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Sunday, December 30th, 2018 - AM - Light for the New Year (Lk. 1:67-80)

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Christ is the Hope of our Salvation: No More Fear of Death’s Darkness; Freed to Walk with God in His Wondrous Light!

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Pre-Introduction:
At this time, we invite any children who desire to join my dear wife for a children’s service to follow her where you can hear a wonderful bible lesson and sing some uplifting songs about Jesus.
For those joining us online, you’re listening to the Services of the Broomfield Baptist Church. This is the Pastor bringing the Sunday Morning message entitled “Light for the New Year” or “The Road to Redemption.” We invite you to follow along with us in your Bible in the Gospel of Luke, chapter One, and verses Sixty-Seven through Eighty.

Introduction:

[Start Low]
Luke 1:74–75 KJV 1900
That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies Might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, All the days of our life.
The story has been told of a missionary who became a good friend of an Indian pearl diver. The two had spent many hours together discussing salvation, but the Indian could not understand anything so precious being free. Instead, in making preparation for the life to come, the diver was going to walk the nine hundred miles to Delhi on his knees. He thought this would buy entrance into heaven for him. The missionary struggled to communicate to his friend that it is impossible to buy entrance into heaven because the price would be too costly. Instead, he said, Jesus had died to buy it for us.
Before he left for his pilgrimage, the Indian gave the missionary the largest and most perfect pearl he had ever seen. The missionary offered to buy it, but the diver became upset and said that the pearl was beyond price, that his only son had lost his life in the attempt to get it. The pearl was worth the life blood of his son. As he said this, suddenly the diver understood that God was offering him salvation as a priceless gift. It is so precious that no man could buy it. It had cost God the life’s blood of his Son. The veil was lifted; he understood at last.1170 [Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 315.]
Main Thought: *Christ is the Hope of our Salvation: No More Fear of Death’s Darkness; Freed to Walk with God in His Wondrous Light!*
Sub-introduction: Give the context of the Birth of the Baptist preceeding. Jesus Christ brings deliverance to the hopeless both personally, powerfully, and as promised before; and this Good News is signified by His prophet's ministry and message in preparation of His path toward redemption.
Quote: Michael Milton. Milton, a professor and pastor, says that the song of Zechariah is “the song of a mind made clear” (1:69–73) and “the song of a soul revived” (1:74–75).2 [2 http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/new-testament/advent-zacharias’-prophetic-song-luke-1-67-79-11596979.html?p=2.] [R. T. France, Luke, ed. Mark L. Strauss and John H. Walton, Teach the Text Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2013), 31.]
Body:

I. Bless the Lord, O My Soul (Lk. 1:67-75)

The Redeemer Has Risen

A. Sing of His Salvation! (Lk. 1:67-71)

Blessed. There is not a word in this noble burst of divine song about his own relationship to this child, nor about the child at all, till it has expended itself upon Christ. [David Brown, A. R. Fausset, and Robert Jamieson, A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, on the Old and New Testaments: Matthew–John, vol. V (London; Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Company, Limited, n.d.), 223.]
Nearly every phrase here is found in the O. T. (Psalms and Prophets). He, like [Elisabeth & Mary], was full of the Holy Spirit and had caught the Messianic message in its highest meaning. [A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933), Lk 1:67.]
This song, which was composed in the priest’s mind during the time of his silence, broke solemnly from his lips the moment speech was restored to him, as the metal flows from the crucible in which it has been melted the moment that an outlet is made for it. [Frédéric Louis Godet, A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke, trans. Edward William Shalders and M. D. Cusin, vol. 1 (New York: I. K. Funk & co., 1881), 110.]

1. The Personal Presence of the Lord to Procure Our Deliverance (Lk. 1:67-68)

Luke 1:67–68 KJV 1900
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; For he hath visited and redeemed his people,
The verb “visit” (ἐπεσκέψατο) forms an inclusio around Zechariah’s ode (1:68, 78). [David E. Garland, Luke, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 106.]
“Observe that Zechariah’s previous doubt and his discipline through loss of speech did not mean the end of his spiritual ministry. So when a believer today has submitted to God’s discipline, he may go on in Christ’s service.”69 [69. Liefeld, p. 839. Zechariah’s failure had been relatively minor, so major discipline was unnecessary.] [Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Lk 1:67.]
Now, Zacharias also was filled with the Holy Spirit. Again, he did not speak in tongues or manifest any other charismatic behavior other than powerfully praising God, prophesying (forth telling) what had already been revealed to him by Gabriel earlier. [David H. Sorenson, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary - Matthew through Luke, vol. 8, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary (Northstar Ministries, 2007), 559–560.]
Genesis 50:24–25 KJV 1900
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
Exodus 3:16 KJV 1900
Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:
Exodus 13:19 KJV 1900
And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.
Psalm 80:14 KJV 1900
Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: Look down from heaven, and behold, And visit this vine;
The word redeem means “to set free by paying a price.” It can refer to the releasing of a prisoner or the liberating of a slave. Jesus Christ came to earth to bring “deliverance to the captives” (Luke 4:18), salvation to people in bondage to sin and death. Certainly we are unable to set ourselves free; only Christ could pay the price necessary for our redemption (Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18–21). [Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 174.]

