Sermons

Summary: Working through the Gospel of Luke using consecutive expository preaching. Luke 1:67-75 This sermon fell on the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Sermon: “Christ of Salvation”

Luke 1:67-75

A sermon for December 20, 2020

Pastor John Bright - Harmony & Swansonville UMC

Luke 1 “67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,

For He has visited and redeemed His people,

69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us

In the house of His servant David,

70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,

Who have been since the world began,

71 That we should be saved from our enemies

And from the hand of all who hate us,

72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers

And to remember His holy covenant,

73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:

74 To grant us that we,

Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,

Might serve Him without fear,

75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.”

The Gospel of Luke has two birth stories – there is the most well know in Chapter 2 that we will all be reading on Christmas Eve and there is the other birth story in Chapter 1. John is born 9 months after the angel appeared to his father, Zacharias, in the Temple. For those months, he is unable to speak. He still does not speak at the miraculous birth of his son - being the first child these 60-something adults have ever welcomed into the world. It was eight days later – at the ceremony of circumcision – that Zacharias is able to talk. It was also the day that a child’s name is announced. Not 100% sure what is going on in this story because someone other than the parents suggest a name for the child. Maybe they were trying to step in for the suddenly silent father. They suggest the child be named after his dad, but Elizabeth tells them and Zacharias writes that his name is to be John.

Then we hear this prophecy of Christ – v.67-70

Luke 1 “67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,

For He has visited and redeemed His people,

69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us

In the house of His servant David,

70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,

Who have been since the world began,”

Luke continues to let us know that the Holy Spirit is at work when these women and men are speaking for God. I have tried to show you during these weeks how the filling of God’s Spirit was what set apart the Old Testament prophet apart. In those days, just like today, just because you claim to speak for the Lord, it did not make it so. Listen to this judgement from the prophet Micah –

3 “5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets

Who make my people stray;

Who chant “Peace”

While they chew with their teeth,

But who prepare war against him

Who puts nothing into their mouths:

6 “Therefore you shall have night without vision,

And you shall have darkness without divination;

The sun shall go down on the prophets,

And the day shall be dark for them.

7 So the seers shall be ashamed,

And the diviners abashed;

Indeed they shall all cover their lips;

For there is no answer from God.”

8 But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord,

And of justice and might,

To declare to Jacob his transgression

And to Israel his sin.”

I love the internet!

I hate the internet!

There are so many false prophets today who claim to speak for God… and they can reach millions of people who don’t know any better. There are thousands and thousands of videos on YouTube from folks professing the truth of Progressive Christianity (like those in the UMC that have brought us to a time of schism). They make Jesus a hippie from the 60s that loves you enough to let you do whatever you want. It’s sad. It’s sadder, still that they have a platform to sell it.

What are we selling? – v.71-75

“71 That we should be saved from our enemies

And from the hand of all who hate us,

72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers

And to remember His holy covenant,

73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:

74 To grant us that we,

Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,

Might serve Him without fear,

75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.”

There’s a whole new kind of commercial. You may have seen it on the tv or sandwiched between the videos on your streaming platform. Some commercials, you don’t know what it is they are trying to sell you until the very end. For example, you may see one or more women in a field or on a street or at a party. Finally, there is an image of them holding a perfume bottle. Hey, does anybody buy those really big bottles I see on the commercials?

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