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How to restore our fellowship with the Lord Part 4

The 3 parables of Luke 15: the lost sheep , the lost coin, and the lost son.

Part 4 The three parables in Luke 15

Definition: A parable means something to ‘lay alongside’ something else.

The story in the parable lays it against a truth to make it easier to understand.

These three parables are usually thought to be about salvation but let us consider them

in the context of fellowship.

The parable of the lost sheep

Luke 15:1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying:

4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

Lost in this passage does not mean dead, the sheep always refers to believers e.g. not 99 sheep and 1 goat!

The 100 sheep belong to the shepherd, but one wanders off out of the shepherd's sight c.f like a Christian getting out of fellowship. The shepherd goes after the lost sheep finds it and put it on his shoulders.

That is how the Lord feels when out of fellowship believers are found by him, there is great rejoicing in the same way we rejoice over sinners who come to repentance and faith in Christ.

The parable of the lost coin

Luke 15:8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbours together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The woman owned the silver coins.

Of course, this parable can be applied to the ‘salvation’ situation but does need a bit of tweaking as to who was the owner of the lost coin.

Again, there is great rejoicing over a sinner come to repentance i.e. changed their mind.

The joy is from God in the presence of the angels.

The parable of the lost son

11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

This parable is the best example of how God feels about sinners returning to him. By faith we are all children of God (Galatians).

This is a believing family. No matter what we change we remain our father’s son.

Life lived out of fellowship does not produce fruit for God.

Both sons got their inheritance (v12). God gifts and talents are to be used in his service.

The younger son wasted all his inheritance and got out of fellowship with his father.

v15 younger son comes into discipline by looking after pigs (no self-respecting Jew would do this). No-one would help him. He was in a bad place with no friends.

v17 Comes to his senses, he repents (changes his mind), and he comes to terms with his lifestyle.

18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

v20 and the father ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. That is what the Father God did with you and me when we first repented and believed.

How might the Father react to our repentance today?

v21 Confesses his sins as in 1 John 1:9.

Luke 15:22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.

23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it and let us eat and be merry.

24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

v22 His privileges are fully restored as a son, as are ours when we repent.

v23 A feast of celebration is organised, repentance is a time to be celebrated.

v24 This father’s love for his lost son reminds us of the fervent love of our heavenly father who embraces us when we confess our sins in repentance.

When we do sin, we must keep short accounts with the Lord and come into repentance ASAP.


Confessing your sins is agreeing with God that it was wrong and inappropriate for us as God’s family, then we can immediately receive our forgiveness by faith and come straight back into fellowship with the Lord.


Personal Prayer

For an in depth study of this topic please refer to Roger Price audio BBS 012 and BBS 021.





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