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The Importance of the Trinity to define who the Church is. Luke 12:1 - 12 Pt. 2

April 26, 2020 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel According to Luke

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Luke 12:1–12:12

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Luke 12:1 - 12 Pt. 2    To fear, or not to fear

1 Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of the multitude had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. 3 “Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. 4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who after He has killed has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! 6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? And yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.  8 “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God; 9 but he who denies Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. 10 “And everyone who will speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him. 11 “And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not become anxious about how or what you should speak in your defense, or what you should say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

We began talking last week about a subject that we haven't experienced much.  Hostility.  Hostility of this world towards those who belong to Jesus.

Actually the final verse of Chapter 11 sets the stage for this entire discussion Jesus is having with the multitude, but foremost, his disciples, His math-e-tes, His learners.

11:53 And when He left there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to question Him closely on many subjects, 54 plotting against Him, to catch Him in something He might say.

Luke connects the verb hostile in 11:53 with his statement in 12:1 Under these circumstances,

The circumstance that is driving the teaching is hostility.  Open hostility.  Something that is foreign to us in our land.  So far.  Although it's creeping incrementally and I fear you dear ones get weary of my constant wolf wolf crying.  There really is a wolf.  

This week Harvard magazine ran an article about the evils of home schooling and how it may well destroy our democracy.  The problem (according to Harvard Magazine) is that the number before Covid19 was approaching 4%.  And of those 4%, God forbid, this is almost too horrible to mention, of that large and nationally (more important all the time!) percent, most of the renegades are christians who are effectively shielding their children from secular Godless culture.

The very idea that parents should think they somehow have the right to inculcate their values on helpless children!  It's an abominable thing.  Some poor little girl wants to be a boy and vile christian parents fill their heads with, "God made you a girl".  Oh the horror.

This world is in increasingly violent adversion to christians and christian morality.  The state needs to step in and regulate and oversee what parents are telling their poor helpless children.

In the article, an illustrator has drawn a house made out of books with bars on the windows and a sad sad child behind the bars while the children outside the house are gayly playing and running and skipping ropes.  Happy children.  The books the jail like house are made out of have titles.  Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Bible.  Again, the horror.  We must free that poor sad child from evil parents that would even dream of teaching those hideous things.

Our secular Godless culture is on the brink of challenging parental rights.  If that doesn't frighten you, I'm not sure what would.  Covid-19 seems tame by comparison.

Turn back the clock 2000 years and we find Jesus is in a similar situation.  He has an audience in the thousands, and He has disciples, serious learners who are following Him.  He does miracles.  He heals the sick.  He casts out demons and they go shrieking away.  He makes food out of nothing.  He speaks and the wind hushes.  What would it take for the world to convince those thousands in that audience that they better step away from this dangerous man?

The war is ON.  The conflict is tangible in that place.  The war of good and evil is howling behind the curtain that our eyes cannot see beyond.  Satan and every force of evil is trained on this invader who would call a people out of this world to belong to Him.

It's Satan against God.  It's the ruler of this world against the God - Man, Jesus, who claims to be the King.  It's all the demonic forces of spiritual evil against the evidence and revelation through Jesus by the Holy Spirit of God.

All of the power of the trinity is at work in these verses in combat with all of the powers of Satan.  He is the ruler of this world, and he has duped men into doing evil.  False religion is about to kill Jesus, in the name of doing God's work.  In fact they are doing the work of their god, who is the devil.

Multiple 10,000's of people hang precariously in the balance.  What is the tactic that the ruler of this world will have his dupes, the false religionists of that place do in order to hold onto that multitude so they don't all follow after the miracle worker?

Fear.  Fear.  If you follow Jesus you will be summarily removed and cast out of the culture and society that is the ruling force in that place.  You will become an enemy of the false judaism that runs the culture and also who controls the Roman governor to a great degree.  

If you move over to Jesus, you'll be un-synagogued.  Unclean.  Unable to function in that society.  You'll be a cast out.  A leper.  A tax collector.  Removed.  Enemy.  Your family will suffer.  You'll lose your status and your job.  Your children may go hungry.  Everyone will hate you.  You will be voiceless and powerless.

Are you getting the picture?  That's why Jesus has to address fear.  The fear of men.  And Jesus says, the most they can do is kill you.  But if you allow fear of this world to keep you from belonging to Jesus, God who is in heaven has powers beyond men.  They can kill you.  He can regulate your final heartbeat and breath, and then send you to hell.

