The Prodigal Son And Misunderstood Grace In Today’s Church

He remembers his father and the comforts of his home. Then he realizes that even the servants have enough to eat. He makes a decision to go home, not as a son, but as a servant. He is truly repentant and sincerely believes that he should not be considered a son any longer. It’s interesting to me that he was very willing to work for this father. He goes back home. It doesn’t say, but I imagine that he was quite nervous and anxious. When he sees his father, possibly thinking that he will be rebuked and perhaps rejected
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I can think of no other parable of Jesus which illustrates God’s grace more than the story of the Prodigal Son.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Salvation is not simply a prayer, it is at the heart of it a legally-binding transaction. Jesus Christ died on the cross in your place, and He died to purchased your sins by His own blood. That’s salvation. Your come to Him with nothing, no works of any kind, and your give Him your sins in exchange for His Righteousness. You are not saved from your sins, you are saved from the consequences of your sins, which is an eternity in Hell.

Being restless and prone to wander, he receives his inheritance early and is off to travel the world. I have a feeling that he was very excited when his father agreed to give him the money early.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:17 (KJV)

But then reality sets in. He is in the middle of a famine. He has squandered his inheritance and must find work. The only job available is that of feeding pigs. (As a Jewish Christian, I find humor in this). He realizes that the pigs are eating better than he is!

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“Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

He remembers his father and the comforts of his home. Then he realizes that even the servants have enough to eat. He makes a decision to go home, not as a son, but as a servant. He is truly repentant and sincerely believes that he should not be considered a son any longer. It’s interesting to me that he was very willing to work for this father.

He goes back home. It doesn’t say, but I imagine that he was quite nervous and anxious. When he sees his father, possibly thinking that he will be rebuked and perhaps rejected, he says:

“Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:17 (KJV)

When the son confessed his sin and his words clearly showed a “broken and contrite heart” all the father could think about was how happy he was to see his precious son! Perhaps his son expected an I told you so lecture, or at least stern words. I imagine that this overwhelmed the son with joy, love and gratefulness.

“Amazing Grace,

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost

But now am found,

Was lost, but now I see!”

The son did not merit this welcome from his father. The father had every right to discipline his son and make him feel the weight of his sin. But the joy and love that filled his father’s heart washed away all else. Clearly, this is a picture of God our Father, and how He yearns for His children to come home!

God knows that we are incapable of keeping all of His commandments. He gave us those Commandments to show His holiness and standards, all the while knowing that we will fall short.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 (KJV)

He yearns for reconciliation with those He has created. His plan from before the foundations of the earth were laid, was that His precious Son Jesus would pay for our sins by the shedding of His own blood; the Perfect sacrifice.

John the Baptist said this:

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 (KJV)

The blood of Jesus was vastly different from that of sacrificed animals. This was the blood of God Himself; the final atonement for all sin. The Word made flesh had come into the world to shed His blood, so that whosoever believes (trusts) in Him will be saved.

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)

He brought us a better covenant: GRACE. He lavished His love and grace upon us, and those who were drawn and answered Yes, would be reconciled to Him for eternity. We are born- again. Hallelujah!

Have You Changed?

When you came to God, were you broken? Did you sincerely ask Him to be your Lord and Savior? Did you agree with Him that you are a sinner? Did you repent of your sins, and tell Him that you need Him for the forgiveness of your sins?

Is the fruit of the Spirit evident in your life?

Do you use grace as an excuse to keep sinning? Grace is often misunderstood. It is not to be used to have one foot in the world and one foot in the Bible. True salvation and repentance go hand in hand. We cannot have one without the other. Immediately upon salvation, the brand-new Christian is nearly overwhelmed by the urging of the Holy Spirit to repent. Repentance is not a condition for salvation but it is surely a fruit of it.

When we come to Christ and sincerely repent we yield to the Holy Spirit so He can accomplish the regenerative work within.

Galatians 5:22-25 says:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

When a person is born-again from above, there is evidence of the Holy Spirit dwelling within. Good works come naturally; they come out of a grateful heart in the child of God. This doesn’t mean there will be instantaneous recognition of a redeemed soul. But there should be change in behavior and attitude..A child of God begins to love the things that God loves, and hate that which He hates.

Does the child of God still sin?

As long as we live in these bodies, we will sin. Paul spoke about this battle within him in Romans 7:15-24

“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Until we receive our glorified bodies, we will still sin. But we have the assurance from God that we may come to Him and confess the sin:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9 (KJV)

Sanctification is the process of being set apart from the world. Believers are in the world but not of it.

John 17:15-19 says:

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”

Are you a different person since you asked Jesus to be Lord and Savior of your life? I’m not asking if you are perfect. None of us are, except Jesus Christ. I am asking you if you have changed since you made a profession of faith. Have you begun to love what God loves, and feel an aversion to what He hates?

Are you living with a person to whom you are not married? Do you come under conviction that this doesn’t please God? Do you get defensive and angry when someone points out Scriptures that hold us accountable for a changed life in Christ?

When you think back to the time before you asked Jesus to come into your heart, do you see yourself growing in Him? Do you love to read His Word? Do you love to be with other Christians and feel more comfortable being around them than your unsaved friends? Do you share the salvation message? These are questions that each of us should be asking ourselves.

2 Corinthians 13:5 says:

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

Grace Is Not Cheap, salvation is not simply saying “the prayer”

Through the years, I have watched the same people walk down the aisle as the pastor does an altar call – over and over, again and again. Some of these people I have known personally. It is difficult to understand why they feel the need to repent and believe all over again. But that is between them and God.

I have seen others who walk that aisle as if it’s a path to a heavenly insurance policy. You can see these types who continue to live in sin, but if anything is said, they point you back to the day that they “Said the prayer” and in their minds that sealed the deal. I must tell you that this makes me very sad and angry.

I call that cheap grace. There is nothing cheap about the suffering our Savior endured on that horrid cross. He suffered an excruciatingly painful death, and spiritually He came to a point where He cried out “My God, why has thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:14) because at that moment He had become sin and His Father had to turn from Him.

Now before you say that I’m getting legalistic, let me assure you that I am NOT legalistic in any way. I see many people who claim to be in the faith, but whose lives scream “I’m of the world” Where is the fruit? Saved, yes, but with nothing to show at the Judgment Seat.

If you are a Christian, then you should be following Christ. You should NOT look like the world. You should be able to look back and see that you have changed.

We do not read about the life of the prodigal son after he returned home. I believe that his repentance and coming home changed his whole life. I believe that if Jesus wrote the rest of that story, we would see a completely different person in the prodigal son. I think that the moment that his father kissed him and showed that unconditional love, he was forever a new person. Not perfect, but changed.

I know I’ve changed. He is still working on me and refining and smoothing out rough edges. But the person I used to be is definitely not who I am today!. How about you?

Maranatha!

Praise Yeshua Ha Mashiach!

 


 

Born into a Jewish family in Maryland, I was always searching for the truth about Jesus. I knew that He had to be someone so very special. My dad would say "He was a good man, but not who he said he was." So a good man would lie? At the age of 31, I finally met Yeshua, and He became my Lord and Savior. I am a Jew who has been made complete in Him. I am now anxiously awaiting His Glorious return to rapture His church! Maranatha!
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