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In Competition With God Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 6, 2020 1:00 am

In Competition With God Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 6, 2020 1:00 am

God does not tolerate competition. He wants to be supreme in our lives, and He made that clear by writing on a tablet of stone the first of the Ten Commandments. It’s commandment number one for a reason. Do you believe these commandments mean something for your life today?

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The reason for us to Jesus longer is one area in which God tolerates no competition wants to be some dream in our lives that clear writing stone. The first of the 10 Commandments it's commandment number one for a reason to stay with us from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is with Dr. Erwin listserv whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Master loser does the First Amendment lay any basis for the other nine will date your absolutely right in the First Amendment is indeed the basis for all the rest of the commandments, thou shalt have no other gods before me. And when we begin to unpack that statement. We realize that God accepts no competition later on were going to learn that we shall love the Lord our God with all of our heart, with all of our soul and with all of our mind and God has to be first. So often we hurry over these commandments and one of the things that is missing in today's church is holiness and I believe that we are living in a day in which holiness the separateness of God. The awesomeness of God is downplayed and yet as we think about God. Holiness is the one attribute that is so often emphasized.

That's why I've written a book entitled why holiness matters. The 10 Commandments Jesus and you. I feel very deeply about this book and for a gift of any amount.

It can be yours.

Ask for why holiness matters, and here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 and now let us open our Bibles to Exodus chapter 20, as we hear directly from God and as we think about this first commandment, its implications are immense. Let's listen carefully.

Back in 1968 I had the privilege of studying in Israel.

That summer, and we went to Lebanon those days it was possible to be in Lebanon without any danger. I'm not sure that that's possible today but it was back then.

And that when we were in Lebanon we were at a place called bailed back about 20 miles inland, perhaps 20, 25 miles from Beirut and there are literally acres and acres of ruins.

There of ancient temples and shrines honoring bail God bail so when we got to the end of the tour. The tour guide said now you have to come around this corner because when you do, you'll get to see the God and of course we are delighted that we could do that because it would be disappointing to have gone that far without seeing Dale and so he was there and he was somewhat smaller than I expected him to be was there staring at us. He was about only 3 feet tall, chiseled out of solid rock, and perhaps three or 4000 years old, but that was the God bail. Now when we talk about idolatry in today's society. Of course, we think to ourselves that nothing seems to be farther removed from us in this and like culture than idolatry in the world today in Western civilization would bow down to this piece of stone bail but I want to remind you.

First of all, that there is a lot of idolatry in the world.

In fact, in India there are 330 million gods and in other cultures they are rife with idolatry and perhaps before this message is over.

We shall see that there is some idolatry in this country to the perhaps of a different nature, but the first commandment that the Lord gave is in verse three of Exodus chapter 20, and you can turn to that passage.

If you wish, that the spirit of God might brand upon your memories. This great and profound statement by God when he says to the people of his day thou shalt have no other dogs before me. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus chapter 20 and verse three.

Why did God make this statement. Is it because God feels insecure. Is it because God doesn't like rivalry. Is it because he thinks that some of the other gods will make him look bad. Is he afraid of the competition.

Why does he say thou shalt have no other gods before me. Will I think there are several reasons why God said that and I want to give you some.

The first reason that that he said, thou shalt have no other gods before me is because of the nature of God, the nature of God, the true God.

God has exclusivity. He is an exclusive God because you see, God has what philosophers call self existence. He has within his own being the cause of his own existence and all other things are dependent upon the cause effect sequence. For example, it is unthinkable to us that anything could ever arrive out of nothing. Everything in our way of thinking needs a cause effect. One of the arguments that Christians give against evolution is that it is absolutely preposterous to suggest that the universe could somehow come from nothing out of nothing. Nothing comes but in the case of God. We are not saying of course that God came from nothing, but we are saying that God has always existed and it never had a beginning and that therefore he exists without a cause or at least he is self cause I don't think about that too long because if you do, you might need more help than were equipped to give you here at the church.

I mean if there's anything that just boggles my mind and I say Lord I'll think about it from time to time but not too long is the fact that God has always existed and is not dependent upon any prior cause for his existence. He always was. The Lord says to Moses, I am that I am he said he is the self existent one I existed because I exist for in the moment you say that you have to say something else in the very same breath, and that is you have to say that God therefore has intrinsic worth intrinsic existence dependent upon no one for his being. Therefore, he has within his own person in forensic value and worth is I will pester all of us are worth something. Aren't we. We have also value we hear today much about the value of personhood.

