by Stephen Whitney

This content is part of a series.

Welcoming Father (5 of 7)
Series: Parables of Jesus
Stephen Whitney
Luke 15:11-24

Pastor and author A.W. Tozer (d. 1963) begins his masterly study of the character of God titled, The Knowledge of the Holy, with a provocative sentence: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

People have many different views about the character of God. Some believe God is like Santa Claus who gives you whatever you ask. On the other hand there are people who view God as a policeman who just waits for you to break his law so he can use his power to punish you for your sins.

Others view God in light of how their father treated them. If he was kind they view God as being kind. If their father was harsh and demanding that is how they tend to view God. Our view of the character of God often determines our relationship with him. We cannot let our view of God be based on our own experience, but it must be based on what the Bible tells us about his character.

The Pharisees understood God the Father to be holy, righteous, demanding perfection therefore to please him you had to perfectly keep his commandments. That is why they were so critical of Jesus when they believed he broke the law they so strictly kept.

Jesus tells a story known as “the prodigal son” that God is not the hard demanding father which they portrayed him as, but is a loving father who welcomes those who repent of their sins. Calvin wrote, “How readily God is disposed to pardon our sins.” God wants to forgive us of our sins if we will repent of them.

Two sons - represented two different groups of people: 1. One who lived an obvious sinful lifestyle by his actions. 2. The other who lived an outwardly righteous lifestyle.

No matter how a person lives they sin in their attitudes and actions and in their thoughts and behavior. Younger - implies he did not have much experience about life. This explains why he makes the po ...

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