Morning Bible Study
Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just
at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.
Luke 12 started with Jesus warning His followers to not pick up the
hypocritical ways of the Pharisees.
He warned that if they would learn to have a proper respect and fear of
God, they would not be swayed by a fear of men.
12:8-12 The Spirit’s Work
:8 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man
also will confess before the angels of God.
:8 whoever confesses Me before men
confess – homologeo – to
agree with; to declare openly, speak out freely
Keep in mind, Jesus is saying this in light of warning His disciples about the
hypocrisy of the Pharisees.
He is also saying this in light of being “afraid” of people rather than
One of the results of being a hypocrite, or being afraid is that we fail to
speak up about Jesus when we are given the opportunity.
We are living in a day and age when it is not very “popular” to be a
Some would consider you an uneducated idiot for believing in the Bible and
Just last week Saturday Night Live did a skit making fun of the movie
“God’s Not Dead 2”.
A news article I read on the subject talked about how they
were poking fun at the “myth” of Christian persecution in America.
The next day I read another news article about how Bill
Maher was angry with the current tax system because he didn’t think that
churches should get away with not paying taxes.
The world wants it both ways. On one hand they call the
anti-Christian change in our culture the “myth” of persecution, and on the
other hand they continue to rip against Christianity.
To be honest, our current difficulties as Christians in America is not as
profound as other parts of the world where Christians are actually dying for
Yet the mockery of our faith makes more than a few of us less likely to
share what we believe with others.
In the first couple of centuries of the church, the believers were a bit
The persecutions under the Roman emperors were aimed at getting Christians
to stop saying that “Jesus is Lord” and to say “Caesar is Lord”.
The year was AD 155, and the persecution against
Christians swept across the Roman Empire and came to the city of Smyrna. The
proconsul of Symrna, swept up in this persecution, put out an order that the
Bishop of Symrna, Polycarp, was to be found, arrested, and brought to the
public arena for execution. They found Polycarp and brought him before
thousands of spectators screaming for blood. But the proconsul had compassion
on this man who was almost a hundred years old. He signaled the crowd to
silence. To Polycarp he said, “Curse the Christ and live.” The crowd waited for
the old man to answer. In an amazingly strong voice, he said, “Eighty and six
years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong. How dare I blaspheme the
name of my king and Lord!” With that Polycarp was burned at the stake.
Jesus taught us,
NKJV) —14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill
cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a
lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your
light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your
Father in heaven.
A few weeks ago on the show “Britain’s Got Talent”, a gospel choir named
“100 Voices of Gospel” let their light shine.
Video: Britain’s Got Talent – 100
Voices of Gospel
Doesn’t that make you want to let your light shine?
How do I become bold when I feel so scared at times?
Jesus told His disciples after the resurrection to go to Jerusalem and wait
for the coming of the Holy Spirit …
(Acts 1:8 NKJV) But you
shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be
witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of
I think one of the places to start is learning to yield my
life more and more to the work of the Holy Spirit.
He will give me power to be a witness for Jesus.
:9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
:9 he who denies … will be denied …
denies – arneomai – to
deny; not to accept, to reject
The second word for “denied” adds a prefix (apo) to the word to make is stronger.
If you deny Jesus before men, then you will be strongly denied before the
angels of God.
Grace for failure
If you are feeling like you’re the only one who has denied Jesus, you’re
It was at the Last Supper that Jesus gave Peter a warning:
NKJV) —31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you,
that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and
when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” 33 But he said
to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34 Then He
said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny
three times that you know Me.”
The word Jesus warns Peter with is that “stronger” type of
This sounds like a pretty serious warning.
It would happen later that night after Jesus had been
arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.
First it was a little servant girl that made big strong
brave Peter cower in fear.
Two others would challenge Peter, and two more times he
would deny knowing Jesus.
After the third time, the rooster crowed…
22:61–62 NKJV) —61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the
word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will
deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Here’s what happened to Peter, the man who denied Jesus…
Video: Skit Guys - Grace
Perhaps you feel like you’ve denied Christ or let Him down.
There is forgiveness and grace in Jesus.
:10 “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be
forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be
:10 blasphemes against the Holy Spirit … will not be forgiven
Frankly I think some of the pranks we play on each other are
Seriously, there are a lot of ideas out there as to what the true “unforgiveable”
Some say it’s homosexuality.
Others think it’s divorce.
Others wonder if it’s some kind of addiction, whether drugs, alcohol, or
It’s none of these.
Some things we think are unforgiveable are actually forgivable.
Jesus said you could even speak horrible things against Jesus Christ, and
still one day be forgiven.
This is what happened to a man named Saul of Tarsus who
hated Christians and worked to have them put to death.
9:3–5 NKJV) —3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone
around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul,
Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus,
whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
Saul would go into the city of Damascus, be baptized by a believer
named Ananias, and go on to preach the gospel around the world as the Apostle
Paul would write towards the end of his life:
Timothy 1:13 NKJV) although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent
man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
As bad as Paul was, he found mercy.