Does that tip the scales?  Not for most.  The here and now, the acceptance and belonging here and now overpowers the revealed truths of what lies beyond this veil.  

So Jesus warns that if you insist on remaining God's enemy, hell waits.  And then He encourages those who fear what men here can do.  God owns the sparrows that are two a penny, five for two, and He owns the hairs on your head.  He providentially controls what this world can do to those who belong to Him.

Now, don't mis-understand.  Christians have died for being christians from that day until this one.  But God is sovereign over it all.  He rules over who is allowed to be persecuted, and who is not.  He rules over who dies and who lives.  Not one hair from your head can perish and fall without His allowing it.

But as ignorant non believers living in darkness, self preservation is all there is.  That all changes when we know God and belong to Him.  Suddenly, self preservation becomes non-important.  This world is not our home, and preservation belongs to the one who has purchased us out of this world.

Paul, in prison about to perish, writes to Timothy about his situation and says;  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.  2 Timothy 1:12

That day??  What day, Paul?  All of the passages from Enoch, seven generations after Adam, until John closed the book with the visions written down for us in the book of Revelation, from the first to the last, the victory over Satan, when Jesus returns to this world in glory, when the heavens are peeled back and rolled up like a scroll, when the Son of Man appears for the second time, in His glory, within that vision are what Enoch called 'holy ones', and the old testament prophets referred to as angels, and John in Revelation 19 identifies as the redeemed.

That would be us, folks, if in fact you are saved and separated from this world.  Jesus and all the angels and all of the redeemed will appear together in glory.

In Matthew 25, at the separation of the nations, the sheep and the goats judgement, where the righteous are separated from the wicked, who is present;
31 When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.…Mt. 25:31,32a

Back to our study in Luke 12.  Jesus is speaking of the fear of men causing people to remain in the clutches of this world, and He warns of a 3 fold difference between those who separate and come to Him, and those who ignore His warning and remain in this world, which is by default to remain an enemy of God.

And in this 12 verse warning and encouragement, Jesus speaks of the true God in trinitarian terms.  Any separation out of this world and unto God and His ownership is seen as a trinitarian reality in these 12 verses.  

A really really quick outline.  Vss. 1 -7  Fear God.  Honor God.  Fear and honor God as Sovereign ruler over everything.  Fear and honor God, really the same thing, we just get queasy about the word fear, fear and honor God as the one who has the ultimate disposition over eternal destiny for the living souls of men for eternity.  Honor God

Vss 8 - 9  Honor the Son.  Honor the Son.  We're going to look at how true believers do that in a moment.  And finally in our mini-outline;

Vss 10 - 12  Honor the Holy Spirit.  Honor the Holy Spirit.  Honor God the Father as eternal God.  Honor the Son of God as equally eternal God the Son, and Honor the Holy Spirit as eternal Spirit of God.

That rather makes a mess of any of the cults that have the trinity all denied and messed up.  Anyone who will be revealed with Christ at the revelation of Him in glory with His angels, will be someone who believes in and worships a trinitarian God.

John the apostle agrees.  In his first letter he says;  1Jn. 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Do you see the interconnectedness of the trinity in that passage.  Spirit of God in vs. 2  confess that Jesus has come in the flesh vs 2 and 3, what the passage is about, cults deny that Jesus was fully a man, like us, and God in vs. 4.  The entire trinity is in combined effort in these verses where John says the spirit of the world denies the trinitarian God by denying that Jesus was fully God and fully man.

Some of them say He was only man, not God.  And others say He was only God and some kind of phantom.  He didn't have flesh like we have flesh.  In vs 15 of the same chapter same discussion where John says it's imperative to say and believe that Jesus is fully man, He came in the flesh, then he also says this, in vs. 15;  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

We confess that Jesus is fully man, and fully God.  Then in 2 John vs 7 the apostle says;  7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.   What we confess is important because it verbalizes what we believe.  Jesus, fully man, fully God.  God as Triune.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, equally and fully God.

Yes, it makes your brain hurt.  The denial of these truths is born in pride.  I'm equal to God, therefore any concept of God that is beyond what my brain can fully conceive and understand is rejected.  Pride is the basis for all of the trinity deniers.  That coupled with the spirit of this world which is the spirit of error.

People who deny the concept of a trinitarian God are obviously non christians.  You don't have to look any further.  If they're messed up on the trinity, it's impossible for them to belong to God, to worship the one true God.