Yes, but my friend, our value is derived. We are valuable because we were created in the image of God, our value is conferred upon us by God is not inherent to us. It is God granted and that's where our value comes from now is because of this distinction that there are two sins two things that are sin for us that are not at all sin to God one. For example, his jealousy really is envy or jealousy wrong for us. It's because we then are desiring something that we are holding to our self and saying that we have the right to, as if to say, it is somehow our inherent right. We deserve this and other people deserve that. So we envy them because we somehow think that we should have what they have that sin everything that we have is a gift of God. Therefore, we cannot be critical of God give some people greater gifts than he gives us and that so jealousy for us is sin but it is not sin for God. Did you notice the text it says in verse five you shall not worship them or serve them. For I the Lord your God am a jealous God dozens of times in the Bible God is spoken of as being jealous you think God wants to have all of the attention that we should give him but he has the right to it because he is God. He does not pass off onto some other being the cause of his own existence or worthiness. That's why we find in the book of Revelation when we sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. We will say thou art worthy goal, Lord, to receive glory and riches and wisdom and strength and glory and honor and blessing. He is worthy is another sin that we often talk about and that is pride. Pride says I want attention I want people to notice me. I want power. I want control sin. The primary sin is pride fund until basic sin of man is pride is God prideful will it depends how you define the word we sometimes use the word in such a negative way that it would be wrong to ascribe it to God, lest we ascribe sin to him. But does God want all the glory. Does he want all the on earth does he want all the attention the answer is yes and he says I will not share my glory with another. I am an exclusive God. I am a God that desires your worship, your praise, your adoration and you shall love me with your heart, your mind, your strength, your soul and all that you are why can God say that because he deserves it. He has within his own person. All of the resources for his own existence. He is the cause of all things. He is the great and infinite and perfect spirit in whom all things have their source support and an and therefore he deserves it.

That's why he says thou shalt have no other gods beside me know what Paul said regarding pride, he said, who make it. The two differ from another or what has thou that thou has not received, and if thou hast received it.

Why do style glory. As if thou hast received did not. That's the sin of pride among us as human beings we receive what God has given to us and we glory as if it's ours.

So God says.

First of all, thou shall have no other gods before me.

Because of the nature of God and God is an exclusive being to him alone is honor and praise worthy. Second, because of the nature of man.

The nature of man. Man is in rebellion against God. Remember Lucifer. The Bible says in the 14th chapter of the book of Isaiah and also in Ezekiel 28 that there was a being called to Lucifer and one day is one of God's created creatures he said to himself I will be like of the most high.

That's what he said.

He said I want to be God. He is a creature all of his strength is derived its conferred, but he wants to use the strength and the ability that God gave him to stand in opposition against God, and of course in the garden of Eden he remember what happened when Lucifer shows up unannounced Adam and Eve, he says in the day that you each of this fruit.

He said you shall be as God not God's. As it is in the King James version. It's the Greek word, or the Hebrew word Elohim, which is a plural word for God. But it is Elohim. It is God so he says to Adam and Eve, you shall be as God, knowing good from evil friend ever since that time, man has had a desire to be equal with God, and to take over. That's what the Bible says there is none that seeks after God there is none that is righteous, no not one drop of Lucifer's poison has fallen upon every human heart and every human being wants to slither away from God. Every single one now this is why man is so prone to idolatry. Because you see on the one hand, he needs a God he has been created by God. He has a vacuum in his heart that can only be filled by God. On the other hand, he does not want the Lord to God Jehovah to rule over him, so he establishes within his mind. Some of his own gods that seem to be more controllable, more predictable and more in keeping with what he desires to do, Julian Huxley, for example, on a television program some time ago made this astounding statement. He said the reason that we accepted Darwinism without a lot of proof is because we did not want God to interfere with our sexual mores will that's interesting. So that's why Darwinism was accepted without a whole lot of proof.

In other words, at root man was saying, I will not have the Lord to God to rule over me now in the history of the Jewish nation. You know they were so prone to idolatry, always turning to whatever God they happened to to be with and whatever pagan God was there because there's something within man that says I want a God who can. I can control and at least he is in harmony with some of my aspirations and desires. As for the true God. We are not sure about him is an amazing passage in the first chapter of Habakkuk. It says that the wicked Chaldeans they go out and they take a nap and they catch fish. Actually, it's referring to the armies of other nations, but then it says that they burn incense to their nets. See, that's the way man is instead of giving the glory to God who gave you the ability to create to the net or thanking God for the fish that you are able to catch it is just like man to stop short of giving glory to God and even burn incense to his own nap and so you have people today who are willing to thank the sweat of their own right hand there willing to think the government they are willing to think their parents. They are willing to think their employer there willing to thank anybody except God from whom all blessings flow the nature of man to be in rebellion against God is 1/3 reason why God gave this command and that is the nature of idolatry, the nature of the of God that he is exclusive. There is none other like him the nature of man he is in rebellion seeking idols. But what is the nature of idolatry, the nature of idolatry is always to debase.

First of all, idolatry is a tremendous insult to God turn your Bibles to the 115th Psalm for just a moment. Psalm 115. Here's a discussion of idols and what they are like and that can you think of how insulting it is to God for people to pray to idols.

