The text for this brief article using the NET Bible as the primary source is Luke 1:1–4 (NET), which reads:

1 Now many have undertaken to compile an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 like the accounts passed on to us by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning.3 So it seemed good to me as well, because I have followed all things carefully from the beginning, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know for certain the things you were taught.

While not all books of the Bible clearly identify their audience, the gospel of Luke is an exception.  Luke made it clear that a man named Theopilus was the intended recipient.  Luke also stated that the purpose of what he was to write was so Theopilus “may know for certain the things you [Theopilus] were taught.”  Most likely Theopilus was a believer, and like all believers, he needed to have his faith reinforced through continual exposure to biblical teaching about the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.  The goals of any biblical teaching include to (1) withstand the assault of the enemy, which is sure to come; (2) be a functioning and effective member of the body of Christ in a local church; and (3) proclaim with boldness the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.  The latter goal is a major thrust of the book of Acts, which Luke wrote to Theopilus.

The expression “you may know for certain” has the sense of to “know the truth about” or to “know the certainty of.”  The context was to give or increase Theopilus’ psychological confidence in the facts – the historical facts – of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.  The use by the NET Bible of the word “certain” refers to the truth of what Luke wrote.  The sense is to “have assurance concerning.”  It makes perfect sense that any believer wants the facts of the gospel to be true, i.e., conform to reality.  A person would be less than prudent to place their eternal destiny in something that did not have a foundation based on true facts.  Theopilus read Luke to know better the truth of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.  The same is true for the 21st Century believer who can read Luke to better know the truth of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.

Luke admits that, “many have undertaken to compile an account” of the events or facts about the life of Jesus Christ that define the saving gospel.  The account is:

of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 like the accounts passed on to us by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning.

The expression “that have been fulfilled” means that those events “have been accomplished” through God’s design.  In other words, what Luke wrote refers to God’s grand plan of salvation to save humanity from its sins through the atoning death of His only unique Son Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah.  This is consistent with the substantive content of Luke beginning with (1) Jesus’ conception and birth; (2) the initiation of Jesus’ earthly ministry and sinless life; (3) Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection; (4) His post-resurrection commission to the disciples to preach the gospel once they had received the power of the Holy Spirit; and (5) His ascension back to His Father.

Luke’s sources were the accounts passed on by eyewitnesses and servants of the Lord.  Those people were those who had faithfully passed on the accounts about Jesus to the early church.  The phrase “from the beginning” shows that Luke’s sources were people who were with Jesus from the very start.

Luke 1:1-4 is an explanatory preface that (1) identifies Luke’s audience; (2) explains Luke’s  reason for writing the gospel; and (3) identifies the sources for what he wrote.  Any person who reads Luke should have great confidence in the account of what Luke wrote about the ministry of Jesus Christ, including the substance of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.

If you are unsure about your salvation or are not a Christian, it is vital that you continue reading.

IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT YOUR SALVATION

If you are unsure about your salvation, you need to check out my book The Salvation Meter: Biblical Self-Diagnostic Tests to Examine Your Salvation and Spiritual Growth (book link at Xulon Press: https://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781662828638 ).  At Amazon the book link is  https://www.amazon.com/Salavation-Meter-Biblical-Self-Diagnostic-Spiritual/dp/1662828632 .  I also have a website in which I am updating the content in the book.  The link to my website for the book is https://thesalvationmeter.com .

IF YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN

… please (1) read through “God’s Plan of Salvation” so you can understand what God did for you through His only unique Son, Jesus Christ, and (2), from the bottom of your heart, pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” meaning every word.  If you do, you will be reconciled to God – saved – through Jesus Christ. 

God’s Plan of Salvation

In the beginning, God, who is holy, created the entire universe.  As a part of His creative actions, He made humans (male and female) in His image to know Him.  For a while, everything was right between God and our ancestors, Adam and Eve.  But Adam and Eve sinned, whereby sin was passed down to all of humankind so that we became sinners separated from God.  Nothing we could do on our own could bridge that separation so that without God’s intervention, hell would be our eternal destination.   

Fortunately for us, in His great love and mercy God provided humankind with the only means of salvation, which is through Jesus Christ who is God’s only unique Son.  While retaining His deity, God the Son became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died a substitutionary atoning death on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever repent and trust in Him for their salvation.  Jesus rose from the dead, showing that God the Father accepted Christ’s sacrifice and exhausted God’s wrath against every believer.  He now calls all unbelievers to repent of their sins and trust alone in what Christ did to save them. 

If we repent of our sins and completely trust in Christ alone that He died for our sins and rose to life from the dead, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God. 

Scripture References: Genesis 1:1, 26, 31; Habakkuk 1:13; Genesis 2:7-25;  Genesis 3:1-7, 22-24; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:19-20, 23; 5:17-19; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; Matthew 1:18, 20, 24-25; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 2:17; 9:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 John 4:10; John 3:16-18; Mark 1:15; Acts 17:30; 26:20; Romans 1:4; 4:25; John 3:5-8; 1 Peter 1:3.

 “Sinner’s Prayer”

Lord, Jesus Christ, the only unique Son of God, thank You for Your free gift of eternal life.  I know I’m a sinner who cannot save myself no matter what I do, and I deserve to spend eternity in hell.  But, I know that because You loved me so much, You voluntarily died on the cross for me taking my sins upon Yourself, and You physically bodily rose from the grave showing that Your sacrificial death was sufficient payment to give me eternal life in Heaven.  I now repent of my sins and completely trust alone in what You did for my eternal salvation.  Please take control of my life as I now receive You as my Lord and Savior.  Thank You so much for saving me.  I am now Yours forever!

(Scripture references: John 1:1-4, 11-14; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-26; Isaiah 53:4-6; Mark 1:15; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10, 13; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 10:27-29).

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