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The Benedictus

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
October 10, 2021 12:01 am

The Benedictus

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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October 10, 2021 12:01 am

When John the Baptist was born, his father Zacharias praised God in song. Continuing his series in the gospel of Luke, today R.C. Sproul examines this song, the Benedictus, to consider what the birth of the forerunner to Jesus means for God's unfolding plan of redemption.

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In Luke chapter 1, the father of John the Baptist praises God in song he cries out. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited us and accomplish redemption for his people. That's next on Renewing Your Mind.

John the Baptist was born, his parents, whom they thought for sure that their childbearing days were over God's divine plan brought Elizabeth son and not just any son but the one who would go ahead of Jesus proclaiming the coming of the Messiah.

Yes, Zacharias had much to sing about his Dr. RC Sproul teaching from chapter 1, we've already looked at some of the other songs of the infancy of Jesus the Magnificat of Mary, the Gloria in excelsis deo of the heavenly chorus outside of Bethlehem.

Later on, God willing, we will look at the number of minutes the song of Simeon, but the other grade in that is contained in Luke's gospel is this one song by Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist and in this long. There is both celebration and prophecy of what is to come. But the central theme. I think the most important thing is expressed at the very beginning of this song and it has to do with God's visit thing. His people I like to take a few moments this morning to focus our attention on that idea because as I said in the case of Mary's Magnificat is also true here that the content of this infancy song is Bill with references to the Old Testament that we don't want to miss as we give our attention to it and so the song begins. Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, why is Zacharias attributing a beatific view of God at the beginning of the him he answers that for us. Clearly the reason why he is blessing God is because God has visited and redeemed his people and raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David no I think what's somewhat unusual that we don't see when we read the English version of the text that is in the original is the lag wage that is used for such divine visitation. The verb that is translated visited here is the verb form of an extremely important noun in biblical categories. The noun is the noun up just skip us.

I'm sure that words sounds at least somewhat familiar to us because we think for example of the Episcopalian church and Episcopalian church is called the Episcopalian church because of its form of government. It is a church that is ruled by bishops and when we talk of that which is Episcopal were talking about that which as to do with bishops and indeed the English translation of the noun form of this verb. If you're following me on this attack is the word Bishop Anna Piscopo's in Greek is translated by the word Bishop in English and again I want to just take a moment to drill down a little bit into the meaning of that word.

The Greek word Piscopo's is made up of two parts, a prefix and a root. The root is the word scope us that comes right over into English. It's the word we use for a mouthwash no that's it's the word that we translate in English by the word scope long-range rifles and scopes mounted on them.

We have microscopes we have telescopes and you get the idea that the scope is something that is used, to look through a microscope is used to look at tiny things small things. It would be invisible to the naked eye. The telescope is used to see things far off in the distance, but the idea here is one of vision of walking and this I play with this word a little bit. Think of the relationship between the word vision and the word visit there very closely related.

When I come to your house to visit you it's because I want to see you and that Aryan is the connection that going back to the Latin word narrates both words come from that Latin root, but in any case, you have the root of the word Bishop being scope scope us with a prefix happy attached to and all at happy does is intensify the root in Latin the corresponding concept is the idea of super what Garay super looking and again in our culture on the job. We have people who do their work and while they're doing their work there somebody watching them and the person who watches them is called what does super visor. Now when we have a supervisor. The supervisor is not just a visor. He's not just a looker. He's a super looker and what that means is these like Santa Claus. He's watching you closely making a list to see how you been behaving.

Whether you been good or bad. So in other words, the supervisor or the Bishop is not a casual observer, the supervisor is one who looks at things deeply and carefully and fully so that he seems and perceives every single detail of what is going on with the reason I labor this point is that this title of episcopate's is in the New Testament, given to Jesus that Jesus we are told in the book of Hebrews is the Bishop of our soul's and that title that is given to Jesus is merely a transfer of the understanding of the nature of God himself to his son because ultimately the supreme Bishop is God himself who observes totally comprehensively everything that takes place in this world.

Jesus tells us that there's not a single bird that ever lands on the ground that our heavenly father doesn't see. He tells us at the very hairs on our head, our number. David exclaimed where can I go from your spirit. If I ascended to heaven you're there if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art there before a word is formed on my lips.

Oh God. You know it all together and so this has to do with God's all seeing, I and knowledge of everything that happens in this world now. Related to this is another word that we have in our theological vocabulary that's critically important for the Christian to understand and that's the concept of divine providence orders that come from. Again we have a root in a prefix and it's the same road here. What their array has to do with vision and problem the Garay probe what their array is God's seeing things before hand, but it's more than that. It's not just the providence of God refers to his knowledge of things before they happen, but more importantly it has to do with his sovereign plan of things that will come to pass. It is his ProVision for his people. The first time that we discover this concept of divine providence in the Bible is back in the book of Genesis in the 22nd chapter of that book on that occasion where God came to his servant Abraham and he said a ramp after Abraham and waited all those many years for the promise that God made for an air to come. The place of now he and Sarah finally have a son. God comes to Abraham. He says now, Abraham take thou thy son, your only son, the one whom you love, and go to the mountain that I will show you and there. I want you to sacrifice him to me. We've looked at that text before and I remind you that if God come to Abraham and say take now your son to that mountain and sacrifice him to me and that's all the information God would've given to Abraham. Abraham would've headed straight for Ishmael, and he would've taken Ishmael to Mount Moriah that he would have sacrifice him there, but God was very specific uses.

