This sermon was based on Luke 15:1-24.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
1Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
3So he told them this parable: 4″What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
8″Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
11And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
17″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! 18I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘ 20And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
THE BAR IS TOO LOW
- There is an issue in the Corinthian church with a man who is having an affair with his dad’s wife. This is not good.
- The Corinthians didn’t take it seriously.
- In order to have a true perspective on the importance of issues like this we need to recover a sense of both the horror of sin and the beauty of holiness.
- The solution was for the church to make a judgment on the man.
- He needed to be removed for the church for a time – this would be both for the salvation of his own soul (he did eventually repent and come back) and also for the sake of the church (sin spreads like leaven in a loaf).
THE BAR IS TOO HIGH
- Paul had tried to raise the issue with the Corinthians before but they had misunderstood.
- Instead of dealing with the issue within their community, they instead put up barriers with people outside.
- A lot of people feel that Christians can be judgmental – it is not our place to judge those outside the church. We should build relationships and show compassion as Jesus did.