A new page has been posted, chronicling the work of God in our family. It can be found at this link.
The Child Jesus
In awe we behold Emmanuel “God with us” (Matt 1:23) “the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14) “the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).
Lu 2:40-52 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. 41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Before we begin, it is prudent we make a doctrinal statement derived from the plain teachings of Scripture as to who Christ is!
Christ is God (John 1:1). He has always been God (Hebrews 13:8). He was made flesh (John 1:14) in accordance to the Scriptures (Ps 40:7; Heb. 10:7) in the womb of Mary by the miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit (Matt 1:10; Gal. 4:4). The Bible describes this as “the mystery of godliness:”
1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
“The little babe of Bethlehem was also the Ancient of Days. The infant who
was rocked in that peasant woman’s arms was, at that very moment,
upholding all things by the word of His power. The child who was learning
the Hebrew alphabet was the Alphabet (Rev. 1:8). He was the incarnate
Word, the Word that spoke the far-flung universe into being. That Boy
discussing doctrine with the doctors in the temple courts was the One whose
fingers wrote the Decalogue for Moses on two tablets of stone. That Man,
graciously accepting the present of a little boy’s lunch, could easily have
created a galaxy of gold”. John Phillips, commentary on Jude
Three truths to express: In awe and only in the understanding afforded to us by the Scriptures themselves and the faith made possible by the Spirit of God we look in wonder at the growing up of the King of Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I. The child “Coming to Age”
Note the “bookends” of our text and the truth of His understanding in between them.
The first Bookend: Luke 2:40 “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”
Lu 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
The second bookend: Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
-“I must be about my Father’s business”
Abundant evidence in the Scriptures point to the reality of the Lord “emptying Himself” in His humanity and subjecting Himself, not only to the law of God, but also to the natural law of human development in that He “grew” and “increased.”
II. The “Conflict in the Temple”
Lu 2:48-49 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
A. -“Son, why?” His parents asked “why”
*Mary and Joseph took this personally “why hast thou thus dealt with us?”
*Mary and Joseph took this painfully “…sought thee sorrowing”
The earthly parents of the Lord were angry at His actions!
B. -“How is it?” The Son asks “how”
Did not Gabriel meet with both Joseph and Mary concerning His conception in the womb? Had not Joseph been led by the angel of the Lord to the protection of the Son and aided by angels in his custodial care of Him? How is it? How feeble and frail we are as vessels to serve the living God! Like all earthy sons, Jesus would have imperfect parents!
*He indicated that they, like He, should have comprehended what His task was.
*He clearly demonstrated His understanding of His purpose and His commitment to it! “I must be about my Father’s business”
III. The “Conclusion”
Lu 2:50-52 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
A. His Condescension:
“To put aside one’s dignity or superiority voluntarily and assume equality with one regarded as an inferior.”
The 12 year old Son of God could “school” the most learned men of the priesthood, that understood the things of God in much greater detail than His earthly parents, but he condescended to be subject unto them and in doing so, He would INCREASE yet MORE in WISDOM!
B. His Continued Growth:
Verse 52 records that after this “and Jesus increased in wisdom…”
Consider this, being about “His Father’s business” for 18 years meant simply being a carpenter’s son! In that carpenter’s home, God the Son would increase in wisdom and favour with God and man!
Heb 5:5-10 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
This “mystery of godliness” cannot be fully comprehended, or maybe better said even nearly comprehended by our limited minds. But in this man “dwelt the fullness of the godhead bodily” (Col 2:9). He was entirely God and entirely man! O what a wonder! O how incomprehensible, but comforting to us! Though we cannot fully comprehend Him, HE can fully comprehend and empathize with us, for He was made like unto us whom He has made His brethren!
“empathy”: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Our High Priest!
Heb 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
1Jo 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Our Lord and our GOD!
Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
*May the Spirit of God, using His Word help us be as Thomas, with our feeble hands, by faith, touch the very nail pierced hands of our Saviour, that our hearts, our minds, our entire beings may cry, “My Lord, and my God!”
God has led us to plant Great Hope Baptist Church in the city of Rockland, Maine!
Would you partner with us and pray that our God would undertake for us in this pursuit?
A Special Edition to the Peterman adventure has been posted here.
