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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « New Multimedia on the Web for your Edification | Main | Prayer of the Synergist Redux »

    The Parable of the Painting

    I was sent this in an e-mail recently. It is by no means a perfect illustration of salvation (for this, we pay nothing, it is entirely God's gift from start to finish), but I include this parable here because it does illustrate something of our Savior's worth in the Father's eyes. - Pastor John Samson

    A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

    About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art."

    The young man held out this package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."

    The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.

    He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."

    The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

    The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.

    On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?"

    For quite some time - there was only silence.

    Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."

    But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100? $200?"

    "We did not come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"

    But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son? "

    Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

    "We have $10, who will bid $20?" announced the auctioneer.

    "Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters!"

    "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"

    The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

    The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, Sold for $10.00."

    A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!"

    The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over."

    "What about the paintings?"

    "I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"

    God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: "The son, the son, who'll take the son?"

    Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

    "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

    Posted by John Samson on June 30, 2006 12:09 PM

    Comments

    The problem with this parable is that the son is the estate. The son is what we want and desire. There is nothing else better then Him. Nothing can have higher value then the son. The estate and everything else is meaningless without Him.

    25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25-26).

    Lew,

    Very true... and the unregenerate are blind to the glory of God - blind to seeing the worth of the Son - they cannot see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:4-6). Such were all of us... but God!

    But the Son IS everything - He made it all. Everything else does not exist at all without Him. I think the parable has no problem at all.

    Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and HE SUSTAINS ALL THINGS BY THE POWER OF HIS WORD, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

    Col 1:16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him — all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers — all things were created through him and for him.
    Col 1:17 He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.

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