8 “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God; 9 but he who denies Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Any religion, any cult, any anything that isn't based on a confession of Jesus, Messiah, the Christ, born of a virgin, Son of God, lived among men, was murdered by wicked men who belong to Satan, murdered and buried but then rose again from the dead on the third day and after being seen by more than 500 witnesses, ascended into heaven;  any anything that doesn't confess those truths about Jesus, is not of God.

If that isn't your confession, you won't be in His company, revealed with Him and to His angels, on the day when He returns to this world to do battle with His enemies and take back the authority to reign of this world, this earth.

That confession is where all the trouble with the world begins.  That exclusivity, Jesus and only Jesus and not without Jesus makes the world nuts.  It causes every kind of fury.  The world despises that message, that belief, that confession.

Jesus said;  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.  Jn. 14:6  And Peter confessed to that truth in his sermon in Acts 4:10 - 12 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 “He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone. 12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.

True christians, and only true christians confess Jesus as both Lord, and God.  But let's look even closer to Jesus words in vs 8 of Luke 12;  

8 “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God; 9 but he who denies Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

What does it mean to confess before men?  Before men is the preposition that is attached to the verb to confess.

This isn't a magical chant.  Go into your closet and confess Jesus with some kind of magical chant and you'll be saved.  No, the preposition, before men, is the action of separation from this world.

Confessing Jesus as Lord of you is what gets you in trouble with men.  The Lordship, the ownership of you, of your life, your personhood by Jesus and the underlying separation out of this world and into His kingdom, His authority to reign . . . over you, is what causes the world, which belongs to Satan, to react negatively to you.

The world hates us because we are no longer of this world.  We have separated ourselves from this world, even though we still dwell here.  And that separation and the exclusivity of it, causes the world to be our enemy, because we are friends with God, through His Son, and therefore enemies of this world.

I've said it very often.  We are left here as enemy combatants who belong to another country, another king.  We are in this world, but we are distinct, like salt.  And the more we confess who our King is, the more this world will hate us.

Romans 10:9,10 is the classic treatise describing the automatic relationship that happens to all who are quickened from the dead and separated from this old world to newness of life with Christ.

9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Paul says that a lifestyle of confession of Jesus before men is the natural and automatic result of a heart belief.  A belief in all that we have stated about Jesus comes with the Holy Spirit quickening a dead heart and making it alive.  The Spirit breathes new life into our dead-from-sin spirits.  We are born again.  The Spirit gives life.  

The visible result of that inner transformation is a lifestyle of confession of Jesus before men.  If you are a christian, if that transaction has happened, if you have been quickened from the dead by the indwelling Holy Spirit, Christ in you, the hope of glory, if that has happened, there has to be evidence.

Real christians simply don't look and act like the rest of the world around them.  Their lives, that difference, must be a confession of Christ, but that isn't all, the difference ideally should be obvious enough that situations come up where you have to confess with your mouth the inner changes that separated you out of this world.  

My reference to the home schoolers in the introduction is an example of that.  The onlooking world is angry, because these people who are christians have separated themselves from how the world lives and acts, but not only that, oh the horror, they're trying to inculcate that difference onto their children.

Their lives have confessed Christ.  That author knows the 4% they're worried about are christians, and that's the reason they're different.  Separated.  Distinct.  And one other thing, the difference is defined, and the definition is a judgement on this world.

That author understands perfectly.  These horrid people are saying that sodomy and transexual lifestyles are evil.  We cannot tolerate that judgement.  By some old book.  Some sky God says men can't have sex with men.  "Away with such fellows from the earth!!"  Acts 22:22

That's the usual result of confessing Jesus with your mouth;  And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.  Expect it.

Vss. 10 - 12 are about the third person of the God head.  The Holy Spirit.  Because while we are left in enemy territory, God has sent us the Holy Spirit to help us in the ensuing battle, and to comfort us with grace in time of need.

10 “And everyone who will speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him.

In the immediate context of the conflict between Jesus and the pharisees who are seeking a way to destroy Him, Jesus talks about blasphemy.  Confessing non-truths about God is blasphemy.  

And in the case of the pharisee's, they're in a pickle.  How do you discredit a man who does miracle after miracle.  He feeds thousands with food created from nothing, in their sight.  He sends demons fleeing.  He restores people physically and spiritually.  He forgives sin.  HE FORGIVES SIN!!  He speaks and the wind obeys His voice.

How do you discredit everything, all of that evidence which has never before been seen in any kind of sense that Jesus has brought it.  What do you say to turn the multitudes away from that?!  Against that.

