Understanding Christ’s Radical Re-Definitions
Anchor Lady: …seven and you know, we started this Prodigal Father Series; and today we’ll be concluding finally on this series. We know you’ve be blessed by this series. But today we are trusting the Lord as we take a final look in this story that you’ll be able to see it in a new light; and we hope we’ll be blessed together. Without wasting much time, we just want to run into it and we will like to maybe use just a minute to remind our viewers how we started the conclusion yesterday.
Peter: Yeah, viewers all over the world, thank you for joining once again on Exposé247 on the Prodigal Father Series. As we all know today is the grand finale, where we’ll be doing a crash course on everything we’ve done so far… making sure we’ll be doing a kind of sum, a kind of sum. Now yesterday, we have actually looked at the series, and we looked at how Jesus redefined the whole notion of sin, what sin actually is. So, we saw yesterday that from verse… Luke 15:11 – 17 Jesus redefined sin as just…going away from the Father. And we saw what the younger son did. We actually learnt the fact that the younger son wasn’t suffering… in the Father’s house. It wasn’t that there were no servants to attend to the younger son, it wasn’t that he wasn’t enjoying the benefits of his Father. So we saw that fundamentaly, what the younger son wanted was to enjoy the inheritance on his own terms. He wanted control, he wanted independence and that’s the foundation of sin, and that’s where we actually summarized up to yesterday. And so today, we’ll carry on from there.
Anchor Lady: Yes, ok, so let’s go.
Peter: Now…today, the next thing we’ll want to look at in this crash course in the series is what happens to the younger son as soon as he left home. We know what happened to him, he actually suffered a lot, he actually encountered hunger, and all that…all those things. So, the next thing Jesus presented to the world from this parable, was to see the home-coming of the younger son. And we want to say this categorically, that Jesus redefined the whole thing about conviction of sin.
Anchor Lady: hmmm… so there are so many redefinitions of sin here in this passage.
Peter: …don’t forget that the audience of Jesus were the Pharisees and the Sadducees on one side and the Publicans and sinners on the other side. And when you see Jesus presenting this parable, you have to keep in mind that Jesus was talking to a particular audience… And Jesus had to redefine the whole conviction of sin, what it was about it was about in this parable so that the Pharisees and the Sadducee can understand it majorly why the sinners and the publicans were all crowding around Jesus Christ. So, that’s it, He re-defined the whole notion of conviction of sin. How do we look at that? See what happened to the younger son—what drove the younger son all the way back home? That’s a big question you wanna ask. How did the younger son come to terms with his senses? What drove him to go back home? And I began to investigate into the Luke 15 parable to see what Jesus used as the tool that drove the younger son back to the Father, and if you are a preacher of the gospel, if you are somebody that ministers the gospel to people and you are willing to drive people back to their Maker, you wanna understand how Jesus presented the conviction of sin. And if you as well as someone who are deep in sin and you are bound by the shackles of darkness and you are held by the enemy and you wanna come back home, you want to listen as well to how Jesus redefines what conviction of sin is all about. What happened? What happened when he came to his senses? The KJV says he came to himself… How did he come to himself? How did he come to realize his present status? Jesus said, he thought about how good his Father was. Do you know what he said to himself? He said “ you know what? he said; ‘I think my Father is so good, that even His servants don’t just have enough to eat, the servants of my Father even have enough to spend. If my Father is this good, what am I doing here?” Now, that brings a very big question to the mind of people in terms of conviction. What can convict a man to journey back to the Father? Jesus in this parable presented to you and I that it was the goodness of the Father of this younger son that drove the younger son back home. Now this is very critical, this is so serious for those of us that believe that the way to drive people back to God is to make them understand the punishment awaiting them if they don’t go back home. Now, we gonna talk about that, but primarily, at the base of it, at the fundamental part of it, it was the goodness of the Father that drove him back home. And I’ll tell you the reason why the goodness of the Father drove him back home. Don’t forget one thing, that by the time he wasted his resources, by the time the younger son began to be in want, the bible says “there was a great famine in the land”. Now watch this, the bible says he met with the citizens of the country, now the Living Bible says he met a local farmer. Now listen, and this local farmer sent him to work in his field and to feed his pigs and by the time this local farmer sent him to feed his pigs, you know what happens next? You were gonna think that there were gonna pay him for his services. But bible says, he was so hungry. Now, the big question is “How can you send someone to work in your field and the person you sent to work in you field is still actually hungry?” It means he met with an harsh system, he met with the system that was completely contradictory to the benefits he was enjoying at home. And this is what the Father would want us to understand today. God wants us to understand that the deal that God has with humanity, the love that God has for us, what God has presented to humanity in Christ Jesus, there is nothing on this planet, there is no system on this planet that can beat the goodness of God… of the Father.
