Review of Lord's Day Morning: September 30th 2012
Pastor Shane Walker
My take on the sermon
Friends on Facebook are of a much different sort than other types of friends. You can rack up friends on Facebook and it merely means you are interested in seeing posts by that person some of the time. It doesn't necessarily denote a deep and abiding affinity. In ancient times it was likely a much more serious (in a good way) thing to call someone your friend. Luke was likely a good friend of Paul and we know they were traveling companions. Luke was likely a physician and we know that he was well taught by the skill exhibited in his Greek. He writes in classical historic terms using the word translated "inasmuch" which is nowhere else found in the New Testament but is found in other Greek historians of the time. This is just one example of his use of the Greek language, the entire "Preamble" to the book is very well done. Also, when Luke refers to Old Testament passages and ideas he uses the same words that are used in the Septuagint. The one addressed in this book as Theophilus may well have been a person or could also refer to all Christians. The name means "friend of God" and forms one of the themes of the sermon: Friends of God.
- Believe God's Story to be a friend of God
- Think inside His story to be a friend of God
- Turn away from disobedience to wisdom to be a friend of God
1) People who love God and believe Him are always seeking to increase their faith through understanding. This is the concept of "Faith Seeking Understanding." [see blog roll for Pastor Shane's blog of the same name] The idea is that we believe what God has told us and then continue to work towards a more complete understanding as we live through our lives. As we build our understanding of God, His word, His world, and truth in general, this increases our faith. An important thing to remember is that the increase in knowledge is a means to the end of deepening our relationship with God. We not understand everything about God or His actions and yet still believe him.
2) Zechariah was likely one of Eighteen-Thousand priests and was chosen by lot to burn incense. He was already thinking in God's story as he was doing his God-given duty. Perhaps Matthew ought also to have been involved in priestly duties as his name "Levi" suggests he was of the Levitical priesthood. And yet he was off chasing wealth working for the Romans as a tax collector. And yet even as Zechariah shows his faith in God by doing his duty and serving, he fails when given the message of the coming birth of a son. He questions not out of puzzlement but out of unbelief and is disciplined by not being allowed to speak until his son John is born. We find Mary asking "How can this be for I am a virgin" but she seems to have been asking out of puzzlement and amazed faith rather than unbelief. And her question is answered with a beautiful revelation regarding how the Holy Spirit would perform what was necessary to form the child in her body. The relatively small miracle of Elizabeth's pregnancy (similar to the miracle with Abraham's wife; he was known as the friend of God) was a pointer to the more profound miracle of the incarnation.
3) The way of wisdom is to conform our thoughts to God's word.