Study # 4
September 21, 2003
Lincolnton, N.C.

Thesis: Getting beyond fear to love involves having good theology settle in. Introduction: We have been considering Luke's words to Theophilus in respect to the coming of John the Baptizer. Last week we looked into the issue of Zacharias' offering of incense upon the altar of incense. We concluded from that study that Luke wished for Theophilus to understand that the loyalty issues that are the point of focus in the burning of incense are absolutely fundamental to the process of coming to a clear-eyed grasp of Truth in this corrupted world. Without the decision to be loyal, there will be no significant growth into true understanding. This is the reason visible Christianity is in such a state of ungodliness in our generation: people have sought loyalty from God without being willing to be loyal to God. There is a record in John 2:23-24 that summarizes this principle in terms of a divine unwillingness to commit to people whose values are off target. Now, this morning, we are going to dig into the state of Zacharias' soul as it existed on that day of the appearance of Gabriel. The state of Zacharias' soul is the point of Luke's record of Zacharias' reaction to seeing the angel on the right side of the altar of incense. The reason we are going to dig into an understanding of the condition of his soul is that, by understanding what was going on with him, we can better understand what is going on with us. If we better understand what is going on with us, we will be better prepared to permit the life of Jesus to be made manifest through our lives.