Luke 15:11 - 24
And the son said to
him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight,
and am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
Conviction—"came to himself" (v. 17).
2. Confession—"I have
sinned" (v. 18).
3. Contrition—"no more worthy" (v. 19).
4. Conversion—"he arose and came" (v. 20).
prodigal's Downward—Seven Steps
Restraint. Life is
bright with every opportunity, but the son of the home was under
law, the rules of the household. Not license (abuse of law) but
liberty (regulated freedom). So man and God—freedom within
bounds (Gen. 3:2, 8).
Restlessness. Son not
satisfied—chafed—hemmed in—wanted to get away from father and
home—could not find enjoyment. So man, in natural state,
incapable of finding fullest enjoyment in God.
Emphasis on the word "me." Wanted goods, not presence or love of
father. Unlawful because not yet due, but was determined on
freedom. So man wants to be let alone, to be "free."
Responsibility. Granted—now own master—free to do as he liked.
So sinful nature—self-will—independence of God.
"Portion"—endowments of life. Sin makes man want to be lord of
himself and his possessions.
Recklessness. Off at
once—waste—riotous living—no thought of responsibilities—freedom
only consideration—has his "fling"—sin always wastes—living for
self is waste.
Retribution. Famine—"harmony with
environment" a principle of moral law. Tendency of sin or virtue
to gather corresponding surroundings. Fortune goes, famine
comes. Life within and circumstances without agree.
Reproach. Menial task for Jew to be swineherd, especially when
employed by "citizen" of another country. No friend
near—everyone left when all was gone. Isolation of
sinner—homelessness. Degradation of sinner—emptiness.
Growth of Sin— gradual, not precipitate.
Goal of Sin—
separation from God.
The prodigal's Upward— Seven
Reflection. "Game to himself"—so before he was
"beside himself (madness of heart). "Said"—or thought (talking
to himself) and first thought was of his father and the servants
of the household. First step up is always realization of others
Recollection. Past comes before him—the
conditions he abandoned so carelessly. Servants better off than
himself now. Second step is letting memory work.
Realization. "I perish"—no blame to any but self. Third step is
to stop blaming others.
Resolution. "I will arise"—"I
will do"—"I will say." Conversion is "turning around" and
starting off in the opposite direction.
entire turning. Forsaking of sin necessary to prove reality.
Restoration. Cf. attitudes in meeting: the son "held himself
afar" but the father "ran." No rebuke—"not 'forgiven' but
'loved'" as far as expression was concerned. Reconciliation
included robe, ring, shoes—all showing sonship.
Rejoicing. Love requited brings joy. So joy in heaven and in the
heart of God over "one sinner that repenteth."
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