It begins in Psalm 115 by talking about the true God. In verse three. Our God is in the heavens. He does whatever he pleases.

Now notice what it says about the idols. Speaking of the heathen there idols are silver and gold.

The work of man's hands.

They have miles, but they cannot speak they of eyes, but they cannot see the bail didn't see us that day. By the way, he didn't say hi and say will greet all the folks in Chicago. It says they have ears but they cannot hear they have noses. Obviously they need a nose but I can smell they have hands but they can feel they have feet, but they can walk they cannot make a sound with their throat and those who make them will become like them.

You imagine the insult was to God, to have Israel running around worshiping these kinds of idols turning away from the true God. Notice what God says in chapter 20 of the book of Exodus. He says I am the Lord God that brought the out of the land of Egypt, out of the land of slavery and of the Lord says I'm the one that did all that and the people turn around and give credit to a God that can't see, speak, smell, walker act, and you know my friend.

This is pastor looser.

I think we all have to confess that our hearts are idol factories. I believe that it was John Calvin who said that first but it certainly is true. We are constantly trying to find an idol, especially one who agrees with us. If you wonder about that reference I made to bail.

It's based on a story, 1968 when I was able to visit Lebanon and we were in bail back where the God bail was worshiped and we actually saw the God bail chiseled out of stone and all idols are that way they are unable to help us in the time of our need and yet we gravitate toward our own idols.

Often times, to the detriment of the worship of God. If you'd like to have this series on the 10 Commandments for a gift of any amount. This series of messages can be yours. Here's what you do you go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. I'll be giving you that phone number again but I need to say that the 10 Commandments are like anchors they are like pillars and we need to be able to understand them in depth. It isn't enough to simply be able to recite the 10 Commandments, but rather to understand how they do go to the depths of our heart and they help us in all of our relationships, but most importantly, they remind us that God must always be first. So ask for this series on the 10 Commandments for a gift of any amount RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and from my heart to yours. Thank you for the many who support this ministry because together we are making a difference. Thanks to you running to win is now heard in more than 20 different countries.

We always desire that God receive the glory. It's time once again for you to ask pastor looser question about the Bible or the Christian life listener named Julie and her husband need some wisdom about tithing in view of their problematic pastor.

She writes were in a predicament about what to do with archive because our church is going through major problems, mainly the new pastor has been acting very on biblically.

He has denounced church members and obtained a court order to prevent them from entering our church because they've questioned his actions and voiced their opposition. These denounced members have not physically threatened him in any way. I think he is paranoid and has psychological problems. My husband and I have tithed all our lives, but we don't want the pastor to use Church funds for such legal fees so we recently opened a separate bank account where we are now depositing our time. If I know the tithe belongs to God and we are giving to God and not to the pastor but we cannot in our conscience support a pastor who was doing evil, with God's money at the same time, we feel we cannot just leave the church and leave behind other hurting fellow Christians.

We need to stay and help resolve this with our church so we are thinking of holding the tithe until the churches problems get resolved or giving that tithe to other Christian organizations. I would really appreciate your insight. My husband and I want to do what is right in God's eyes. Well, thank you so much for asking this question and the first of all, my heart goes out to you. It's very difficult when a church goes through the kind of experiences that you've outlined, it's hurtful to the body and I do pray for reconciliation for healing and for a resolution of this dispute but I think in answer to your question.

You've answered it yourself when you say we cannot in our conscience support a pastor who is doing evil, with God's money. The Bible says that whatever is not of faith is sin. So if you cannot in good conscience give your money because you think it's going to be misused.

I think that that's wise, I think that Christians ought to investigate how their funds are being used now that doesn't mean that you have to agree with everything that your church does before you give. Obviously, if it is a church that is committed to integrity. You can give even if some of those funds are used in a way with which you would disagree, but if there is a blatant misuse of funds for things with which you disagree and that are even on biblical I think it's fine for you to withhold your tithe withhold it. Keep it.

Ask God to give you wisdom as to what to do with it. Possibly the church will resolve these issues, then you'll be able to take your tithe and give all of that tithe to the ministry of your church. If the issues are never resolved and if you eventually leave the church because of the fact that they aren't resolved. Then, of course, pray to God and ask him where he would have you give it. I think you're being wise to withhold it at this time. Thank you Julie and thank you Dr. listserv about wise counsel. If you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask pastor looser or call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614.

It's in the nature of man to worship something. Even deities made of wood and stone. Nowadays many worship the media mother Earth. Even their electronic toys.

God makes it clear that he will not tolerate any articles next time I'm running to win why the First Amendment requires nothing replace God in our allegiance will turn again to Exodus 20 and gain further understanding unwise for many, immorality is vital in their lives, running to win is sponsored by the Moody church

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