Perhaps you’ve wondered if you’ve committed the “unforgiveable” sin,
wondering if God could ever forgive you.
Though the things we might consider to be the “top ten sins” can all be
forgiven, something cannot be forgiven.
Jesus called it the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
What’s the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?
It’s rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit and calling it “rubbish”.
Jesus talked about the important things that the Holy Spirit does:
Conviction of sin
16:8 NLT) And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of
God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.
Pointing to Jesus
15:26 NKJV) “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the
Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
You see my friend we are all sinners.
Our sin has separated us from God.
Yet God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die for our
sins and pay the penalty of our sins for us.
When you finally admit you are a sinner and you ask for
God’s help, God will respond to your cry and forgive you.
The issue isn’t that your sin is too great, the only thing
keeping you back from forgiveness is your own reluctance to ask God for His
Convincing you of these things is the chief work of the Holy Spirit.
You blaspheme the Holy Spirit by rejecting what He’s
telling you to do about Jesus. Until you
humble yourself and ask God for mercy, you won’t be forgiven.
:11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and
authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you
:11 do not worry about how or what you should answer
Having an answer
answer – apologeomai – to
defend one’s self; to give a full account of
We get our word “apologetics” from this word.
Apologetics is the carefully researched answer to the question, “Why do you
Is Jesus saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about apologetics?
No. Jesus isn’t
saying you shouldn’t have an answer, He’s saying not to “worry” about it when
Paul told Timothy that he needed to work hard at knowing what he believed.
Timothy 2:15 NKJV) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does
not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Peter 3:15 ESV) but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being
prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope
that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
The word for “defense” is apologia.
Notice that God is not just concerned about what you say,
but how you say it (with gentleness and respect)
Jesus’ concern is that we not “worry” about what we’re going to say.
He wants us to learn to trust the work of the Holy Spirit to guide us and
Every once in a while I get a little overwhelmed of my job.
I think it is a great responsibility to be your pastor.
I want to not only teach you correctly, but I want to be
sure to be setting the best example I can for you with my life.
The other day I felt like God was reminding me that it’s …
4:6b NKJV) …‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.
I need to continually seek the filling and the leading of
the Holy Spirit.
:12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to
:12 the Holy Spirit will teach you
This isn’t talking about pastors not needing to study and prepare before
I’ve heard more than one pastor say that it was unspiritual to prepare a
message because the Holy Spirit is supposed to teach you what to say.
That would only apply to a pastor if his church is about to put him to
death because Jesus is talking about what to do when you’re persecuted.
Holy Spirit taught
You don’t need to anxious about how you will reply when you are persecuted.
The Holy Spirit wants to work in many ways in our lives.
He wants to teach us.
(1 John 2:27 NKJV) But the
anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need
that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all
things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will
abide in Him.
He also wants to remind us.
For those of us who are getting a little older, the problem isn’t learning
something, but remembering it.
This elderly couple was having trouble with forgetfulness,
so they went to their doctor. He said, “Why don’t you try writing down
everything so you’ll remember.” So one evening, Grandma asked Grandpa if he’d
like some ice cream. “Sure, that’s sounds good, but you’d better write it
down.” “No,” Grandma said. “I can remember that. Would you like chocolate syrup
on top?” “Yes, but you’d better write it down.” “I can remember that. How about
some nuts on top, too?” “OK, but I think you’d really better write it all
down.” “No, I can remember.” So she went into the kitchen and she was in there
a long time. Finally, Grandpa went in and asked her what was taking so long. “I
made you bacon and eggs,” Grandma said. “I told you to write it down!” Grandpa
said. “I wanted toast, too!”
The Holy Spirit wants to help us remember what Jesus has taught us.
14:26 NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My
name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things
that I said to you.
I’ve found this to be true many, many times. I’ll be talking to someone and the Holy
Spirit brings one Scripture after another to mind.
Jesus said we can count on the Holy Spirit doing these things especially
when we are being persecuted.
You see this at work in the lives of the apostles.
Peter and John were arrested for healing a lame man and preaching about
Jesus. They were put on trial before the
Sanhedrin, the religious leaders of Israel.
(Acts 4:7–13 NKJV)
—7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power
or by what name have you done this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of
the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless
man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that
by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised
from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone
which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’
12 Nor is there
salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men
by which we must be saved.” 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived
that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized
that they had been with Jesus.
Peter had something to say because he was filled with the Spirit.
But he also had something to say because he had “been with
I think that if we work at keeping our daily time with
Jesus, and we learn to sit at the feet of Jesus and let Him teach us out of His
Word, we’ll be in a great place for the Spirit to work through us.
Then, when we find ourselves in a place to talk about
Jesus, stop and catch your breath, pray, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. Then open your mouth and carefully begin to