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A Strengthened Heart Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
April 7, 2022 1:00 am

A Strengthened Heart Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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April 7, 2022 1:00 am

Children need love, acceptance, and security but many of us have felt abandoned. When Jesus discussed his own departure from earth, He promised to send the Holy Spirit to provide spiritual strength for each child of God. In this message, we explore the ministries of the Spirit that Jesus did and continues to do. Jesus hasn’t left us alone.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Kerwin Baptist
Kerwin Baptist Church
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Running the race of life takes strength, and the strength we need is more than natural energy. Jesus knew we would need supernatural strength and promised to send the Holy Spirit to provide spiritual energy for every child of God, even today.

Stay with us. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, as we look again into John chapter 14 to learn about what happens when Jesus has your heart, tell us what today's focus will be. Dave, you know, when I contemplate the words of Jesus, I have to say that I pray that I'll be able to get my mind around the wonderful promises that he has made. Just think of this. He's saying, I'm going to depart, but I'm sending the blessed Holy Spirit of God, and he will take my place.

Think of the advantage. Jesus could be only at one place at one time, and now the Holy Spirit was going to be everywhere in every single believer around the world. Jesus did not leave us alone.

He didn't leave us as orphans. I've written a book entitled Prepare Your Heart for an Uncertain Future, Final Words of Warning and Comfort from Jesus to His Followers. I think you'd be very encouraged reading this book, especially at a time when our hearts are divided.

They are being torn into so many different directions. Simply go to for a gift of any amount. The book can be yours or call us at 1-888-218-9337. And now for some words of comfort. I want to begin today with a question. When you were growing up as a child, did you feel loved and accepted and secure, or did you feel abandoned? I believe it's Bruce Wilson who was abandoned on a park bench by his mother when he was five or six years old.

And he said that he stayed on the bench for two days before anyone came by to ask him whether he had a problem, never saw his mother again. He has a ministry today in New York to treat children. I remember being in that orphanage in Romania and seeing those little children. Fortunately, it was a Christian orphanage, so they were well taken care of. But I do remember a little boy who at Christmas said, I can't eat this chocolate bar because my sister is in a different orphanage and she needs to get at least half of it. I know that they were grown men. But the disciples during the time of Christ really were beginning to feel abandoned when Jesus kept telling them, I'm going to go away.

I'm going to leave you. And they began to think, you know, this is the one who was there. We were there with him when he stilled the storm and when he fed the multitude. And we were there when he answered his critics with wit and with logic. And whenever we were with Jesus, somehow we knew that everything would be okay. And now he was saying, I'm going. And so Jesus had to give them some reassurance. And he said in the 14th chapter of the Gospel of John, the passage that I want you to turn to, he said in chapter 14 verse 15, if you love me, you will obey what I command and I will ask the Father and he will give you another counselor to be with you forever.

And now I'm going to skip for the moment to verse 18. I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you. No chance that I'm going to leave you on a park bench and then walk away and you never see or hear from me again. Not going to treat you that way. I will come to you. Jesus isn't referring to the second coming when he's going to come.

No, no. He is referring, actually, to the coming of the Holy Spirit. You see, it's the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to substitute for the physical presence of Jesus in our lives.

You say, yeah, but Pastor Lutzer, that's easy to say, but it's not the same. It's not like being there when he was feeding the multitudes and stilling the storm and walking in Nazareth. It's not like it.

Oh, yeah? It's not exactly like it. I'll agree with that, but it is certainly much like it, the ministry of the Spirit.

You'll notice that Jesus said in verse 16, and now I shall refer to verse 16, I will ask the Father and he will give you another counselor. In Greek, there are two ways to use that word, another. One word means that I will give you another one which may only be similar. Let's suppose, for example, I happen to drive a Chevy, Chevy car, and not a motorcycle, but a Chevy car, and let's suppose that it isn't working and it's in the garage, and I say to somebody, you know, I need another vehicle.

That would give you a lot of latitude. You could give me any car that worked. Could be a Ford. It could be one of these sports utility vehicles.

