Sermon #115†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Luke Sermons

 

†††† Title:††††††††† ďAnd Kissed HimĒ

†††† Text:†††††††††† Luke 15:20

†††† Subject:††††† The Boundless, Overflowing Love of God

††††††††††††††††††††††† for Sinners Who Come to Him for Mercy

†††† Date:††††††††† Sunday Evening ― January 11, 2004

†††† Readings:†† Psalm 107:1-43

††††††††††††††††††††††† Bob Poncer & James Jordan

†††† Tape #††††††† X-99b

†††† Introduction:

 

Some of you are yet without Christ. My message tonight is intended to tug at your hearts. I want especially to speak to you who fear you may not be welcome at the throne of grace, that you may not be admitted into the Fatherís house. I am preaching this message especially to you. You will find my text in Luke 15:20.

 

Luke 15:20"And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him."

 

But I havenít forgotten you, my brothers and sisters in Christ. This message is especially for you who have come to the Fatherís house. It is you who know best and shall rejoice the most in the Fatherís great mercy, love and grace.

 

Our text begins with a very little word, a three letter conjunction Ė ďAnd.Ē This is one of those words that is often passed over lightly by readers and seldom commented upon by expositors. But this little, three letter word is very important. This word, ďAnd,Ē at the beginning of this verse takes us back to all that has gone before. It is a connecting word, connecting this with everything else in the story.

 

       The Prodigalís Rebellion

       His Riotous Living.

       His Time In The Hog Pin Of Religious Legalism.

       His Turning Point (v. 17) ― "And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!"

       His Resolution (vv. 18-19) ― "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, (19) And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants."

 

The Prodigal

 

Now, in verse 20, we see this poor, destitute, penniless, dirty, hungry boy (A grown man, yes, but still his fatherís boy!) coming home. I can almost see him. I know whatís going through his mind. Iíve been there. His steps are, every one of them, heavy, heavy steps, hesitating. The nearer he comes to his fatherís house, the heavier and more hesitating his steps become. Heís embarrassed. Heís ashamed. Heís fearful. But he has no choice. He is coming home because he simply has to.

 

It was hunger, not love, that brought the prodigal back to his father. There was no high, noble disinterested motive in him. He stayed away as long as he could. But now he is hungry. As long as he had any hope of helping himself, he would not return. But now all self hope is gone.

 

It was not the thought of his fatherís honor or his fatherís love that brought him home, but the great wealth of his fatherís house. It was utter desperation that forced him to look homeward, that forced him out of the far country, and forced him to seek his fatherís mercy.

 

So is with the sinner. It is need, desperate need, misery, desperate misery, danger, desperate danger that forces him to the throne of grace. It is not love for the Lord, it is not some noble desire for Godís glory, that leads sinners to Christ, but desperate need. When we have nowhere else to go, when we can do nothing else, then and only then, we come to Christ.

 

The poor prodigal has no where else to go, no one else to turn to. He goes along the way in utter humiliation. The nearer he gets home, the lower his head hangs. He dares not lift his eyes. He dares not rush through the gate. He dares not run up and grab his father around the neck, like a boy might who was returning from war. This boy was returning from the bars and brothels of the world, where he had wasted everything his father had given him. He is returning from the house of his fatherís most implacable enemy, whose dungeons of legality he chose in preference to his fatherís palace of mercy in his state of pride and rebellion.

 

The Father

 

That is what I see in the prodigal. But our text speaks of his father, too. There I see him, the prodigalís father, our Father, the God of all grace, rushing from his great and glorious throne, to receive the poor sinner!

 

1.    ďWhen he was yet a great way offÖĒ ― There you are, you who are yet without Christ. You are a great way off. No matter how near you think you are, no matter how near others may think you are, you are still a great way off. Your changes of life, your resolutions, your determinations, your imaginary steps toward God, all leave you just as far off from God as ever you were. Nothing you do, no step you make brings you one step nearer God, until God steps out to you and brings you into his house. Oh, how I want you to come to God! But I will not deceive you. I know, and I want you to know, you will never come home until God himself, by an act of almighty, free, sovereign, and irresistible grace, brings you home.

