Summary: Pentecost 20(A) - As believers who labor in the Lord’s vineyard we will return fruits of faith and we remember Jesus’ return.
BELIEVERS LABOR IN THE LORD’S VINEYARD (Outline)
October 14, 2007 -
PENTECOST 20 -
INTRO: Our text intertwines Christian closeness with other teachings Jesus would like us to review. Believers are blessed with closeness to God through and by his holy word. Believers are blessed with closeness to other Christians by the bonds of faith tied together with God’s love. All of this is because of God’s free grace given that we believe. Now our lives are lived in loving God. Our lives are lived in loving others. More importantly, really most importantly our lives are lived because of the love of God. Without God, without his love there is no closeness. Take a look at chapter 15 of John. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing"(JOHN 15:5). As branches we are attached to the vine of Christ. In him we move, live, and flourish. This brings us to the parable we will examine. Not only are we branches attached to the divine vine but we are also laborers in the Lord’s vineyard.
BELIEVERS LABOR IN THE LORD’S VINEYARD.
I. We will return fruits of faith.
II. We remember Jesus’ return.
I. WE WILL RETURN FRUITS OF FAITH
A. Jesus teaches with a parable. This is an earthly story with an heavenly meaning.
1. We are given the setting and principle people in verse 33. The Lord is the landowner.
2. The vineyard represents Israel. This scene is taken from Isaiah 5:1ff.
a. The Lord provides protection
b. The Lord entrusts the vineyard to tenants.
B. It is time to collect the fruit, verse 34, as payment for the rent. The landowner sends servants.
1. The tenants mistreat the servants not once, but twice, verses 35, 36.
2. The landowner decides to send his son whom they would respect, verse 37.
a. This son is Jesus.
b. The tenants reject not respect him.
c. Soon Jesus will be crucified.
C. They did not return fruits that were due the landowner. They reject and are rejected, verse 41.
D. Rejection is still the strength of worldly thought today. People are quick to oppose and even faster to disagree with people who do not agree with their line of thinking. Many believe and others are taught that there are no absolutes. Therefore no one has the right to determine what is truly right and what is truly wrong by any one standard. This thinking leads individuals to put their trust and confidence in themselves, in their opinion. This will lead to bad fruit. It is an age-old problem. "But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors"(HOSEA 10:13). God cannot be deceived nor mocked.
E. How do overcome the negative rejection that the world throws up against Christianity and believers throughout the world? What are we to do? Our heavenly Father reminds us to stand firm. Stand firm on the word of God. God’s word is the source of all truth. God’s word is the source of comfort, encouragement, salvation, and our closeness to God. "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green"(PSALM 92:13,14).
F. We need to remind ourselves that on this great globe called planet we labor for the Lord. This world is nothing more than the Lord’s vineyard that he provides for believers to live in, work in, and re-turn fruits of faith to him who gave them to us. We often think of fruits of faith as money or treasure. It is. But there are also fruits of faith known as time and talents. God has richly supplied each and every one of us with talents. God does not necessarily need our talents returned to him. But we do and can return our fruits of faith, talents, to God as we give them to others. Here is only one list among many found in Scripture. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law"(GALATIANS 5:22,23). There is no law against showing or returning these fruits of faith to our fellow man. What a wonderful blessing for those around us to see in us these gifts of God, these talents, overflowing from us unto them!
BELIEVERS LABOR IN THE LORD’S VINEYARD.
We will return fruits of faith.
II. WE WILL REMEMBER JESUS’ RETURN