I'd really look good tooling around in one of those, wouldn't I? Could be any one of those because all that I'm asking for is another vehicle, but there is in Greek another word for the word another, which means identical. If I used that word, if I said, I want you to get me another one, you'd have to get me another Chevy. That's the word that Jesus uses here. He says, when I depart, I will send you another helper who is like I am. Perhaps not identically like, because the Trinity must constantly be distinguished, but he is going to substitute for my presence in your life.

In fact, this comforter is going to be with all of you simultaneously and indwell everyone. You know, I think we overemphasize sometime the desire that all of us have to walk where Jesus walked in Israel, or as Pastor Schwartz always says, to run where Jesus walked. All of us, I remember studying there in 1968, and in those days there wasn't a lot of archaeological work, and it was difficult to say Jesus walked on these stones. There were a few places where you could say that. Today there are many places you can say, with authority, we're down here now to the period of Christ, and he walked on these stones and these steps, and we all want to say, I was right where Jesus was. In fact, my wife and I were in Stratford, England not too long ago, and we went to where Shakespeare was, and I remember hearing about a man who was so in love with Shakespeare that there was a bench there where he apparently would sit with his girlfriend that this man sat on every part of the bench, inch by inch, inch by inch, inch by inch. He wanted to say, I want to sit where Shakespeare sat.

I suppose this guy was normal in other ways, I don't know. We'd all like to be able to say I sat where Jesus sat. My dear friend, may I remind you today that Jesus said, it is good for you that I go away, because if I don't go away, I cannot send the Holy Spirit to you, but when I send the Holy Spirit to you, you will find the continuation of my presence by the Spirit simultaneously multiplied. When he was here on earth, he couldn't be in Galilee and Jerusalem at the same time.

Today he's in Jerusalem, he's in Namibia, he's in Chicago and Atlanta and all over the world in his believers simultaneously, and he could not do that with a body. So he said, it's good for you that I go away, because if I don't go away, the new ministry of the Holy Spirit can't happen, because the ascension was necessary for the coming of the Spirit, as we shall see in a moment. So Jesus is saying, I will come to you. The Spirit will take over where I've left off.

So here's my agenda in the next few moments. What we'd like to do is to look at those ministries of the Spirit that Jesus did and continued in the life of his disciples and how those ministries continue and multiply now that he is not with us physically but has sent another helper who is like unto him to be with us and to be in us. And what we're going to do at the end of the message is talk to you about experiencing this Holy Spirit so that you will not only know this intellectually, but you'll be able to leave today and you'll be able to face Monday a little differently than you faced last Friday.

That's what we're going to do. First of all, I want you to see that the first ministry that continues is that the Holy Spirit is to us a living helper. Now I'm back again in verse 16.

I will ask the Father and he will give you another counselor. And if you are acquainted with the King James Version, where I did most of my memory work, it will be another comforter. Another translation says, the NASB says, I will send you another helper. Another translation says, I will send you an advocate. And you say, why don't these scholars get together and figure out what the meaning of this word is and finally translate it right?

Which word is it? That's what you want, isn't it? I can see you shaking your head. You're saying, yeah. Listen, that's why you come to church.

Keep coming. All right, Phil. The answer is it's all of the above. The word paraclete, para means alongside of, kaleo means to call. The noun is paraclete. That means somebody who is called alongside of someone else. And that person, that companion, may have many different functions and ministries. That's why, bless God, the ministry of the Spirit can't be limited to one word.

It is really all of these words and none of the translations is incorrect and all of them have truth in them. What Jesus is saying is, in your need, I am sending you the Spirit who is called alongside of you so that he might be able to represent me and be me in your life, if you please. And in so doing, we have the privilege of being able to walk this life with Christ by means of the presence and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew that there was no way these disciples could do world evangelism without the ministry of the Spirit.