 

2.    ďWhen he was yet a great way off, his father saw him!Ē ― His father saw who he was ― Where he had been. ― All that he had done. ― What he was. ― All the filth that was upon him. ― All his great need. ― And he saw something else. His Father saw all that his cherished son would soon be! He saw all that he was about to do for him!

 

3.    ďWhen he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassionÖĒ ― That word, ďcompassion,Ē is a tremendous expression of Godís inexpressible love toward us in Christ. It means ďco-passionĒ. Our God is a God full of compassion! There was no anger, no resentment, no hostility, only love in the fatherís heart for his returning boy. Thatís our God!

 

Psalm 78:38But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.

 

Psalm 86:15But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

 

Psalm 111:4He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.

 

Psalm 112:4Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

 

Psalm 145:8The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

 

4.    ďWhen he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ranÖĒ ― What? God almighty in a hurry? God running to a sinner? Thatís the picture. Oh, blessed be God, thatís the picture! This is the only place in all the Bible where we have a picture of God getting in a hurry to do anything. Here we see the Lord God of heaven, the God against whom we have sinned, rushing, running out to meet a sinner in mercy, a sinner who deserves nothing but his wrath!

 

5.    ďWhen he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neckÖĒThis is another expression of the greatness of his affection to him (Gen. 45:14 46:29; Acts 20:37) and of the greatness of his condescension and grace. The father fell on that neck that had been like steel, so stiff and rebellious. Surprising as it is to you who do not know him, that is just like our God!

 

6.    ďWhen he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him!" ― He kissed him earnestly. He kissed him eagerly. He kissed him ardently. He kissed him much. He kissed him continually.

 

I want to spend the rest of my time talking to you about those kisses. In this parable, the fatherís actions toward his prodigal son beautifully display the boundless, overflowing love of God revealed to sinners who come to him by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. What do these many kisses mean? What do they teach us?

 

Proposition: These kisses tell us that when a sinner comes home to God by faith in Christ, God welcomes the sinner with all the fulness of his infinite love!

 

Let me show you seven things revealed in Holy Scripture which I believe these kisses upon the prodigalís cheeks must signify!

 

I.     The Fatherís kisses mean Much Love Deeply Felt and Demonstrably Expressed.

 

Ephesians 3:17-19"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."

 

A. These kisses express the great love of our heavenly Father, that eternal, everlasting love that is deeply felt in the very heart of God.

 

B. These kisses speak of the great manifestations of Godís love to the hearts of believing sinners.

 

True love cannot be dormant. Like fire, it must be active. Like water, it must break out. It must show itself in words, actions, deeds, and expressions. Behold the love of God for usÖ

 

1 John 3:16"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

 

1 John 4:9-10"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

 

1.    Our blessed Savior did not have to die.

2.    We had no claims upon him.

3.    There was no appeal on our part for him to die.

4.    When he died for us, the Lord Jesus knew that if he laid down his life for such sinners as we are he would get no love in return from those for whom he died, except he create it.

5.    The Son of God died by the hands of men, as well as for the sake of men.

6.    He died for men who wished that he should be made to die, for men who counted him worthy of death.

7.    In dying for us, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, voluntarily took upon himself the awful mass of shame and dishonor which we deserve because of sin, and took unto himself an infinite, indescribable, ignominious relation to sin!

 

2 Corinthians 5:21"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

 

1 John 4:19"We love him, because he first loved us."

 

C. These kisses of grace are the means by which we perceive Godís personal love for us.

 

II. The Fatherís kisses mean Full Forgiveness, Freely Bestowed.

 

1 John 1:9"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

 

Psalms 103:12"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."

 

Isaiah 43:25"I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."

