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April 30, 2017

" Our Lord's Advice To Friends""

TEXT: Luke: 12: 1-12
READING:  John 12: 1-12

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SUBJ: Three important instructions given to His disciples about proper conduct in this present world with a view to our identity with the world to come; namely, to beware, be brave, and be true with a look to heaven.

AIM: That we might ever be in tune to our Lord’s presence and the instructions left us in His inspired word.

INTR: We are often given to thoughts of being right doctrinally and well we should. Much of our Lord’s instruction is to be received as from a true friend, a term He uses here.
1. This passage is unique to Luke and is in keeping with Luke’s portrayal of Christ as the Son of Man.
2. It was as such that He spoke with familiarity with the concern that a friend might have for another. He knew of that which was not only essential, but would serve them well in serving Him.
3. We will note that His disciples are distinguished from the multitude here and that He addresses them in a very intimate way.

THESIS: The four Gospels characterize Christ in four different ways and yet we understand that He is one Lord and that all are true of Him at once. The close friendship is as practical as it is theological. And, He would have us, as His friends to beware, be brave, and be true.

I. Beware (vv. 1-3)
1. It would have been in the time of His popularity that these words were spoken with due notation to an innumerable company – His people are known in name and number.
2. And so, it was to His disciples that He issues a most important warning:
1) This message evidently had special meaning to those nearest Him – perhaps he might have realized that they would rise to a place of prominence and the crowds might tempt them to act in the wrong manner.
2) The manner of the Pharisees continues to be an issue among religious leaders and Christians in general
3) It is characterized as leaven – often typifying evil (but not always). The emphasis here is that it will affect everything in the person so leavened!
3. Hypocrisy is a common thing but is certainly to be feared.
1) So, it is that many situations are exposed that are awful but more so with leaders so-called
2) It is subtle in its appearance and may deceive us – especially where we think it to be no big thing – Remember the little foxes that spoil the vine.
4. It was a most hateful thing to Christ that external righteousness was used to deceive men and misrepresent the Holiness of God.
5. It is for us to note that all will ultimately be exposed and is not hid even now – I may not know who are hat a man is, but the Lord does and will eventually bring it to light.

II. Be Brave (vv. 4-7)
1. It is here that He becomes very endearing in calling them “My Friends.”
1) A friend is one in whom confidence is registered and with whom there is mutual trust.
2) He would be to them the “friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
3) A friend looks to the welfare, safety, and peace of his friend as our Lord did here.
4) He would later declare that Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
2. It is interesting to note the contrast that our Lord presents here as an ominous, but true, picture of God is presented.
3. The words of verse 5 are often issued forth as a warning to the unbelieving and that is not altogether wrong.
1) The power of life and death is solely in the hands of God and yet men in the depraved estate will not look to Him for mercy.
2) But, these words are to friends and so are to be used as an encouragement to be engaged in the fear of God that is to be desired.
4. He immediately follows it with two very tender thoughts
1) Individual care in every detail as seen in the fall of the sparrow and
2) The detailed knowledge that He has of us. The hairs of our head are not counted – they are enumerated.
5. Therefore, fear not!

III. Be True (vv. 8-12)
1. Confession does not bring salvation; it is unto or with reference to salvation.
2. The “whosever” that appears here is not a general application; it is an identification of who the Lord’s people are and they will confess Him before men.
3. It is evident that a life of identity with Christ will be evidenced in one’s friendship with Christ and a willingness and practice of confessing Him before men.
4. Blasphemy of the Holy Ghost is attributing the works of the Spirit to the devil which many in this crowd did.
1) This was not said to engender centuries of debate as to what the sin is; it to prepare them to face such blasphemy in their own ministry.
2) This is set in contrast to the empowering of the Holy Spirit to be maintained in the way of truth and the Gospel.
5. And so we are encourage to be true to our ultimate Friend.