Luke 1:1-4 – “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.” NASU
The KJV phrases it “the certainty” and the NASU says, “exact truth.” Both convey the idea of completeness and comprehensive veracity. We could attempt to dissect this passage and easily become bogged down in the minute and miss the magnificent. For example, we could struggle with who this Theophilus is and his role in the early church. However, the word translated Theophilus means “a friend of God”. It could be a literal man or Luke could have been addressing anyone anywhere who is a friend of God. I am not suggesting this was not a person but offering that as a possibility. The title “most excellent” suggests it is a literal person and that would probably relate to the character of this individual. Whether it is to an individual of rank and distinction or to all people who are lovers of and friends of God matters little in delving into the truth Luke presents.
In today’s world as in Luke’s world, there are many voices claiming to have “the truth” and set themselves up as arbiters of God’s truth rejecting anyone who does not come into alignment with their philosophy or doctrine. Luke’s stated objective is to compile a narrative of the things accomplished in the life of our Lord and the apostles. He seeks to present it as a reporting of the words of those who were eyewitnesses and participants in the miracles and ministry of Jesus. That is in contrast to the many voices giving hearsay and speculation. His objective is Truth!
He writes as an investigative reporter and seeks to detail the events, miracles, doctrines, and ministry of our Lord in an orderly fashion so that the reader would know truth, and have a foundation. He seeks to detail his findings in consecutive order so as to build a foundation for ‘exact truth’ or the ‘certainty’ of the Life and Ministry of Jesus. That is important because, as Paul warned of the danger of being caught up in fads and being ‘blown about by every wind of doctrine’ that comes down the pike.
That is why we need the five-fold ministry gifts in the local church and the church universal. Their purpose is to ‘equip the saints for the work of ministry’. Their function and assignment are to build up the body of Christ enabling us to attain the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God. Their purpose and function are to enable us to grow to spiritual maturity rather than, in childishness, blow around like a boat in a windstorm. The purpose of Truth is to Liberate and then to Enrich so that we can mature and grow to maturity in all aspects of our lives.
Sound Doctrine tears down sectarian walls and barriers. None of us have a corner on truth in our limited finite minds and understanding. Truth is like a cut diamond and has many facets. The only way to see ‘exact truth’ and have absolute certainty is to view it from above. From heaven’s perspective, we can see the many facets of truth and in that truth find liberation. In that truth, we are open to things that are new to us in our sectarian doctrinal positions. No, I am not suggesting that you abandon the truths you have learned but always be open to expansion of your doctrinal position to embrace God’s Truth.
If the Bible declares something to a part of the New Covenant, why do we reject it? I have people argue against various things such as the miraculous quoting I Corinthians 13:10-13, “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
Let me ask a probing question and one that is a constant challenge for me personally. Is that which is perfect the canonization of the Bible? Has knowledge been done away with? Is not knowledge expanding exponentially every year? Has the Body of Christ reached maturity individually and collectively? Do we see clearly and understand all things? Are we unified? If the answers are no, then I must conclude that ‘that which is perfect’ is something more than just having our King James Bibles.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” We also read in Hebrews 13:8 that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” Therefore, we can take the Truth of God’s Word and appropriate or claim it for our lives in the present. That is Good News!
God bless you as you enjoy His blessings and guidance on this day!