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That's Radically Different!

Updated: Sep 17, 2021


The last 2 weeks we heard:


David: What is God Really Like?

Geoff: Who is Our Father?


Let’s look at some familiar scriptures:


Heb. 1:1 God, who in ancient days spoke to our forefathers in many distinct messages and by various methods through the Prophets,

Heb. 1:2 has at the end of these days spoken to us through a Son, who is the pre-destined Lord of the universe, and through whom He made the Ages.

Heb. 1:3 He brightly reflects God’s glory and is the exact representation of His being, and upholds the universe by His all-powerful word. After securing man’s purification from sin He took His seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Weymouth)


What is God really like? Who is our Father?

  • Jesus showed us the Father

  • NOTE: there’s a contrast in verse 1 - God spoke in ancient days by various methods through the prophets

  • TODAY: He is speaking to us through His Son - we know the Father by studying the Son - 1. while He walked on the Earth - 2. By RECEIVING the SON - 3. by KNOWING what the Son did for us..


It’s IMPORTANT to know where to look to discover who God really is:

  • Jesus is the place to look


Heb. 1:3 He is the exact representation of His being (Weymouth), the true image of his substance (BBE), and is stamped with God’s nature (MSG), the exact imprint of his nature (ESV), and expresses the very character of God (NLT), and is like him in every way (CEV), the exact representation of His nature (NAS)…


  • He is the TRUE and EXACT - IMAGE, NATURE, CHARACTER of the Father


This means that God’s image, His nature, His character, His essence, His substance, His imprint, His likeness was JESUS!


Def. Character: one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual.


Sample Sentence:This is a side of her character that few people have seen.”


In the story of the prodigal: (Waiting Father)

  • The Jewish people listening to Jesus were introduced to a Father they previously didn’t know

  • This is a side of God’s character that they previously had not known

  • Jesus was introducing the New Covenant - it was a transitioning and the guidelines were VERY different


Did God change? No - here is what changed:


2 Cor. 5:19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. (NLT)


  • The sin problem needed fixed

  • Jesus came to fix it - that changed the covenants

  • Stoning people for some sins in the Old - to forgiving those in the New

  • The law served it’s purpose

  • Grace is serving it’s purpose


Today: That’s Radically Different


Let’s pick up and read in Luke:


Luke 15:11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story… (NLT)


Q: What point does Jesus want to further illustrate?

Luke 15:10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” (NLT)


  • Jesus is making a point that God REALLY cares about sinners coming back home

Here is a bullet point summary of Luke 15:

  • Tax collectors and sinners came to Jesus

  • This made the Pharisees upset

Jesus then told these stories:

  • A shepherd going after one sheep

    • The shepherd is the pursuer of the lost sheep

    • The shepherd calls friends and rejoices when he finds the lost sheep

  • A woman who loses one of ten silver coins

    • The lady is the pursuer of the lost coin

    • The lady calls friends and rejoices when she finds the lost coin


The difference is extreme, for example in the Old Covenant you were punished for wrong doing, whereas in the New Covenant you are pursued in order to come back to the Father.


The arrival of a lost one coming home calls for celebration. No lingering guilt or condemnation.


Luke 15:11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons.

Luke 15:12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

Luke 15:13 A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.

Luke 15:14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.

Luke 15:15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs.

Luke 15:16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

Luke 15:17 When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!

Luke 15:18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,

Luke 15:19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

Luke 15:20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.


  • This is why we could say the “waiting father” or the pursuing father”


Luke 15:21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.


Here is what we learned so far from the story Jesus told about a Father:


One: The Father Allowed the Son to Go His Way


  • He didn’t threaten him and tell him he would pay and something bad would happen to him

  • those types of threats usually don’t work

  • The son left without guilt and fear of His father

  • STORY: I was threatened occasionally when I was a teenager

  • I was afraid to go home BECAUSE - I was AFRAID of my father

  • God was in Christ - reconciling - not holding their sins against them - it’s an invite to go to the Father)


Two: The Son Paid a Great Price


  • Choosing a lifestyle of sin has it’s price

  • The son went from lavish living to meagre living

  • He ended up eating the foods of pigs

  • The bible never encourages us to sin or use grace to sin

  • But if anyone has done that - there is a waiting heavenly Father - with open arms to welcome you back home


“Grace is not a thing which I use, grace is something which uses me.” – Charles H. Spurgeon


Three: The Son Came to Himself and Repented to His Father


  • It was in the hardest of times when the son came to himself - came to his senses

  • NOTE: no one can force someone to God - the son on his own came to himself

  • Heart made decisions usually last - When he did come to himself - His thoughts about his father were good

  • The Father kept the door open - by allowing him to go - without placing guilt and shame on him


Heb. 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (ESV)


  • This scripture is our OPEN DOOR


Mercy & Grace are two words that can be misunderstood:


Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve; grace is God giving us something we do not deserve.


Four: Restoration is Given Not Earned


Luke 15:20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him


Luke 15:22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.

Luke 15:23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast,

Luke 15:24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.


Jesus surprised His listeners BIG TIME:

  • This father doesn’t wait for his son to crawl to him and repent

  • He surprises His listeners with a father who goes against the grain of established culture

  • Moved by love - He runs to welcome his son

  • Jesus is illustrating a new culture of love, grace, and mercy

  • The father humiliates himself before the community so his son will be spared their unforgiving judgment

  • It was considered demeaning and uncouth for an elderly person to run:


  • The father by running redirects the judgment on himself in order that the son will escape judgment


Grace treated the sinner like a casualty instead of how the law treats the sinner as the perpetrator


  • mankind without Christ are the casualties of the fall

  • God’s saving grace liberates every fallen sinner

  • the father

    • bring the finest robe

    • get a ring and sandals - (seated and devil is under our feet)

    • Kill the fatted calf - throw a feast

    • the dead has returned to life

    • the lost is found


THERE WAS COMPLETE AND INSTANT RESTORATION


CLOSING:


We Have the SAME NATURE IMPARTED to US:

  • Christ in us - His Spirit in us - (all the ways we could say that)

  • The Father of ALL spirits is in us by His Spirit


This means that God’s image, His nature, His character, His essence, His substance, His imprint, His likeness is IN US!


We have the privilege to imitate our Father and continue what Jesus was establishing:


  • Heaven’s culture over all other cultures

  • Christian culture over Synagogue culture

  • Christian culture over nation culture

  • N.T. culture over O.T. culture

  • Grace culture over law culture

  • God’s forgiveness culture over man’s un-forgiveness culture

  • Restoration culture over rejection


“The fact that a Holy God does not instantly obliterate rebellious sinners is mercy. The fact He adopts them as His own is grace (Rom 8:15).” – Richard Blackaby


Closing Thoughts: (Worship Team Can Come)

  • God’s great love toward us occurs even if we’re not worthy of His love

  • When we turn our back on God – He remains faithful and doesn’t turn His back on us

    • Our faithfulness to God is fuelled by the knowledge of His faithfulness to us

  • Knowing God’s great love is what empowers us to go boldly to the throne of grace

  • God will patiently wait on all wrongdoers to come back to Him

  • God will run toward ALL with open arms that are full of love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness


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