- Sermon Notes
1. Our world is on edge. In many ways, our world is and has been defined by fear.
2. But should the same be true for God’s people?
3. Should the fear that puts our world on edge also overcome and define born-again disciples of Jesus Christ?
4. The Apostle Paul answered this question when he wrote to his son-in-the-faith, Timothy.
2 Timothy 1:7, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)
5. If God has not given us a spirit of fear, then how can His power, His love, and His truth transform our hearts when we feel afraid?
6. Tonight, as we look at the prophetic praises of John the Baptist’s father, Zacharias, we will discover life-changing answers so that we may stand confident in what God has done for us and Fear Not.
1. Luke’s Gospel is filled with interesting twists.
2. First, there is a barren couple, Zacharias and Elizabeth, who had a son in their old age.
3. Next, is the name they gave their son. The angel Gabriel told Zacharias to name his child John, which means “Yahweh is gracious”. (13)
4. But in that day, the traditional thing to do was to name a firstborn son after the father or grandfather.
4. That’s exactly what the crowd expected Zacharias and Elizabeth to do when they brought their newborn to the Temple on the eighth day to have him circumcised. (59)
5. Now, Zacharias had been mute for over nine months because he doubted the words of the angel Gabriel, so their family and friends turned to Elizabeth to confirm their son would be called Zacharias Jr.
6. To the crowd’s amazement, Elizabeth resisted their pressure and rejected their tradition and literally said, “No! He must be named John.” (60)
7. Not satisfied with Elizabeth’s answer, the crowd turned to Zacharias. (61-62)
8. Zacharias motioned for a tablet and the moment he wrote “His name is John”, his tongue was loosed. (63)
9. With nine-months’ worth praise in his heart, Zacharias began to bless the Lord for all that He had done. (64)
10. The praises of Zacharias are important because they are filled with Old Testament quotes and references.
11. But his praises are also significant because Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, which means God’s Spirit enabled him to prophesy about God’s will.
12. From the prophetic praise of Zacharias, we discover reasons to have faith in what God has done for us and Fear Not.
I. God has Raised Up a Horn of Salvation (68-75)
• The praise of Zacharias has been called “Benedictus” based on his first words in verse 68.
• Notice what Zacharias praised God for.
A. God has set the prisoners free (68-69)
1. Remember, there had not been a prophet in Israel since Malachi; God had been silent for 400 years.
a. Why the divine “silent treatment”? Because Israel wasn’t listening so God was silent until they were ready to pay attention.
b. What were some of God’s last words to Israel?
Malachi 3:1, Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me.
2. Zacharias knew John’s birth meant God had visited Israel because God had chosen John to go before Messiah in fulfillment of Malachi 3:1. (68)
a. The word visit means “come to help.”
b. It reveals that God is concerned about us and has come to help us because we cannot help ourselves.
3. Why do we need God’s help? Because we are enslaved to sin; imprisoned by our sinful nature and choices.
4. So, God “accomplished redemption for His people.” (68)
a. The word redemption means that God paid the price to free us from slavery to sin along with the judgment it brings.
b. As God’s people we no longer need to fear condemnation because God has redeemed us from the prison of sin and given us the gift of eternal life.
Romans 8:1-2, Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
5. To accomplish redemption for His people, God “raised up a horn of salvation for us.” (69)
a. The phrase raised up means God brought someone of great significance into the world.
b. The horn of salvation refers to the mighty power of Messiah, that He is able to save and defend those He came to redeem just like an ox or a ram will use their horns to attack and defend.
Quote: “The picture here is that of an army about to be taken captive, but then help arrives and the enemy is defeated so that he cannot capture more prisoners. It means total victory for the people of God.” ~ Warren Wiersbe
APPL – Jesus is mighty to save.
6. “In the house of David His servant” means the horn of salvation, the Messiah, would come from the line of King David, which is true of Jesus. (68)
7. Now, notice the words visited, accomplished, and raised are all in the past tense though the event that would ultimately result in our salvation was still in the future. Why?
a. For Zacharias, John’s birth confirmed God’s will.
b. When God intends to move and promises to do so, it is often spoken of as if it was already done.
ILLUS – Notice the Apostles Paul’s words regarding our future glory in his letter to the church in Rome.
Romans 8:29-30, For those whom He foreknew, He also
predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
APPL – But many Christians are overcome by fear because Satan lies to them.
• Fear Not, our salvation was secured by Jesus Christ when He died on the cross at Calvary.
John 19:30, Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and
gave up His spirit.
• God wants us to enjoy the freedom we have in Christ.
John 10:10, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Galatians 5:1, It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
ILLUS – Recidivism
B. God has defeated our enemies (70-74)
1. God promised through the prophets that He would deliver His people from all their enemies.
2. This goes back to God’s promise to Abraham.
Genesis 12:3, And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.
3. What enemies was Zacharias referring to?
a. In a temporal, political sense – Rome.
b. But Jesus referred to other enemies, the enemy behind all temporal, political, and social enemies.
Luke 4:18-19, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.
APPL – Sin and death are our enemies.
• Fear Not, Jesus has defeated sin and death.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57, “Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
• Satan is our enemy too but Fear Not, Jesus has defeated Satan.
Colossians 2:15, When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having
triumphed over them through Him.
Colossians 1:13-14, For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
APPL – Fear is powerful weapon in the hands of our enemies.
• What do people fear?
o The future/rejection/failure.
o Death and what happens next.
• John, the apostle, declared the root cause for fear.
1 John 4:18, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
• Satan has bound many Christians in fear which has resulted in the plundering of their lives.
• But Jesus conquered our enemies so that we, as Zacharias said, “Might serve Him without fear.” (74)
o Zacharias was not speaking about serving God in heaven.
o When he said, “all our days” it means now, today.
Romans 8:31-32, 37-39, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?… But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
II. A New Day has Dawned (76-80)
A. Jesus has cancelled our debt (76-78)
1. After praising God for Messiah, Zacharias turned to prophesying about his son, the one who would go before Messiah. (76)
2. How would John go before the Lord? By telling people how to have their sins forgiven. (77)
3. When God offers forgiveness, it is a sign of His “tender mercy” because He does not want to give us what our sin deserves. (78)
4. When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, He canceled out the debt that we owed, making a way for our sins to be forgiven.
Colossians 2:13-14, When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He
made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
APPL – So in Jesus, our debt has been cancelled, a new day has dawned.
• Jesus is the Light of the world.
Luke 2:32, A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, and the glory of Your people Israel.
• Through Jesus, God is making all things new.
2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
B. Jesus will lead us in the way of peace (79-80)
1. Jesus brings peace by reconciling us to God.
Romans 5:1, Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
2. Only Jesus can give us perfect peace and “guide our feet into the way of peace.” (79)
Isaiah 26:3-4, You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the
Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock
APPL – Have fears plundered your life? Take a step of faith and trust the Lord.
ILLUS – A father’s comforting words to his son during a house fire.
• God has redeemed you.
• God has defeated your enemies.
• Trust the Lord and jump into His loving arms.
• Fear Not.
Luke 1:67-80 NASB
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of David His servant—
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old—
71 [a]Salvation from our enemies,
And from the hand of all who hate us;
72 To show mercy toward our fathers,
And to remember His holy covenant,
73 The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,
74 To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;
77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
[b]By the forgiveness of their sins,
78 Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
79 To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.