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October 17, 2021 12:01 am
The Benedictus, Zacharias' hymn of praise, is a celebration of God's unfailing promise of redemption. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his exposition of the gospel of Luke to consider how the birth of Jesus fulfilled God's covenant with Abraham.
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Going up today on redoing your mind. How can you read the Bible and not see that the basic foundational structure of all of the history of redemption of all of the unveiling revelation of God Almighty is the structure of covenants in chapter 1, the father of John the Baptist since praise to God in song he says that God is fulfilling his promises to show mercy and remember his holy covenant. As it turned out those promises were fulfilled in part by Zach Rice his own son.
We will see God's faithfulness as we continue our study from the gospel of Luke is Dr. RC's role this morning will continue with our study of the gospel of Luke and will return once more to the song of Zacharias, the Benedictus, which we looked at the first section last Sunday morning and this morning. My intent is to look at the middle section and then God willing next Sunday morning.
See the final section of this hymn, but since even though I'm only going to be commenting on the middle section I will read the entire him once more this morning from Luke one beginning at verse 67 and reading through verse 79. Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets who have been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember is holy covenant. The oath which he swore to our father Abraham to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life and you child will be called the prophet of the highest for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sin through the tender mercy of our God with which the dayspring from on high has visited us to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace song again was inspired by God the Holy Spirit and is recorded here in Luke's gospel by his superintendents and by his inspiration.
It is for our instruction in righteousness and for our edification.
Please receive it this morning.
As such, last Sunday morning I spent almost all of our time considering the significance of the first part of the Benedictus when Zacharias praises God because she had visited his people in this marvelous way and that visit was a visit of redemption and he goes on to say, I stopped in the middle of the sentence, which is not all that unusual, but he has visited us and redeemed his people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us to be almost impossible to count all of the titles that are used, to describe the Messiah in sacred Scripture. But here's one that we could easily miss.
As we passed over the text too quickly, but really this visitation and redemption involves the coming of the Messiah, who is here referenced as the horn or a horn of salvation in the house of his servant David now this image of the horn refers to those beasts of the earth that use their horns in battle and it is a symbol of great strength in Jewish imagery. One such animal that comes to the presence again and again is the ox and we have the expression in our own language of being as strong as an ox. I don't know Mr. Bookman, if this refers to the mile ox or the other ox, but if you want to know anything about that are elder Bookman has his PhD in columns and there are too many people that you will ever know with that distinction.
So if you want to know about the strength of the ox you consult our dear Elder, I can't help but notice that in the symbols of the four Gospel writers in the early church that one of them is given the symbol of the ox. Even the author of the gospel that were studying this day, but in any case, it is the Messiah, who is described as having the horn of salvation as being one who comes in his messianic office with an enormous strength of strength that cannot be overcome, and he comes in the house of his servants. David notice that in this part of the him Zacharias is not celebrating the role that God is giving to his son, who has been named John that prophetic utterance comes at the end of the him but in this section of the him he is extolling the greatness of God's Messiah, whom God is raising up in the house of David, his own son, John would be from the house of Levi and not from the tribe of Judah, in which tribe we have the Messiah from the house of David and now he mentions that this realization of this visitation of the horn of salvation is not something that is calm day nova out of the head of Zeus without any word of preparation, but is merely the fulfillment of the promises that the prophets have given from the very beginning of time. The prophecy of the coming Messiah begins with Adam and Eve in the curse upon the serpent, whose seed would be crushed by the sea of the woman and throughout the pages of the Old Testament, the prophets, again and again reiterate that gospel promise of the coming Messiah who will bring redemption with him that we should be saying from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us know this reference in biblical terminology is not simply a promise that God is going to rescue the Jews from the Romans, or from the Philistines or the Amorites or the Jebusites or the stalactites or the stalagmites running those other-ites that were constantly besieging Israel. In Old Testament times, but the ultimate enemy that will be crushed by the horn of salvation who visits us is the enemy of the Prince of darkness in all of his minions and his allies, his employees that are part of the curse death darkness disease everything that puts a shadow over the joy of the experience of human life. All of these enemies will be conquered by this Messiah who will rise from the house of David to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant to notice.
This is the same theme that Mary focused on in the magnetic when she said that God has remembered the promise that he has made to our father Abraham you know sometimes and theological discussions that I'm involved with. People will often ask the following question to me. They said do you believe in covenant theology and covenant theology is often a nickname for reformed theology or more specifically for Calvinism. And when people asked me do I embrace covenant theology. I always answer by saying yes I do. But that's not what I want to say what I'm thinking, but biting my tongue and not saying to them, but I'll say to you this morning when people say do you embrace covenant theology. What I want to say is, of course. What other kind of theology is there preference and how can you read the Bible and not see that the basic foundational structure of all of the history of redemption of all of the unveiling revelation of God Almighty is the structure of covenant that that's the basis by which we enter into worship with God and into their salvific relationship that we have with them because he apart from us and for us unilaterally made a promise of redemption, which promise cannot fail. Many years ago in this church. I related the story of a personal experience I had in the middle 1960s in Boston when I was a professor at a college there. When one of our administrative members became sick unto death, and was hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital and I would visit him several times a week during his dying days of his name was Deacon because he was a deacon at his church, and so everybody called him Deke and he was such a wonderful marvelous man and a dear friend to aunts I can remember in those days visiting Deacon were, in fact, the day before he died that the only thing I could do for him was to take some ice from beside his bed and put that ice on his parched lips. The only physical comfort I could administer to him by that point he was not able to speak, but he would look at me with those eyes. I can still see the look in his eye and his look of thanksgiving and appreciation. But the thing that they can love the most was when I would read the word of God to him and his dying hours in the last text that I read my friend Deke was found in the six chapter of the book of Hebrews where we read these words from the author of Hebrews.
