Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Testimony to Incarnation (Section 1a of the Nameless Luke Advent Thingee)

Trust Scripture

On Sunday evening I was speaking with a man who blows off the Bible because it is written by men. My two year-old boy was with me so it wasn’t an opportunity for deep conversation, but Luke’s gospel begins with something that can help us walk through this objection.

Read Luke 1.1-4

Before we move on, did you grab your Bible and read it? This daily exercise will be built around Luke 1-2. Be sure to read the Scriptures each day because they are the tool the Holy Spirit uses to help us connect with Jesus.

In fact, this brief passage highlights Luke’s care in assembling an orderly account of Jesus’ story. The good news. Gospel. We’re going to spend a couple days looking at the broad implications of the “good news,” but before we do, Luke’s introduction is a perfect time to be reminded that we can trust God’s Word, the Bible.

An imperfect recollection from one of my seminary classes has proved more helpful to me than simply quoting Scripture, which is more than sufficient if you believe it is inspired. This will hopefully help remind you why you should believe it is inspired.

As we prepare to walk through Luke as God’s Word, I want you to trust His Word. If you struggle with trusting it, let me know if this process helps.

Why should we trust the gospels?
· They were written shortly after the events, particularly by ancient standards & in an oral culture.
· Two gospels were written by close associates (Matthew & John), one was written by a no-name, but had Peter’s backing to it (Mark), and one guy was Paul’s associate (Luke). Remember, Luke said eyewitness and researched accounts.
· Interestingly, there are no “made up” names for the gospel writers that would make it more acceptable.
· There are embarrassing things in the gospels if you’re trying to prove Jesus is the Son of God (e.g., Jesus not knowing the time of His return). You don’t short sell a guy when you’re trying to get everyone to “buy-in.” The authors are honest – even making themselves look foolish at times (Matthew 16.).
· There are things absent from the gospels that would have been helpful in solving early church issues – circumcision, Jew/Gentile – but the authors don’t put those issues in Jesus’ teaching narratives.
· These guys had nothing to gain from their story except death and suffering. And they held to the truth. There was no political gain. Eleven of the twelve were martyred, according to church history.

This is just scratching the surface. From here we would see what Jesus thought of the Scriptures, how Jesus promised further revelation, and how several New Testament Scriptures recognize God speaking through different authors.

But don’t forget. This research is given by Luke so Theophilus might have certainty about the things he’s heard. That’s a challenge in a skeptical world. What keeps you from certainty? In trusting the Scriptures? In trusting Jesus?

I hope there’s more ‘inspirational’ content to come (Who knows? I’m doing this day-to-day!), but this is a crucial starting point. The Bible is written so we can grasp the reality that God has come in the flesh in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth.

Will you trust the testimony of the Scriptures and try to live it?

If you’re not sure, would you at least be open to the possibility that God might speak to you through the Bible and through the Jesus the Bible reveals?

Please share any thoughts, questions, etc… you might have.

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