Anchor Lady: of the Father
Peter: and this is what the younger son realized, he realized, you know what? If I was sent to feed the pigs in the field, and I am still hungry—this system is very harsh. And let me tell you something, the bible says “there is no greater love, no greater love…” watch this, has a man than this, that a man could lay down his life for his friends…” There is no love on this planet, there is nothing this society can give you, there is nothing this world system can offer you that can meet up or beat the goodness of God. Now listen to this, it doesn’t matter if… it might come from your family, there is no family love that can beat God’s kind of love, there is no spousal love – I mean with you and your husband or wife that can beat the love of God. There is no such love, even celebrity love; you know the reason why they celebrate people today is because there is something you are offering to them. You have to keep performing, there is a performance you have to come up with before the world system can love you and as long as you stop performing and giving them what they want they will discard you. And the younger son compared, he compared what he was having from the system, that he was dealing with and he found out; you know what? This is complete rubbish compared to what the Father can offer and you see this is the whole foundation about the goodness of God. And the reason why so many people cannot appreciate God’s goodness is because, you have not sat dawn to contrast God’s goodness to what this world system can offer you. The bible says “Why we were yet sinners… (you can see that? While we were yet sinners we couldn’t come up with any performance, we couldn’t come up with anything. The bible says that is when Christ died for the ungodly… And you see at the basis of it, it is the goodness of God that drives us to repentance. That’s why the bible says “don’t you know the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” And I say this… if people are still not willing to go back home to the Father, if people are not still willing to go back home to God, it means that those people who were presenting the gospel of Jesus’ love have not done a good enough job to show the whole world how GOOD God can be. We know God is good. People talk about the goodness of God but still the world does not know how good God can be. You see? Because, when we talk about God’s love to people, they compare that to the kind of love they have on this side of eternity. But the reality is the younger son was driven back home because the revelation of the goodness of the Father dawned on him and that’s one thing we understand that Jesus redefined the whole notion of the conviction of sin. And I know people talk about the fact that people need to experience godly sorrow before they can… before they can repent. Of course they have to. See the younger son, by the time he was going back home, he noticed he was in deep sorrow because he felt within his soul… but that sorrow was not caused because he understand that his Father is going to punish him or was gonna actually shoot him because… or do anything with him because he wasted His inheritance. It was the goodness of the Father that even led him to sorrow, that’s the point we are trying to make. It was the goodness of the Father, so Jesus redefines the conviction of sin to mean that people must come to an understanding of how good God can be.
Anchor Lady: of how good God can be
Peter: and there is nothing they can get from this side of eternity that can beat that goodness and that is what we have come to understand. Now, beyond that, in this parable of the Prodigal Father, the next thing Jesus does with this parable, He redefines the whole thing about salvation, about salvation, because any time we talk about salvation, you know most times, people have reduced the salvation project of God to adaptations and modifications, you know, making you live a better life.
