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December 22, 2020 12:01 am
With the incarnate Son of God within her womb, Mary sang a hymn of praise to the God who cares mightily for the lowest of His servants. Today, R.C. Sproul expounds on the rich truths found in Mary's Magnificat.
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When an angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would be the mother of the Messiah, she broke into spontaneous praise. A song we call the Magnificat.
The bay will not only be Mary's son but he will be Mary's Savior. No woman in the history of the world could sing that song either before then or after that time because only Mary was given the unspeakable privilege of being the mother of our Savior. It's difficult to imagine how Mary felt that they were both in the form provides us with some insight into her reaction through fear of the unknown and faith in her sovereign God as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Later this week. We want to go back and highlight the Christmas story from Mary's perspective today on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul takes us to Luke chapter 1, I will be reading verse 46 through verse 56 and Mary said my soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for he has regarded the lowly state of his maidservant, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed, for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name and his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm is scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts is put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly is filled the hungry with good things and the rich she has sent away empty his helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever and Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her house. This is Luke's record of this marvelous song of Mary known as the Magnificat inspired by the Holy Ghost and given to us for our instruction and for our edification for the moving of our souls to praise and adoration and may you hear these words to that end, one of the things that's clear from the reading of this text is that Mary as a young Jewish girl did something that most Jewish girls did in her day, and that is, she memorized Scripture we see strains of similarity between this song that she sings with the song of praise and thanksgiving that was rendered by Anna in the Old Testament when she was told of the impending birth of her son, Samuel L. Also, if you look closely at this song you will see that there are several references in the song to elements found in the song and the more we ingest Scripture and hide it in our hearts memorize it become familiar with it, we will find that when we are praying again and again we will turn to the language of the word of God itself, and this is modeled for us in this marvelous him by Mary herself again that she is singing this in under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and its content reveals much about Mary, but also much about the character and the nature of God. She begins by saying my soul that magnify the Lord, and my spirit thus rejoice in God my Savior. One of the things that the Scripture warns about more than once is the danger dear friends of rendering to God. Mere lip service going through the motions wrote worship where we say the words and we confess with our mouths. While our hearts remain for from him. But what is noteworthy about this in is that Mary is not simply giving lip service to God.
But this song of praise and adoration is welling up out of the depths of her being she says Mike's soul magnifies the Lord, not that God could become at a greater or large than he already is. But what she says here what she says.
My soul magnifies him is that she is saying that my soul has been saturated by a sense of the divine and by his presence, and by his mercy, and so from the deepest part of my being.
I want to exalt him. That's what it means to magnify to lift God up in exultation. There's been much debate in recent years about the appropriate type of music that were used in worship and we even have a new vocabulary where we talk about praise music will indeed music should be filled with praise for God. If you want to see an example of your praise music example not of the 7-Eleven the same seven versus 11 time but praise music that is deep and rich in content, whose focus is on the majesty of God, then here we have an example of the Holy Spirit inspired praise music where this young lady says my soul magnifies the Lord, and Mike's spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Now she's not making a distinction between her soul and her spirit like some people would like to believe but what we have here is a common Hebrew form of poetry which is parallelism in this case anonymous parallelism where the first line and the second line mean essentially the same thing. She says it wants my soul magnifies the Lord, she says of. Again, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Theologians who paid attention to the last couple of words of the second line the words my Savior does Mary mean by that St. Thomas Aquinas. For example, believe that Mary could not of been sinless because here she confessed in this him, her need of a Savior and that insight that St. Thomas had may be correct, but it's not a necessary inference from the tax because the word to say. Even the word salvation in the Bible can mean something other than the ultimate salvation that we have from the consequences of our sins, but any time God rescues his people and spares them from any calamity expresses a kind of salvation, and so the salvation that Mary may have in view here is simply the rescue from the calamity of being humiliated, being a forgotten person, thing a person of insignificance as she specifies in the the sense in which God is been merciful to her. However, though it's not necessarily so that she's referring to divine deliverance from sin. That idea is probably contained in the words that she's using here and if so what is she say just as the child is conceived in her womb will be called David's greater son not only David's son but also David's Lord. So the babe will not only be Mary's son that he will be Mary's Savior. No woman in the history of the world could sing that song either before then or after that time because only Mary was given the unspeakable privilege of being the mother of our Savior, she speaks initially of her of being overwhelmed by the tenderness of God. She says for he has regarded the lowly state of his mates are in former Christmas seasons.
I preached on the Magnificat.
The knife pointed out that in that line, we have contained the original Cinderella story the Cinderella story that was not a fairytale was not a myth, but was sober reality and truth because God himself looked at this lady and her low estate. This is Mary's experience. He looked at me he noticed me he sees me, behold, henceforth all the generations of human history will call me blessed because I am blessed supremely blessed like no woman in human history has ever been. Bless, for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name and his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation here in the Magnificat.
Mary mentioned specifically free attributes of God is mighty. He is holy and he is merciful. The one who has recognized her is the Almighty one, the one who possesses all power on heaven and earth, the one who can create the universe by the sound of his voice, by the power of his command B and there is power that the angel Gabriel mentioned to Mary when she was confounded by his announcement. How can this be, since I know not of Mary's will be because of the power of the most high God the Almighty will overshadow you for with him all things are possible. He is the one who is mighty now notice this in passing that so often in our culture. When people speak of God, they do so really meaningless terms people speak about the power higher power, a force greater than yourself. There's hardly any difference between that kind of language in the language of an animist practitioner who bows down in worship seven idle made out of wood. You will never have to face the judgment of cosmic dust. But the God who is is the God who has a name is not simply a power but we has all power. He is he he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name again how beautiful is this description of the character of God.
