2016-02-07: Luke-The Investigative Gospel – The Gracious Father

Posted February 7th, 2016 by admin and filed in 2016 Sermons
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Sermon Audio: The Gracious Father
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 15:17-24
Duration: 22:15
Size: 10.1 MB

Luke-The Investigative Gospel
The Gracious Father
Luke 15:17-24

This parable in Luke 15 is the most beautiful illustration in all of Scripture about God’s joy over the recovery of lost sinners.

The parable of the lost son is a dramatic illustration of the love of a father for his son, and wants him back.

I. The Younger Son’s Plan

Eventually, the younger son was so hungry that he came up with another plan.

If the younger son repents and makes his way home by his own efforts, then the third part of the parable is exactly opposite to the first and second part of the parable.

The younger son thought that if he softened his father’s heart with his apologetic statement, he could present his plan to be treated as one of his father’s hired servants.

II. The Father’s Welcome

A. He Receives His Son

He knew that if he were to get to his son before any of the villagers, and publicly receive him and welcome him, then no one in the village would treat his son badly.

No matter how far we have wandered into the far country of sin, God welcomes sinners to himself.

You see, the father did not demonstrate grace in response to his son’s repentance. No, the son demonstrated repentance in response to his father’s grace.

B. He Celebrates His Son

In response to the father’s love and grace, he has repented and reconciled the relationship with his father.

2016-01-31: Luke-The Investigative Gospel – The Younger Brother

Posted January 31st, 2016 by admin and filed in 2016 Sermons
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Sermon Audio: The Younger Brother
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 15:11-16
Duration: 20:58
Size: 9.60 MB

Luke-The Investigative Gospel
The Younger Brother
Luke 15:11-16

Astonishingly, Jesus’ message about the kingdom of God and how to enter it resonated not with the religious people of his day but rather with the irreligious people.

However, the parable is really not about a “prodigal son”, it is about a gracious father and two sons.

Sin never delivers what it promises, and the pleasurable life sinners think they are pursuing always turns out to be precisely the opposite: a hard road that inevitably leads to ruin and the ultimate, literal dead end.

I. The Younger Son’s Demand

The division of the father’s wealth normally came at the end of his life.

The younger son has broken the relationship and not the law.

God grants us freedom, even to reject his love.

II. The Younger Son’s Departure

The younger son left the village and his father and older brother, he was very aware that if he lost any money, the entire village would cut him off forever.

Surely, we who know our heavenly father should do all we can to facilitate reconciliation between him and our lost brothers and sisters.

III. The Younger Son’s Decline

When people are rebelling against God, they are certainly squandering his gifts to them.

IV. The Younger Son’s Destitution

At this point, he should have stopped and realized that he was a rebel against his father.

Sin is like that. Satan lures us into doing things that seem satisfying and fulfilling at first. But, eventually, they no longer satisfy. And we are left alone in our misery.

Stop running.

Turn to Him.

Receive His grace.

2016-01-24: Luke-The Investigative Gospel – The Lost Coin

Posted January 24th, 2016 by admin and filed in 2016 Sermons
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Sermon Audio: The Lost Coin
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 15:8-10
Duration: 23:00
Size: 10.5 MB

Luke-The Investigative Gospel
The Lost Coin
Luke 15:8-10

The parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son in Luke 15 is the most beautiful illustration in all of Scripture about God’s joy over the recovery of lost sinners.

All three parts of the parable in Luke 15 make the same basic point. In each story something is lost, sought, found, and celebrated.

I. The Woman’s Search

Faced with walls, floor, and a ceiling constructed of black stone, and with almost no light from three-inch ventilation slits, it is little wonder the woman had to light a lamp and search diligently for her coin.

The reason is simple: women were as important to him as men.

The three personal, compassionate metaphors for God in the Psalms are: Shepherd, Mother, and Father.

So, Jesus used the trilogy of Old Testament metaphors about a compassionate and personal God in the parable of Luke 15 in the persons of the shepherd, the woman, and the father.

II. The Woman’s Success

He is intentional and deliberate and diligent in searching for the lost. And he always succeeds in finding the lost!

III. The Woman’s Celebration

A. There Is Celebration on Earth

When we lose something and then find it, we want others to share in our joy.

B. There Is Celebration in Heaven

It is God who is rejoicing before the angels. God is filled with joy when a sinner repents of his or her sin.

2016-01-17: Luke-The Investigative Gospel – The Lost Sheep

Posted January 17th, 2016 by admin and filed in 2016 Sermons
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Sermon Audio: The Lost Sheep
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 15:4-7
Duration: 22:11
Size: 10.1 MB

Luke-The Investigative Gospel
The Lost Sheep
Luke 15:4-7

Psalm 23 was written by David. David realized that the loving care he gave his sheep was like the loving care he received from God.

According to God’s prophets, God’s sheep were lost. But the prophets also proclaimed God’s remedy:

Jesus constantly told them that entrance into the kingdom of God was through faith in him and repentance from sin.

The parable began with Jesus as the Good Shepherd who finds the lost sheep.

I. The Shepherd’s Search

Bailey points out that the context for this part of the parable seems to be a village community.

Of course, the shepherd goes after the one that is lost, until he finds it.

When the shepherd pays a high price to find the one, he thereby offers the profoundest security to the many.

Jesus will find every single lost sheep. Not one will be left in the wilderness. Not one will perish. Is that not encouraging?

II. The Shepherd’s Success

The caring shepherd picks up the lost sheep and carries it all the way home. But, instead of doing it grudgingly, he does so rejoicing!

III. The Shepherd’s Celebration

A. There Is Celebration on Earth

As a community of God’s people, we should be deeply concerned about lost people. And when Jesus finds a lost sinner, we should all rejoice that a lost sinner is saved.

B. There Is Celebration in Heaven

But when a sinner repents, all heaven rejoices! Isn’t that encouraging?

2016-01-10: Luke-The Investigative Gospel – The Lost Chapter

Posted January 10th, 2016 by admin and filed in 2016 Sermons
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Sermon Audio: The Lost Chapter
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 15:1-3
Duration: 20:05
Size: 9.19 MB

Luke-The Investigative Gospel
The Lost Chapter
Luke 15:1-3

It has been called “the gospel in the gospel,” as if it contained the very distilled essence of the good news which Jesus came to tell.

I. The Approach by the Irreligious

Immediately after setting down the costly terms of discipleship, Luke noted in Luke 15:1 that now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Jesus.

In Luke’s Gospel, the Pharisees and the scribes perceived sinners “as forfeiting their relationship to God because of a lifestyle unfaithful to God’s law.”

Do you know anyone who is not yet a Christian?

Will you care enough for that person and have something to say to him or her about the good news

of the gospel?

II. The Grumbling by the Religious

So, according to the Pharisees and the scribes, Jesus should not be associating with tax collectors and sinners, let alone be eating with them.

We who are active in the life and worship of our church need to ask ourselves whether we are like the Pharisees and the scribes.

III. The Parable by the Savior

In each story – of the sheep, the coin, and the son – something is lost, sought, found, and followed by rejoicing.

The plain meaning of the chapter is that just as there is joy when any shepherd or any housewife or any father recovers a loss, so there is joy in heaven when a sinner is reunited with God.

Do you share in Jesus’ joy for the salvation of the lost?