He Welcomes Sinners – Gospel in Life

He Welcomes Sinners

Tim Keller |  September 28, 2008

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  • Salvation
  • Understanding the Gospel
Luke 15:1-10
RS 205-1


We’re looking at the parables Jesus tells in Luke 15: the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin, and the parable of the lost son. These famous parables not only show us how God’s grace changes us individually, but how God’s grace forms us into a unique kind of human community.

The gospel creates a completely unique and distinct kind of community — a community the world has never seen. Let’s take a look at the sheep, the search itself, and the shepherd, and see what each one of those teaches us about how God’s grace creates community.

Luke 15:1–10

When we look at the stories of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son in Luke 15, we can see how God’s grace changes people and brings them together into a special community. This community is different from anything else in the world and it’s all because of God’s grace. If we think about the pictures these stories paint of the sheep, the search, and the shepherd, we can better understand how grace creates this community.

1. The sheep

When we think of Jesus as the Great Shepherd and us as sheep, it reminds us that we need help and guidance, just like sheep who often get lost. It also shows us that we can’t save ourselves and totally rely on God’s grace. Even though it might be uncomfortable to think about the idea of original sin, when we look at human nature and history, we can see that it’s true. We all need a savior.

2. The search

The stories Jesus tells often go against what society thinks is normal. They especially challenge the views of the religious leaders of the time and highlight how grace can bring about joy and create a new community. Shared experiences, like those of people from Bosnia, really help to build strong ties within a community. The gospel, which transforms us, shows us that we receive salvation through grace, not by following a set of rules. The gospel also reminds us of how much God loves each one of us. This has a big effect on who we think we are, and it brings joy, togetherness, and change, helping to create a new kind of community.



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