During Jesus’ earthly ministry there was a lot of confusion about who he was. Not only did his opponents misunderstand him, but also those closest to him – his very own disciples – often misunderstood him and failed to believe him. Luke’s gospel will help us to be disciples who know Jesus aright and know him well.
Life is a minefield of bad decisions waiting to happen. Even staying where we are offers no protection but only a different set of dangers. Our only hope for life and godliness is to follow the Savior who has gone before us in perfect wisdom and who guides our steps as we look to Him for grace.
Paul didn’t hide the hard truth that we don’t merely live in a darkened world, or do darkened things, but that we are darkened people due to the curse of the fall. Our hearts are blackened as a result of Adam’s sin. The good news is that Jesus, the light of the world, can not only rescue us from our former life of darkness, but enable us to live as His radiant disciples in a world desperately in need of His grace.
Every believer has been fully cleansed from the penalty of sin through the blood of Christ, but purification from its residual effects is an ongoing process. How can a Christian grow in purity in the midst of an impure world? God’s word provides the answer though the grace of our immaculate Savior.
Jesus encountered many different people and groups in his earthly ministry. Some followed because of what they could get out of him while others were more seriously committed to him and his message. We’ll look at how Jesus interacted with these various groups and how his ministry was geared toward making disciples, so that we might learn how we are to be disciples ourselves and how to make disciples of others.
God spoke and the world came into existence. Jesus spoke and Lazarus arose from the dead. The Holy Spirit spoke and Paul became an international missionary. Words matter. They have the power to glorify God or deny Him, to serve others or cause them harm. Sadly, our words often tear down rather than build up. Paul shows us how to put aside the useless words of our old nature in favor of life-giving words that speak of our Savior.
The phrase “reformed and always reforming” has been used to justify many unbiblical practices in the church, as if every human innovation is in keeping with the spirit of the Reformation. Its true meaning is found in Ephesians 4: that having been saved by grace we pursue a life that is constantly being reshaped by the word of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rather than blazing a trail to some undiscovered frontier, we actually return from our corruption to the likeness of the One who set us free.
We were born again in Christ but never meant to remain infants. God intends for us to grow to maturity as we serve one another in love. But how do we grow in spiritual maturity? Through God’s enduring word that leads us to our glorious Head, Jesus Christ.
From the outset of his public ministry, Jesus shows compassion to many of the people he encounters. Jesus the compassionate healer becomes one of the prominent themes that Luke weaves throughout his gospel account. This is an important part of Jesus’ Messianic mission, and he is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise under the old covenant to compassionately shepherd his people.
In His wisdom, Christ builds His unified Church by bestowing a diversity of gifts. He equips each of His people with specific gifts so that we might serve one another and make His glory known. He grants us His power, in a plurality of ways, so that we might advance His purposes in a world desperately in need of His grace.