You can't do evangelism in Israel or in North Africa or in Chicago without the presence and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus said, he who is in you is greater than he who is outside of you, he who is in the world. And as a result of that, the Spirit of God is going to come along and to be a helper, to stand with us, to teach us to pray because he sometimes prays for us and in us with groanings that are too deep for words. And whenever you need help, this is a companion who is already standing beside you. He is the helper. Let me say also that, let's make this more personal.

He's not only a helper, he is a living companion. I want you to notice what Jesus says in verse 17. This is the Spirit of truth, he says, the world cannot accept him because it neither sees him or knows him, but you know him.

And now notice, and he lives with you, but will be in you. That little phrase, which I hope you're looking at in the text, that little phrase is one of the best shorthand explanations for the difference between the ministry of the Old Testament, Holy Spirit's ministry, and the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit of God was with people.

There were some people that he indwelt, but not all believers were indwelt in the Old Testament. Sometimes the Holy Spirit came upon people for specific ministries and then he left them. It was a different kind of work of the Spirit, but Jesus said, he's with you. But when I ascend to the Father, I will send him with a new ministry of being in you. Now keep in mind that the Holy Spirit was here before he came because he's God, and he will be here after he leaves because he's God.

He occupies the whole universe and we'll explain the Trinity in just a moment, but keep this in mind. What Jesus is saying is it's going to be a brand new ministry of the Spirit. The Spirit of God is now going to dwell within you. Now I have to ask you a theological question. Is it possible to have the Holy Spirit of God dwell in you without the Father dwelling in you and without the Son dwelling in you? Actually not, because there is only one Spirit that pervades the whole universe.

If there were three spirits, there would be three Gods. So you can't have the Holy Spirit of God in you without having Christ in you, without having the Father in you. Look at what Jesus Christ says to Judas, not Iscariot.

But Judas asks the question, why, verse 22, but Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world? Jesus replied, if anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him. We will come to him and, underline the phrase, we will make our home with him.

I'm going to test your memory, those of you who have been here in this series of messages. When I was preaching on John, chapter 14, verse 2, I pointed something out, that when it says, in my Father's house, there are many dwelling places, the only other place that that word appears in all the New Testament is right here in verse 23. We will make our dwelling place with him. I find this remarkable that, first of all, when we go to heaven, we are going to be dwelling with God. But now, until we get to heaven, God comes to dwell with us. We're going to be in that dwelling place, but he says, until you get there, I'm going to be in this dwelling place, namely with you. And Jesus said, my Father will come to him, and I will come to him, and together the Trinity will make their abode in him. What a statement. What a statement.

You have God in you if you're a believer. Second Corinthians, chapter 6, and I love to quote these kinds of verses when I'm under the stars. You know, when you see places, you know there are places in the world where it gets very dark, and it looks as if the stars are just out there like that. And by the way, did you know that there are trillions and billions?

The other day I was sitting on a plane next to a guy who makes lenses for the Hubble telescope, and he said that recently they pointed the Hubble telescope in one direction only for 11 full hours without moving it into what they thought was basically black space, and they discovered 1,500 new galaxies that they did not know existed. I mean, isn't that something? I mean, I said to him, you know, God just threw a party when he created these stars. I mean, God just said, hey, a trillion here, a couple trillion there, oh, 10 trillion over there. He just threw a party.

But now listen to this. I'm not making this up. Second Corinthians says, God hath said I will dwell in them, and I will walk in them, and I shall be their God, and they shall be my people.

Wow! Jesus said, by the ministry of the Spirit, the Spirit will come, the Father will come, I will come. We will make our abode with Him. And where does He dwell?

Right here in me, in you, the dwelling place of God. And God is personal. I mean, I'm talking about living companionship. I mean, how personal is the Spirit? He's as personal as a friend whom you might invite to go with you to a shopping mall.

That personal. And He is with you at all times. He's with you when you ride the subway. He's with you when you drive in a Chevy.

He'd better be. And He's even with you, yeah, I'll finish it when you drive a motorcycle. But could I remind you bikers that are here that angels that guard you when you drive officially retire at 65? Could I remind you of that?

