And He said, "A man had two sons.Luke 15:11(NASB)
Jesus came to die for the sin of everyman, because all have sinned. All fall short of the glory of God and no one reaches the perfect standard that He demands. Jesus came to call all men to repentance, to turn from their sins and to turn back to God, for there are none righteous, not even one.
All men need forgiveness of sins in order to be brought back into a right relationship with God if they are to enter the kingdom of heaven, for Christ came to call sinners to repentance. There were however those that considered themselves righteous in their own eyes, because of their external behaviour and legalistic standards which they considered superior to that of their fellow man, but they were nonetheless sinners in the eyes of the Lord.
Jesus came to call ALL sinners to repentance and to pay the price for the sins of all who would believe in Him, but those that were righteous in their own eyes, due to their sanctimonious religious sacrifices and strict adherence to the letter of the Law and Jewish traditions, were impervious to Christ's entreaties. His message of salvation is only effective in the heart of the man or woman who acknowledges their sinfulness. Those who reject His message of salvation and remain proud, unrepentant, and self-righteous, forgo the eternal benefits of the glorious gospel of grace, and remain dead in their trespasses and sins.
Over and again, the Lord Jesus painted word-pictures through simple stories and inspired parables which had prophetic meaning for those that have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart that desires understanding. Time and again, He rehearsed the need for sinners to acknowledge their fallen state, to recognise their need for salvation, and to turn from their sin and look to Him Who alone has the words of eternal life. He spoke of the wise and foolish builders for He is the Rock on which to build, and He warned of wise and foolish servants, the unfruitful fig tree, and the unforgiving servant.
He spoke of the sower who went forth to sow the Word of the kingdom, described the guests who refused the great king's invitation to the wedding banquet, and pointedly told the story of the self-righteous Pharisee and the repentant publican. And Jesus also told the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son where yet again He contrasts the repentant sinner with the self-righteousness Pharisee.
And so the story began: A certain man had two sons...
Search my heart, I pray, and identify in me any form of self-righteousness or pride that needs to be rooted out. Thank You that in Christ, I have already been declared righteous and accepted in the Beloved. But I pray that I may walk in spirit and truth and keep my self-life in the place of death so that the new life of Christ which I received at salvation, may grow in grace and mature in the faith. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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