Gabriel’s Glad Tidings of Good Things!
Henry Owassa Tanner, “The Annunciation” (1898)
I. Angel’s Appearance vs. 26
A. This Appearance meant an anticipation of God’s salvation…
For Four hundred years:
*God had scolded (Malachi)
*God had been silent
*Life was severe
Josephus described Palestine as being between the hammer and the anvil during these turbulent years!
*Religious life was stiff and became stale.
God was no longer a real part of the religious life of Israel. – Matt 15:2,3;6
B. This Angel was sent to Mary, a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph.
Gal 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
II. Angel’s Announcement vs. 28-38
A. Indicating that Mary was an object of God’s grace
“…Hail, thou that art highly favoured…” vs 28
“…thou hast found favor with God…” vs. 30
“favoured” in verse 28 (2x) Luke 1:28 and Eph. 1:6
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
χαριτοω charitoo khar-ee-to’-o
from 5485; to grace, i.e. indue with special honor:—make accepted, be highly favoured.
“favour” in verse 30 (147x) Including Eph. 2:8
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
χαρις charis khar’-ece
from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):—acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(- ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank(-s, -worthy).
Ro 11:1-7 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
When religious systems make a literal “god” out of Mary, they are committing blatant idolatry.
This error is no different than the idolatry of Israel that Hezekiah the king dealt with when he destroyed “Nehushtan.” The people turned the object that God used and turned it into a god! What utter wickedness!
2Ki 18:1-4 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. 3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
B. Indicated the presence of the Lord with her “…the Lord is with thee:..”
C. Indicating Mary’s place among women
“…blessed art thou among women…”
Mary’s place was indeed a place of honor, for this there is no question! The difficulty lies in the idolatrous honors bestowed upon her, heaping upon her such ridiculous and blasphemous titles as “Mother of God” and “Co-Redemptrix” by the Catholic Church!
D. Announcing the promise of a son
1. Supernatural birth…vs.31…son of Mary….man
Luke 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
“…behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son,…”
2. Supernatural babe…vs.35…Son of God…..God
Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Matt 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
3. Son of God “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest:”
Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
John 1:33-34 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
John 9:35-38 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
4. Savior “…and shalt call his name JESUS.”
Jesus means: “Jehovah is salvation”
Heb 10:5-10 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. SEE Philippians 2:5-8
5. Sovereign “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Phil 2:5-11 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 Tim 6:13-16 13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
SEE: Revelation 1:9-18
The Lord did not forsake Israel!
*The house of Aaron through Zacharias and Elisabeth ~ John
*The house of David through Joseph and Mary ~ Jesus
The Lord Sent His only Begotten Son to save sinners!
The Lord through His grace uses people for His Glory!
Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords who is soon coming back!
Zacharias and Elisabeth;
a Portrait of a Godly Family
There is an undeniable rarity found here in Luke chapter one exclusively. It is the family of Zachariah and Elisabeth, the parents of John the Baptist. I have found it necessary to consider them that we might be challenged in the area of our families. How desperately we need godly families!!! It was to the custodial care of this dear couple the Lord placed His messenger, the “forerunner” of the Messiah!
I. Faithful in Service vs. 5-9
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,
9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
Zacharias was a faithful priest while Elisabeth was a faithful WIFE!
II. Followers of the Scriptures vs. 6
…Walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless…
A. Dealing with Direct Commands “all the commandments”
Lived a Life in obedience to the direct commandments of God
from 1781; injunction, i.e. an authoritative prescription:—commandment, precept.
(Commandments) *Obvious to the casual observer*
B. Dealt with Discernment of God’s will “…and ordinances…”
Lived a Life through godly Discernment of His will
from 1344; an equitable deed; by implication, a statute or decision:—judgment, justification, ordinance, righteousness.
(Ordinances) *Only for the obedient seeker*
Ezr 8:21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. 22 For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. 23 So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.
*Note what Ezra led the people to do as the travelled to Jerusalem
III. Fervent in Prayer vs. 13
*Last message we considered the past prayer of this couple for a child… That prayer had no expiration date! This would have been that particular prayer they prayed as a couple for a child.
