Summary: God wants us to be certain regarding spiritual matters and our salvation since our faith is rooted in history.
THE CERTAINTY OF THOSE THINGS
Proposition: God wants us to be certain regarding spiritual matters and our salvation since our faith is rooted in history.
Objective: My purpose is to challenge people to be certain regarding their spiritual relationship and assurance of God’s revealed Word.
Is the Bible truth or myth? A truth-seeker asks this question about most everything in life, for their desire is for truth in all things. So, is the Bible truth, or is it a myth? When I think about the world we live in today, I realize how impossible it would be for my great-great-great-grandparents to comprehend it. Were I able to go back and share my life with them, they would think me the world’s wildest storyteller with an imagination out of control. Their love for me might prevent them from labeling me a liar, but I imagine they would seriously question my stability. My great-grandparents moved from Wythe County, Virginia, to Knox County, Indiana, while my 3 great grandfather Henry Steffy rode horseback at the age of 82. I am sure he would think that it was a myth, a fabrication or I was out of mind if I told him about trains, cars and jet airplanes. At the very least he couldn’t understand me and want me to share more. Because something is outside our field of experience, outside the catalogue of our knowledge, does not change it from truth to myth. Where my own family back then would find flight, space travel, vaccines, computers and e-mail easy to label mythical, it wouldn’t change the reality of the truth.
The same holds true for the Bible. Much of what we find within its pages may be difficult for us to grasp, remaining outside our personal experience or knowledge, but that difficulty doesn’t negate the truth of them. The Bible undergoes a great deal of scrutiny these days. Yet more and more, as it is placed under the scope of newer and ever-advancing technology, its veracity is finding confirmation. Be it archeological evidence or areas of science, the authentication of the Bible continues to grow. Its message is a living message because its author is the living God. We need to have a feeling of certainty in a world of uncertainty (wars, erratic stock market, etc.).
The opening paragraph is one sentence in good Greek style. Luke addresses the Gentile audience. Luke presents Jesus Christ as the compassionate Son of Man, who came to live among sinners, love them, help them and die for them. It is a message for everybody, because Luke emphasizes the universality of Jesus Christ and His salvation; “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (2:10) The character and purpose of Jesus as Savior are the main theme of this book. The activity and teaching of Jesus in Luke are focused on lifting men out of their sins and bringing them back to life and hope. The miracles, the parables, the teachings and the acts of Jesus exemplify His redemptive power and will.
In the days of the first Christians, there were many writings about the life of Jesus. But some had special quality--they had been written by Jesus’ followers or their close friends. These gospels and letters were carefully copied by hand. Over the years, archaeologists have found thousands of manuscripts of bits of the New Testament and even some complete copies. By comparing these, we can get very close to what the New Testament writers originally wrote. Some of these copies are dated less than 100 years after the original gospel or letter was written.
The author of this gospel, Luke, also wrote another book in the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles. He was the only NT writer who was not Jewish, and he was a doctor. Independent evidence confirms that he was a very careful and accurate historian. Luke is the only one of the Gospel writers who did not know the physical Jesus. He was not present during our Lord’s three-year ministry and did not witness His death and Resurrection. His sources for this Gospel are eyewit-nesses of these events. He visited the people who actually saw the physical Jesus: His family, His disciples, His friends. These are the sources of his information. Tradition says that Luke died at the age of 84. So he lived a long life and no doubt was immensely respected by people for this marvelous historical account that he provided of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. As well as the gospel, he wrote the book of Acts. Luke the physician, Luke the historian, Luke the theologian, he’s quite a guy, isn’t he? Lastly, Luke the pastor...Luke the pastor.
I. DECLARATION (v. 1) “Things which have been fulfilled among us”--We do not know who these writers were. Matthew & Mark may have been a-mong them but any others were obviously not inspired. (John wrote at a later date.)