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LOST

Lost – who you are? The story of the lost [prodigal] son (Luke 15) – spent up
from wild living, in need, in hard times, hired out, hungry, feeding pigs, no
friends.

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Repentance towards a Holy God

Continuing Set free Series Week 3 – Repentance towards a Holy God.

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‘Father, I have sinned against
heaven and against you.
I am no longer worthy to be called
your son.’
Luke 15:18 & 21

‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer
worthy to be called your son.’ Luke 15:18 & 21
The son is reminded of his identity but also his failings. Sets off back to be
humbly accepted as a servant.

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But while he was still
a long way off…

“But while he was still a long way off…” ‘How far away do you feel from
God?
The father, filled with compassion, runs out to meet his son throws his arms
around him and kisses him. ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him.
Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.’
The robe symbolises that the son once again has the place of right
standing with his father, he is restored & forgiven.
The ring symbolises power & authority to carry out the father’s business.
The sandals – entitled to rights of a son. Slaves and servants would be
barefoot around the home – not a son.
Despite everything he receives compassion, forgiveness, restoration.

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“For this son of mine was dead and
is alive again; he was lost and is
found.” Luke 15:24

“For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is
found.’ Luke 15:24
Why go back to the old ways? Would the son having just received all that
he has from his father wanted to go back to where he had been? Paul in
Romans 6 that _________
read for us what has been done for us by God, our heavenly father in and
through Jesus Christ and where we can stand before Him.
“I’m only human after all” often used as an excuse for our actions,
attitude and habits. But Paul says “No!” We are either a slave to sin or a
slave to righteousness. Our desire is either for ourselves or for God.
The future life has come forward into the present in the person and work
of Jesus so that when we accept Him for ourselves, ask forgiveness at the
cross and give our lives to Him we are bringing the future eternal life into
today.

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Count yourselves…
Romans 6:11

Paul is telling us to do the sums, to work it out – the calculation makes you
aware of what in fact is true all along. For example (when I worked in the
bank as a cashier) until you add up the money in the till, you don’t know
how much you have. But adding it up doesn’t make it any larger or
smaller.

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for all have sinned
and fall short of the
glory of God,…
Romans 3:23

‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and we can look at
that and go ‘Oh no! What can we do!’ but the next verse shows us:

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…and all are
justified freely by his
grace through the
redemption that
came by Christ
Jesus.
Romans 3:24

and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came
by Christ Jesus.
We are freely forgiven by God in Jesus Christ through His death and
resurrection. It’s not about trying to believe in the impossible but about
opening our eyes, hearts and minds to the reality of Jesus and the power
and authority He has – He has made it possible! In the same way, count
yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11
Remember – like the son feeding the pigs – who you really are, who you
are created to be – come to your senses!
Paul is crying out to his readers that we are all slaves – he uses a simple
and everyday example that people at the time would have understood
as an illustration to get across his point: Don’t give in to the voices and the
temptations that tell you “You’re only human after all” so you end up
being ashamed.
Resisting temptation isn’t a matter of pretending you won’t find it easier to
give in!
It’s a matter of understanding of who you become in and through Jesus.
Thinking straight, knowing and acting on what you know to be true.
For the lost son it was “My Father’s servants live better than this!”
God as our Heavenly Father longs to restore you.

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I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you
will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your
impurities and from all your idols. I will give
you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.

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And I will put my Spirit in you and move you
to follow my decrees and be careful to
keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I
gave your ancestors; you will be my people,
and I will be your God. I will save you from
all your uncleanness.
Ezekiel 36:25-29

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What then?

I love that Paul goes What then? Shall we sin because we are not under
the law but under grace? By no means!
Who do you want to be slave to – who do you want to serve? It’s your
choice – just as it was for the son. He could have stayed where he was –
kept his distance – remained lost – but he knew there was better even as
a servant of his father who he had disgraced. He turned back for home,
humbly, preparing what he was to say.
Present yourself – just as you are – to God, the one who sets you free from
sin and brings you under his robe of compassion, grave and holiness in
and through His son Jesus.
Find a new freedom, a new framework, a change of heart and mind and
action.
Discipline, the full armour of God, the renewing of your mind, how to show
forgiveness as we have been forgiven, how to live life to the full are all
found in Jesus Christ and His gift of the Holy Spirit.

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Offer yourselves to God as those
who have been brought from
death to life; and offer every part
of yourself to him as an instrument
of righteousness.

Put to death the old life (vs 13) offer yourselves to God as those who have
been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as
an instrument of righteousness. Baptism is a symbol and witness to this – will
be looked at more next week.
Don’t just turn back – walk with Him in the fullness of His love, grace,
compassion, clothed in His righteousness as a child of God, holy and
pleasing to Him – that is true and proper worship!

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