Today on Scandia Bible Church Podcast, Elder Keith Barker points out that many people — both today and in the days that Jesus walked the earth — believe that they are living lives in a manner pleasing to God. …But if Jesus were to come to your house for dinner, would He commend you or correct you? For the Pharisees of Jesus’ time, because they led such extremely disciplined lifestyles, their answer (at least for them) would be obvious. In today’s message we’re privy to such a dinner conversation, in which the Lord brings these very religious men face to face with the Truth.
Description: Our children are much the same way. We tend to have the Prodigals or the Pharisees. We tend to think of the Prodigals as hard to parent and we are always telling them the rules and the things that God requires. While the Pharisees actually seem to get either praised or largely ignored. After all, since they follow the rules, they require so much less…don’t they?
The truth of the matter is that our children can fall into both categories on any given day. Sometimes our rebellious children follow the rules for a while and it seems that we are making so much progress. And sometimes our rule-following children go through seasons of rebellion. The categories are not hard and fast but rather designed to be descriptive.
What we fail to remember is that the Gospel is not about following the rules to get saved. The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ obeyed the law perfectly for us. In other words, both our rebels and our rule-followers need the same thing. They need a Savior who has pleased God in all things and who has purchased their forgiveness by His death on the cross.
The ironic thing is that we fail to give either child the Gospel. The Prodigal just gets scolding and punishment. We tell them over and over what is expected…we tell them the rules. Our Pharisees get praised for doing the right thing.
Description: In too many ways the Pharisees were like present day professing Christians — which is to say, like you and me. We seek after God but not always with the right motive or attitude. Both we and they seem to delight in lifting ourselves by seeking to lower others. That can only be seen as pride and certainly isn’t pleasing to the Lord.
Description: Theologians talk about two types of repentance: attrition and contrition. Attrition is false repentance and usually is only a change in outward actions with no change in heart. While contrition is a change in outward actions driven from a change in the heart. Contrition is heart-felt sorrow over sin. In this sermon we will look at examples of both attrition and contrition from the way that Jonah reacted to God’s word compared to the reaction of the Ninevites.
Description: Jonah is on the run and running hard away from God. God calls him to Nineveh, and he heads in the opposite direction towards Tarshish. God pursues Jonah with a violent storm to wake Jonah from His sinful slumber. The storm shows us two things about God’s pursuit of man. The first is that it is great and the second is that it is gracious.
Jonah is on a ship with pagans representing many nations all serving the idols of their land. Jonah represents one type of person who flees in the path of the Pharisee while the pagan sailors represent another type of person who flees in the path of the Prodigal. In this story we see God pursuing both Pharisees and Prodigals, which is good news for us.
Description: Jonah is a storied presentation of the gospel and juxtaposes the way and heart of man and the way and heart of God. Man flees and God pursues. Man flees in one of two ways: by obedience (as the Pharisee) or in disobedience (as the Prodigal). God pursues both Pharisees and Prodigals with His message of salvation in the good news of Christ.
Description: Even thought he was known as “The Teacher of Israel,” Nicodemus has his ignorance and unbelief of the scriptures exposed by Jesus. The truth that Jesus taught to Nicodemus and teaches the world today is “believe”.
Description: Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader, came to Jesus with questions. As he complemented Jesus and acknowledged His miracles, wisdom, and that He was from God, Jesus challenged him. He told him that he must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God!
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in SBC Classic Edition
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