Sermon #1426                                   Miscellaneous Sermons


          Title:            THINGS MOST SURELY


          Text:            Luke 1:1

          Subject:       Some Things all Believers Believe

          Date:            Sunday Morning -- October 1, 2000

          Tape #         W-3a

          Reading:      Psalm 93:1-5 and Romans 9:1-33



          I want to talk to you this morning about Things Which Are Most Surely Believed Among Us.” You will find my text in Luke chapter one, verse 1.


Proposition: In this verse of Scripture, in the very opening words of Luke’s gospel, the Holy Spirit tells us plainly that there are some things most surely believed among those who believe God.


          In this day of religious chaos, spiritual darkness, ignorance, and confusion, I want to show you some things plainly taught in the Word of God, things which are and must be believed by those who believe God.


          I know that salvation is not in things. Salvation is in Christ. Salvation is not obtained by believing things, doctrinal or historical. Salvation is obtained by believing the Son of God. But there are some things, both historical and doctrinal, which must be believed if you believe on the Son of God. Therefore, I have come here today, “to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us.


(Luke 1:1-4)  "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, {2} Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; {3} It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, {4} That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed."


          The Holy Spirit never wastes words. We should always remember that when we read the Scriptures. Every word in the Word of God was written for a specific purpose. There are several things to be learned from these opening words of Luke’s gospel.


1.    First, we see here thee fact that God’s servants tell what they know from first hand experience, by direct experience, by divine revelation, as those who are taught of God.


          Luke describes the apostles as those men who were “eyewitnesses and ministers of the word.” I am aware that these words, in their strict interpretation, apply only to the apostles, those who saw the Lord Jesus in the flesh and learned the gospel directly from his lips. But there are no apostles, in the official sense of that word today. Does that mean the text has no meaning for us? Of course not!


          All true gospel preachers, like the original apostles, are also “eyewitnesses and ministers of the word.”


1 John 1:1-3  "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."


          Faithful men do not deal in second hand goods, or debate about matters of doubtful disputation. We tell what we know, report what we have seen, and teach what we have been taught of God.


          I take no license with the Scriptures when I tell you that all that Luke says in verses two and three is applicable to all true gospel preachers.


Luke 1:2-3  "Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,"


2.    Gospel preachers are men who preach what they know. We preach that which we have experienced by the grace of God, as eyewitnesses.


3.    God’s preachers are ministers, servants of the Word of God.


2 Corinthians 2:17  "For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."


2 Corinthians 4:7  "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."


4.    God’s servants are men who have a God-given, complete, comprehensive understanding of all things spiritual.


          When Luke says that he had “perfect understanding of all things,” he was not suggesting infallible knowledge, but complete knowledge. And every servant of God, every man called and gifted of God has that same knowledge of Holy Scripture. That man who has not yet learned the message of the Scriptures is not yet called and gifted of God to be a preacher. Such a man is not apt to teach and is not fit to teach, because he has nothing worth teaching.


5.    God’s servants are men who get their knowledge, their understanding, and their message from above.


          The words, “from the very first”(v. 3), should be and most commonly are translated “from above” (John 3:31; 19:11; James 1:17; 3:15, 17).


6.    The preaching of the gospel is setting the things of God in order, in an orderly fashion, before men.


The purpose of God in giving us his Word and the purpose of God in sending men to proclaim his Word to sinners is to make men and women wise unto salvation.


Luke 1:3-4  "It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed."


John 20:31  "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."


2 Timothy 3:15  "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."


1 John 5:10-13  "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."


          It all comes to this - Jesus Christ is God’s Salvation. This great salvation is the gift of God’s grace. God gives it to every sinner who believes the record he gave concerning his Son. Will you believe God; or will you die in your sins? God help you to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.


I have said all that to say this. – There are some things you must know, if you are made wise unto salvation. There are some things which who believe God believe.


          Luke makes no bones about this. Neither should we. Let men accuse us of being narrow-minded dogmatists, out of step with the rest of the religious world, and heap upon us whatever ugly names they choose, the Word of God plainly declares that some things are vital. Some things must be known and believed. Those who do not believe these things are not saved.


          Luke tells us that he wrote his gospel, “to set forth in order those things which are most surely believed among us.” All who are, like Theophilus, lovers of God love those things most surely believed among us. What are those things? I will give them to you in five brief statements.