Anchor Lady: yeah
Peter: That’s why somebody was saying some days ago, that thank-God for Christmas, that God sent Jesus to the world so that the world can be a better place—that is completely out of the point. God did not send Jesus to make this world a better place, God did not send Jesus to improve the world, God did not send Jesus to make this world much more convenient for us to live, that’s not the reason for God sending His Son Jesus. You know what? Because humanity was cursed, there is a curse on humanity, the world system, the flesh, the devil—all these are the enemies of God. There’s nothing God can do to improve the world. So Jesus did not come to improve the world, He came to bring a new life out of the dead and the rubbles of the world. So the Gospel of Jesus is about a new life from the dead. That’s why the Father told the people who came to celebrate with him, the Father said “this my son… can you see that… who was dead, now is alive, again now… That’s amazing because you wonder why would the Father say this in this parable. While would He say the son was dead and is come back to life because what we thought was that, the son who was gone, who was actually living a life of sin, is the son who was living a righteous life has come back home and would have thought it was a behavioral modification. But the Father said no, this is was beyond behavioral modification. This my son was lost and now is found, he was dead, but now he is alive. So, listen, the whole point of salvation, of coming back home to the Father, is a dead man coming back to life.
Anchor Lady: coming back to life
Peter: Jesus redefined what salvation is. He said this is not an adaptation, it’s not a modification and that’s what the bible says. If any man is in Christ, he’s a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. Now, I understand, I mean for those who are the audience today, I understand that you’re wondering what am I talking about? Are there no scriptures that talks about the fact that you need to be better, we need to improve, and we need to…and scriptures that talk about the fact that we need to, to stop doing this and start doing that. But you see, the reason, we have such confusion in the body of Christ about such scriptures is because we don’t understand what God is addressing, when God speaks in some certain scripture. For example, some weeks ago, we actually read Colossians 3, where it talked about the fact that you are dead and your life is hid in Christ in God. Of course, He wasn’t talking about your body, that your body is dead because you are still alive, even speaking and of course He’s not talking about your mind, your soul, so because you can still think, he was talking about the fact that you had an old life and that old life, that old man is dead and now, the person you used to be is not the same person anymore. That verse is talking to your spirit—you’re now a new creature in Christ Jesus, not the same. Colossians 3:1 says you are dead, then in the 4th verse goes ahead and says “mortify your members that are upon the earth” and you know that’s very confusing. Mortify means to deaden, to kill. How can he say you’re dead and saying what again? You’re to mortify or deaden? Also again, if you go to Peter, it says that you are holy, can you see that? He says that you’re now a holy nation and then again he goes again and Peter says again what? Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy. Then you wonder and say, what kind of confusion is that? How can I be holy and you are still asking me to be holy now? The simple fact is this; the only reason why our behavior and character can be modified is because we are a new creation. It means for example a living thing will act as a living thing, a dead thing will act as a dead thing. So, salvation fundamentally is not just about the modification, it’s about a new life. First, if you have a new life in you, you will act according to the kind of life you have. A dog will act as a dog, a cat will act as a cat, a new creation will act as a new creation.
So, Jesus presented the whole notion of salvation using this parable to tell us that see, what happened to the younger son is not just… he didn’t get better, what happened to the younger son wasn’t that he was improved upon, Jesus was simply saying this younger son you are looking at, he told the people at the party in the parable, he says this my son, the Father said this my son, was dead but now he is alive—and that is the whole bottom line of the notion of salvation. It’s new life in the soul of people. So, when we preach the word, when we minister the gospel to the people, we must have that understanding that we are transmitting the life of God to them and when we see anybody become born again, it’s the life of Christ they received and that’s what Jesus did talk about in this parable.
Now the third thing Jesus actually focused on in this parable is he redefined the whole notion about how to receive from God and that, I think that, that’s probably the most important aspect of this because you see people… We have prayer meetings, people organize prayer meetings and conventions and the whole focus of this meeting is to make sure that we convince God to be good to us. We convince God to give us and like we said the other time, it’s the end of the year again people are looking at 2017 and people are believing that God, you have to do in 2017 what you didn’t do in 2016. People are going to pray, people are going to fast, people are going to make declarations, people are going to make confessions in the spirit just to make sure that 2017 is better than 2016 and you see, that’s not the problem that is really great, that is really wonderful; we cannot be perceive about things like this, but the bottom line is: on what basis are those prayer points being offered? We offer those prayer points on the basis that we are going to propel God to do for us what He didn’t do in 2016 but listen, in this parable of Luke 15:11-32 Jesus represented to the world what it means to receive from God. He represented to the world what it means to actually get anything from God. What did He do?