No waiver. Take your son, your only son, the one whom you love, Isaac, and taken to that place where I will show you and there you offered him 2 million. You know the story. Abraham got up early in the morning he chopped wood for the sacrifice and he mounted his beast of burden took his son, his only son, the son, whom he loved Isaac and as they were moving along the road with Mount Moriah.

In the distance. Isaac looked at his father, nieces, father, I see the word or sacrifices.

Where's the lying we supposed to have a lien to offer as a sacrifice.

That's one of most poignant moments in the history of redemption what's going on in Abraham's mind what's going on in his heart to seek in the sight of his son Isaac. Don't worry about the lamp you are the way.

Instead, Abraham said to his son Jehovah gyrating the Lord will provide. We are going to trust in the provision of God. We are going to trust in the providence of God, and you know the rest of the story. When they got to the top of the mountain. Abraham took his son and bound him with the ropes and place them on the altar and raised the knife above is saddened that the last second, as he was about to plunge that into the heart of the sun God spoke, Abraham and lay not your hand upon your son because now I know that you trust me, and behold, off to the side there was a ram caught by his horns in the thicket that could be used as a substitute for the sacrifice God had provided Jehovah gyrating had provided the lamb to be slain as a substitute, you realize the 2000 years later, at that same mountain is now not called Moriah, but now was called Calvary, God took his son, his only son, the son, whom he loved Jesus and put him on the altar of sacrifice, only this time no one shouted stop the Ottoman provision was made not is incorporated your friends in this concept of divine visitation in Greece. The Bishop was like a general who from time to time would come to the Army's and inspect the troops. The CFA were battle ready or whether they had been negligent and had grown rusty and lazy and incompetent during the absence of the general NFT found the troops battle ready, then he would pronounce his benediction on them. But if he found them ill-prepared, then the general would bring judgment and again, the verb form of the shipping is visiting and so the troops never know when the general would pay them a visit and in the Old Testament you have the idea of the supreme providential Lord who will visit his and those visits can be either wonderful and redemptive or tragic as they bring his judgment. The people of God in the Old Testament. Look forward to the promised day of the Lord and in the beginning the day of the Lord was this future day when God would come and redeem his people and bring peace and justice to them and redeem them from their enemies and fulfill all of his covenant promises but as the people of Israel grew cold in their hearts, and they became hard. Neck. They were warned that the day of the Lord might not be so good. The prophet Amos said to them the day of the Lord is a day of darkness and there is no light in and so you have this to Ed's sword in the Old Testament. On the one hand, the looking forward to the right dawning of the day and the day of God's visitation and that of the other hand, the fear that that they might be a day of judgment and beloved the ultimate visit from on high, was the entrance of Christ into the world and for those who received him, to them he gave authority to be called the children of God, to those who received him, it was the day of the Lord of redemption. But for those who reject him.

It is the day of darkness for the no light in it there friends. It is impossible to be neutral with respect to Christ. There is no neutral territory. Jesus said he was not with me is against me.

You're either a disciple of Christ or his enemy, which is holy.

You know, in the deepest chambers of your heart again in the Old Testament and the beginning of the formation of the Jewish nation.

When these people were in their darkest hour being enslaved by the Pharaoh of Egypt and they were given quotas to fulfill and they were given no straw for their bricks and they cried and they groaned it and they were in despair and hopelessness and then one day God heard their cries, said the grounds of my people have come up to me and he called Moses and he said to Moses, you go to Pharaoh and you tell Pharaoh that I say let my people go, and if he doesn't want to let them go. You tell them that I'm going to visit him and I'm going to visit my people and the Exodus was the supreme visitation of God to his people in the old testament.

It looked ahead to the ultimate visit, the incarnation of Christ himself who would deliver his people from the bondage of sin. Finally, we think through Christian history.

How many times the great saints and we ourselves the lesser saints have felt at times the absence of God. We wonder where he is, we don't sense his nearness to us. I think of Luther and forms the night before his trial, praying his heart out in his monastery cell crying out God, where are you send how I need you. This is in my because this is your cause. The cause is yours and I am skewers. He's not gone he's just hiding.

Luther prayed that on the morrow, God would visit him and give him strength in the next morning the Lord God omnipotent visages his servant and upheld them so he visits Zacharias and Elizabeth and he's about to visit the whole nation with the birth of his son and etc. pricing plus the Lord God of his, for he has visited and redeemed his MS a song we can repeat with great joy and praise. Thanks for listening to Renewing Your Mind of this Lord's day I'm Lee Webb referred a message from Dr. RC Sproul series from the gospel of Luke and as you heard today. He goes into incredible depth in this series. It's interesting that he covered only eight team words from Luke in our message today. That's the kind of detail that so helpful in Bible study and when you contact us today with a donation of any amount we like to send you a digital download of RC's commentary on this gospel in nearly 600 pages. He covers every verse of Luke's history of Jesus life RC's commentaries are easy to read and we hope this one will enhance your study of Luke or offices are closed today but that you can give your gift to make a request online.

When you go to Renewing Your generosity is the fuel that allows this ministry to continue producing programs like this one, so we are grateful for your support of looking or ministries next to the doctor still continues his study of Zacharias's song from Luke chapter 1, and we hope you'll join us for Renewing Your Mind

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