yoke by the authority of their more en- lightened conscience. The only way and hope now of either Jew or Gentile escap- ing from the weight and curse of the law is by faith in the grace which delivers be> lievers from all obligation but that of spontaneous love (Rom. 6:14; 13:8). Note.—Send in your questions; we will try to/ answer them.
light is a new commandment. When they who have not the law, hiear the law, they get more light and become obligated to walk in it, not because it is written, or was laid'by God upon the Jew, but because "their conscience" bears witness that it is in reason right and good.. Since the Sermon on the Mount and the spiritual teachings of the New Testament, not only Gentiles but Jews are. under a weightier
Z 3 l ) O u g l ) t 5 f o r
O e a c l ) e r s -
J. H. Sammis. The Birth of the Forerunner Foretold.
Lesson I.— January 7.
Luke 1:5-13. •
they had not walked in the ways of their f a t h e rs (2 Kgs. 16:2; L u ke 1:16, 17); now one was to come a nd t u rn t h em back. 2. Its recipient. The promise came to Zacha- rias, a priest whose wife Elisabeth was the daughter of a priest. They were: (1) "be- fore God" "righteous," Justified by faith (Rom. 4:3); (2) before men "blameless," they kept the commandments; and (3) they were childless. (See Gen. 16:1; 15:2; Jdg. 13:2-7; 1 Sam. 1:2, 20; Isa. 54:11). Those who are best qualified to rear children do not a l w a ys bear them. It is a happy cir- cumstance when both husband and wife are worthy believers. 3. Its occasion. (1) The lot w as cast to decide who should renew the incense on the golden altar. By God's providence (Pro. 16:33) it fell to Zacharias t h at morning. The office fell to a priest but once in a life time, so high an honor it w as held to "go In unto the King" (Est. 4: 16). In this day of grace we have "bold- ness and access" a t all times (Eph. 2:17; Heb. 13:15; 1 Pet. 2:5).• (2) While he ex- ecuted the priest's office. Wh en in the way of service we meet the ministering angels who travel by t h at same road. (3) "The people were praying without." It is not the prayer of t he minister alone nor of the teacher t h at obtains the promise; we mu st have the praying people and the praying class. And though these may be all in the a t t i t u de of prayer they may not be in the article of prayer. The "multitude" t h at day were f ar f r om t he Lord. But thank God for the "inner circle." His own elect—they are the. "channel of blessing." 4. Its an- nunciation. (l )The messenger. "An angel of the Lord." Angels' visits are "far be- tween." Many centuries had passed since the last angelic visitant appeared. B ut when the King drew near His harbingers appear. Yet they, invisible, had kept watch and guard over Israel through the long night, for they a re "all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them that shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb. 1:14); and "the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear the Lord" (Psa. 34:7); and show themselves at great epochs in the progress of redemption (Jdg. 2:1; 13:9; Dan. 9:20; Luke 2:9, 13; Matt. 28:2; Jno. 20:12); b ut now we have no eyes to see them (2
I. LUKE. 1. The Gospel.
Luke w as written be- tween 60 and 70 A. D. It is distinguished from the other Gospels as "the M M of the Son of Man." It is peculiarly full of h uman sympathy. It is called "the Gospel for the Greek." 2. The Man. The author was a Jew of the Dispersion, a Hellenistic Jew. His city was Antioch. His fine Greek, and his literary finish show him to have been the educated man among the evangelists. He was a physician. Paul called him tne beloved physician" (Col. 4:14) and by so doing honored both the m an and the profes- sion. Many medical allusions in his writ- ings indicate the physician, and his sym- pathetic spirit the "beloved" physician. 3. The historian. According to highest a u t h o r- ity Luke r a n ks among the greatest his- torians. His accuracy in a maze of events, customs, conditions, localities, and persons, is wonderful. He has been often charged, b ut never convicted of error. Therefore, even aside f r om his inspiration, his ac- curacy and evident sincerity w a r r a nt us in relying on his every statement. 4. Its Sources. The facts were supplied by "eye witnesses." L u ke himself seems to have been one of them, for he says, "Have been fulfilled among us" (R. V.). 5. Luke's prep- aration and purpose. He says, literally, t h a t he had traced the course of things ac- curately from the beginning," in order t h at Theophilus might be fully instructed in the irrefutable facts. 6. Its address: To the "Most Excellent Theophilus." A m an or rank, whose n a me means "Lover-of-God. The Gospel is thus addressed to all who keep the first of all the commandments (Mark 12:30). II. THE PROMISE OF THE BIRTH OF JOHN. 1. Its date. "In the days of Herod the kins of Judea." It was near the end of his reign "in 6, ¡or 7, A. D. Herod was not a Jew, 'but an Idumean, who had bought the crown f r om the Romans, the captors of the Jews, and ascended the throne by violence and massacre. The diadem of David had been ruthlessly "cast down" (Psa. 89:44). "His children had forsaken the law" (89:30),
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