Study # 12
November 16, 2003
Lincolnton, N.C.

<025> Thesis: The fundamental standard of knowledge is the revealed word of God. Introduction: In the words of Luke 1:18 and following, Luke introduces a crucial issue of life. He couches it in the question that Zacharias addressed to the angel that had prophesied that a son was to be born to Elizabeth. [Never lose sight of the fact that the inspired records are not just a testimony of what transpired. Rather, they are a testimony of what transpired as a foundation for the greater understanding of the reader so that he may make progress into the greater experience of Life.] The question that Zacharias asked the angel is this: "According to what standard shall I know that what you say is true so that I may enter now into the joy of hope?" As we launch into our study this morning, I want you to ask yourself this: why didn't God just surprise Zacharias and Elizabeth with an unexpected pregnancy and the fulfillment of a long-held, attitude-dominating, desire? Wouldn't their joy have been as great at the birth of a son if it had been a surprise as it would be with an announcement that came about ten months before the time?