THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 11-2-03
LESSON TITLE: GOD'S CHOSEN AND INSPIRED WRITERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: "GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE"
Here we are together again on another first day of the week - our Lord's Day! I am so glad you have decided to join us today for another time of service to our God. How blessed we are this morning to again come before the throne of God and participate in acts of worship which laud and magnify His great and holy name. My hope and prayer is that we will each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His wondrous and precious will. So as we begin this morning, let's start by talking to our Creator in prayer, will you bow with me!
You know, there really aren't too many things today that we can really trust in or place our assurance in! Especially in a world which is so self absorbed and undependable. However, the great news is that we do have a place we can turn for complete assurance in this life and the one which is to come. So, let's begin our songs of praise this morning, with a hymn that reminds us of the wondrous assurance found in God. The name of the song, "Blessed Assurance!"
(SONG # 1)
Many in the Old Testament often forgot who God truly was and just how powerful His was. In fact, we see that not only were those of the world guilty of forgetting God, but also those who claimed to be His servants!
Now bring these thoughts into the present day. Are not many of us often guilty of the same type of doubt in the Creator? When was the last time you prayed and asked God for help, but deep down you really didn't feel He heard you or answered your prayer? When was the last time you had difficulty in life, and again instead of turning to God first, you turned to others or possibly even to the world. You see, at times we are all guilty of showing that we really don't trust in God, or that we really don't have complete confidence in His promises.
Well, with these things in mind, I want you to go to God's Word with me for a few minutes. Because the faithful of God and Scriptures go far in proving to us that we can count on God and trust that He can do what He has promised. In the Old Testament we see this to be true. Notice how God saved Noah from the flood. What about Moses and God's care for the Israelites. Or how about during the times of the conquest for Canaan - God truly gave His people the promised land. Yes our God is powerful enough to do what He says and to back up His promises with reality.
In Jeremiah 32:27, God says, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" David also helps us with this idea when he said, "Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power," Psalm 21:13. Here we are referring to our Creator, Redeemer and Giver of all - how can we even question the power of God.
The New Testament goes on to confirm that the same things are true. What about the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:26, there He said, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." All things are truly possible with God. Again in Romans 1:20, Paul refers to God's, "eternal power and Godhead." You see, God's Word confirms that we serve a God who is real, and powerful enough to guide, guard and direct us. A God who is able to care for, provide for, and to protect those whom He loves! The question is, "do you truly know the God you serve?" "Do you really believe in the power of our Creator?"
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. I am happy to say that we have a guest speaker this morning from Neosho, Missouri. We are excited to have brother Robert Moss with us today, to lead us in our study from God's Word. Brother Moss is the minister for the Hillcrest Church of Christ in Neosho. Our brother Robert is a good man of God who is willing to proclaim the precious message of Christ, so we look forward to his talk in just a few minutes.
As far as our series, today we will be continuing to talk about, "God's Chosen and Inspired Writers Of The New Testament!" The specific lesson of the day will deal with the, "Gospel According to Luke!" So please stay with us and after our next song, brother Moss will be leading us in this study from God's Word. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "I Will Sing The Wondrous Story."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Robert Moss
Good morning! I would like to begin this morning by welcoming each of you to our broadcast and also by offering appreciation and gratitude to those who have invited me to participate in this program this morning. I thank you for the opportunity and I look forward to studying the Word of God together.
This morning as we look at the subject matter of "The Inspired Writers of the New Testament," the topic that has been given to me this morning is that of Luke, the inspired writer, Luke. As we continue this morning with this series and we begin to look concerning the writer, Luke, you may readily realize as you've studied the Word of God that we do not have a great amount of material in the Word of God itself pertaining to the man himself named Luke. For instance, we do not know concerning his conversion, how it came to pass. We may surmise that at the time in which the Jerusalem brethren were being persecuted and the saints there were scattered abroad as we see in Acts chapter 8, the Bible says that they went everywhere preaching the Word.
