Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
August 12, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<366> Thesis: True loyalty arises from love alone. Introduction: It is a huge mistake for men to play games with the issue of loyalty to God. In the matter of religion, "godliness" is a highly valued characteristic. But, as in all things in this fallen world of ours, this characteristic can be used as an enormous deception. Paul said of the wicked that some of them use religion as a way to pad their own pockets because they think "godliness" is a way to obtain what they want out of life (1 Timothy 6:5). He said that out of his own historical background wherein he, and his fellow Pharisees, used God to build their own reputations. He also said that that particular background had put him into the category of "the chief of sinners". This morning we are going to begin our studies of Luke 6. Luke, himself, would not have made a chapter break at this point in his record, but we will at least partially yield to entrenched tradition by saying, as we continue our studies of the reasons for the rejection of Jesus by the religious leaders of the nation, that we are beginning studies in chapter 6. In Luke 6 we come full circle in Luke's presentation. At the beginning of his record of the rejection of Jesus, he told us that religious Israel decried Jesus as a blasphemer for appropriating the prerogative of deity for announcing to all the forgiveness of sins based upon faith in Himself. Now, as we approach the end of this record of rejection, we find Luke telling us that Jesus not only claimed that none would be forgiven but by Him and all who trusted in Him would be forgiven, but He also claimed that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. This claim did something that men hate: it forced the issue of "finalized faith" to the surface. Men typically hate to be in the position of having to commit themselves with no backward looks. As long as men can make decisions that they can go back on at a later time when the pinch sets in, they do not mind being told things that influence their decisions. But, few men like the idea that they are actually being called upon to set their course in life with no allowance for looking back. 1 Kings 18:21 is a classic example. Luke 9:62 is another. But, let us be clear here: there is no actual situation in life where absolutism in decision making does not exist. At the root of all decisions is this question: Who is to be God here? And the identity of God is not a mutable issue. No one who flip-flops on the God issue is really flip-flopping; he is merely playing games with those who witness his life...saying one thing while practicing another. Therefore, as we begin our studies of Luke 6 we are being drawn into the issue of "finalized faith".