2. The Power of Our Lord to Bring Us Salvation (Lk. 1:69-70)

Luke 1:69–70 KJV 1900
And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us In the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, Which have been since the world began:
Psalm 18:2 KJV 1900
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Psalm 132:17 KJV 1900
There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.
The word “world” here is not simply the cosmos—the ordered world—but the ages of time. From the very beginning God had been speaking of this coming One. From the Garden of Eden right on, He had been telling of the coming Saviour, and now He was soon to appear. His forerunner had already arrived. God had given His word and He sealed His word with an oath; and so He was about to perform the mercy promised to the fathers, and to remember His holy covenant, “the oath which He sware to our father Abraham.” We are told in Genesis that when God made the covenant with Abraham, He said, “In thy Seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed,” and He confirmed it with an oath, and because He could sware by no greater He sware by Himself. He is the only one who has a right thus to sware. This was in connection with the Old Testament, and now the precious blood of Christ has sealed the New Covenant. We know that the Almighty will never go back on His covenant; so our Lord Jesus Christ came as the promised Seed of Abraham, and through Him already blessing untold has gone out to Jew and Gentile, but the promises are by no means fulfilled in their entirety. When they are, all Israel, as a nation, shall be saved, and shall turn to the Lord for redemption; and all the Gentiles shall own His authority, and righteousness will cover the earth as the waters cover the great deep. Then the entire universe shall be subjected to the Lord Jesus Christ. [H. A. Ironside, Addresses on the Gospel of Luke. (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1947), 51–52.]

3. The Protection of the Lord in Our Salvation (Lk. 1:71)

Luke 1:71 KJV 1900
That we should be saved from our enemies, And from the hand of all that hate us;
Psalm 106:10 KJV 1900
And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
Note - Davidic Covenant Applied
There are six covenants in the Old Testament that are specifically referred to by that term. Three of them, the Noahic (Gen. 9:9–17), Mosaic (Ex. 19:5; 24:7–8; 34:27–28; Deut. 4:13), and the Priestly (Num. 25:10–13) covenants, are non-salvific; eternal, spiritual salvation is not in view in any of them. The other three covenants, the Davidic, Abrahamic, and New, do relate to salvation. The Davidic covenant is universal; it involves the eternal rule of Jesus Christ over all. The Abrahamic covenant is national; it designates God’s promised blessing of Israel. The New covenant is personal; it refers to God forgiving sin in the lives of individuals. Of course no one will enter into the full blessings of the Davidic and Abrahamic covenants apart from the salvation provided in the New covenant. [John F. MacArthur Jr., Luke 1–5, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2009), 95.]
Jeremiah 23:5 KJV 1900
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Zechariah 3:8 KJV 1900
Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, And thy fellows that sit before thee: For they are men wondered at: For, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
Zechariah 6:12 KJV 1900
And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; And he shall grow up out of his place, And he shall build the temple of the Lord:

B. Serve in His Sanctuary! (Lk. 1:72-75)

In verses 72–75, a series of infinitives demonstrates the purposes or goals of God’s deliverance that has now come. Verses 72–73 look at God’s past actions, and verses 74–75 at his present purposes. [Grant R. Osborne, Luke: Verse by Verse, ed. Jeffrey Reimer, Elliot Ritzema, and Danielle Thevenaz, Awa Sarah, Osborne New Testament Commentaries (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018), 56.]

1. The Performance of God’s Promises (Lk. 1:72-73)

Luke 1:72–73 KJV 1900
To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, And to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
G. Campbell Morgan brings out two striking thoughts on this passage.5 First, he points out the arresting connection between the name of John and the theme of the song—both are the grace of God. Then he finds allusions to the names of John, Zacharias and Elizabeth in verses 72 and 73.
John—the mercy promised (v. 72).
Zacharias—to remember (v. 72).
Elizabeth—the oath (v. 73).
God’s favor, as announced by John, results from His remembering the oath of His holy covenant. [5 G. Campbell Morgan, The Gospel According to Luke, pp. 30, 31.] [William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 1373.]

