Summary: “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” Luke 15:10.
Our theme for today’s sermon on World Wide Communion Sunday is repentance. Repentance means a change of mind about sin, the world and God leading to a new way of life that exalts and glorifies our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Repentance became necessary the moment Adam chose to obey Satan rather than God. Adam was created in God’s image and likeness and had the free will to make his own decisions. When Adam was deceived and made the choice to disobey God, he was cut off from his source of life and became a slave of Satan. Adam, however did not lose his free will and there remained a place in his heart that only God could fill. As descendants of Adam, even in our sinful state Satan had no power over our free will or our longing for God’s presence. Repentance is realising our fallen condition and making the decision to turn away from sin and the world and return to a loving God waiting to forgive and welcome us home. free
Step One: A change of mind about sin
a) All have sinned
Repentance is to change our mind about sin and agree with God that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). No one needs to teach a child to sin. We sin because we have all inherited Adams sinful nature.
b) The wages of sin is death
“The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord”. (Rom 6:23) Jesus Christ bore the full judgement of God on sin on the cross and died in our place to pay the penalty for sin on our behalf and give us the gift of eternal life.
c) We are saved by grace through faith
Salvation is a gift and does not depend on anything we have done but on what Christ has done for “By grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God”. (Eph. 2:8)
David was a man after God’s heart. Like every descendant of Adam, he was born with a sin nature. However, David was a worshipper and spent time in the presence of God. He wrote almost a whole book of worship songs and every time he sinned, it affected him so badly that he could only function after repenting of his sin. After his sin of adultery with Bathsheba he wrote Psalm 51 which showed how devastated he was. He acknowledged that he had sinned against God and appealed to His mercy and love for forgiveness. That mercy and love would finally lead Christ to the cross where He would pay the full penalty for past, present and future sins.
We life in a most blessed age. Christ, the perfect sacrifice, paid the full penalty for sin on our behalf that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Step Two: Change of mind about God
a) God is love
We often have a wrong idea about God and need to change our mind and believe the truth that God is love and that He loves us. When Adam sinned and hid from God it was God who came to him and covered him with the skin of a sacrificed animal pointing to His Son that would become our ultimate sacrifice.
b) God cares about every sinner
God cares about every sinner. Christ was filled with love and compassion and this was so evident that tax collectors, prostitutes and many other sinners had no problem approaching Him and were comfortable in His presence. They felt the genuineness of His love, care, affection and concern that they made no attempt to avoid Him even though Jesus did not compromise on sin.
c) Christ died on the cross to save sinners
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. (1Ti 1:15) He came into this world of darkness and evil to rescue the lost and proved his love for mankind when he died on the cross. His death made provision for all to be saved, all who choose to believe in Him.
Jesus seeks the lost and rejoices when He finds them. The story about the lost sheep and the lost coin is a picture of a lost sinner. Sheep have a nature to wander off and get lost and when a sheep is lost it is through its own stupidity. The shepherd knows that the dangers of the world would kill his sheep. They would become food for all the beasts of the field when they go astray. They could wander off and could fall into deep crevices and die. When Jesus leaves the 99 and searches for the one sheep, He is personalising the story indicating that each person can be the lost sheep and the reason why Jesus went to the cross to find you. The second story is about a woman who has lost a coin. You can only lose a coin through carelessness and this story is referring to a person who is careless about his spiritual condition and ends up losing his soul. In both cases God is concerned about the lost sinner, seeks him and rejoices when He finds him and saves him.