Sermon #27 Luke Sermons
Title: “A PUBLICAN NAMED LEVI”
Text: Luke 5:27-32
Subject: Levi’s Conversion
Date: Sunday Evening – March 192000
Tape # V-75b
Readings: Office: Merle Hart Auditorium: Gary Baker
We have before us, this evening, the story of an immortal soul, a man who had managed to amass a considerable measure of wealth, wealth gained (in all likelihood) by oppression, but wealth nonetheless. Yet, this man was empty inside. He was troubled in his soul. His wealth could not buy him peace, or silence his conscience. He did not know it at the time, but this man was a chosen object of grace, an appointed vessel of mercy, for whom the time of love had come. He was about to be visited by the Son of God and called by his irresistible power and grace. Let’s read the story of “A Publican Named Levi” in Luke 5:27-32.
This is a story which ought to be of great interest to all who know the value of their immortal souls and desire God’s salvation. These verses describe the conversion of Levi (Matthew), one of Christ’s first disciples.
Like Levi, you and I were born in sin. Like him,. We lived according to the course of this world, walked after the lusts of our flesh, and were by nature the children of wrath. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great loved wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sin, hath quickened us together with Christ.”
Had he not come to us, we would never have come to him. Had he not called us, we would never have called upon him. Had he not turned us, we would never have been turned. Had he not converted us by his almighty grace, we would never have been converted.
Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us that we must be converted, or we must perish forever in hell. This conversion is God’s work. It is the turning of our souls to God.
· Unbelief to Faith
· Rebellion to Surrender
· Hatred to Love
· Sin to Righteousness
· Self-righteousness to Christ
Have you been converted? Are we being converted? Is God working in us, turning us to himself? I know this, if I have been converted, I am being converted. This work of grace is not over until it is finished. Believing sinners continually cry unto the Lord for converting grace.
Let’s see what we can learn about conversion from the story of Levi. Let’s honestly compare our experience to his.
Proposition: If we are converted, the changes which were wrought in him have also been wrought in us.
I. LEVI’S CONVERSION
Here we see the power of Christ’s grace in effectual calling. Here was a publican called by the Son of God. As soon as he was called, he willingly left all and followed Christ.
We should never despair of any. Had we seen this man, in this situation, I do not doubt that most, if not all, of us would have said, “There is a man consumed with the world.,” and passed on, presuming that he would never come to Christ.
None are too wicked, too hardened, too worldly, too lost to be saved by Christ. No sins are too bad, too vile, too many to be forgiven. No heart is so dead, so corrupt, so consumed with the world to be conquered by the Lion of the tribe of Judah. None are beyond the reach of God’s saving arm. “With God nothing is impossible!”
Are you converted? Has the Lord snatched you from destruction, lifted you from the pit of corruption, raised you from the dead? Have you “left all and followed” Christ? I urge you now, to come to Christ. He who called Levi is still calling sinners.
· There is atonement still in Christ’s precious blood.
· There is righteousness still in the Son of God.
· There is yet forgiveness with God.
· The Son of God still clothes naked, needy sinners with the garments of salvation.
II. LEVI’S CELEBRATION
This was a feast for laughter and celebration (Eccles. 10:19). Levi regarded his conversion as a matter of great joy. He wanted others to rejoice with him in what he had experienced. And he wanted others to know the grace he knew, the Christ he knew, the God he knew.
· No doubt, many of his friends looked upon his conversion as a thing to be pitied.
· But Levi knew he had reason to celebrate!
There is not a higher day, a day more to be celebrated, a day more to be remembered, than the day of grace. Graduation, marriage, the birth of a child, all pale compared to this. When God saves a sinner, when a lost soul is converted to Christ it is…
· The Birth Of A Soul.
· The Rescue Of A Sinner.
· The Pardon Of A Condemned Prisoner.
· The Opening Of The Prison Doors.
· The Coronation Of A King.
· The Making Of A Priest.
· The Adoption Of A Son.
· The Forgiveness Of All Sin.
· The Bestowing Of Righteousness.
· The Acceptance Of A Sinner.
III. LEVI’S CONCERN
This sinner, converted and saved by the grace of God, was concerned for the souls of others. He wanted others to be converted and saved by grace. So when he made his party, he invited a great company of publicans and others to come. He knew what their souls needed and did what he could to meet the need.
A. He went to great expense and trouble to get his lost friends in the company and presence of Christ.
Converted souls are never content to go to heaven alone. The earthly, material sacrifice made by Levi in following Christ probably exceeded those made by any of the Lord’s other disciples.
B. Having received mercy, we ought to make it our business to show others the mercy, love, and grace of God in Christ.
Perhaps, you think – “What can I do?”
1. Do what you can to bring Christ to sinners and sinners to Christ.
2. As Moses said to Hobab, you can say to others, “Come thou with us, ands we will do thee good” (Num. 10:29).
3. As the Samaritan woman said to the men of the city, you can say to those around you, “Come see a man who told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ?”
4. You can say to your family what Andrew said to his brother, Peter, “We have found the Christ.”
IV. LEVI’S CRITICS
They are hardly worth mentioning, but since they are barely mentioned by Luke, I will barely mention them, too. If you seek to walk with God and serve the souls of men, you will have plenty of people around to find fault with what you do. I recommend that you handle critics the way Levi did. DONT’T. LEAVE IT TO CHRIST TO HANDLE THEM.
V. LEVI’S CHRIST
A. Christ came to call sinners to repentance.
B. None but sinners can come to Christ.
C. Every sinner who comes to Christ is received by him.
D. The only way we can come to Christ (walk with him in faith) is as sinners in need of mercy.
 See Ryle’s explanatory notes on verses 28 and 29.