Matthew Henry says also:
“If he means the prayers he was now making, and offering up with his incense, we may suppose that those were according to the duty of his place, for the Israel of God and their welfare, and the performance of the promises made to them concerning the Messiah and the coming of his kingdom: ‘This prayer of thine is now heard: for thy wife shall shortly conceive him that is to be the Messiah’s forerunner.’ Some of the Jewish writers themselves say that the priest, when he burnt incense, prayed for the salvation of the whole world; and now that prayer shall be heard.”
Luke 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. John = “Jehovah is a gracious giver”
Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
The Answer to the overwhelming Harvest
Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
Asked by the disciples of the Lord
Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Assumed by the Lord as normal Christianity
Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Expected by the Lord that men pray
Luke 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Luke 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
The Answer to the sin problem of our lives
IV. Filled with the Holy Ghost
This is significant, in that it indicates their individual Devotion and Surrender to the Lord!
vs. 67 Zacharias
“And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,…”
vs. 41 Elisabeth
“And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:”
Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
The issue here is not content, but control! It’s not how much of the Holy Spirit the Christian has, but it’s how much of the Christian the Holy Spirit has!
V. Their Faithful Son
Christians can choose to live their lives in a flippant way, blindly believing their children and lives will all turn out all right in the end, but this is not the reality. God give us godly families!
A. The “Occupation” of a godly family
The previous four points of our study show us the occupation of this family. They occupied their lives in the love, obedience, and service of the Lord.
B. The “Cultivation” within a godly family
The occupation of this family created the environment that God worked in! The hand of the Lord was with the son without hindrance of his family!
Luke 1:66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
Luke 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
C. The “Expectations” of a godly family
John would become the greatest man “born of women” yet in an earthly sense he was not wealthy, nor did he have possessions, in fact, he would be killed by a wicked ruler! His family’s expectations were indeed high for their son… They were “Heavenly high!”
Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
“Fear Not, For Thy Prayer Is Heard!”
“Before God” Vs. 5-7
Their hearts were sick with sorrow, not with sin! Their disappointments made them better, not bitter!
These dear folks had an overwhelming Desire to have a child…..
These dear folks had an overwhelming Disappointment because they were unable…
These dear folks had an overpowering Devotion to the Lord and His service!
Prov 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Comments on: Luke 1:5-25
2. That they had been long childless, v. 7. Children are a heritage of the Lord. But there are many of his heirs in a married state, that yet are denied this heritage; they are valuable desirable blessings; yet many there are, who are righteous before God, and, if they had children, would bring them up in his fear, who yet are not thus blessed, while the men of this world are full of children <Ps. 17:14>, and send forth their little ones like a flock, <Job 21:11>. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary)
I. Picture of Faithfulness (Zacharias) Devotion vs.5-13
A. His Prayer …Elisabeth was barren…
B. His Perseverance …while…
C. His Performance of Duty …he executed the priests office before God…
D. His Place of Service …his lot…
E. His Payment or Reward …fear not…thy prayer is heard…
9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
F. His Promise …Thy wife… shall bear thee a son…
II. Picture of Frailty Doubt vs.18-20
Can we deduce today something from this text? As we witness the reaction of Zacharias to the announcement of Gabriel we can gather a few things of his prayer that was being answered….
It was a prayer prayed in faith…
It was a prayer prayed in the past…
It was a prayer that an answer was so delayed that the hope of the answering was deferred… yet they remained faithful!
A. Frailty of His Flesh
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
Our Flesh is not saved, and our flesh will not nor can it serve the living God!
B. Frailty of His Faith
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
See the imperfect prayers of the church answered perfectly by the Lord… See Acts12:1-17
An Undefeatable Resource (vs. 5) “But Prayer!”
See verse 15 and 16 ~ Imperfect Prayer ~ Though their faith was not PERFECT the PRACTICE of prayer and the miraculous answering of that prayer PERFECTED their faith!!!!
The church at Jerusalem was experiencing terrible persecution BUT PRAYER… The Apostle James had been put to death by the sword of Herod BUT PRAYER… The Apostle Peter was sleeping in the prison house awaiting execution… BUT PRAYER!
