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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Luke's Perspective of Jesus: Ch. 2 Message Outlines

Luke 2:21-39 (8)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 3 Study # 8
June 26, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

(163)

Thesis:God is still seeking those who will love Him.

Introduction:Three weeks ago we looked at Luke's record of the Holy Spirit's impact upon Simeon. On the basis of several facts -- the major one being the three repetitive references to the Holy Spirit by Luke in three verses -- we argued that, when it is all said and done, Luke was telling Theophilus that the quality of our lives is fundamentally determined by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Who is unswervingly committed to the Father's agenda. This is a truth that scares some folks because they do not wish to be "at the mercy of" someone else. They want a significant degree of "self-determination" so that they can make sure that "life" turns out the way they want it to. These folks have a deficient view of the mercy of God. They think Him to be "stingy in mercy". They also have a deficient view of themselves because they think they can make life turn out the way they want it to.

It is, however, also a truth that gives great comfort to other folks because they do not wish to be "responsible" for their own choices and actions. They want their "lives" to be dominated by a merciful God Who seeks their best interests in all things. But, a great many of these folks prove by their choices and actions that the Spirit is not as "managing" as they claim He is. These folks also have a deficient view of the mercy of God. They think Him to be "only merciful". And they have a deficient view of themselves because they think that they can make choices without being responsible for them and without having to live with the consequences.

So, as it is with every truth known to man, the real truth about the Spirit's dominion over our lives is somewhere between these two views. It is fundamentally true that the Spirit exercises a somewhat final and determinative dominion over our lives. But, it is also true that the Spirit's exercise of that dominion is in exact harmony with the Father's plans and processes which include bringing God's sons and daughters into the maturity of personal responsibility in loving, believing, choosing, and doing. So, as we come again to Luke's record to Theophilus of the Spirit's involvement with Simeon, we are going to address one of the most critical issues of our day: to what degree does the Spirit "dominate" our experience? Another way to ask this question is this: should we expect specific, extra-biblical, verbal revelation to precede every decision we make? And if not "every" decision, then which ones? To seek greater understanding of this issue, I am going to ask several questions regarding the text before us this morning.


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