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Zechariah's Unbelief

Luke 1:18-22, Luke 1:57-80, Andrew Love, December 23, 2018


Sermon Notes:

Introduction

  • John the baptist - a birth like no other
    • Filled from birth with the Holy Spirit
    • John was not the Christ but was to testify of the Christ
  • Looking at John the baptist this morning
  • Last week - considering unusual events
    • Explanation
      • Blameless
      • A man of prayer
  • Today - the sin of unbelief
    • He would not believe the message of the angel
    • He wanted a sign
    • He provoked God with his unbelief
  • Overview:
    • The Sin of Unbelief
    • God's Restoring Power

The Sin of Unbelief

  • Zacharias response - v18
    • Mary believed - v38
    • Zacharias did not believe
    • God sees the heart and motive
    • God sees whether there is genuine faith or unbelief
  • God is a god of miracles
    • Elizabeth was beyond the age of childbearing
    • God was able to give her a child
    • Zacharias being a priest should have known this
  • There is nothing that provokes God more than the sin of unbelief
    • We have minds and can reason
    • But it is an affront to Him is we He cannot
  • God's people in history have been characterised by unbelief
    • The children of Israel (apart from Joshua and Caleb)
    • Some unbelief is hard, adamant, desiring unbelief
    • Example of the siege of Israel by Syria
    • Example of unbelief in the New Testament
  • There is rampant unbelief in our western nation
    • Consider this to places like Africa or China
    • The people of the UK are characterised by unbelief
  • Nothing is too hard for the Lord - v37
    • God can make even a virgin conceive
    • Mary believed - v44
  • Challenge:
    • Are you a believer?
    • Do you believe the Bible?
    • Do you believe in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ?
    • Are you wanting proof? (cf v18)
    • Do not be a doubting Thomas

God's Restoring Power

  • It was not adamant, hard-hearted unbelief in Zachariah
    • This was temporary doubt/unbelief
    • There are two types of unbelief
    • God is merciful
  • God fulfills His word - v24
    • Elizabeth's conception was encouraging to Zacharias
    • Elizabeth did not die in child birth - God sustained her - v57-58
    • "God is not a man that He should lie"
      • Think of the deceit in men & women
    • "It is impossible for God to die"
    • Consider God's promises at the beginning of the Bible - fulfilled
      • Examples
  • God shows His graciousness - v59-64
    • Zacharias is able to speak at the naming of his son
    • He bursts into praise and worship
    • The name John means 'God is gracious'
    • John will prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ
    • A total and instantaneous healing
  • Do you have doubts today?
    • Do you need the stirring of God to come to full assurance?
  • Zacharias sings after being filled with the Holy Spirit
    • This is a usual pattern - cf Eph 5:18
    • The focus of his song is about Jesus Christ
      • God has redeemed His people - v68
      • In the line of David - v69
      • The prophecies of old - v70
        • Zacharias is a man no longer of unbelief, but faith and assurance
      • To fulfill His covenant - v72
      • To fulfill His promises - v73
      • That John would prepare the way for Jesus Christ -v76-77
      • To provide light in the darkness - v78-79

Closing Remarks

  • Have you found peace with God?
  • Do you have a relationship through Jesus Christ?
  • Jesus can take the darkness of your sin and give you eternal life
  • You must believe in Him and repent of your sin
  • Will you believe in Him this morning?

About Andrew Love: Pastor at Tabor Church


Sermon Passage:

Luke 1:18-22

18And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. 21And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. 22And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. (KJV)

Luke 1:57-80

57Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. 59And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. 61And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. 62And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 63And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. 64And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. 65And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. 66And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. 67And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. 80And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel. (KJV)


Other sermons:
Earlier: Same day: Later:
« The Cost of Christmas Will you Worship? The God of the Impossible »

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