If you noticed in verse 11, Luke 15 vs 11,the bible says the Father divided inheritance between the younger son and the elder son… Can you watch that? The Father divided the inheritance between both sons, it means when the younger son left home with the what? Inheritance… the older son also had his own portion of the inheritance; that’s in verse 11. But you see, what we noticed is if you go down to verse 27-28, we see the older son accuse the Father of not giving him a young goat. Now viewers all over the world I want to ask you a simple question, what has a young goat got to do compared with half of the inheritance? I don’t know how much value the inheritance worth, he could have been worth… This Father was a very rich Father for him to have an inheritance to share with His children, it means He has something in stock. Now the big question is, how does half of the inheritance compare to a young goat? So it means that we see a kind of breakdown of communication between a Father and the elder son because the Father said He has given him half of the inheritance but the elder son complained to the Father that he had not received a young goat from the Father. It means then, Jesus was trying to present this parable to tell humanity that the problem we have is not the goodness of God, that the problem we have is not God not giving us, that the problem we have is not God not making everything available to the whole world, the problem we have is we are unable to receive what the Father has to give. And you see, and I think the church should have been much more focused on teaching people, on teaching people on how to receive from the God who has given us all things. We know the bible says all things we need for life and godliness has been given to us, it means
Anchor Lady: godliness
Peter: God will not improve on His giving. God has given us all things, the book of Romans says God did not spare His son Jesus, but God gave up His Son for us. How much more together with Christ will God not give us freely all things? Now, mark the word ‘all things’.
Anchor Lady: all things
Peter: every time, He always kept saying that all things, all things. It means there is nothing left for God to give. Are you looking for salvation, God already gave salvation, Christ Jesus. Are you looking for healing and deliverance, God will not improve on what He has given. The bible says in 1 Peter 2:24, He said by his stripes we were healed. It was in the past tense; it means that God has given us all things we need. Are you looking for peace? Bible says, Christ is made our peace. Are you looking for wisdom? The bible says Christ is made the wisdom and the power of God… And are you looking for deliverance? The bible says He has come to set his people free. It means then, the problem we have is how to receive, not God giving. And that’s why I think we are focusing on the wrong thing in the body of Christ.
See, there is something that comes to mind before we leave this notion of Jesus redefining, I mean, receiving from the Father. You see the story of this man who actually brought his son to Jesus Christ and to the disciples in Mathew 17… this man brought his son and he was asking that they actually heal his son from the…, from the condition that his son had. And you see, as he came to Christ, his disciples couldn’t do anything about it and Jesus came back from the mount of transfiguration and the man said to Jesus, he said, if he could do anything and you can help us and you see, Jesus put it back on the man and said, you shouldn’t be asking me if I can do anything. You know, He said what? He said that If you believe, all things are possible… So what Jesus was telling that man is to say… it’s not about whether I wanna do it. It’s about, are you able to receive what I’ve got to offer. And you see that’s the whole point, that’s the whole foundation where Jesus was presenting this parable. He was presenting to us that our problem is, not knowing how to receive. And let’s say this in summary… before we actually conclude on this Prodigal Father series… You see, what we need to understand is our identity… that by receiving from the Father is not because we qualify in our service and I think if we look at this up to verse 32, that’s the reason why the elder son was blocked. That’s the reason why the he was stuck. The reason why he was restricted and couldn’t make a progress receiving from the Father. If you noticed, when he complained to the Father, the response of the Father is what actually makes us to really think deeply about this. The Father said, you are My son, and He said all things that I have is yours… you are in the house forever. It means that the Father is saying the reason why you should have been able to act as a young boy is because you should know you are my son and you are in the house forever. So, what disqualified him is simply because he thought that he had to do one thing or the other in order for him to be able to receive what the Father already gave. You see, we have nothing to do; all we have to do is to receive all from the Father. That’s why the bible talks about this in Ephesians 2:6, he said for by grace are ye saved through faith and you see the gift of God and it is not of yourself less any man should boast. Yes that’s the word, He says what? Yes, by grace God made available, by faith we receive. And He said it is not of yourself, He said you cannot qualify, you cannot fight for it, you cannot pray for it.
