Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 9
April 10, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<145> Thesis: Once confirmed, the message of great joy was automatically promoted so that others had to deal with it. Introduction: In our studies of the angelic visitation to shepherds in the pastures of Bethlehem, we have seen that the text naturally divides into two parts. The first part is the focus upon the message which the angels declared. The second part is the focus upon the shepherds' reaction. When we look at the message, we find it under the broad canopy of "great joy". When we look at the reaction, we find it under the broad canopy of "fulfillment". We spent weeks and weeks looking into the details of the Message. Then, last week, we began looking at the Fulfillment. The statement of 2:20 is the statement of the Fulfillment. The statements of 2:15-19 are the necessary "details". We are currently involved in examining those "details". Our examination has one ultimate objective: to discover how to experience the same Fulfillment for ourselves that the shepherds experienced for themselves. God's goal for us is "Life". So far, we have seen that Luke deliberately reiterated some basic issues. He continued to "beat the drum" of incremental development -- Life becomes ours by the processes involved in the renewal of our minds. And, he continued to "beat the drum" of the truthfulness of Truth -- the renewal of our minds only occurs when what God has said begins to drive what we do. Until what has been said actually begins to dominate what we do, there is no "Fulfillment". That's why Fulfillment is in 2:20, not 2:15. This morning, we are going to look into the dominion that God's words exercised over the shepherds to see what we can see about getting the shepherds' experience to be ours.