Summary: Jesus’ famous parable about the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 tells us this great news — God the Father gladly receives repentant sinners, and there is joy in heaven when sinners repent and turn to God. But there is a less-often preached jewel of truth in the closing verses of the parable. And it speaks of a wonderful blessing of God for all who are walking with the Lord. Come see.
The prodigal son had returned and repented to his father, who symbolizes God the Father. A lavish feast was given by the father to celebrate the son’s return. But the other son, who had never left the father and was faithful to him, complained that such a feast had never been given for him. The father’s reply to him speaks to us today of the great generosity of God to His own.
The father (representing God the Father) says to his son—symbolizing those who are “
Think of that! If you’ve repented of your sins before God and have believed in Jesus Christ’s death on the cross to take the punishment for your sins, you are saved! A born-again believer. A son or daughter of God Almighty (2 Corinthians 6:18). A member of God’s own family (Hebrews 2:11; 1 Peter 2:17)).
As a child of God, remember that “now we are children of God” (1 John 3:2). Not just later or in some indeterminate, distant time, but now! And as now-and-ongoing children of God, you are heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus Christ. An heir of God, a co-heir with Jesus — ponder that in the light of our opening verse (above top). The father, symbolizing God the Father, says to the son who has chosen to be with Him: “Son, you are always
Practically speaking, how does this work? How do the bountiful blessings of God the Father come down to you as a saved co-heir with Christ? In the verse just below, Jesus explains it.
I had been a born-again Christian for almost 50 years when the Holy Spirit revealed this simple but deeply important truth to me. In these words our Lord Jesus is showing us how the bountiful blessings from heaven are given to God’s people. The background of Jesus’ words is clear: the Bible regularly speaks of the unlimited abundance available to us from the hand of Almighty God. Now Jesus clearly shows us how that bounty comes to the believer.
He says first that “all that belongs to the Father is mine.” That is, the limitless fullness of God’s goodness “is mine,” said Jesus. So picture everything that God the Father has being made 100% available to His Son Jesus.
Then the Lord goes on to say that the Holy Spirit “will receive from me [from Jesus] what he will make known to you.” I visualize this profound truth in a simple diagram:
With that in mind, let’s go see some of that amazing goodness of God the
The single greatest thing we can receive from God is forgiveness of sin and new birth eternally into the family of God Almighty. Jesus was telling us that eternal life comes through having a personal relationship, a “knowing” of God the Father and His Son Jesus. Elsewhere in Scripture Jesus told us that we uniquely and only come to the Father through Him, the Son. And that is a result of repentance for sin and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).
And lest we think (wrongly) that we can in any way earn that salvation, the Bible clearly calls it a gift from “God our Savior” (1 Timothy 1:1; 2:3) through “Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:6) — “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works… (Ephesians 2:8-9).
This unspeakably wonderful gift of salvation comes, as noted above, from the Father (“God our Savior”), through the crucified and resurrected Savior Jesus, His Son, and made real in our lives by what Jesus called being “born again … born of the Spirit” (John 3:5-7).
My esteemed readers, let me pause right here and ask: Is God kindly, graciously speaking to your heart that you personally have not yet received His salvation from Jesus Christ by the new birth of the Holy Spirit? Do you long to know God and spend eternity with Him, yet you sense that you haven’t yet made that choice to know, love, and serve Him? Then this is a God-given moment for you. Turn to God through Jesus, repent of sin, and experience the joy of salvation now and for eternity. The late, respected evangelist Billy Graham has a brief presentation to help you in this at his “Looking for Answers? Peace with God.” Make that decision, receive God’s free gift of salvation. You’ll be eternally glad that you did!
Again we see the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit imparting to believers the profound blessing of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the biblical evidence of speaking in tongues. Having ascended back to heaven (Acts 2:32f) after His resurrection from the dead,
In Acts 1 and 2 (above) Jesus had promised to His believing followers that they—who had already received the Holy Spirit in the new birth (John 20:22)—would soon be “
The result? This mighty Holy Ghost baptism enabled Christ’s followers to go forth in the promised power (Acts 1:8; Luke 24:49) and be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ. One example — Just weeks earlier, on the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, the apostle Peter had denied Jesus three times, even cursing and swearing that he did not know Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75). Yet by sharp contrast, in Acts 2 this same Peter, newly empowered with the baptism of the Spirit, preached to the gathering crowd a bold message about Jesus that led to 3,000 converts being saved and baptized! (Acts 2:41). 3,000 new Christians from one bold sermon! The baptism with the Holy Spirit made a dramatic difference. It still does today.
My fellow believers in Christ, you and I need that mighty Spirit baptism functioning in us daily in order to be Christ’s power-filled ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) to the lost of the world. And it’s ours! Recall our opening main verse at the top, where God the Father tells His own that “All that I have is yours.”
My friends, if you’ve been seeking the promised baptism with the Holy Spirit, I recommend to you right now my friend Dr. Berin Gilfillan’s excellent video on the topic. You can pray and receive now!
Furthermore, the presence of the Holy Spirit in us through both the new birth and the baptism of the Spirit will enable us to grow in the supernatural gifts of the Spirit as well as the character-building fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22f).
The promise of divine healing to us from the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is very meaningful to me personally. My late wife is now with the Lord, after 38 years of marriage. In our first 6 married years, she found that she had a medical condition that caused her to be barren. I remember her coming home heartbroken and crying from another lady’s baby shower. She had been the only lady there that was not a mother. Her heart (and mine) cried out to God for healing. Then God did heal her, supernaturally, miraculously, and without medical intervention. She went on to deliver to us four beloved children. All four are now adults, married, and each blessed with 3 children of their own. And all of them are actively serving the Lord! “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich!” (Proverbs 10:22, KJV) All of this joy and blessedness came into our lives because our God is a healer!
Remember, the Father has said to you His people: “All that I have is yours!” If you wish to build your faith further for God's promise of healing, I have a collection of sermons on divine healing here.
Does it say God will supply all our “wants”? No. But it does clearly promise that God will supply all our needs! To those around Him who were worrying about normal, natural needs such as food, drink, and clothing, Jesus said, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your
God’s storehouse is infinitely full. There is no lack to Him. As Jesus said to those who “seek first” God’s kingdom and His righteousness, “all these [normal natural needs] will be given to you as well.” So as our Lord said, “Do not worry,” because as Paul wrote, “God will meet all your needs.”
I add this verse just in case you’ve thought of some other thing that you wish to receive from God and I hadn’t mentioned it. The apostle Peter, writing by the Spirit’s inspiration, reminds us that God’s divine power “has given us everything we need for a godly life.”
Again, not everything we “want,” because that might wrongly slip over into unnecessary things, maybe carnal things, perhaps even ungodly things. But God’s gracious goodness does grant us: (1)
In closing: determine to be “always with” the Lord,
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©2021, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons &
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Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.