Summary: A message from the parable of the wise and foolish virgins.
Dakota Community Church
November 23, 2008 (pm)
"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
"At midnight the cry rang out: ’Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ’Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
" ’No,’ they replied, ’there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
"Later the others also came. ’Sir! Sir!’ they said. ’Open the door for us!’
"But he replied, ’I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Another one of those disturbing parables; like the “Lord, Lord, didn’t we do all these things in your name” crowd, we see here people who went out to meet the bridegroom but who are turned away by the exact same line from the Lord, “I don’t know you.”
1. The oil allows the light to shine.
The question is what exactly is it that lights your lamp?
Is it good works? If it is good works then Christ died in vain because many produce good works that are according to God mere filthy rags in His sight.
Is it mere mental assent, mere faith in a historical figure, an enlightened teacher; James tells us that the demons believe and tremble but theirs is not a trusting faith for salvation, theirs is a knowing faith that judgment day is coming and they cannot be saved.
What lights our lamp is the indwelling Spirit of the living God who comes to live in the new creation that we become at the new birth. New wine in new wine skins!
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
…the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Salvation comes through faith in Christ; the Holy Spirit (the oil) then comes and dwells in us as vessels or temples cleansed by the blood of Christ. He then begins bearing fruit through us as we walk in step with Him, evidence of His power in us results in good works that glorify God and He gets the glory for it all, not us because He is the author of it all.