2. The Priesthood of God’s People (Lk. 1:74-75)

Luke 1:74–75 KJV 1900
That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies Might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, All the days of our life.
after having been delivered, to serve God: the end is perfect religious service; political deliverance is only a means to it. Perfect worship requires outward security. The Messiah is about to reign; no Antiochus Epiphanes or Pompey shall any more profane the sanctuary! We find here in all its purity the ideal salvation as it is described in the Old Testament, and as the son of Zacharias himself understood it to the very last. Its leading feature is the indissoluble union of the two deliverances, the religious and the political; it was a glorious theocracy founded on national holiness. [Godet, 112–113.]
Note that the results of this victory are sanctity and service (Luke 1:74–75). He sets us free, not to do our own will, because that would be bondage, but to do His will and enjoy His freedom. [Wiersbe, 174.]
Ephesians 4:24 KJV 1900
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Note - Abrahamic Covenant Applied
Genesis 22:16–18 KJV 1900
And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Transition: We’ve considered how Zacharias Blessed the Lord God of Israel, now let’s look at what He says about his own son, John, whose life is summarized by:

II. Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord (Lk. 1:76-80)

Note - The Road to Redemption
The tone shifts here from the aorist tenses of the first half of the hymn (vv. 68–75) to future tense (vv. 76–79). Most therefore consider this a prophecy, for it looks to the future work of John and Jesus as the messianic age unfolds. John is labeled “the prophet of the Most High,” paralleling Jesus as “the Son of the Most High” (1:32). He is not only the first prophet in four centuries but also the greatest of the prophets as the messianic forerunner, himself fulfilling prophecy (Mal 3:1; 4:5) and preparing for 7:26–35, where his prophetic ministry will be laid out for us. [Osborne, 57–58.]

A. A Ministry of Preparation (Lk. 1:76)

Luke 1:76 KJV 1900
And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord To prepare his ways;
Isaiah 40:3 KJV 1900
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Malachi 3:1 KJV 1900
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, Even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: Behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

B. A Message of Peace (Lk. 1:77-79)

1. Know-So Salvation (Lk. 1:77)

Luke 1:77 KJV 1900
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people By the remission of their sins,
Remission means “to send away, to dismiss, as a debt.” All of us are in debt to God because we have broken His law and failed to live up to His standards (Luke 7:40–50). Furthermore, all of us are spiritually bankrupt, unable to pay our debt. But Jesus came and paid the debt for us (Ps. 103:12; John 1:29). [Wiersbe, 174.]
Peace of Pardon—Not a Mere Forgetfulness
I have spilled the ink over a bill and so have blotted it till it can hardly be read, but this is quite another thing from having the debt blotted out, for that cannot be till payment is made. So a man may blot his sins from his memory, and quiet his mind with false hopes, but the peace which this will bring him is widely different from that which arises from God’s forgiveness of sin through the satisfaction which Jesus made in his atonement. Our blotting is one thing, God’s blotting out is something far higher. [C. H. Spurgeon, Feathers for Arrows (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1870), 162–163.]
God’s Pardon and a Presidential Pardon
In September 1974, President Gerald Ford announced that he was granting ex-President Nixon a “full, free and absolute pardon.” He was doing so under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, which says the president “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardon offences against the United States.”
At first hearing, the pardon sounded very Christian, for doesn’t pardon lie at the root of Christianity? But further thought raises questions and reveals fundamental differences between the pardon of God and the pardon granted by President Ford.
(1) God’s pardon covers offences against law, and the presidential pardon too concerns “offenses v. the United States.” But [the] ex-president has not confessed to any offenses, only to [an] error of judgment. So how can Ford pardon what Nixon says he has never committed?
(2) God pardons those on whom his judgment justly rests. Traditionally the presidential pardon has been used to right wrongs, i.e., the injustice of someone wrongly convicted. But not only has Nixon not confessed to any offense, but he has never been tried, let alone convicted.
(3) God does not pardon arbitrarily, but offers pardon to those who repent of their offense and accept it. How can Nixon accept a pardon for offenses he has never acknowledged?
Conclusion: A real offense, a real guilt, and a real repentance are required for a real pardon. [John Stott, The Preacher’s Notebook: The Collected Quotes, Illustrations, and Prayers of John Stott, ed. Mark Meynell (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018).]

