Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 5 Study # 21
December 5, 2004
Lincolnton, N.C.

<029> Thesis: The record of John's growth is both a caution and an encouragement. Introduction: In our studies of chapter one we have investigated a large number of the details that are involved in the uprooting of old, bad theology so that it can be replaced by new, good theology. We have seen, for example, that our fears actually define the boundaries of our faith. They tell us what we really believe as opposed to what we ought to believe. We have also seen that the root of all theology is our perception of the true nature of the God Who sits as sovereign over the details of the experiences of our lives. It is a great mistake to discount the sovereign oversight of God in the details of our lives; and, it is just as great a mistake to discount our reactions to those details -- for it is God Who knows our need for the exposure to what happens and it is our reaction that tells us what we really believe. There is another mistake that we can make: we can "understand" our experiences in the light of the theology of God as "Judge" instead of the theology of God as "Merciful Savior". If we do this, our "understanding" becomes complete "misunderstanding". This is the greatest danger of all of the dangers -- that our "understanding" should be "total misunderstanding" -- because both the quality of our experience in this world and the quality of our experience in the next is determined by our "understanding". So, this morning we have come to the last verse in chapter one. If we give it a cursory reading, we will be inclined to move on into chapter two -- and completely miss the last "point" that Luke wanted to make. So, we shall not move on so quickly. Instead, we are going to look at Luke 1:80 for a few minutes so that we may be "arrested" in our tendency to "move on".