SPEAKER: John Piper
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-21
Here are my notes from The Gospel Coalition 2013 Conference. For the main sessions they assigned each speaker a specific passage. The purpose of the conference is to reveal Christ through the book of Luke.
INTRODUCTION (Luke 1:1-4)
In Luke 1:4, Luke explicitly explains the purpose for why he is writing this book.
4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught
Luke wrote this book to give us CERTAINTY regarding what we believe.
The Greek word translated CERTAINTY is asphaleia. Elsewhere in scripture this word is used for security or safety. It refers to the safety and security a jail cell brings. Other times it hints at the idea of a security that brings peace.
So understanding the Greek word behind certainty reveals special nuances behind the purpose of Luke’s letter to Theophilos.
Here’s the big idea of the book.
- I don’t want you to just know the truth.
- I want you to be safe and secure in what you believe.
- I want you to know it in a way you feel secure.
Today, so much of what we believe is mre like a cloud which can be blown away and replaced.
We need to know things like a mountain not like a cloud. We need beliefs which are secure from shifting waves of culture.
But which beliefs do we need an asphaleia belief in? What are the major themes in the book of Luke?
If you look at the first two chapters, four major themes emerge:
- The Way
KNOW THE REALITY OF GOD / THE LORD
In chapters one and two the words God and The Lord appear dozens of times. Simply reading through the text you can’t miss how often references are made to God and/or The Lord.God is the star of this story.
As you read through the book of Luke you will realize the entire book is God saturated. All events which transpire are part of God’s plan.
Don’t let God be a cloud in your head, but let Him be the mountain in your life
KNOW THE REALITY OF JESUS
30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
It’s important to note that the angel announces the coming of Christ points to His reign over the house of Jacob forever. This isn’t a temporal ruler. This isn’t a Jewish king or political hero. He is being established by God forever.
Another key distinction is in verse 35. Here we see that He is uniquely holy because He is of the Holy Spirit. Mary contributes humanity. Holy Spirit contributes divinity
Finally, in Luke2:26-27, Jesus is The Lord.
KNOW THE REALITY OF SALVATION
The truth is that Jesus has come to die for our sins. Even in these early texts, they frequently reference salvation.
KNOW THAT THERE IS A WAY IN
Not everyone gets in, but you can get in and I want you in.
These are knowable dates, locations, and people. We can believe with certainty and security.
This story is about joy. When the Holy Spirit is in you, you have joy.
Here’s a second set of notes on the session by Aaron Armstrong, CLICK HERE.