 

A. God promised to forgive sin.

 

Isaiah 55:6-7"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (7) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

 

B. The Lord Jesus Christ purchased forgiveness for us.

 

Ephesians 1:3-7"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace!"

 

C. Now, by his warm embrace and tender kiss, our heavenly Father makes us to know that our many sins are all forgiven forever.

 

1.    His kiss tells me that all my sins are gone.

2.    He gives another kiss, and tells me that he will never remember my transgressions.

3.    With another kiss, he assures me that he sees no fault in me.

4.    With another kiss, he tells me that he will never treat me any the less graciously because of my sin.

 

III. The Fatherís repeated kisses mean Complete Restoration.

 

Ephesians 2:11-13 "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; (12) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (13) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."

 

A. With a kiss, God owns me as his son again.

 

1 John 3:1-3"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

 

Galatians 4:4-6"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

 

B. With the kiss of his grace, God answers all my prayers.

 

C. With the kiss of God upon my cheeks. I am assured that all my lost, forfeited privileges are completely restored.

 

IV. The Fatherís kisses are Tokens Of Great, Abundant Joy.

 

Luke 15:22-24"But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: (23) And bring hither the fatted calf, 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."

 

A. The angels of God rejoice, because the prodigal over whom they watched, whom they constantly protected, has now come home.

B. The saints of God rejoice, because a lost brother has now come home.

C. The triune God rejoices, because the object of his eternal love has returned to his bosom. ― He has been returned by the grace of God. Yet he gladly returns of his own accord!

 

Psalms 65:4"Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple."

 

D. The prodigal himself rejoices.

 

1.    In His Fatherís Indestructible Love!

2.    In The Fatted Calf, Slain For His Soul ― Christ Crucified!

3.    In The Gospel Of Peace ― The Shoes!

4.    In The Seal Of Covenant Grace ― The Ring!

5.    In The Robe Of Perfect Righteousness Imputed To Him ― The Best Robe!

6.    The Gospel Feast Spread Before Him!

 

V. Surely, these kisses from the lips of our Father mean Overflowing Comfort For The Hearts Of Redeemed Sinners. They meanÖ

 

A. The past is all forgotten.

B. The present is all peace. ― We are ďaccepted in the Beloved!Ē

C. The future is all secure. ― Here, in the Fatherís house, there is no possibility of expulsion, or of us ever leaving on our own. ― And there is no possibility of the son ever leaving again.

 

Jeremiah 32:38-40"And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: (39) And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: (40) And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me."

 

Once in Christ, in Christ forever!

None from Him my soul can sever.

__________________

 

He will never, never leave me,

Nor will let me quite leave Him!

 

VI. The Fatherís kisses, if they mean anything, mean Strong Assurance Of Grace Most Free.

 

A. His kisses assure us that his mercy, love, and grace are all real.

B. His incessant kisses assure us that his love is immutable, unfailing, and everlasting.

C. His kisses assure our hearts that we are, indeed, his!

 

VII. The Fatherís kisses mean Intimate Communion And Complete Reconciliation Established By Grace.

 

A. Before the prodigal is brought into the fellowship of the family, he must be brought into fellowship with God.

B. Before a sinner comes to the familyís table, he must have the Fatherís kiss upon his cheeks.

C. Before there could be any public rejoicing, there had to be some private kissing.

D. Only after he had received the fatherís kiss could the prodigal son endure the elder brotherís scorn.

 

Application:

 

1.    Who is it that God almighty, himself will kiss? ― Every sinner who comes to him by faith in Christ.

2.    How can the Lord God so tenderly and graciously receive sinners? ― Substitution!

3.    Where does the Lord God meet returning prodigals with his kisses reconciliation? ― In Christ!

4.    Do you have the Fatherís kisses upon your cheeks? ― Let me tell you how you may have them. Are you interested? ― Come on home! Come, and welcome!

 

Luke 15:20"And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him."

 

Hebrews 7:25"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."

 

AMEN.