2. From Darkness to Light (Lk. 1:78)

Luke 1:78 KJV 1900
Through the tender mercy of our God; Whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
Tender mercy (σπλαγχνα ἐλεους [splagchna eleous]). Bowels of mercy literally (1 Peter 3:8; James 3:11). [Robertson, Lk 1:78.]
Isaiah 9:2 KJV 1900
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Isaiah 60:19 KJV 1900
The sun shall be no more thy light by day; Neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: But the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, And thy God thy glory.
Malachi 4:2 KJV 1900
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise With healing in his wings; And ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
Titus 2:11 KJV 1900
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Colossians 1:12–14 KJV 1900
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

3. Pathways of Peace (Lk. 1:79)

Luke 1:79 KJV 1900
To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.
Spiritual Death, Concept of
A luxury car company had a powerful commercial some time ago. There were two dummies in the car. Engineers were going to crash the car into a wall in order to show how sturdy and solid the Lexus was.
What caught my attention when I saw this commercial was what the dummies looked like. They were dressed in suits and ties. One dummy had a hat on. The other dummy had his hand on the wheel sporting an expensive watch. They were good-looking dummies headed toward a brick wall.
When we go to our cars after church with our nice dresses and our nice suits and we sit in our nice vehicles, the question is, are you a dummy behind the wheel? Those dummies in the commercial were looking good, but they were headed toward disaster. So it is possible to be a good-looking dummy. Many people are walking around today spiritually dead but don’t know it.894 [Tony Evans, Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations: Stories, Quotes, and Anecdotes from More than 30 Years of Preaching and Public Speaking (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009), 298.]
Christianity is distinguished from all other religions, not only in bringing to men what the troubled spirit most needs—“peace,” even “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding”—but in opening up the one only “way of peace.” [Brown, Fausset, and Jamieson, 224.]

C. Of Preparation for Ministry (Lk. 1:80)

Luke 1:80 KJV 1900
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
Luke only gives the briefest description of John from thence until the beginning of his ministry. He naturally would grow, but he notes that he also “waxed strong in spirit.” He became strong spiritually. God deemed not to send him to the feet of the rabbis at Jerusalem, but rather the seminary of the desert even as he did Moses and Saul of Tarsus. There, he was influenced and taught by the Spirit of God rather than the petty religious politics and theological fads of the day. The specific desert is not noted, though some think it the wilderness of Maon near Hebron. This evidently was after he had grown to young adulthood and left home, perhaps after the death of his parents. [Sorenson, 562.]
Note - New Covenant Applied
Theology in Application
1. The Visitation of God for Salvation...
2. Salvation as the Forgiveness of Sins...
3. Salvation as Reconciliation...
4. Salvation as a Call to be a Blessing to Others ... [ZECNT, Lu]
The Song presents a mélange of images—divine visitation, Exodus, Jubilee, New Covenant, illumination—not to specify with precision what form God’s purpose will take but rather to project its magnitude, its immeasurability, its irreducible quality. What God is doing extends the reach of what God has done; it exceeds what had been hoped. And the result will be a new community in which God’s peace and justice are incarnated. [Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997), 119–120.]

Conclusion:

A. Call to Act/Summary of Message/Application:
Note - Like Israel, mankind sits in the darkness and hopelessness of sin; the silence of heaven has broken forth with songs of redemption for sinners through the remission of sins, through the finished work of our Redeemer! Christ is God’s provided remedy to our sin-problem casting its long shadow death-darkness over our soul. Because God Himself has personally come to save us, we now can peacefully serve Him and bring His message of light, hope and peace to a dark and dreary world.
Let us end this chapter by examining what we know of these ... privileges. De we know anything of pardon? Have we turned from darkness to light? Have we tasted peace with God? These, after all, are the realities of Christianity. Let us never rest until the Spirit witnesses with our spirit that our sins are forgiven, that we have passed from darkness to light, and that we are actually walking in the narrow way, the way of peace. [J. C. Ryle, Luke, Crossway Classic Commentaries (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1997), Lk 1:67–80.]
B. Gospel Invitation:
In just a moment, we are going to have an invitation for you to respond to what you've heard about the Lord today. Friend, God loves you, but it's not okay for you to leave here today without realizing how much trouble you might be in with God because of your sins if you have never believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Why don't you change your mind toward Him? His love sent Jesus Christ, God's only Son, to die on the cross for all your sins. Won't you come and ask Jesus to come into your life and save you?
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