For when God made a promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no one greater. He swore by himself saying, surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you so after he that is a ram patiently endured, he obtained the promise for men indeed swear by the greater and an oath for confirmation is for them and end of all disputes.
Thus, God determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise, the immutable billets.
The obvious counsel. Are you listening to this God was permanent to make absolutely clear so that there wouldn't be a shadow of a doubt about not only a promise, but the in usability. The impossibility of its being changed or weakened because he was so determined to do this.
He confirmed it by an oath that by two immutable things to immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie one of those two immutable things that make it impossible for God to lie, the first thing that is immutable is a promise that comes from God. When God makes a promise is there forever and cannot be broken and the second thing that is immutable is the almost by which he confirms that promise and by these two things we see that it is impossible for God to lie, and we say with God all things are possible.
That means all things that are consistent with his character and with his nature, but ultimately there are some things that are impossible, God cannot be and not be at the same time the same relationship God can't die. That's an impossibility.
The other impossibility is he cannot. That's one of the things that demonstrates the vast gulf between God and us.
The Scripture says all men are liars. We are all covenant breakers and when we lack faith. What we do is we project upon God. The weakness of our own characters we say we lie so why can't God will it's possible for us to his were fallen creatures under the influence of the father will not, God, for God to lie, would be for God to stop being God altogether and so he says we have strong consolation. We who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us, and I read the rest of the week. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul.
Sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil where our forerunner. Even Jesus is entered for us having become high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
That's what drives the Christian life.
We are children of Abraham that he is the father of the faithful and the to Abraham. He made a promise and confirmed it by an oath which promise was not only to him as an individual, but was to Abraham and to his seed. Do you see that when God made this covenant with Abraham and with his seed. He swore an oath based on himself on his own divine being, God has put his deity on the line to confirm the promise that God made to Abraham and to his see is it any wonder when these promises are fulfilled that the servant of God. Zacharias sings under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, for God has kept his promise to Abraham and to his seed, he realized that's why we baptize our babies in this church because in that original covenant to Abraham. Abraham was to be circumcised as a sign of that covenant and he was commanded by God to circumcise his son do not yet come to faith as a sign of the promise of God that covenantal sign was not a sign of Abraham's faith was not a sign of Isaac's faith was a sign of God's promise to all who believe in the baptism is not exactly the same as circumcision. It follows that its practices, the Passover is fulfilled by the Lord's supper so circumcision is fulfilled by the new covenant sign of baptism, and that principal of family solidarity is never abolished, ever in the New Testament effect in the book of acts we see that when those people who come to faith as adults and received the covenants are not only will they receive it, but their household principle that had been in view for century after century after century the children of believers are not saved automatically because their parents are saved don't have faith automatically because her parents affect what they do is the promise of God given to Abraham and removed again and again and again throughout the history of the old covenant, and in to the new covenant so we are the people of the covenant. This covenant is extolled by Zacharias God is remember his holy covenant. The oath that he swore to our father Abraham to grant that we might be delivered from the hand of our enemies that we might serve without fear to remember the Exodus was God's message to Pharaoh. Let my people go, just so that they can be free. Just so they can do the wrong thing up.
Let my people go, that they can come out and worship in my holy mountain. So we who have enjoyed the Exodus brought by one greater than Moses. Having received the fulfillment of this promise to Abraham are rescued from our enemies, for the purpose of serving the Lord without fear and holiness and in righteousness before him. I don't know how many of you get to see how many of you get table talk magazine put your hand up if you do look around of you has not up. Look around family people sales rep matches up what's wrong with me. Y'all need to get table talk magic and we always have a section in their called quorum Dale, which is an application of the daily study to your lives and what does it mean slapping a phrase that was central, the Reformation, that means in the presence of God, that every Christian is to live his or her life always aware that your living before the face of God in his presence under his authority to his holiness and righteousness before him all things.
Amen so much depth and insight from Dr. RC Sproul today as we have continued his verse by verse sermon series from the gospel of Luke, Emily Webb and I'm glad you joined us for this Lords. The addition of Renewing Your Mind as we make our way through this exposition of Luke Wing Commander resource offer.
It's a digital download of Dr. Sproles commentary this gospel is nearly 600 pages of easy-to-read explanations of each verse 11 access to all of it when you requested today with a donation of any amount or offices are closed today but you can give your gift and make a request and Renewing Your Mind.org will at the end of the message that you heard. RC referred to table talk magazine. Each monthly issue looks at a particular area of theology or ethics this month. For example, is on the Christian way on what it means to live faithfully in the cultural confusion that surrounds us several articles on that vital subject in this issue, including one by Dr. Rosario Butterfield titled in the presence of my enemies.
Joseph ideally guided Bible studies right now that through the end of the year were going verse by verse through second Corinthians.
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As Dr. Spruill continues his study of Zacharias is on from chapter 1 is next Sunday. Here on Renewing Your Mind