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The Stone of Offense

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Recognizing the polarizing effect of God's Truth as revealed in Jesus Christ.

Text: Luke 2:33-35
Date: 06/13/2021, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 23

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As the old man Simeon gazes into the eyes of the child he cradles lovingly in his arms, he recognizes Him as the very essence of salvation. But he also recognizes the fierce opposition that will grow against His ministry and the Truth He represents. Throughout the history of redemption there has always been a polarized reaction to the revelation of God's truth: some will recognize it and embrace it, while others will vehemently oppose it. The Truth, rather than uniting the two groups in a gray area of mutual understanding, separates them by sharply defining the distinction between Light and dark, Truth and falsehood. We will analyze this principle and apply it to the child in Simeon's arms, the greatest revelation of God's truth ever to be gifted to humankind-- Jesus the Christ. But in the most powerful way, and with eternal consequences, we will see that even though for some He is the Rock of Ages (their salvation)-- for others He is the Stone of Offense and a Rock of Stumbling.

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I. Introduction, Ex. 15:1-2.
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 2:33-35.
A. Context
B. Simeon's message to Mary concerning the Christ.
1. Marveling at the revelation, vs. 33.
a. Answering the skeptics.
b. Affirmation for Mary and Joseph.
c. Affirmation for us, Luke 1:3,4,17,32-35,41-44,68,78-79; 2:10-11,30,38.
2. Blessing turns to warning, vs. 34.
a. An odd blessing.
b. Focus on Mary.
c. A profound Christology.
i. The sovereignty of the Triune God, 1Pet. 1:18-20, Acts 2:23, John 12:27-28.
ii. Unfathomable grace.
d. An exclusive salvation.
i. Analyzing the "fall of the fallen".
• John's Light that pierces the darkness, John 1:4-5,14;14:6.
• Daniel's Stone not cut by human hands, Dan. 2:34-35,44-45.
• Isaiah's stone of offense, Isa. 8:14-15;Luke 20:17-18.
• The answer to the riddle, Acts 4:11-12, Gen. 3:4-5.
ii. The resurrection of many, John 11:25, Isa. 60:1-3, John 12:46.
iii. God's sovereignty in the "rise" and "fall", Ex. 10:20, Rom. 9:17-18, John 1:11-13, 1Pet. 2:7-8, John 12:47-50.
e. A divisive salvation, Matt. 10:34, John 15:18.
i. The sign of the Son of Man, Matt. 24:30, John 14:9.
ii. The opposition, John 10:32-33.
3. No middle ground, vs. 35.
a. Suffering in store for Mary.
i. Growing distant.
ii. The Passion,
b. When the Light shines in the darkness, John 3:19-21.
III. Application
A. Thankful for grace, Rom. 3:10-12, Eph. 2:1-3.
B. A message to the "resurrected".
1. Put on the full armor of God.
2. Look upon the fallen with compassion.
3. Engage in the work of the Kingdom: search and rescue.
4. Be ready for a fight.
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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