A. The Persistence ~ Without Ceasing:
Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; ~ Persistent Prayer Of the Church; Many were gathered together
B. The Participation ~ of the church
Matthew 18:19-20 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. ~ Unified Prayer
C. The Imperfection ~ apparent weak faith
Acts 12:15 and 16 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. 16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
Mark 9:17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
Mark 9:23-24 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
*We have not to fear or wonder if our audience will be accepted! We are not as Esther, who took her life into her hands to appear before the king! (Esther 4:18-23) Our God has put forth His terms in which He will Hear!!!!!*
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
“we may obtain” ~ this is not an endeavor in vain if we go in such a way that we may obtain!
“may” speaks of possibility where it once was not possible!
Ephesians 2:11-13 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
“may” speaks of opportunity where once there was none!
The old timers spoke of “Praying Ground.” By this term they meant keeping yourself constantly in the clearest and purest terms possible with the Lord!
Only the “righteous” can stand there:
John 10:14-15 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
…and only on God’s Terms:
God’s terms touch my WALK…
Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Isaiah 1:14-18 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
1 John 1:8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
God’s Terms according to His WILL…
1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
III. Picture of Fulfillment (God is Faithful!) Delight! Vs.13-25
A. Prayer Answered
B. Purpose Realized
2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. (Isaac)
Gen 25:21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. (Jacob)
22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. 23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: 24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son. (Joseph)
1 Sam 1:15-18
15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. 16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. 17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.
1 Sam 1:20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD. (Samuel)
C. Revealed the Son anticipated vs.13-14
D. Revealed the Savior that was long awaited vs. 17
The Gospel According to Luke
14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
2 Tim 4:9-11
9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
It could be thought that Luke was UNLIKELY
Luke was not one of the 12 disciples.
Luke was not even a preacher!
It could be noted that Luke was almost UNNOTICED
Luke was a minister to Paul…Always in the background.
*Referred to only with plural pronouns in the first person.*
Yet the Scripture portrays that Luke was UNMOVEABLE
Luke was with Paul to the end (even in the prison house).
1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
I. Written From Conviction: Vs. 1-2
Conviction is not merely a “take it or leave it” mental assent of truth. Conviction is truth, searched out and settled in the heart and mind.
1. The act of proving, finding or determining to be guilty of an offense charged against a person before a legal tribunal; as by confession, by the verdict of a jury, or by the sentence of other tribunal, as in the summary convictions before commissioners of the revenue.
2. The act of convincing, or compelling one to admit the truth of a charge; the act of convincing of sin or sinfulness; the state of being convinced or convicted by conscience; the state of being sensible of guilt; as, the convictions of a sinner may be temporary, or lasting and efficacious. By conviction, a sinner is brought to repentance. Men often sin against the conviction of their own consciences.
Conviction illustrated in the lives of God’s people: See Daniel 3:13-18
Da 3:13-18 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Conviction illustrated in David and the implements he chose to take forth to the battle with Goliath.
1Sa 17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
A. Common to all saints “Those things which are most surely believed among us”
* This conviction should not be rare, but should be shared by all true Believers*
B. Commentary of the Savior See vs. 2 also Acts 1:1
C. Contemporary of great men vs. 2
Stephen (the first deacon / martyr)
*On the surface it would seem that Luke wrote from second-hand Information. Vs.3
*On the surface it would appear that Luke wrote out of self-motivation. Vs.4
II. Written By Inspiration: Vs. 3
“Having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first,”
“from the very first”
509 anothen (an’-o-then);
from 507; from above; by analogy, from the first; by implication, anew:
KJV– from above, again, from the beginning (very first), the top.
John 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
John 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
The Author: God the Holy Spirit The Writer: Luke
2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Pet 1:20-21
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
III. Written For Conviction: Vs. 4
“That thou mayest know the certainty of those things”
A. The Word of God brings conviction to the sinner…..
B. The Word of God builds conviction in the saint!
1. Saved II Tim. 3:14-15
2. Sure I John 5:13-15
3. Strong Rom. 4:17-20
4. Standing Eph. 6:10-18, I Cor. 16:13
Read the latest of our adventure in our newest Prayer letter HERE
What an exciting and awesome thing it is to be a servant of our precious Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ! T see a prayer letter of the unbelievable things the Lord is doing check out the prayer letter attached to the page here.
Your Fellow Laborer in the Master’s Vineyard,