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2008.10.01 (15:29:41)
Sermon Date:  Aug 31, 2008 
Speaker Name:  Rev. Billy Chung 
Scripture:  Luke 15:11-32 
Passage:  11Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.

13"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.[a]'

22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

25"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'

28"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

31" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' " 

The parable of the prodigal son is the most familiar and beloved of all Christ’s parables. It is one of the longest and most detailed parables. And unlike most parables, it has more than one lesson. The prodigal is an example of sound repentance. The elder brother illustrates the wickedness of the Pharisees’ self-righteousness, prejudice, and indifference toward repenting sinners. And the father pictures God, eager to forgive, and longing for the return of the sinner.

 

What can we learn about life from the younger brother?

1.          Being controlled by your desires leads to addiction, pain and regret. 

To ask one’s father for one’s share of the inheritance early was unheard of in that culture. If someone did that, he was telling his father, “Father, I wish you were already dead.”

     
 The younger son left his father and got addicted to a pleasure seeking lifestyle. He sought pleasure not in having a personal relationship with God, but sought pleasure from alcohol, sex, gambling, buying expensive clothes and possessions, and worldly fun. Eventually he spend all of his father’s money. He didn’t want to starve so he got a job. When the younger son became a servant to his new boss, I am sure the new boss didn’t tell him exactly what his job would be. I am sure he didn’t tell him that his job would be feeding pigs. He probably started off by treating him well but then became more controlling. Later on, his boss told him to feed his pigs.  He was being treated like a slave. He went from being a child of a wealthy man to being treated like a slave.

 

Jewish hearers are ready for the story to end the son gets what he deserves—he is reduced to the horrendous level of feeding the most unclean of animals. The son is cut off at this point from the Jewish community.

 
In his hunger he longed for the pods—the food he fed the pigs. The unclean pigs eat better than the son does. This shows how low he fell. This type of “pod” or sweet bean was eaten only by the poorest people.

 

His pain was a blessing because it brought him to his senses.

 

In this low condition, he came to his senses (15:17). He decided to go back to his father and work for him. Surely he would be better off to work for his father than for a foreigner. He fully expected to be hired by his father as a servant, not to be taken back as his son.

 

Running away from God seems like freedom but always ends in pain and regret.  Jumping out of a plane without a parachute seems like freedom until you hit the ground

 

Drug addicts

Drug addicts enjoy the pleasure of drugs but find themselves controlled by drugs; the drugs makes them a slave. They don’t off thinking, “I am going to get addicted to drugs and spend all my money on them.

They don’t think they will start stealing to pay for their addiction.

 

I know this guy who used to be a really nice guy. He went to church every week. However, he started hanging out with the wrong crowd and started smoking marijuana. He got addicted and after he ran out of money, he started selling drugs to pay for his addiction. This nice kid became a drug dealer. I know a drug dealer! I am sure he didn’t think he would wind up becoming a drug dealer when his friends told him to try marijuana once.

 

Some of you may be addicted to pornography or sex.

            It may feel good but you may not realize that you are enslaved by it and it will harm you. It will harm your relationship to God.

You will feel guilty.

You may question your salvation later on.

It will hurt your marriage and relationship to your future spouse.

 

All addictions except one will lead to pain and regret.

If you are addicted to sports and reject Jesus, then in hell you will have a lot of pain because you won’t be able to play sports or watch sports anymore. Being addicted to Jesus is the only addiction that will lead to no regrets.

      

 If the younger son knew the end result of leaving his father, I am sure he never would have left home.

 Confessing sins changes your destiny.

            Pleasure seeking Peter experienced pain and that pain made him start thinking. He thought about how his father provided food and clothing for him. He remembered how loving his father was. He decided to go home and apologize to his father.

 While he was still far home his home, his father saw him and began running toward him. His hugged him tightly and kissed him over and over and over. He ordered his servant to put a robe on him, give him a ring and sandals for his feet and throw him a party.

