Summary: If God is willing to forgive and forget, then we must do the same for ourselves.
COMING TO GRIPS WITH FORGIVENESS
Text: Lk. 15:11-24
A. Read Lk. 15:11-24
B. Over the past several weeks, I have been preaching to you about the subject of forgiveness. In this series we have talked about…
1. Our need to be forgiven by God
2. Our need to forgive others
C. However there is an aspect of forgiveness that we have not talked about yet, which often gets overlooked—we need to forgive ourselves.
D. Jesus illustrates this powerfully on the parable of the Prodigal Son.
Transition: First we see…
I. Going Away (11-14)
A. Two Sons
1. Jesus tells a story about a man with two sons.
a. One is older
1) He is stable
2) He is honest
3) He is hard working
4) He won’t burp, scratch, or pick his nose in public!
b. One is younger
1) He is wild
2) He is lazy
3) He is dishonest
4) He will burp, scratch, and pick his nose simultaneously in public
2. One day the younger son comes to his father and asks for his share of the inheritance.
a. In the ancient world, a son had a right to the father’s estate even while the father was still alive.
b. The father divided up his estate and gave the younger son his portion.
3. The text tells us that he took his inheritance, gathered up all his stuff, and went to a far off country and “there wasted his substance on riotous living.”
a. This is King James for “he went to down!”
b. He had the best food
c. He lived in the best hotels
d. He drank the best wine
e. He wore the finest clothes
f. He shared the company of the most beautiful women
4. In short, he lived a life of sin.
a. The problem with living a life of sin is that it eventually catches up with you.
b. Rom. 6:23 – “The wages of sin is death…”
c. Sin not only kills your soul and spirit, but it also kills your body.
d. Illustration: People who have lived lives of sin usually look like they have lived lives of sin.
5. A famine hit the land, and he ran out of money.
a. No more food
b. No more hotels
c. No more fancy clothes
d. No more women
e. No more nothing!
B. Illustration of Sin
1. Jesus uses this story because it is the perfect illustration of sin.
2. When we take the blessings of God and we deliberately rebel against Him we are just like the younger son.
a. In doing what he did, the younger son ruined his father’s reputation.
b. When we rebel against God, people look at us and associate our behavior with God’s character.
c. Heb. 6:6 – “…they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.”
3. This parable also shows how sin destroys lives.
a. God doesn’t say, “Thou shalt not!” because he wants to ruin our fun. He says it because He realizes the destructive power of sin.
b. Whenever we do things our way it leads to death, but whenever we do things God’s way it leads to life.
c. Prov. 14:12 – “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (NASB).
4. Sin will leave you broken.
a. Broken in spirit
b. Broken in the flesh
c. Broken in the wallet
d. Broken in heart
Transition: Coming out of this lifestyle requires…
II. Coming to Our Senses (15-19)
A. When He Came to Himself
1. Since he was out of money and hungry he went and offered his services to the local pig farmer.
2. Illustration: Instructions to a preaching assignment—when you get to the pig farm turn right. Question: “How will I know when I’ve gotten to the pig farm?” Answer: “You’ll know!”
3. As the hunger began to overwhelm him, he looked at the slop that he was feeding the pigs and it actually began to look good to him.
a. The word “fain” means “gladly.”
b. He was so hungry he would gladly have eaten that pig slop.
4. But then, the text tells us, he came to himself.
a. He realized the desperateness of his situation.
b. He realized that his reckless living had brought him to a point beyond despair.
c. He realized that his own sinfulness had made him worse than a slave.
5. He said to himself, “Even my father’s servants ear better than this, and if I humble myself and ask to be treated as a servant, it would surely be better than this.
1. One of the ministries of the Spirit in our lives is conviction.
2. He convinces us that we have been eating pig slop, because if you are eating what the devil is dishing out it is pig slop!