were for the most part used to feed the swine.
This young man would have never seen such a thing as a meal in his father’s house but even these things were denied from him.
We see that this Jew in a Gentile world was being spiritually, mentally and emotionally drained for he had allowed his riches to be his god.
He had become a slave to the world in a far country and sought refuge with another man far away from God.
He had allowed sin to lead him into the “hog pens” of the world.
That’s what sin does!
Sin will take you farther than you want to go!
Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay!
Sin will cost you much more than you want to pay!
Pro 5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
Pro 5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
Pro 5:23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
2Pe 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
This world we live in makes great promises but just ask the older generation how true those promises are.
The truth is, nothing in the hands of man can ever satisfy the spiritual needs of any individual!
This young man finally came to his senses.
*****Luk 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
This young man began to realize the worth of his father’s house.
This man was finally taking the first steps to repentance.
Repentance begins when we realize we are traveling down life’s roadway in the wrong direction!
He thought upon life in his fathers house. (In type our Heavenly Father)
He thought upon the riches that even the servants had in his father’s house. (In type the believers, the children of God)
His father had provided abundantly for all those in his house, even the lowest servant.
He finally realized the sense of being in a loving family and belonging and having purpose.
He finally realized he had chosen a path to an early death. (“I perish”)
He was already perishing in this life.
He was also doomed to perish eternally.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
It was time to make a move before he was unable to do so.
2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
It would be a humbling thing to go face his father but he would first have to repent.
*****Luk 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
Luk 15:19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
What is the definition of repentance?
He had to arise!
He had to go away from his sinful life!
He had to humbly turn toward his father!
He had to admit he had sinned against the God of Heaven.
We have to have a true sense of our own guilt.
We have to realize that the mercy of God will only come through Jesus Christ.
We have to hate sin.
We have to walk in the ways of God.
He had to realize his unworthiness!
Up to this point he had only a head knowledge of what to do, but a head knowledge will simply not get you saved!
It was time to take action!
*****Luk 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Luk 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
This prodigal son came to himself, and snapped back into reality.
He then arose to return to his father!
Of all the decisions he had ever made in his life, this was the most important decision he would ever make!
Once we realize we are just dirty sinners we must make the personal decision to remove ourselves from that filth. No one can do this for us!
He arose and he turned away from his sinful life.
He realized that there is a God in Heaven and he had sinned against Him and his father.
Sin insults the purity and despises the love of God.
Sin destroys the morality of man!
We can confess that we love the Lord but until we repent we have not given God anything to work with.
Act 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
What is the truth of God?
“While he was yet a great ways off, his father saw him, had compassion, and ran, and loved on him”
The truth is God can see into the heart. He had not seen his father yet but his father could see him.
Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Psa 22:24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
It would not have done this prodigal any good just to realize his sin, if he did not also arise and go unto his father.
Repentance is a sign that we are sincere and have returned from our wicked ways!
God forgives as soon as we repent and this is the reason this father could run to his son.
This exactly what happens with our Father who is in Heaven!
God is full of “Mercy”.
God is full of “Grace”.
God is so full of “Mercy” and “Grace” that He is always bursting at the seams to show His love for us.
But we must first believe and then we must repent!
Pro 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
So simple, but most of us are to stubborn and to foolish to say that we are wrong in our way of thinking.
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
A true parable always represents a Heavenly truth.
We should be able to see that the tenderness of our God, who is also the Most Powerful of beings, is so wonderful.
Our Mighty God is also a God of compassion!
Our God is showing His eagerness to run to us in our hour of repentance to catch us lest we fall!
God will make haste to save all that are lost if they will have faith and repent!
We must never overlook God’s readiness to accept and pardon each of us just as we are!
We must never allow our unworthiness to get in our way, God knows exactly what we are!
Remember God sent His Son Jesus to save us “because we are all sinners”.
And remember God made this plan before He created Heaven and Earth.
God just knows!
*****Luk 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
Luk 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
Luk 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
We should understand that God recognizes the earliest beginnings of conviction because when he was still a great off, his father recognized him.
He had not seen his father but his father saw him.
What this son had not recognized the love of his father had been drawing him all along.
If he had ever lost the image of his father from his memory, he would have never returned.
When many would have rejected their son for such things, God shows compassion and mercy.
This prodigal was accepted and restored because he had returned.
Again the key to being accepted by God is faith, then repentance!
If this were not true then this parable would have little meaning at all.
A Parable is an earthly story that reveals Heavenly truths!
Before this son even had a chance to clean his life up, his father had accepted him back into the family.
We cannot clean ourselves up because that is the thing that God will do.
His father gave him the best of robes.
Symbolizing his acceptance back into the family in son-ship and honor.
**The robe symbolized his being clothed in righteousness!
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
His father gave him some new shoes.
**The shoes immediately elevated him above servant-hood. He became a free man. Free from the bondage of sin!
2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall “make” you free.
This son was now equipped to carry the “Gospel” wherever he went.
His father gave him a ring.
**The ring restored him to a position of authority.
The son could now represent his father and his kingdom.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Only then can there be a celebration!
It is God’s own joy that He would have all Heaven rejoice with Him and proclaim a sinner returned to the flock of Heaven.
Luk 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Luk 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
The father celebrated his son’s return.
All that his son needed was provided to him.
The father proclaimed his son’s new life!
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
He, who was once lost has now been found!
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
The truth is a life without God is a wasted life!
Sin in all it’s forms is a waster of life!
Sin may have it’s own kind of liberty but this liberty will always lead to misery and degrading bondage.
The soul was made by God, the soul was made for God and the soul was made for the delight of God and sin prevents this from happening and therefore there must be suffering and loss.
Because God is God, He cannot deny Himself!
Because God is Holy, He must be an active opponent of sin and once saved, He expects the same from each of us.
The biggest problem our world has today is that the modern day Church has forgotten what it’s job is!
Jesus Christ came to seek and to save and He has now given this job to the Church until He returns!
We have seen that God gets great joy in our salvation and that is only because we can be certain of Christ’s forgiveness.