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Lesson # Luke 2:28-35
Study Material - Luke 2:28-35
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
28 then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 'Now Lord, Thou dost let Thy bond-servant depart In peace, according to Thy word; 30 For my eyes have seen Thy salvation, 31 Which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A light of revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Thy people Israel.' 33 And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother,' Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed 35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul, to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.'
Simeon prayed that he might only see the savior, but that prayer was answered and even more was given by God to Simeon. He was allowed to take the child in his arms and hold him tight against his heart. Thus we hold Christ tight against our hearts when we study His Word and grow up spiritually. Filling our soul with spiritual truth, thus offsetting the worldly wisdom which we are all exposed to daily.
The Bible contains the information our soul needs in order to maintain a healthy status. Doctrine gives us stability in this life. It gives us orientation to reality, to God, to truth. Doctrine gives us poise and the resources to make correct decisions in life. When we learn doctrine we in effect bless God because we recognize it is He who is the source of all that we have and are. Apart from God there is no security and only misery. The soul cannot survive nor maintain stability without doctrine in it.
Simeon gave his testimony. Note that he did not brag about the failures in his life. Testimony is not a speech of failure, but of recognition of God and His strength and His plan for man and each of us.
Simeon thanked God and that is the proper way to offer a prayer, to first give thanks for all that you have, be it little or great. God is the source of your existence and essence. Simeon noted the peace which he had from the residence of doctrine in his soul. God provides peace to those who have attained maturity. Peace comes from advancing to spiritual maturity by means of learning Bible doctrine on a consistent daily basis, and from a position of strength, which is residence in fellowship as commanded by God. Remember that fellowship is not some emotional experience, but merely compliance with Gods command to orient ones self to God through confession of sin. We do not confess to people either. Only to God the Father in the privacy of your own soul.
Simeon recognized the savior. He held the child and saw that the Cross was not far away now. Simeon understood the significance of the first advent of Christ. He saw salvation which was provided by God through Christ and the Cross. Interesting to note that those around him did not pick up on this little speech of his. Only Joseph and Mary and another person, Anna. The priests who should have been the experts on scriptures were mere puppets performing the routines they had performed day after day all of their lives. The priests in the temple had missed the whole point of the rituals of the temple and the Mosaic Law. Christ was here to fulfill them and thus abrogate them, replacing them with a higher law.
God prepared this salvation in the presence of people. Since Adam, the promise has been well known and documented. In every generation there have been mature believers. Since Adam until our present day, not one generation has been missed. Everyone on the face of this earth has been given the gospel in one form or another. But as Cain rejected it, so many people reject Gods Word and promises.
As the Israelites were given the privilege of being caretaker of the scriptures, and failed in their responsibility, so now the light will be revealed to the world, to the gentiles, and the Israelites will no longer be the focal point of the angelic conflict, nor the caretakers of the gospel, but the next dispensation will replace them, the dispensation of the Church Age. Now Simeon did not know about the Church Age, for it was hidden to the Old Testament generations, but he did understand that there would be a dispersion of the Jews to the four corners of the world in the near future, and that the next emphasis of doctrine would be to the gentiles. Isa. 49:6, Christ would become that light to the nations, for the salvation of all mankind, not just the select few as some Jewish leaders thought. And consequently the glorification of Israel in its regathering at the second advent of Christ. For that will also be the time of their resurrection, the resurrection of the Old Testament believers. Isa. 60:19 and 45:25 reveal that the glory of Israel will be in the Lord and He will be the light of the world, by which all men will live their lives and be guided in truth.
Simeon reminds Joseph and Mary as well as each of us, that those who have a relationship with Christ are blessed. Those who do not have a relationship with Christ are cursed. Our relationship begins with our belief in Christ which seals up our salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven. No one can take this away from us. But our relationship does not stop there. We are generally still alive in this world for many more years following salvation. After salvation comes the issue of spiritual growth with the object being maturity and the attainment of the maximum amount of blessing for our lives in this world as well as the maximum amount of reward in eternity. Ignoring God after salvation means loss of these blessings and rewards. A person is still saved but not as richly blessed and that is our target, our goal, as Paul has described it, as Moses looked forward to it rejecting the riches of Egypt and patiently awaiting the riches of heaven which are far greater.
Joseph and Mary were amazed. Each time we continue in our Bible study we will amaze ourselves at the new things we learn. We will amaze ourselves at the things that God does for us on a daily basis. The even more amazing thing is that we do nothing to earn or deserve it. It is Gods gift. Joseph and Mary will continue to learn as they raise Jesus in his younger years and when He attends to His ministry and finally the Cross. But their life did not stop there at the Cross. They continue their lives after the Cross as we do. Once we are saved we do not stop, but continue to the vastness of doctrine and spiritual life that awaits each of us.
Christ is the appointed one for the fall and rise of many. This is the focal point of history. All of history balances on the issue of Christ. Ones entire existence depends on the attitude toward Christ. For those who have come before and believed and have died, there is the promise which will be fulfilled at the Cross, that they might be resurrected again. And for those who have rejected Christ there is the seal of death and the lake of fire.
Isa. 8:14-15 and 1 Pet. 2:7-8, Christ will be a sanctuary for some and a stumbling block for others. Those who are saved and have expressed their trust in God look to Jesus Christ for their security in time and in eternity. Those who let their arrogance get in their way, will stumble over their own blindness, rejecting the work of God and continually trying to justify themselves through their own efforts as Cain did. Arrogance builds up a stubbornness that makes it very difficult for those who reject God, to change their ways and their attitudes. They in effect trap themselves.
God reveals the hearts of men. Our thoughts, the content of our souls will either save us or condemn us. The angelic conflict is fought in the souls of people. Attitude toward Christ is the forefront of the battle. The sword of Gods Word pierces to the very depths of each of us. Critiquing our thoughts and intents and judging us accordingly. In the end the thoughts of people will be revealed. Nothing is hidden from God, and His angels stand as witness of the path that each of us take. Every detail of history being duly recorded in heaven. So that nothing will escape judgment or reward which ever is appropriate.
Simeon lived in the middle of a negative generation. For the thousands of years that Christ had been foretold right down to the date and location of His birth, and yet the generation which was blessed by his birth knew nothing of His existence. Few crowded around Simeon as he spoke truth, even though the temple was always a busy place, but they had their attentions on other matters. Rome was welding its power in this first year of tax collection and people were looking toward the West and politics rather than toward heaven and the spiritual life.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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