The Spirit is with us. I know that you may think that this was strange, but when I went to seminary, the first time when I arrived in Dallas, coming from, you know, the hinterland of Canada, I was very lonely. I know I shouldn't have been because I was in my 20s, but just accept the fact that I got there early before anyone else. And for those first few days and even the first couple of weeks, I was lonely. Later on, of course, I made tons of friends and it was okay. But I would just be so lonely. I finally learned that loneliness is a terrifying thing where you think that, you know, you're kind of alone here and you don't have anyone who really cares about you because nobody knows you and you don't connect. So sometimes, and I had a roommate and he and I just never really bonded.

He was on a different trajectory all together. But sometimes I would come into the room when he wouldn't be there and I'd just throw myself down in the presence of God and I would just pray and spill out my heart to God. And I had such an overwhelming sense of the presence of God that I said to myself, I could live alone all my life if God were always this real. Now I'm not lonely anymore. Since that time, I had the good sense to marry a lovely wife. We have three children.

We have a grandchild and another one on the way. So I'm not lonely. But the ministry of the Spirit now takes on a different character. Now the Spirit ministers to me in terms of guidance, in terms of wisdom, in terms of dealing with hidden sins and protection from the enemy. But the same Spirit, but He's that to me because that's what I need.

That's the Helper I now need to be alongside of me. Listen up, those of you who are grieving, maybe because of a lost partner or because of a lost marriage or a lost child. Listen up. The Spirit of God to you is what? He is, as the King James says, He is a Comforter to you. Those of you who are seeking guidance, you say, I don't know what to do with my life.

The world is so confusing and my choices are so few or my choices are so many. To you, He is the Counselor. To those of you who aren't sure of your salvation, you're not sure whether you have savingly believed on Christ. When you savingly believe, the Holy Spirit witnesses with your spirit that you are a child of God. The Spirit of God takes on the ministry of witnessing to you and to your spirit.

And if you're fearful and you don't want to face tomorrow because there are all kinds of things that you don't want to deal with and you're just saying, I'm tired of this life. The Holy Spirit of God comes alongside. He is your companion.

He walks with you and the issue is not how much courage you have, but the companion that stands with you and walks with you through the darkness. That's what the Spirit does, different ministries. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. The Holy Spirit is a companion and He's also a teacher.

My friend, I don't know where you're at today, but I need to hear these truths. And even though I've heard them before and of course, preached them, I need to hear them again and again, reminding my own heart of the promises of Jesus. The very fact that the blessed Holy Spirit of God is within us to guide us to be our counselor, to be a replacement in a sense, if we could say it this way, for Jesus to take His place in our lives. We often think to ourselves, if only I could have been back there when Jesus was on earth.

Well, we have something better. We take Jesus wherever we go because His blessed Holy Spirit of God is with us. What a marvelous Savior. You know, in this day of anxiety, when there's so many unanswered questions, I've written a book that I think speaks especially to our hearts. It's entitled, Prepare Your Heart for an Uncertain Future, Final Words of Warning and Comfort from Jesus to His Followers. As you might guess, this book is based essentially on the last words of Jesus in the upper room. I believe that it will bring calmness to your heart. Use it as a devotional. Read a chapter a day and I think that each time your heart will be quickened with encouragement and faith.

For a gift of any amount, it can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to That's or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Ask for Prepare Your Heart for an Uncertain Future. Subtitle, Final Words of Warning and Comfort from Jesus to His Followers.

Take the time to remember what Jesus had to say and He said these words with us in mind. Well, I'd like to give you that contact info again. Go to or if you prefer, you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. As a matter of fact, you can pick up the phone and you can call right now. Call 1-888-218-9337.

Thanks in advance for helping us. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. As a Christian, you need never feel alone. Next time, more about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life and in mine, and why Jesus made sure we'd have His continuing presence as we carry out the ministry God has for us. Thanks for listening. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-10 15:18:49 / 2023-05-10 15:27:47 / 9

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