The best robe in the house would belong to the father himself. The ring would probably be a family signet ring—a symbol of authority. Slaves did not normally wear sandals, though they carried and tied a master’s sandals. The father is saying, “No, I won’t receive you back as a servant. I’ll receive you only as a son.”

 
 

You don’t lose anything by confessing your sins.

You gain so much.

When Peter came home and confessed his sins, he didn’t lose anything. He wasn’t beaten or embarrassed or yelled at.

 

He gained so much.

a.           forgiveness

b.           wisdom

He realized his father had missed him so much.

He realized how much his father loved him.

 

c.           joy

Confessing sins leads to joy.

If you don’t have joy in your heart, it is probably because you don’t know how much God loves you and you aren’t confessing your sins enough.

 

d. Change

God not only forgives your sins when you confess them, He changes you. When you confess your sins to God, your hardened heart is softened and you are able to pray much more easily. Once your heart is softened, the Word of God can enter it like seed and produce joy in your heart. As we confess our sins, we become more like Jesus. As we confess our sins, praying for others will not feel like a burden. After David confessed his sins, he wanted to pray for others (Psalm 32).

 

 

If you don’t confess your sins, you will have strength. You will be depressed and not want to do anything. That is what David experienced in Psalm 32. You have nothing to lose by confessing your sins. You gain so much.

You will gain

            Forgiveness

            wisdom

            Joy of knowing God’s heart

      Intimacy with Christ  and become more like Christ

 

What can we learn from the older brother)?

1.      You can do the right things yet still be far away from God.

The elder brother represents Jesus’ religious accusers – the Pharisees(15:2).

 

The parable’s final section describes the attitude of the older brother, who symbolized the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. They had the same attitude toward the sinners as the older son had toward the younger son. The older brother, coming home from working in the field and hearing what was happening, got angry. Similarly the Pharisees and teachers of the Law were angry with the message Jesus was proclaiming. They did not like the idea that people from outside their nation as well as outcasts and sinners in the nation were to be a part of the kingdom. Like the older son who refused to go to the feast, the Pharisees refused to enter the kingdom Jesus offered to the nation.

the elder brother, returning at the end of a long day’s work, refuses even to enter the house. This is also a grievous insult to the father’s dignity and could have warranted a beating (cf. 15:12).

15:29–30. Failing to greet one’s father with a title (e.g., “Father, “Sir”; contrast even 15:12) was a grievous insult to the father’s dignity.

 

The older brother appeared to be okay.

He didn’t run away from home like his father. He didn’t waste his father’s money on gambling, drinking and prostitutes. Even though his outward behavior was okay, he was far away from God.

He was judgemental, critical unloving, not compassionate and proud.

 

Lacked compassion

            When his younger brother came home, he wasn’t happy. He was angry that his brother was getting a party.

 

                 Ignorant

            The older brother didn’t reallyknow his father well. He thought of him as a strict boss that he worked for. He didn’t know that his father was extremely generous and loving. If he had known this, he would have asked him for goat or calf and surely his father would have given it to him.

Blind to his own sins

                                    He thought he deserved to be blessed because of his actions.

                 He didn’t know how hard his heart was.

                        He didn’t know he was living a disobedient life.

                        He though obedience = doing the right thing

            In God’s eyes, obedience = doing with right thing with the right motive for the right person.

            Obedience is doing what God says in order to please Him.

       Obedience is NOT doing the right thing in order to get something from God.

            Obedience is NOT doing the right thing with the a complaining and unthankful attitude.

            Obedience is NOT doing the right thing to look good in front of others.    

 

 

              Obedience = doing the right thing with the desire to please God not for the purpose of

           

            He older brother did the right things (lived at home and did chores at home) but lacked joy’; his joy wasn’t being with his father. Notice that he wasn’t in his father’s house at all. He was in the field away from the father’s house. When his brother came back, he refused to go inside the house. Being in the house = being close to his father.

 

Pride (His pride blinded him to his own sins.)

                        Thinking you are better than others because of your actions. (The older brother thought he was better than his younger brother.)