Here's how they do it.  Everything you have seen and witnessed with your senses, all of the miracles and power displayed in Jesus, comes from Satan.  Satan is the source of all of Jesus other-worldly power.

They can't deny what has happened and what continues to happen.  In just days from this time, Jesus will speak and Lazarus who was very dead, will come walking out of the grave, wrapped up in his grave clothes, after being dead for 4 days.  

Jesus says Lazarus, come forth!  And Lazarus who was very dead, comes walking out of his grave, alive.  And if Jesus had left off the name Lazarus, and just said, come forth, all of the graves would have been emptied of their dead.

No one can deny the power of Jesus.  So they say, He does it and the power source is Satan.  Well, here is what they have done.  The power source is the Holy Spirit of God.  And these men have taken all of the evidence, all of the revelation of Jesus, by the Holy Spirit who works in Him with power, and said, Satan did that.

That is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit on a level that could only be achieved while Jesus was walking this earth and the Spirit was piling up mountains of evidence, that Jesus was God.

They took all of the evidence and their conclusion is Satan did it.  The reason that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable is because at that point, you're at the end.  You've received from the Holy Spirit all of the evidence possible, and your conclusion is to confess that the Holy Spirit is Satan!  

That's the end of the line.  What else can be done after that??  And that's exactly where we're at in this portion of scripture.  

In the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is God the revealer.  God the Father is the Almighty, all powerful eternal Father.  Jesus is God the Son who came as a man and lived a sinless life and died in our place so that He could bear the punishment for our sins and we could be given His righteousness.  

A footnote here;  This passage is about the tri-une God.  Adding a fourth person to the trinity is just as evil and dangerous as subtracting from the tri-une God.  Mary-ology is just as damaging as all the other ways of messing up the tri-une Godhead.  You don't subtract from and you don't add to says the end of the book.

Each person of the Trinity has different roles as co-equal God.  The Holy Spirit is who reveals all truth.  Every word of this book we cherish has come to us as revelation through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit is revealer and He is Helper who dwells in us and gives grace.  It is the Holy Spirit who quickened us from death to life.  He makes us alive, together with Him, united with Him in Christ.  And it is the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth.  The truth originated with Him, He wrote the book through men, and He leads us into all truth.  This book.

It's important to note that there is no other source of revealed-from-God truth than the words in this book.  The Holy Spirit is not giving new revelation after the close of the Biblical canon.  The Holy Spirit is not changing what is written as the once for all delivered to the saints faith;  Jude 1:3

The Holy Spirit is revealer.  Gods words to us.  The sole source of truth.  And the Holy Spirit is also helper and comforter.

11 “And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not become anxious about how or what you should speak in your defense, or what you should say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

Now some of the preachers I've listened to (with difficulty) in my lifetime take this verse and apply it to their study.  You can wake up on Sunday morning and stand in the pulpit and the Holy Spirit is just going to supply the sermon.  NOT.

The context of this passage is conflict with the world.  The same conflict as in vs. 53, 54 of the previous chapter.  When the world defines christians as the enemy and they get organized about it, they begin dragging christians before those who are in authority, then, the Helper and Comfortor will come along side and give you what it is you are to say.

And we've experienced this in a lesser sense when we're confessing the name of Jesus in some discussion where we've been asked to describe our faith.  You have a long good discussion and later on you say to yourself, where did that come from?  Right?  It's exhilarating!

The Holy Spirit dwells with you and in you, and when we're confessing Jesus, which is what we're supposed to be doing, the Spirit comes along side and helps.

These passages with the conflict that is normative in the battle of God and those who belong to Him and this world which is ruled by a usurper and deceiver and murderer force us to look at ourselves and ask . . . why not me?  Why am I so comfortable?  Why am I different than what this book pictures as conflict to be expected?  

In reading this week as I studied this passage I came across these words that Pastor John MacArthur had written when he taught through Luke;

"You know, Jesus didn't come to fulfill your dreams, He didn't come to fulfill your ambitions, to bump you up a few notches on the satisfaction scale, to make your marriage better, straighten out your slice and help you hit more home runs.  That's not why He came.  He came to take over (as Lord, Kurios my words) and in return for that you receive the forgiveness of sin, eternal life, and the peace and joy and power of the Spirit of God."

It was the distinctness of the set apart believers that turned the world upside down in the first century of the church.  In our day the church can't seem to join with whatever the world, the culture is saying, fast enough.  It is the very definition of luke warm.  Vomit.