2013-09-12 / Worship

The danger of self righteousness versus God’s chosen path of grace

By REV. FICKLEN GUIN
(Luke 15:25-32)

In Luke, Chapter 15, Jesus tells three parables that teach spiritual lessons about individuals who are lost. Those lessons are really about everyone; all of us are lost at some point in life. Jesus teaches that it is urgent for us to seek out the lost, tell them the Gospel, and help lead them onto God’s Chosen Path of Grace. It is something that they cannot do by themselves.

But first we must feel in our hearts that the lost are worth finding and saving. Jesus loved the lost of the world, and He came to seek and save them. As his followers we should have the same passion.

The Pharisees and scribes muttered behind Jesus’ back, “This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them” (verse 2). They had high opinions of themselves, feeling superior to publicans and sinners. Jesus knew what they were thinking, and used today’s story of the older son in order to teach them a lesson about themselves.

A person with an overblown ego feels superior to others and will never go seeking the lost. He’s too busy; he has more important things to do. He is always in the right place, doing the right things. He believes that his own self-righteousness will be sufficient to find favor with God.

But God says that we all must admit that we are sinners, and repent and accept Jesus as Savior. The older son in this parable was full of righteous anger, resentment and jealousy toward his younger brother. A self-righteous spirit will destroy the spirit of love that God wants us to have toward one another. Once we lose that spirit of love, we are alone in the world, unable to connect with our fellow man.

The spirit of love is a gift from God, and we are supposed to share it with others. When we love others in the name of Jesus, God’s love grows within us and fills our hearts with joy. The Father in the parable said, “It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad; for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:32).

We must let God’s Holy Spirit fill our hearts with love for those around us, and cause us to seek and recover those who are lost.

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