            Pride is a sign of weakness not strength and health.

            Pride people draw attention to what themselves and what they have done. V28-30

            If a body heart draw attention to itself, it is a sign of sickness and weakness, not a sign of healthy and strength.

            Ie: A healthy heart doesn’t draw attention to itself. When do you notice your heart? When you are having pain in your heart

 

Cure for pride:

            Knowing that you were so bad you deserved to be punished like Christ was punished

 

 

His joy was elsewhere just like his younger brother

He thinks of Christianity as a set of rules to follow.

Feels Christianity is boring but and restrictive

Feels he is missing out on all the fun sleeping around, gambling, getting drunk, going to parties, doing drugs, maxing out your credit card

 

Unloving

Giving to get

            The older son expected his father to pay him for his faithfulness.

        He wasn’t living at home because he loved his father. He lived at home probably because he wanted his father’s money after his father died.

He lacked love for his father and for his brother.

 

He only loved himself. 

 If he really loved his brother, he would have been happy to see his brother happy. He didn’t call him brother; he called him, “this son of yours.” V30

If he really loved his brother, he would have hugged him when he came back home. If he really loved his brother, he would have been happy.

If he really loved his father, If he really loved his father, he would have been happy since his father was happy. If he really loved his father, he would have listened his father when his father asked him to come into the house.

 

Do you really love God?

Do you really love others?

Do you help your parents because you have to or because you want to get something from them or do you it because you really love them?

 

The older brother thought he deserved to be rewarded.

In contrast, the younger son knew that he didn’t deserve anything good but only punishment.

 

Judging others and refusing to forgive them robs you of joy.

            The older son didn’t forgive his brother.

            The older son was angry at his father. He sat outside the house angry, unthankful and miserable.

 

Focused on rules rather than a relationship with the Father.

 

What can we learn from the Father?

            He loves you in spite of your sins.

                        The father in this story loved his younger rebellious son who ran away and his proud and rebellious older son who refused to join the party.

 

            He is patiently waiting for you to come to Him.

                        He waited patiently for his younger son.

                        He waited patiently for his older son.

 

            He is willing to forgive you regardless of what you have done.

           

 

 

 Application:

Confess your sins right away rather than delaying it.

 


Sermon Date Subject Scripture Speaker Name
Nov 16, 2008 The Secret To Success - Being Filled With the Holy Spirit - Ephesians 5:18 Rev. Billy Chung
Nov 02, 2008 Wise guys - Ephesians 5:15-20 Rev. Billy Chung
Oct 05, 2008 Seeking joy and God's honor by serving 1 Peter 4:10,11 Rev. Billy Chung
Sep 21, 2008 Prayer Part 6 - Prayer that God answers 1 John 5:14,15 Rev. Billy Chung
Sep 14, 2008 Prayer part 5 - Supplication (Praying for fellow soldiers) Ephesians 6:10-22 Rev. Billy Chung
Aug 17, 2008 Prayer part 1 - Adoration Psalm 73 Rev. Billy Chung
Aug 24, 2008 Prayer part 2 - Casting Your Burdens Upon God 1 Peter 5:6,7 Rev. Billy Chung
Aug 31, 2008 Prayer part 3 - Come Home Luke 15:11-32 Rev. Billy Chung
Sep 07, 2008 Prayer part 4 - Expressing Thanks Luke 17:11-19 Rev. Billy Chung
Aug 10, 2008 A Church That Pleases God Matthew 25:31-46 Rev. Billy Chung
Aug 03, 2008 Running The Race 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Rev. Billy Chung
Jul 27, 2008 Open My Eyes Mark 10:46-52 Rev. Billy Chung
Jul 20, 2008 The Lord's Supper Matthew 26:26-29 Rev. Billy Chung
Jul 13, 2008 May God bless you. Numbers 6:22-27 Rev. Billy Chung
Jul 06, 2008 Serving God Acts 13:36 Rev. Billy Chung
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