When you look at the Word of God in Acts chapter 10 and verse 19 and following, the Bible tells us on that occasion that there were those who were dispersed to the area of Antioch. It may be the case that some of those brethren who went to the area of Antioch, and Antioch traditionally has been thought of as the homeland of this man named Luke and who is a native of there, that some of these people may have gone and he may have learned the gospel from these individuals. He's first mentioned as an evangelist and companion of the apostle Paul. What an opportunity to be able to be with this great man, Paul, and to be able to travel with him and enjoy time together in the Lord's service. The Bible tells us that this man, Luke, was a physician. In Colossians chapter 4 and verse 14, Paul refers to him as "Luke, the beloved physician." Evidently, Paul had a great fondness and love and concern for this man, Luke, because he uses the term "the love" and then he lets us know that Luke is a physician. The precise technical, medical vocabulary that Luke uses in his writings is particular to him, and throughout his writings, if you look to the background of terms that are used, you'll find that he uses a great number of medical terms that only individuals who are interested in the medical area or who are involved in the medical field would be using these in their writings or on a daily basis. For instance, we find in Luke chapter 24 and verse 12 where Luke uses a medical term to describe the bandages that were used to wrap the body of our Lord. In chapters 1 & 2 of the gospel that bears his name, Luke, you find that Luke mentions there and records details of the conception and birth of John the baptizer and of Jesus.
Luke is believed to have been a gentile. In Colossians chapter 4 and verse 10 and verse 11, Paul lists a number of brethren there and refers to them as the "brethren of the circumcision," and he mentions names. Then as he goes farther in the writing there, he lists names of those who are found outside that group. In verse 14, Luke is listed among those individuals.
Tradition has it that Luke was a native of Antioch. As we study the Word of God, we learn later that he spent a good bit of time in the area of Philippi. This is a little bit of information concerning the man himself.
Let's consider for a little bit his relationship with the apostle Paul. Paul mentions Luke three times in his letters. The first two in two epistles of his first imprisonment, Colossians 4:14, and also in Philemon verse 24. Then in one epistle of the second imprisonment, we find in 2 Timothy chapter 4 and verse 11, he joined Paul at Troaz on his second missionary journey as we find in Acts chapter 16 in verse 10 and verse 11. He continued on with Paul in this tour until he reached Phillippi as verse 11 and 12 of chapter 16 reveals unto us. He remained there with Paul until the time in which Paul left Philippi. However, he did not leave. Luke remained at Philippi as we see in Acts chapter 16, verse 12, verse 13, and also in verses 15 through 17. So Paul went into some areas and was involved in working some places where Luke himself was not with him. Luke has a particular use of pronouns that helps us to understand this difference. He uses the pronoun "we", and the pronoun "they." As you're able to look in the writings of the book of Acts, there are ties into which he would use the pronoun "we" and therefore we can understand that he is relating events and times and places where he himself was with Paul, journeying with him and involved in the events they were transpiring. We also find places where he uses the pronoun "they." Under these circumstances, we find him in a situation that he is recording events given the history of events, truth about matters, where he himself was not on the scene with Paul in that particular place and that particular time.
In Acts chapter 17 and verse 1 for instance, Luke resumes the history of Paul's journeyings and uses the pronoun "they." When we get to Acts chapter 20 and verse 6, we find that he again appears in the history of the workings of Paul, as his companion, and goes with him from place to place in that work. Also, we find that he accompanied Paul on a very perilous journey. You may remember that Paul, as he appealed to Caesar, had to travel to Rome to be able to make his defense before Caesar. When you look at Acts chapter 27 and also Acts chapter 28, you find from the writings there that Luke accompanied him on that journey. It's seen also that he was with Paul in both of Paul's imprisonments, for in Colossians 4 and verse 14, and 2 Timothy chapter 4 and verse 11, we find record that helps us to understand those accounts.
When Paul was imprisoned in Rome and he was expecting that he would be executed because of the things that were falsely brought against him, he states in 2 Timothy chapter 4 and verse 11, "Luke only was with me." That had to be a very special time for Luke, to be with Paul at such a sobering time, under such sobering circumstances.