I.     God almighty is the absolute sovereign of the universe.


(Psalms 115:3)  "But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased."


(Psalms 135:6)  "Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places."


(Isaiah 46:9-11)  "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, {10} Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: {11} Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."


(Daniel 4:34-37)  "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: {35} And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? {36} At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. {37} Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."


II.  We are all, by nature, fallen, sinful, and lost, under the wrath of God, cursed, condemned, spiritually dead and doomed to eternal death, unless God himself steps in to save us. – Our only hope is sovereign mercy!


(Ephesians 2:1-10)  "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: {2} Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: {3} Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. {4} But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, {5} Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) {6} And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: {7} That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. {8} For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast. {10} For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."


III. God almighty has mercy on whom he will.


A.  There are some men and women in this world whom he loved with an everlasting love.

B.  There are some, being loved of God from eternity in Christ, were chosen unto salvation in eternal election, before the world began.

C.  There are some who have been predestinated unto everlasting glory.


(Romans 9:11-18)  "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) {12} It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. {13} As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. {14} What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. {15} For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. {16} So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. {17} For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. {18} Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."


IV. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for and effectually redeemed God’s elect by his sin-atoning sacrifice at Calvary.


          The Lord Jesus came here on an errand of mercy. He came here to save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21).


(Matthew 1:21)  "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."


It is written, “Now, once in the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Either he did what he came to do, or he didn’t. If he failed to do what he came to do, he is no God at all, no Savior at all, and trusting him as such is the most absurd thing in the world.


          But I am here to tell you, as plainly as I know how, that the Son of God is no failure. He has put away the sins of his people. When he had, by himself, purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High.


          Behold, yonder in heaven, the crucified Christ, sitting on the throne of God in human flesh and understand this. – “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus!


(Romans 8:1-4)  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. {2} For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. {3} For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: {4} That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."


(Romans 8:31-39)  "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? {32} He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? {33} Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. {34} Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. {35} Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? {36} As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. {37} Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. {38} For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, {39} Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."


V.  The Lord God almighty, the God of Glory, who loved his people from eternity, who chose them and predestinated them unto salvation in Christ, who covenanted with his Son to save them, who sent his own darling Son to Calvary to make atonement for their sins, -- the Lord God Almighty will save his people by his omnipotent grace.


A.  He will search them out and find them.


B.  He will regenerate and call them.


·        By His Spirit

·        By His Word

·        By Special Revelation


Note: After the resurrection, no one ever knew the Lord Jesus Christ, except by revelation. The only way any sinner can ever know him is by revelation (2 Cor. 4:4-6).


When the time of love has come, when God the Holy Spirit comes fetching, sinners come running. The call of God’s omnipotent grace is an irresistible, effectual call of omnipotent mercy (Ps. 65:4; 110:3).


·        The Infant (Ezek. 16)

·        The Valley of Bones (Ezek. 37)

·        Lazarus

·        Zachaeus

·        Jacob


Every chosen sinner was redeemed at Calvary, and shall be saved by God’s almighty, effectual call at the appointed time of love. But if God quit working with us then, we would go to hell in a heartbeat.


C.  Those whom he saves by grace alone, he keeps and preserves by his omnipotent grace.


D.  Not only does he keep them in grace, he crowns them with glory. – Grace and Glory!


E.   Then, when he gets done, our great and glorious God will take his people, chosen, redeemed, called, kept, saved by free grace alone, and show them!


          God saved us for his name’s sake, to praise of the glory of his grace, to show us off forever!


(Ephesians 2:7)  "That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."


Application: These are “things which are most surely believed among us.” This is the testimony of every regenerate soul. – “Salvation is of the Lord!” – “By the grace of God I am what I am.


          You might ask, “Pastor, how can you be so dogmatic about these things? How can you be so certain that this message of free and sovereign grace in Christ is the gospel and everything else is a false gospel? I’ll give three answers to that question.


1.    This message of free grace is the only message that gives hope to sinners.

2.    This message of free and sovereign grace is the only message that exalts and magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:30-31).

3.    This message of God’s free and sovereign, omnipotent, immutable grace, is the only message that gives the triune God all the glory.


(Psalms 115:1)  "Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake."