Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Mining the Scriptures: Luke 1:18-25

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Zacharias and Elizabeth were childless and older (1:18), but had received a promise from the angel Gabriel that they would have a son who would “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (1:17). This child was named John (John the Baptist).

Zacharias, incredulous, asked for a sign, showing a lack of faith in the angel’s promise. The sign was punishment for his unbelief, he was struck mute until the promise was fulfilled.

God fulfilled his promise to Zacharias and Elizabeth (as He is always just and faithful to do), and Elizabeth conceived. She hid herself for the first 5 months of her pregnancy, and her words of rejoicing are interesting, saying that the Lord had taken “away my reproach among people” (25). To be barren was a great burden and shame for her. How wonderful for her to be granted a son with such an important part to play in God’s great scheme of redemption for mankind (cf. Luke 7:28).

Mining the Scriptures: Luke 1:14-17

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When the angel promised Zacharias and Elizabeth they would have a child, God’s messenger promised that the boy would grow to be a great man.

The angel said that John would be a austere man, and an inspired preacher. His efforts, it was said, would “turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God” (16).

John’s ministry would be one of preparation, the prophesied forerunner of the Christ. It would be his purpose to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (vs. 17).

The prophet Malachi spoke of him, “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me” (3:1) His ministry would portend the advent of the Messiah, “Behold, He is coming,’ says the Lord of hosts’” (3:1).

Jesus himself referred to John and his ministry in Matthew 11. Of John he said, “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet” … “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come” (vss. 9,14).

God is faithful, and all these glad tidings to the childless couple came true in every detail, to His glory.

Mining the Scriptures: Luke 1:5-13

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Luke’s gospel does not begin with the promise of Jesus’ birth, but that of John the Baptist.

Zacharias, a priest who ministered in the temple during the days of Herod the Great, was visited by an angel of God with the news that he and his wife would have John as their son.

Zacharias and Elizabeth (the cousin of Mary, Jesus’ mother, cf. vs. 36), had no child. Elizabeth was barren, and they were an elderly couple. Regardless, God made the promise to give them a son. Later, when Mary questioned the possibility of her, as a virgin, conceiving a child, Elizabeth’s pregnancy was given as a sign that, “with God nothing will be impossible” (cf. vs. 34-37).

John the Baptist was a great man who served as the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He was the object of prophecy (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 4:5-6), and received the highest praise from Jesus Himself, “Assuredly, I say unto you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11).

John the Baptist’s promised birth was another thread in the tapestry of God’s great scheme of redemption.

Mining the Scriptures: Luke 1:1-4

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Luke 1:1-4

In Luke’s introductory comments to Theophilus, he acknowledges that others had written accounts of Jesus’ life and accomplishments. Matthew, Mark and John are the three we have included in the New Testament in addition to this effort by Luke.

His desire was to share these things with Theophilus, putting them in order, so that his friend could “know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed” (vs. 4)

There are two reasons we can trust in Luke’s account of Jesus’ life. The first is that he was an eyewitness, “having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first” (vs. 3).

The second is that Luke’s account is inspired of God. Paul wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16).

The name Theophilus means, “lover of God.” In fact, all who love God can look to Luke’s gospel, and in it find accurate records of Jesus’ life, teaching, works, death and resurrection. In so doing, we can have confidence in the validity of that Gospel. We can know, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!” (cf. 23:47).

Mining The Scriptures: Luke 3:1-6

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Luke 3:1-6

This text of scripture reveals both the announcement of John the Baptist’s ministry, and an explanation of the prophecies concerning him.

The date is explicitly stated—the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius.

The location is clearly given—John was in the Judean wilderness, a hostile and desolate land.

The divine nature of the calling is proclaimed—“the word of God came to John.”

The message was revealed—John preached a “baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”

The purpose of John’s ministry is given—to “prepare the way of the Lord.”

The coming of Elijah’s spirit once again, in preparation for the fulfillment of all things; John’s ministry signified that the most important events in man’s history were imminent. The significance of his ministry is seen in the final words of the text, “And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Mining The Scriptures: Luke 13:1-5

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Luke 13:1-5

A careful reading of Luke, chapters 11—13 shows that our Lord’s teaching to his disciples and the multitudes was anything but soft.

Jesus plainly and severely rebuked the sin of the people. He admonished them for hypocrisy, unfaithfulness and inhumanity toward one another.

It is believed that the first five verses of Luke 13 are an attempt by some to divert the Lord’s attention from their own sins, to the sins of others. Though we don’t know who the “Galileans” were that suffered death at the hands of the Romans, Jesus clearly states that their sin is no worse than that of his hearers. His admonition, given in verse 3 and verse 5 is a stern warning to anyone of us who might seek to excuse ourselves by comparing ourselves to those we believe to be worse than we. Jesus said, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”