But now let's consider the writings of this man. The fact that Luke wrote the gospel which bears his name, Luke, and the book of Acts is solidly attested. When you look back to the historians, such as Justin Martyr, (inaudible), (inaudible), (inaudible) and others, you find that it is an unquestionable fact among their writings that Luke was the author of these two books. There are other things that help us to determine who was the author. We find Jewish writings. We find manuscripts that were placed in certain orders, in certain places, and the names of the authors were placed there with them, and we find among them that Luke's name was placed with the gospel account that bears his name and with the book of Acts as well.
Luke wrote both books to a certain (inaudible) virtually, unfortunately, know nothing about.
In the book of Acts, Luke gives a great detailed account of how things went in the first century when there were people there who were converted to Jesus Christ.
I would encourage you that if you are looking and seeking to find Jesus, and if you're desiring to do the Will of God and you want to obey His gospel, you want to be forgiven of your sins, I encourage you to take advantage of the writings of the inspired man, Luke, in the book of Acts.
You find accounts of the conversions of those of the first century. Now, just as they followed the things that were set in order by God, to be converted, to have their sins forgiven, that the Lord may add them to the church, these same truths are there for us today, and as you study the book of Acts, you will be able to see what God has set forth for you.
He also gave detailed account concerning how the church was planted throughout the Roman world. A wonderful opportunity to see how the church was established and how it grew and multiplied.
There's a similarity between the writings of Luke and Paul and there are individuals who have looked and have found some 200 expressions whereby there is a commonality. Well, if an individual stays with another over a long period of time, that would be something that would be natural, but we must understand that above all things, according to 2 Timothy chapter 3 and verse 16 and following and other passages, these writings are the infallibly inspired Word of God. There have been those that have said, "Well, Luke just copied the writings of Mark." Now, while in Philemon verse 24, we come to the understanding that Luke and Mark were together in the work that was going on with Paul in Rome. At the same time, under the same circumstances, we understand that naturally they may be able to come across words and thoughts and phrases that might be similar. However, Luke is a man that did his own searching. He was a man who had his own sources, as he mentions in Luke chapter 1 and verse 1 and following, and having those sources, he need not follow any man's writings.
As we consider Luke, Luke made an accurate examination of the things that he wrote. Being a physician, he was very meticulous in his efforts. Hopefully, as we think of a physician, we would think of one who would be so very, very careful in the things that he does. And in the writings of Luke, in the book Luke, and in the book Acts, we're able to see that to a great extent. It may be the case that being a physician that Luke was very helpful to Paul because Paul underwent many persecutions. At times, he was stoned and left for dead. It may be the case that among some of those times that Luke was there and was a great help medically and physically to him and an encouragement to him as a faithful brother in Christ.
Now as you think about Luke and his writings, Luke had a great amount of interest as you look at the gospel account recorded by him in Jesus and His purpose. He also had a great interest in people, little children, the role of women, the poor. You find a great amount of emphasis concerning the compassion of our God, the compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ that was exhibited by Him while He was upon the face of the earth.
Another outstanding feature concerning the writings of this inspired man is the amount of material that is not included in other narratives but that Luke himself has in his account. There are many wonderful things that we find. For instance, when we think about the birth narratives, as we mentioned earlier, you think about the story of the prodigal son, that wonderful story that has so much grand truths. Luke has that in his account. You think about the story of the good Samaritan. Most of us have at least heard about that or studied it. It is Luke, through inspiration, that brings that wonderful story to us and the grand truths that are therein.
As we consider these thoughts concerning this great inspired writer, Luke, I would encourage you that you would take your Bibles, learn of Jesus, His purpose, His compassion, the things that He did while He was upon the earth. Especially look at the book of Acts and learn about being converted to Jesus Christ and obeying His Will. May God bless your studies as you work to learn from these wonderful inspired writers and His Holy Word.
(SONG # 3 - "Almost Persuaded!")
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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How wonderful it is to have the vantage point of the physician Luke to help us to know our Lord better. May we always focus on Christ, who He was and what He was all about - so that we may be better imitators of His service!