So let’s say this before we actually conclude on this crash course on the Prodigal Father series that the reason why we pray, the reason why we fast the reason why we fast, the reason why we seek… why we study the word of God… is not because we are trying to convince God to give to us. In Philippians 4:6, it says, talking about prayer, it said in all things do not … I mean, Do not be anxious about anything… can you see that? Do not be anxious about anything… OK and he said in all things by prayer… mark the word, and supplication… and with thanksgiving… it means what?
Anchor Lady: With thanksgiving
Peter: …Make your request known to God… Now, watch this, He said and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind. He simply saying when you pray, when you offer thanksgiving to God, it’s saying when you offer supplication to God, what happens is this: A peace of God comes to you… it guards your heart and your mind. It puts you in a position where you are able to receive from God the Father. So what prayer does is not acting on God, what our fasting does, it doesn’t act on God, what your faith does, your faith does not move God—that’s why we did the series titled ‘Faith does not move God’. Your faith does nothing to God and that’s very critical and we understand that. But it does something to you… it puts you in a position where you would be at peace to God to receive from the Father and that’s the reason why James 1 tells us that you see, anyone who is double-minded… somebody who is not at peace, he said let him not think he will be able to receive anything from the Father. Yeah, so that’s the reason why we pray, that’s the reason why we fast, that’s the reason why we study the word of the Lord which put us in a position where we are at peace where will be able to access what the Father as to give to us.
So, in this parable, Jesus made a very big point in this parable. He redefined the whole notion of the giving of God and the receiving of mankind. That’s the reason why so many are stuck; it is not because God has not given and that’s the reason why you can look at it today when it comes to the issue of … salvation. I mean, the reason why your neighbor and the people around you are not saved is not because God did not give them Jesus. Titus2:11 tells us, it said, the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. But yet, you see, some are not saved; and in the same way, it doesn’t matter what you are asking God for, for the next year 2017, it doesn’t matter what it is the bottom line is the reason you don’t have is not because God has not giving it. The reason you don’t have it is because you have not been able to receive it because God cannot improve on what He has done in Christ Jesus because of you. You cannot force God to do more than He has done in Christ. So it means what we need to do at this stage is to sit down to learn how to receive what God has given.
And so in this parable, as a summary Jesus redefined lots of things. Jesus in a way, if you look at it, in a way presented most of the fundamental facts of the gospel in a very succinct manner and you see there are 4 aspects if you look at what we have talked about:
– Jesus redefines the notion of sin, what it’s all about beyond what we think sin is;
-Jesus redefines the whole notion of conviction of sin.
-Jesus redefines the whole notion of salvation and
-He redefines the whole notion of receiving from the Father.
Those are the four main things that Jesus re-presented in the parable of the Prodigal Father in Luke15:11-32
Anchor Lady: Yeah unfortunately, the story ends on a sad note you know because yesterday we were able to establish the audience for this story so the Pharisees and Sadducee they were talking about……..but we know that this story…you know, do you want to talk about that? I mean, it’s more on the elder brother
Peter: hmmm yeah. Viewers, there is something we want you to actually have a rethink about in this parable that Jesus presented. Yesterday, we actually clarified the audience of this parable. When Jesus speaks and when Jesus gave parables in the gospels there were audiences for each parable. You cannot understand the parable unless you know what the audience were. Yesterday we established the fact that the audience, the publicans and the sinners on one side and the Pharisee and Sadducee on the other side. Listen, we know in this part of the world that that the elder brother represented the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the younger brother represented the publicans and sinners… But you see to the end of this story, it’s amazing that even though the younger son made it back home—the person who you will categorize as the big ’’sinner’’, the person you will say was living a riotous life—he made it all the way back home but the elder who was a moral person, the person who thought he could gain the favour of the Father by living right, there is nothing… You see, we to live right, we have to do the right thing but the motivation for living right cannot be because you want God to love you. That’s the wrong basis for living right. That’s why the elder son lived a very terrible life because he thought by being moral, he could gain the fathers approval. You see, first, we gain the Father’s approval then we live right. We cannot get it twisted the other way round. So some people present Christianity as the Gospel as something that you would say you know if you want God to be happy with you… you gotta live right—that’s not the gospel. The gospel is God is happy with you because you are accepted on the basis of His Son, Jesus and because God is happy with you because you are a new creature in Christ Jesus and you have to go and live a life that is consistent with a new creature. That’s the reality of the gospel.