God Mary is saying is so holy, so transcendental he majestic that is very name is holy. That's who he is. That's his identity. He is the holy one of Israel, not just mighty not just raw force brute power, but it's a holy power. Holy might holy strength and his mercy is on those who fear him. Don't miss the impact of those words. The one from whom we receive mercy. 11 is the Almighty one the omnipotent one, the holy one. How else could we exists in the presence of the holy one, except by mercy but that mercy is not infinite. We hear the hams that speak of God's infinite mercy, infinite grace and I think that that's just our giving ourselves over to hyperbole are so amazed at the wideness and the extent of God's mercy and kindness and grace that we save so wonderful it's so great why it's infinite lipids infinite has no bow gotchas. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. He does not extend that mercy to everyone. Not everyone receives the mercy of a forgiving God. Some in the final analysis, receive his justice without mercy will who is it who receives the mercy of God. Those who fear him.
Now hear this, not in the sense of fear of being frightened like you would be by a burglar by a ghost, but it's fear, in the sense of reverence in the sense of in the sense of adoration. This is why we are here on Sunday morning to come here to worship God. And that's what worship is, is to show him reference that we have this this fear of the Lord. That is the beginning of wisdom. It's the beginning of faith is the beginning of everything, and without it, there is no mercy in the godless are described in Scripture as people who have no fear of God. The world is filled with people who have no sense of reverence for God at all no respect, no, no adoration, they could care less.
In fact, they show their irreverence by how they use his name.
How could somebody have any fear of God any reverence for God whatsoever and use his name as a curse word.
But his mercy is on everyone who fears him from generation to generation.
This is not something new.
This is not something unique in the life of Mary. This is something that goes on and on. From Adam to Noah to Abraham, the Jacob Isaac to David the Jeremiah Peter to Paul Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, to you and to me, generations come and go, they pass, but throughout all the agents one thing is constant with the Lord is merciful to those who revere him is interesting that she mentions this in the middle of a him that is filled with reference and filled with adoration he has shown strength with his arm. Here we have an image of God in human form in which his arm is a symbol of his strength. I think the funniest chapter in the Bible is chapter 11 of the book of numbers.
You may remember that says some of you who didn't memorize the Magnificat decided instead to memorize the 11th chapter of numbers. That's the occasion where Moses is very distraught because this multitude of people that he's led and the accidents are now complaining and bellyaching day after day they want to go back to Egypt because now they miss their leaks and their garlic Gartner onions and all I have to eat every day. Is this manna that God supernaturally provides for them from heaven said this before they got sick and tired of the manna they had manna for breakfast manna for lunch manna for benefit of they want to have a midnight snack.
They had manna in midlife that they had roast manna fried manna manna sauté manna everything they could possibly do to alter the taste of this stop. They tried and they couldn't take it anymore. They said let's go back to Egypt. It was Pharaoh, at least under Pharaoh even welder slaves.
We had onions, garlic, leaks and Moses wants to die.
He said that I give birth of these people that I have to listen to this there crying in my tent give us meat to eat. God said, I've heard the cries of the people, and they shall have meat to eat for one day. Not for a week, but for a whole month until it's coming out of their noses and becomes loathsome to be careful what you ask for when you price and gotchas you want meet I'll give you meat and Tillis, nocturne so you don't want to look at it ever again. And Moses is really upset and he said God, how are you going to do are all our herds going to be killed to supplied meat for a month. All these people are you going to dry up the sea with the fish so we can feed them.
This is even more than you can do it and God answers a question with a question. He said Moses has the arm of the Lord waxed short Moses, who do you think you're talking to you think I'm a god with a weathered alarm is a 97 pound weakling the bullies kicked sand in my face is the arm of the next Moses you will see if what I say comes to pass. God is not week and never in need and we catch a glimpse of his immense power through Mary song of praise, the Magnificat of the great message to prepare us for Christmas. Anytime we can generalize off the hustle and bustle of the season and back to the purposes of God.
We are on the right track. Today's message on Renewing Your Mind is from Dr. RC Sproul sermon series from the gospel of Luke and when you contact us today with a donation of any amount would like to send you a helpful resource is the hardbound addition of Dr. Sproles commentary on Luke's gospel nearly 600 pages of readable practical insight I think will return to this commentary for years to come. So contact us today with a donation of any amount he will send it to you that you can find us email@example.com or you can call us with your gift at 800-435-4343 leader ministries exist to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God in all its fullness to his many people as possible when we understand God's character we better understand who we are. The only way to rightly understand God is to study his word. Your gifts to this ministry, especially here at your end make it possible for us to continue producing teaching resources like this, so if you plan on giving the legionnaire before the new year.
Please remember to have your gift postmarked by next Thursday the 31st. Or you can always give online when you go to Lincoln near.org/donate blood tomorrow. Dr. Sproles once again turns to Luke chapter 1 to help us understand more of Mary's him the Magnificat. We hope you'll join us Wednesday for Renewing Your Mind