Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jesus Christ: The Only Bailout We Really Need -- The Reason

Pastor Prince's analogy of human efforts and human charities to the honey and leaven which must be left out of sacrifices has been adequately demonstrated.

Now, why is it in the best interests of believers to avoid interpolating their own efforts, whether to secure God's favor or to earn God's righteousness, especially in regards to the poverty that afflicts others?

Consider the Parable of the Prodigal Son. What would have happened to this young man if some passerby had taken pity on this pitiful boy's plight? Seeing him starved to nothing, feeding loathsome pigs and unable to content himself even with the scraps fed to those terrible creatures, some human heart, stuffed up with pagan goodness, would have thrown him some money.

Then he would have missed out on the grand reception and restoration waiting for him, back in His Father's House:

"And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

"And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

"But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

"And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

"For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry." (Luke 15: 20-24)

If we would only let every lost soul return right to the Lord, they would find the following waiting for him or her:

1. Unconditional Love: The Father rushed to his son, who was still "a great way off" God's love never stops pouring forth to all. It is a matter of the slightest movement of faith from every person to receive this love!

2. Redemption: The Father "had compassion" for his son, a chief proof that He had already forgiven his son.

3. Restoration of Right Standing (Righteousness): Under the Old Covenant, a disobedient child would have been stoned to death (cf Deuteronomy 21:18); here, the Father immediately welcomed his lost and forlorn son back into the family, providing him new apparel, representing his restored right standing in the family, along with new shoes, which only sons wear.

4. Sustenance: By preparing the fatted calf, a symbol of the sacrifice which Jesus Christ would be for all of us, the Father provided for the bodily needs of his son, far beyond what he could have ever asked or thought (cf Ephesians 3:20)

5. Joy and Peace: The Father wanted to make merry for his son, which all of heaven does for every sinner who repents!

6. Never-ending supply: When the Father put "a ring on his hand", the Father invest his son not just with renewed authority, but unlimited purchasing power, for the ring of a family served as the credit guarantee, like a credit card today.

Imagine the prodigal son missing out on this restoration and promotion if some foolish, self-presumptive passerby had doled out a hand out, which would have undermined the desperate initiative for this young man to return to his father!

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