Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Birth of John the Baptist, Zechariah's Song

Sermon / Homily on Luke 1:57-80

Confidence God's Way

by John D. Telgren

Summary:

The name John shows that God is gracious. He demonstrates his grace through the power of his faithful salvation. Our response to this should be to serve him without fear and prepare the way to bring the knowledge of salvation to those around us.

Know: That God has provided access to him through the redemptive power of the cross

Feel: Motivational graduated to God

Do: Identify people and ways to help open the hearts of family and friends to God

Text: Luke 1:57-80, 2 Cor 3:4-6

Introduction:

1. Where does your confidence come from?

a. Commercial used to say it was from a deodorant
b. Maybe you are smart, athletic, know the right people, make money
c. Not good things to place all your confidence in
- One accident can take all of that away
d. Text will show us a better place for confidence

2. (Lk 1:57-66) - What will this child be?

a. Way Luke tells the story builds suspense
b. Spend a lot of time on births
c. Lot of preparation has gone into God's plan

3. What will this child be?

a. Answer in Zechariah's Song
b. Luke calls it 'prophecy'
c. In 2 parts - First part in God's action; last part in human reaction

4. How should we respond to God?

I. Worship him for his power of salvation (v.68-71)

A. God is not a deist God, he is active and concerned

1. This is not a closed universe
2. God acts to bring salvation and deliverance
3. Images of his deliverance:

B. Redemption - a Hebrew idea - lag

1. Idea of forfeiture for updated debt, crime, accident, sin
a. Eye for an eye about equalization, not revenge
b. Forfeit land, property, even self
2. Redeemer - Usually a kinsman can redeem you
3. Our culture stop short of slavery
a. But can have property or assets seized
- Can lose house, car, business,
b. Imagine if they could seize you & enslave
c. What can you do? NOTHING
d. Only way to be free - Someone pays your debt
- That is redemption
- We are helpless to pay own debt and be free

C. Horn of Salvation

1. Horn symbolizes power
2. ILL: International Wildlife park
a. Feed animal from buckets in Car
b. Texas longhorn walking to car, Dad says 'drive!'
c. Not take much for horns to tear up car
3. Image of God 'raising up a horn'
- God toppling the enemy like a raging bull
4. The power of God is available to us!
a. Redeems us with immeasurable power!
b. Not given spirit of timidity/fear, but power, love discipline

D. What does that mean?

1. What is does NOT mean - A revolution or rebellion
a. Does not mean God gives you a bigger sword
b. Folks like Judah the Zealot, or David Koresh want that
c. That is NOT power - God has given us greater power
2. What it DOES mean - Not bigger sword, but bigger heart
a. Under God's rule, strength comes from weakness
b. Humility, compassion, forgiveness, love
c. Bigger sword can only bring compliance
d. Bigger heart brings inner transformation
3. Bigger hearts, godly hearts REVOLUTIONIZE life
a. Different kind of revolution
b. Nothing else can make people better husbands, wives,
children, employees, employers, neighbors, etc.
c. That's TRUE power and TRUE revolution
4. Praise God for his power, BUT also praise him for....

II. Worship him for the power of his faithfulness (v.72-73)

A. Not just God's power, but his faithfulness

B. 2 Images of his faithfulness

1. Holy covenant
a. Hebrew phrase - 'Karat Berit' - To cut a covenant

b. Gen 15 - God enters into covenant
- A metaphor for God's faithfulness
- God not invent covenant
- Was a serious social event created by ANE culture
- God voluntarily binds himself to a covenant!

c. ILL: Imagine God coming down
- Go to law office
- God signs a contract with you, has it notarized
- Seems incredible

d. This an awesome image of God's faithfulness

2. The oath - Gen 22:16

a. But Jesus said to not make oaths
- Why? We should let yes be yes and no be no

b. Why make an oath? To be believed, trusted
- IS it for benefit of oath maker or receiver?
- Problem that God can't be trusted?? NO
- Problem is with us

c. Therefore, God makes an oath - didn't have to

C. So, God makes a covenant (binding) and then make an oath

1. (Heb 6:17-19) - It is our anchoring hope
2. World is unsettling like a storm at sea
3. But we have God's covenant and oath to us as an anchor

D. What storms are threatening you?

1. Financial problems, family problems, job, health?
2. God has saved you, and he will come
3. He is faithful, God has covenanted and sworn
4. Because of that, we can be bold...
- That should be our response to God's faithful power

III. Worship him for the gift of boldness

A. (v.74-75) We can now serve God without fear

1. This song introduces theme of boldness in Luke/Acts

a. John the Baptist spoke boldly in righteousness & holiness
b. Jesus himself spoke boldly

2. In Acts, Christians spoke boldly, empowered by Spirit

a. Peter, Stephen, Paul and Barnabas
b. They intimidated and persecuted
c. Didn't silence them, still shared gospel

B. What are we to do with this boldness?

1. Boldness to 'prepare the way' for the Lord (v. 76)
a. John the forerunner for Christ
b. We not prophet like John, but in a sense we prepare
- John focused people on coming Messiah
- We are to do the same
c. Takes boldness! Loving confrontation
- ILL: If in a sinking ship, and people dancing
- You would warn them unapologetically
- This world is a sinking ship!
d. Prepare the way for them to get in life boats, be saved

2. (v.71) - Boldness to give the 'knowledge' of salvation

a. Hebrew thought - implies intimacy, experience
- Figure of speech - To know your wife
- Become physically, emotionally, spiritually one
b. Not just salvation from hell, but restoration of relationship
c. It is about becoming one with God
d. John 17 - And this is eternal life, that they might know you

D. ILL: As a teen had a friend wanted to be saved

1. What prepared the way for him?

a. A friend of his that became a Christian with OBS
b. That friend said he was saved, going to Heaven not hell
c. Weighed on his mind
d. Came to me - Please help me, I don't want to go to hell

2. So we studied, became a Christian

Conclusion:

1. God has provided all we need
a. Power of salvation through the Gospel (death burial resurrection)
b. Power of his faithfulness (promise and oath)

2. Have you accepted his offer of salvation? (invitation)
a. If accept and commit to it, nothing will take it away
b. (Invitation)

3. You can live with bold confidence every day
a. Have to recognize the source of it is in God, not in you.
b. Are you responding every day with fearless boldness?
c. Are you serving God in holiness and righteousness?

4. Is your boldness preparing the way for Christ in hearts of others?
a. How can I? Invite to life group, that can help prepare the way
b. Share your personal story, ask questions about life, their soul, etc.

See Also:

Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for the Sunday of the Birth of John the Baptist

Sermons Home | General Sermons and Essays | Articles | eBooks | Our Faith | Prayers | Library - Home | Baselios Church Home

-------
Malankara World
A service of St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio
Copyright © 2009-2017 - ICBS Group. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer
Website designed, built, and hosted by International Cyber Business Services, Inc., Hudson, Ohio