Now in summary the elder son got it twisted, the elder son got it twisted because he said to the Father I’ve done everything right, so that I can get Your favour… and you see, because he got it twisted what eventually happened towards the end of this parable it was a parable that ended on a sad note. You know why? Because he was outside at the end of the parable. Jesus left him outside at the end of the parable, he left him, he left him outside—and this is what happens to people who think they can gain the favour of the Father by what they do now listen this is very serious because you see some people are there, they are praying and fasting… And that’s why—have you heard of people who said the reason why I’m no more a Christian today is because I prayed and God did not answer my prayer and because of that I think I’m angry and I refuse to be a Christian anymore. Have you heard of people like that before? They are always angry people. That’s the reason why the parable, Jesus presented an angry elder brother. He was angry, he was really pissed off because the Father was celebrating the younger son. And for people who base… and for people who actually claim the reason why they have stopped believing in God or they are tired of any notion of God is because they have prayed and sought the face of the Father and God has not answered their prayers in the past… And people who say that, if you look at those statements, at the foundation of that statement is because they thought the reason why God has to answer their prayers is because they have lived right. They feel like they
Anchor Lady: …have done something
Peter: they have done everything right, why is God not answering my prayer? How can you say that? If you are listening to this episode today and have such a mentality, you are an elder brother—that’s who you are and you have to come out of this mentality. If you are claiming that the reason you are wondering and you are sad and you are angry and you are offended because you think God didn’t answer your prayer, because you thought you have lived a good life… You look at your friends, you look at people around and you think these people are living anyhow they want to live but you say, Father I have lived a good life and why are you not answering my prayers? If you have such mentality, it’s an elder brother mentality, you need to come out of such mentality. The reason why God answers your prayer is not because of you, you don’t even deserve it. If you think that you are perfect or you think you are living a good life, you don’t know the standard of God. If you know the standard of God you will know that there is nothing you can do that can satisfy God’s standard. God satisfied Himself in Christ Jesus on your behalf. Now listen, so it means then, in this parable the elder son was stuck outside because of such a wrong mentality. And for people with such a mentality, they are always stuck outside the kingdom. And you see, this parable then ended on this note so that Jesus could use this as a basis to present the gospel to the elder brother and say don’t stay outside, come back inside… We will not accept you on the basis of your living right, you are accepted on the basis of who the Father is and His love for you… However, like we said, let’s not get it twisted. If we are a new creature we will live right, but we don’t live right to make the Father love us.
Anchor Lady: I know we could go on and on and on this story and then we know that there is more to it… We’re going to roundup today. And this is a very… the Luke 15 story is a very heated family meeting and you don’t want to be either of the sons because the two sons are both lost to the Father, you see…
Anchor Lady: the Father was just waiting, you know… He was begging for the younger son to come home. He was beckoning on the elder son to come inside because he stayed outside. Unfortunately, the elder son could not even come inside. So, you don’t want to be any of those two, but the younger son still found his way… At least, he found his way.
Peter: At least…the younger son actually made it eventually, but you see, the elder son was stuck outside and couldn’t make it inside.
Anchor Lady: That’s another parable of the kingdom going to the dogs, you know…
Anchor Lady: And you see the elder son—the supposedly good brother and couldn’t make it to it.
Well, we trust the Lord that you have gained something and blessed by this series, the one we had today. The one we have been doing… this Prodigal Father series… If you have been blessed, we just want you to, we want to see your comments… If you have any questions concerning clarifications on this story, before we move on. So if you have in any way been blessed by this series I want you to just sit back because what is coming next are… I don’t know, I don’t want to say it now. But, I just want you to check the page so you can get the notification of the new series we’ll be starting. So, next week Saturday, we will start a new series and we are trusting the Lord that this would be more powerful than the Prodigal Father series. So till next week Saturday we want to say bye. Keep living the faith.