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Pastor Brant Seacrist

DECEMBER 15, 2019


TEXT: LUKE 15: 1-7

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SUBJ: The particular manner in which the Lord deals with particular persons in bringing them without fail to Himself.

AIM: That we might reflect in more simple terms on Who saves and who is saved.

INTR: The parables of our Lord bring simple messages that show that salvation occurs in the simple terms of sovereign grace and not in the failed ways of men and their devices.
1. Men love to solve puzzles and this becomes a problem where there is no puzzle to solve. The parable is here stated and then explained very simply. (Three parables that depict stupidity, unconsciousness, and knowing and willing estrangement – MH quoting Bengel)
2. The message here is twofold – it is a rebuke to the self-righteous critics of the conscious sinner and a word of encouragement to those who see themselves in absolute need.
3. We are reminded here that we were/are sought and found by Him who alone is able to save.

THESIS: In every depiction of salvation we are reminded that salvation is of the Lord and men make no contribution at any point along the way. In the grand overview of grace it will have been seen in all that we have done and all that we are that it is Christ Who has done it.

I. Those who came (v. 1)
1. It was a mixed crowd and they were there for different reasons and this is seen as the narrative unfolds.
2. Consider the way in which God prevents presumption and yet brings the clarity of Gospel to bear. 25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:25-30
3. But those who drew near were all the publicans and sinners:
1) Attracted to Christ and His message of salvation
2) Sensitive of their need in spite of the labels given them by the self righteous
3) No effort to disguise themselves – they came as they were – “Just as I am…”
4. Where is the attraction today?
1) Consider the devices of men that are employed to attract men
2) But, consider here that it was Christ to whom they were attracted
3) Could it be that Christ is not as visible in us as we would like to think?
5. Consider again: Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound…

II. Those who objected (v. 2)
1. We are constrained to ask why they followed since they rejected His message and His claim.
1) Perhaps they were seeking confirmation or confrontation concerning their claim to assurance of their place in the Kingdom.
2) While they hated the idea of the publicans and sinners who had a humble fear of being rejected by Christ.
2. Their religion was rooted in personal pride and they recoiled at the idea of being in the same class as the others:
1) They had the claim of orthodoxy but did not know it was dead and for that matter was never an end in itself.
2) Their confidence was in an outward display of righteousness
3. The correct charge – “this man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.”

III. The parable (vv. 4-6)
1. The argument is directed to themselves – He began with “What man of you…” thus making them to reason within themselves.
2. Often the subject of an artist’s conception and a subject for Bible Storybooks that appeal to human interests, but:
1) The precious aspects of this parable emphasize grace in salvation
i. One sheep (Dangers depicted in Scripture – David’s rescue, wolves, etc.)
ii. Gone after (no indication of doubt or difficulty in finding – the message is of value and love.)
iii. Objective to be met – “…until He find it?”
2) And grace applied when found
i. It was laid on His shoulders – not invited, led, driven or given choice – it was rather carried!
ii. There was immediate rejoicing at both the work and the prospect
iii. Taken Home
3) The rejoicing with friends and neighbors evidenced a great love and care for that individual sheep.

IV. Its interpretation (v. 7)
1. One sinner repenting as a cause of rejoicing in Heaven and in the presence of the Angels. Consider the interest of all of Heaven in redemption.
2. What of the ninety and nine? (No explanation needed beyond what is stated)
1) Perhaps it was they who were already in a state of grace.
2) It is more likely that the Lord left them with their invalid claim to the Kingdom.
3) They were at best posing as righteous and He allowed them to exercise their “free will.”
3. Compare the idea that: Luke 5:31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. We note the obvious implications and we rejoice that the care of the shepherd was/is directed toward us in that we are found of Him Who graciously sought us.