Copr. 1999, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references
THE RESTORATION OF HUMAN NATURE
(LUKE 15; 1 PETER 1; MATTHEW 22; MARK 4)
Introduction: Last week we discussed our "relationship" with
Satan since the entry of sin into our world. This week we
look at the impact of the entry of sin on our Lord and what
He did about it on our behalf. Let's get into our
I. THE PLAN
A. Let's read Luke 15:11-16. We know from verse 13
that the son lost all of his money. Is that what
the son thought would happen when he left his
father's house? Did the son think about his
future at all?
1. Assume you have savings for retirement.
a. Would you give your savings to your
children before you died?
b. If you did give your savings to your
children, what would you hope your
children would do with them?
2. If you knew that your children would squander
all of the money you spent your life saving,
what would you do? Would you give it to them
anyway? (Probably not give it to them. Or put
it into a trust with a trustee.)
3. Do you think the father in this story had a
pretty good idea what his son was going to do
with his money?
4. This story is generally thought to illustrate
God's attitude towards sinners and the plan of
salvation. Did God know in advance that Adam
and Eve would sin?
a. Did He know it more certainly than this
father in our story?
(1) Do you think that we approach sin
with the same attitude that this son
approached his independence? Are we
even thinking that we might get in
b. Read 1 Peter 1:18-21. What does Peter
tell us is the timing of the plan of
(1) What does this say about the God's
knowledge of whether Adam and Eve
(2) If God knew in advance that Adam and
Eve would sin, why did He create
them? Why did He allow them to sin?
Why did He permit all of this pain
(a) Is there anything He could have
done about it? If so, what?
(b) If you were God, what would you
have done about it? What would
you have been unwilling to do
(c) Those who argue in favor of
abortion say that the child
would not have a good life or
the mother would suffer because
of the birth of the child. How
does this compare with God's
unselfish decision to create man
even though it would cause Him
to be tortured and die?
5. Let's go back and finish the story of the
prodigal son. Read Luke 15:17-24.
a. Why did the son go back? (He was hungry.)
b. Is that a "worthy" motive?
c. Is this a fair analogy for salvation?
Can we turn to God because we are
"hungry" as opposed to because we love
d. Tell me the thought process you believe
this son went through to return to his
father? (First, he realized that he had
made some bad choices. Second, he
decided that he would be better off with
his father. Third, he was willing to eat
his pride, confess he was wrong and
submit to his father.)
(1) Is love a part of this? (I am sure
that this son loved his father --
but not more than the son loved
himself. However, I do not think the
son's love for his father was a
motivating factor here.)
(a) If I am right, when does love
come in, if ever? (In response
to the father's loving
acceptance of the son who
screwed up his future and
wronged his father.)
(b) Why do you think the father
decided to take his son back?
Was it a rational decision?
i) Did the son merit being
(c) When do you think the father
decided to take his son back?
When he saw him on the road? Or
at some previous time?
i) If you say, "some previous
time," tell me when?
(2) Are we celebrating those who have
returned to God? Or are we letting
them slip through our fingers?
(3) Do we, as a church, have the same
attitude towards prodigals as this
II. IMPLEMENTING THE P
A. Let's read another parable that Jesus tells about
the plan of redemption. Let's read Matthew 22:1-4.
1. How important is this banquet to the king?
2. Does the king need guests? If so, why? If
3. What reasons do you think the guests might not
have come in response to the first request?
(The king thinks it is because they think the
wedding dinner is not yet ready. Verse 4
tells them dinner is ready now!)
B. Read Matthew 22:5-8. Now tell me why the guests
still do not come? (There two reasons: some care
more for their business affairs than their king.
Others are hostile to their king.)
1. Verse 7 tells us that king killed those he had
invited and sacked their city. How do you
explain the difference between the way the
king treated these people and the way the
father treated the prodigal son? (The son came
2. Notice v.8 says "those I invited did not
deserve to come." If this is a parable about
salvation, does this prove that we have to
merit salvation? ("Merit" is a questionable
term here. What they had to "merit" was paying
attention and answering the invitation.
"Merit" was avoiding hostility and
indifference towards the King.)
a. Is hostility and indifference still a
problem towards our King?
(1) Is it a problem in your life?
3. Let's continue. Read Matthew 22:8-14. What do
you think is meant by "bad people" (v.10) and
what are bad people doing at the wedding?
a. Compare Luke 14:21 which is part of a
similar story. Does this give you a
clearer idea of what is meant by "bad
people?" (I think the idea is that every
one gets invited. Whether they have
moral, financial or physical problems
they get an invitation.)
(1) What is "good" about all these "bad"
people? (They accepted the
invitation to come to the wedding.)
(2) Is accepting the invitation enough?
(No. You had to have a wedding
(3) So far we have several requirements
for salvation, right? 1.Paying
attention; 2. Accepting the
invitation; and, 3. Putting on a
wedding garment. If this is so
easy, why does Matthew 22:14 say,
"Many are invited, but few are
(4) We need to discuss what this all
means in more detail.
III. THE GARMENT
A. What is the wedding garment?
1. Does the wedding garment make bad people good?
2. How did the man get into the wedding without
a. What does it mean to "get into the
wedding?" (This is a church member,
someone who professes to be a Christian.
That is why he is "in." However, God
notices that he does not have a wedding
b. What do we learn from the fact that the
man is "speechless" when he gets
challenged by God? Does this tell us
that this guy was stupid, or a man of few
(1) If you were the person without the
wedding garment, what would you say?
(a) What could you say? (You could
say, "I couldn't afford a
garment." "They failed to give
me one when I arrived." "Sorry,
didn't realize this was a formal
affair." The fact that the
fellow is speechless shows that
he had no excuse. Obviously a
garment was available for him,
he knew he needed it and he
simply did not wear it or took
B. Read Eph 2:8-9 What role does this suggest that we
play in our salvation?
1. What role do we have in wearing the wedding
C. Let's look at Mark 4:26-29. We are told the
kingdom of heaven is like this story. Have we
read somewhere that our garment "grows?"
1. How can salvation be both like a garment and a
growing seed? (Our salvation is external, like
the robe. However someone who is saved will
be growing in his relationship with God just
as the seed grows and matures.)
D. Friend, God holds out the invitation to come.
Don't be too busy for it. Don't forget the
importance of it. Don't be too proud to accept.
E. NEXT WEEK: CONDITION IN DEATH