Explore God's Word Daily

A daily blog on Christianity.com

Christmas: Certainty

 

Have you ever felt uncertain about whether the Christian faith really is true? Whether what you've heard about Christ can really be trusted?

If so, you've got something in common with most Christians: and with a first century believer called Theophilus.

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TIME OUT

  • - What kind of things make Christians doubt that the Gospels are true? 
  • - Why might we sometimes want a section of a Gospel not really to be true?
  • - Are there any parts of the Gospel stories you find hard to believe?

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Read Luke 1 v 1-4

Why Luke wrote

Luke is writing to Theophilus (v 3). It's probable that he was an actual person, although, because that name means "lover of God," it's possible that Luke had a more general initial audience in mind.

  • - What's Luke's purpose for writing his book to Theophilus?

What Luke wrote

  • - Luke says others have drawn up "an account" (v 1). What phrase does he use to describe what their "accounts" are talking about?

Luke's carefully drawing a link between what his Gospel will say has happened and what the Old Testament had promised would happen. As we read his Gospel, we should expect to see the Old Testament promises that God had made being "fulfilled" on every page.

  • - How does Luke know about any of these things (v 2)?
  • - Why does it matter to Theophilus, and to us, that Luke knew these kind of people?
  • - What had Luke been doing as he prepared to write his Gospel (v 3)?
  • - Why does it matter to Theophilus, and to us, that Luke went about his work in this way?

To put it in 21st-century language, Luke was a historian. This is what historians do. They listen to the eye-witnesses, carefully investigate, interview, and check things out: and then write down what actually happened in an orderly, easily understandable way, so that people can know with "certainty" (v 4) what really happened.

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APPLY

  • - How should these verses affect how we read the strange parts and the tough parts of Luke?
  • - Who do you kno who you could tell about Luke 1 v 1-4 this Christmas, so that they might be challenged by the historical nature of what Luke writes?

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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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About Explore God's Word Daily

Explore God's Word Daily helps you open up the Bible to be refreshed and encouraged in your walk with God. "Explore" is the daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company (www.thegoodbook.com). Contributors include: Dr Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York; Mike McKinley, Senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church; Tim Chester, author and pastor of Crowded House, Sheffield, UK; Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister at All Soul’s Langham Place, London, UK. Editors: Tim Thornborough and Carl Laferton.

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