The Parables of Jesus

Prodigal # 4

When we were looking at the Prodigal Son, I told you we were going to look at the stones in the ring of reconciliation,
found in Romans Chapter five. Tonight we are going to look at the ring, and determine the stones that are in it. When we
looked at the Parable of the Prodigal, we saw that there was seven downward steps to destruction the prodigal took, and
seven steps he took in his return to his father’s Grace.


When the son returned home, the Father placed a ring on his finger, and restored him to his former place in the family.
Look with me at Romans chapter five.

Introduction

  [A] As we prepare to look at the stones in the ring of reconciliation, I would like us first to determine what the
          Prodigal received when he returned to his father.
          [1] What did he receive?
                  [a] He received a robe to cover his shame
                  [b] He was restored to fellowship with the father
                  [c] He was honored by having a party threw for him
                  [d] His father honored him by killing the fatted calf
                  [e] He was received back into the family
                  [f] He was given forgiveness for his former actions
                  [g] He was offered hope
                  [h] He was given peace
                  [i] He was shown love
                  [j] He was given his father’s ring

  [B] In the parable, Christ pictures the Father placing the ring of reconciliation on the finger of the returning son. Paul
          expands on the thought in the verses we will be looking at this evening

  [C] We, like the prodigal, all go astray, and we, like he, need to return to the Father and receive reconciliation.

Romans 5:1-5
  1.   Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
  2.   By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
  3.   And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
  4.   And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
  5.   And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which  
          is given unto us.

  [A] Stone # 1 - Romans 5: 1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
          Christ:
          [1] What immediately stands out in this verse, is found right in the beginning
                  [a] Being justified to God
                          [1-a] Why did the Prodigal need to be justified to God?
                                  [a-1] He had stayed away and left his father for the things of the world
                                  [b-1] He had been living in sin
                                  [c-1] He had squandered away everything the father had given him
                          [2-a] Why do we need to be justified to God?
                                  [a-1] We are born into sin – and learn sin at an early age
                                  [b-1] We all sin and come short of the Glory of God
                                  [c-1] There is none righteous – no not one
                  [b] Faith
                          [1-a] The Prodigal displayed faith, believing that his father would accept him back if for nothing else,
                                  to be a servant
                          [2-a] We must display faith, in order to believe in our Lord and Savior, to come to him, seeking his
                                  grace and forgiveness
                                  [a-1] Without faith, it is impossible to please God
                                  [b-1] We walk by faith not by sight
          [2] The first stone found in the ring of reconciliation is “Peace” - being justified by faith, we have peace with God
                  [a] This was very important to the Prodigal, as he was totally lost, and with no hope other than what could
                          be found in his father.
                          [1-a] I can almost imagine the torment he was going through as he wondered if his father would even
                                  speak to him
                          [2-a] I can imagine the fear and distress his soul was in, as he wondered if his father would allow him
                                  to become even a servant in the household.
                          [3-1] I can imagine the peace that flooded his soul, when the father, accepted him and he heard his
                                  father saying things like my son has returned, and so on
                          [4-a] I can imagine the peace that came over him, when all his fears were erased and he was
                                  assured of a place with his father again
                  [b] Peace is very important to us as well,
                          [1-a] When man is outside of the will of God, his soul is in constant torment
                          [2-b] Before he comes to the Father seeking forgiveness, he is lost without hope or peace,
                          [3-a] When he comes to the Father, and seeks a cleansing for his sins, peace floods his soul as God
                                  removes the burdens of sin from him and cleanses his heart
                          [4-a] When Jesus comes into your heart, and you are assured of eternal life, you can live your live in
                                  peace, knowing if you were to die, your soul still belongs to God
                  [c] Peace can only come to the soul, through and by Jesus Christ

  [B] Stone # 2 – Romans 5: 2. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in
          hope of the glory of God.
          [1] The second stone in the ring of righteousness is access to God
                  [a] The prodigal not only gained access to his father, he was restored to full sonship
          [2] Do we need access to the father?        
                  [a] As an un-repented sinner, our access to the Father is denied
                  [b] This is symbolized by the veil that hung in front of the Holy of Holies in the temple, a veil that blocked
                          anyone from seeing the mercy seat of God, which was on the Ark of the Covenant. Anyone who
                          looked upon the mercy seat was slain. Only the High Priest was allowed into the Holy Of Holies, and
                          that was after he was cleansed and sanctified, and only once a year.
                  [c] When Jesus died on the cross, the veil of the temple ripped from top to bottom, exposing the mercy
                          seat, and showing the world that God was available to man  
                  [d] That availability is possible only thought Jesus
                  [e] When you accept Jesus Christ as your savior, you, than have access to the father, allowing you to
                          petition him, praise him, and seek his help
                  [f] Because we have access through Jesus Christ, we than can receive the Grace God has to offer us,
                           which increases our peace and gives us joy.

  [C] Stone # 3 – Romans 5: 2. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in
          hope of the glory of God.
          [1] The third stone in the ring of righteousness, is “joy” as we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
                  [a] Can you imagine the joy the prodigal had when he was accepted back into his father’s house?
                  [b] Can you imagine the joy when he was given his position as a son back to him, and did not have to
                          become a slave to his father in order to survive?
          [2] When we are received into our Father’s kingdom, and become a part of the body of Christ, there should be
                  joy unspeakable in our heart and soul
                  [a] Like the prodigal, we are not worthy of receiving anything from God
                  [b] Like the prodigal, we are sinners,
                  [c] Like the prodigal, we are completely at the mercy of the Father’s mercy, yet when he welcomes us
                          home, he gives us a place in his family, and adopts us into his family, making us a full son or a full
                          daughter, along with his only begotten son Jesus
                  [d] We should have joy in our heart because
                          [1-a] We have been forgiven for our sins
                          [2-a] We have been cleansed of all unrighteousness
                          [3-a] We have received salvation, and a promise of never losing it
                          [4-a] We are promised that Jesus will always be with us
                          [5-a] The Holy Spirit comes to live in us
                          [6-a] We are a child of God
                          [7-a] We have an inheritance waiting for us in heaven

  [D] Stone #4 – Romans 5:3. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh
          patience;
          [1] The fourth stone is glory in our trials and tribulations
                  [a] You might ask, how is this a blessing and why is this one of the stones of reconciliation?
                          [1-a] The prodigal was able to look back at his mistakes and know that he had gain valuable
                                  experience from them, experience that his older brother never began to realize.
                          [2-A] He was able to understand what the father was giving him, much more than the brother who
                                  never did wrong.
                          [3-a] He understood the reasons others might do the same as he had and was able to counsel them
                  [b] How does this apply to us?
                          [1-a] We will all be faced with trials and temptations in our lives – that’s a given
                          [2-a] We are not to get overwhelmed by what is happening to us, instead we should be asking God
                                  what he wants us to learn from it.
                          [3-a] Instead of Giving the devil praise for what’s happening, we should give God praise for standing
                                  with us and helping us trough it
          [2] The end result of the tribulations we face is learning patience from it
                  [a] How can this be?

  [E] Stone #5 – Romans 5:4. And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
          [1] Stone number five is patience.
                  [a] The prodigal
                          [1-a] The prodigal was allowed by his Father to experience great difficulties, through his actions
                          [2-a] The Father was willing to give him what he wanted, money, freedom and space in order to allow
                                  him to face difficulties and to realize what a mistake he had made         
                  [b] The same holds true for us,
                          [1-a] God allows us to face difficulties and trials in order to teach us patience and Endurance
                          [2-a] Patience is a virtue that we need to get along with our fellowmen
                          [3-a] If God were not a patient God, where would we be?

  [F] Stone #6 – Romans 5:4. And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
          [1] The sixth stone is experience
          [2] Notice that experience comes through the trials and tribulations we endure so that we can gain patience
          [3] What good is experience to us?
                  [a] We understand God’s grace better
                  [b] We understand ourselves better
                  [c] We understand others better
                  [d] We understand and cherish the good times more
                  [e] We appreciate what we have

  [G] Stone #7– Romans 5:4. And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
          [1] The seventh stone is hope        
          [2] Notice again that hope comes as a result of experience.
                  [a] Because we face the trials and learn patience, we have experience, which helps us understand things
                          better and gives us hope.
                  [b] As we grow stronger in our faith, and as we overcome more and more tribulations, we have more and
                          more hope
                          [1-a] When one is able to endure the hard times and stand firm in their faith, they fell they have a
                                  much better hope of making it to heaven
                          [2-a] When one learns to control their anger, and overcome difficulties, trusting God to help them,
                                  they gain more hope, knowing that God really does help them
          [3] Hope comes as a result of the experience we get as we are learning patience, because of the faith we have
                  in God.

  [H] Stone # 8 – Romans 5: 5. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts
          by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
          [1] The eight and last stone is Love.
          [2] The Prodigal
                  [a] Why did the Father treat the prodigal as he did
                          [1-a] He loved him
                  [b] What do you think the feelings of the Prodigal were for his father
                          [1-a] He loved him
          [3] Us
                  [a] Why does the Father do for us what he does?
                          [1-a] He loves us
                  [b] Why did Jesus die on the cross
                          [1-a] He loves us
                  [c] Why should we obey Christ commandments and follow him
                          [1-a] Because we love him
          [4] Because God sent his Holy Spirit to live in our heart, and God is love, what should be in our heart as well?
                  [a] Love for God
                  [b] Love for our fellowmen
          [5] Because God, who is love is loving in us, how should we treat each other,
                  [a] With love        
                  [b] If God is love, and if he lives in us, we should be love to others, loving our friends our enemies, and
                          doing good to those who despitefully used us,         

Romans 5:6-10
  6.   For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
  7.   For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
  8.   But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  9.   Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
  10. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled,
          we shall be saved by his life.

  [A] I want you to look closely at these verses and tell me what they mean to you