Service Times

Worship Service
Sun. 9:30am - 10:30am

Sunday School
Sun. 10:45am - 11:20am

Prayer Meeting & Bible Study
Wed. 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Crusaders Club (Seasonal)
Thurs. 3:00pm - 5:30pm

Crusaders Teens (Seasonal)
Thurs. 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Guest Speaker: John Tierney

This week we invite John Tierney to deliver the message that God has given to him for us.

Jonah 3:3-4:3

Grace in the Mirror

Part I: Amazing Grace, offered and Received

  1. Review: The Principles, the Parables and the People
    1. The Parables
      1. The Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7) <-Principle Taught
      2. The Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10) <-Principle Taught
      3. The Prodigal Sons (Luke 15:11-32) <-Principle Applied
        1. The Younger Son (Luke 15:11-24) <-Principle Applied
        2. The Older Son (Luke 15:25-32) <-Principle Applied
    2. The People
      1. The Scribes and the Pharisees
      2. The Tax Collectors and sinners
    3. The Principles
      1. “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
          • “and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it” (Luke 15:4)
          • “and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it” (Luke 15:8)
      2. Heaven rejoices when sinners repent.
        • Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” (Luke 15:6)
        • Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.” (Luke 15:9)
        1. “…there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine ‘righteous’ persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7)
        2. “…there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)
      3. Our God is an Awesome God, and His Grace is Amazing Grace.
        1. Question of the day: Do I Believe that?
  2. The Culture: Honor and Shame
    1. Honor
      • “Knowing  your place” was – and to a large extent still is, on of the most important components of Middle Eastern society (if not the most important component). Roles were well-defined and consistent. Also, much like life in the military, you did not question those who held a higher position than you — no matter what. Those who held positions greater than your own were expected to be shown respect at all times.
    2. Shame
      • Behaviors that challenged or rebelled against the status quo were dealt with severely. For instance, if the story of the prodigal son involved a real person, he would’ve expected at the very least to have been slapped hard across the face when he asked for his share of his father’s estate. And what if he really had gone away and then come crawling back? What would that have been like? Pastor John MacArthur explains:

"First of all, the father would refuse to meet him. The father would make him sit outside the gate of the home somewhere in the village for days in public view. Nobody would take him in so the whole town could heap scorn on him - so that the whole town could bring the retribution upon his head that he deserved for the way he dishonored his faterh. Scorn and abuse and slander against him and the people mocking him and perhaps even spittin gon him. And the sone would expect it. He knew it could come and he would sit there and take it.

And when the father did let him in after a certain period of time, it would be a very cool reception, and he would be required to bow low and kiss the father's feet. Then the father would tell him with a measure of indifference what works he would have to do and for how long he woul dhave to work to demonstrate that his repentance was real. And if he did work as long as he needed to and did all the reparations and all the restitution and paid pack in full what he owed, then he could be reconciled -- and only then. Everybody knew that was the way it was done. And the village would even after they had heaped scorn on him for long enough would let him work there with a measure of dignity." (John MacArthur; 1998 sermon on Luke 15)

    1. Summary
      • It is nearly impossible for us, as Americans, to comprehend just how deeply the concepts of honor and shame completely dominated the culture in which Jesus lived. Suffice it to say, grace and forgiveness were practically nonexistent, especially for the Pharisees.

Part II: Amazing Grace, On Full Display

  1. The Moment: A Sons Return, A Father’s Reaction
    • But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compasison 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 fee. 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. (Luke 15:21-24)
    1. The Actions of the Father
      1. A Joyful Reunion
        • He ran (indicating eagerness to forgive)
        • He embraced him (indicating complete reconciliation)
        • He kissed him (indicating he loved him with all his heart)
      2. A Royal Restoration
        • He restored his honor (the robe)
        • He restored his authority (the ring)
        • He restored his sonship (the sandals)
      3. A Heavenly Rejoicing
        • They killed the fatted calf (because the occasion demanded the best)
        • They celebrated (because that’s what heaven does when one sinner repents)
  2. The Mystery: Who is God, anyway?
    • 1In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2Above him stood the seraphim. each has six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” 4And the foundations of the threshold shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 5:1-5)
    • For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place,” (Isaiah 57:15a)
    1. God is: ________________________
      • 3The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over many waters. 4The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 7The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire. (Psalm 29:3-4, 7)
      • the LORD your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. (Deuteronomy 7:21)
    2. God is: ________________________
      • 5The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,” (Exodus 34:5-6)
    3. God is: ________________________
      • For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isaiah 57:15)
      • Fod is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16)
    4. God is: ________________________
      • How does God love us?
        • For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
        • 7Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:7-8, New Living Bible)
        • But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:10)
        • Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. (Luke 15:22)

Part III: Amazing Grace, Despised and Rejected

25Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27And he said to him, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.” 28But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29but he answered his father, “Look, these many years I have served you, and i never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!” 31And he said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.”

  1. Seething Hatred: the heartfelt Story of the “99 Righteous”
    1. A Hateful Heart, Revealed (the Heart of the Pharisee)
      • 27And he said to him, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.” 28But he was angry and refused to go in.
      • Why? ___________________________ (Jonah 3:3-4:3)
      • Why? ___________________________ (Genesis 4:3-5; 2 Samuel 6:6-7, Malachi 1:8-10)
    2. A Loving Heart, Revealed Even More (the Heart of God)
      1. “His father came out and entreated him”
        • The impact of the father’s action here cannot be understated: Jesus pursues sinners of all shapes, colors, sizes and varieties. The two sons were very different. The younger son is immoral, indecent, and wallows in the overt sin. He is only concerned about himself. The elder son is upstanding, upright and decent. His commitment to his father is commendable. But ultimately, he is only concerned about himself. The two sons represent two different extremes, but Jesus came to save sinners at both ends of the spectrum to the other, and everyone in between.
        • The father left the celebration and came looking for his elder son. the word that Jesus used for “entreat” has the connotation of “coming alongside”, but it also comes close to the meaning, “beg”. Would God really BEG sinners to come in? Yes! Luke 15:8 says that the woman searched “diligently” for her lost coin, and Jesus went so far as to die on a cross to make a way for you and me to be saved.
    3. A Hateful Heart, Revealed Even More (the Heart of the Pharisee)
      • 29but he answered his father, “Look, these many years I have served you, and i never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!”
      • Consider this paraphrase: 29but he replied, “All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.” (New Living Bible)

No Christian can live with that attitude toward God.

Consider that God has issued this COMMAND:

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Here are more commands:

      • Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to His holy name! (Psalm 97:12)
      • Rejoice in the LORD always; again I will say, rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
      • 1Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! 2Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! 3Know that the LORD, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:1-3)
      • My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. (Psalm 71:23)
    • Is God your first desire?
    • Is God your second desire?
    • Do you delight in God?
    • Do you delight to serve God?
    • Do you plan your day around God?
    • Do you include God in what you think, what you say and what you do?
    • Have you “given your heart” to God? (If so, did  you — at some point — take it back?)

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)

    1. A Hateful Heart, Summarized
      • 30But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!”
      • Pharisees will not allow forgiveness without penance (work).
    2. A Loving Heart, Summarized
      • 31And he said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.”

“Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)

  1. Verse 33: The Conclusion
    • Does not exist

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

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