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Rescued From Misplaced Faith

Moody Church Hour / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2020 1:00 am

Rescued From Misplaced Faith

Moody Church Hour / Erwin Lutzer

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August 2, 2020 1:00 am

The value of placing your faith in something is all about the object of your faith, and not about the faith itself. You can believe that an idol is God, but that doesn’t change the fact that the idol is made of stone. Faith in the wrong place is worse than no faith at all, because it creates false confidence. And when it comes to salvation, false confidence is deadly.

 Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)

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Think of this value of placing your faith in something is all about the object of your faith and not about the faith itself.

You can believe that an idol is God, but that does not change the fact that the Bible is made of stone faith in the wrong place is worse than no faith at all because it creates false confidence and when it comes to salvation.

The last thing we need is false confidence.

Stay with us from Chicago.

We welcome you to The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin lutes are today we continue a series on rescued what God did to save us after our worship music.

Dr. lutes, or will turn to Romans chapter 4 as he speaks on our being rescued from misplaced faith. Pastor looks or comes now to open our service of worship. When you join me as we pray together and then we shall stand to sing father we pray today that you might open our eyes and our hearts in ways that we did not expect leaders during this worship service, we ask.

And may our own hearts be so open to you that we might hear your voice. May our praise be honorable to you because we do, focused in the name of Jesus and they are of obedience to you. Be quick and eager and we love you in Jesus name, amen.

The I value the final idol with me yet auditing is a great letter from son Lance Lacey. Please read aloud with me in the ballpoint disease God's holy word braised and no praise that all my song I would raise that no ice no less than a I always seem to break is my God, why I have my being blessed is he losing now is in the God of Jacob who is all he seemed in order is God who made heaven and earth.

They see all that is in then who keeps faith. For whatever who executes justice by their breasts O'Keefe's food to the hungry that almost sets the prisoners free day Larson up in the eyes of the blind that lives does who are bowed down that God loves the righteous. They know what is all that is sojourners EPUB all their we don't and the fatherless, but their way other weekend he brings to dream day long will reign forever. Yet God assigned him to all generations braised to know faith can destroy you. Faith can destroy some of you are too young to remember that Tylenol tampering episode place right here in our area back in 19 an evil man, a criminal went into our drugstores and took some Tylenol capsules and fill them with cyanide and then put them back on the shelf people bottlenose bottles or I should say jars of Tylenol capsules and as a result, seven people died not one thing about them is that they had great faith. I mean after all the labels that Tylenol so they had faith that this was going to help them.

They had no idea that it was going to kill them or two lessons that I think this teaches us about faith.

The first lesson is simply this, that faith in itself has no power. Faith can't save anybody from time to time you hear well you know he's a person of faith and it doesn't matter what he believes but but he believes all I want to know exactly what you believe because faith itself. All the faith in the world cannot take cyanide and turn it back into Tylenol. But there's a second lesson and it is really even more frightening in some regards to letters that sometimes the truth faith.

A true faith looks very much like a false one. I don't know exactly what cyanide looks like, but I suppose it looks something like Tylenol. You look at the two and it's very difficult to tell the difference. And that's the way faith in Jesus Christ is there. Those you know who have a faith that saves and then there are others who don't.

But outwardly they appear to be very much the same and something that ought to give us some chills. Jesus said this back in Matthew chapter 7, you need not turn to it all.

Simply read it to you. He says on that day many will say to me Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name and do many mighty deeds in your name that I will declare to them, I never knew you depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. I want to say well it's unbelievable that these people didn't have faith. They were not some relaxing days ago people.

I mean they were in Christian ministry. They were on television. Perhaps casting out demons and Jesus will say I never knew you, and yet they were doing it in Jesus name. Scary. Imagine that the door to heaven closed in their faces and they thought for sure that those pearly gates would swing open to welcome them false faith that looks like the real thing, but I'd like to do today is to give you some characteristics of the real thing I do that for a couple of reasons. First of all because it's very important that you and I examine ourselves to see whether or not we are in the faith, and then for another reason.

Also so we begin to understand the gospel better and I have an answer for some people who may question why Christianity is so special. How relevant is this tell you how relevant it is in my life. It's as relevant as Friday afternoon I caught a cab to come home from somewhere and on the way. I just casually asked the man to tell me about where he was in his spiritual journey and we had a wonderful conversation but now it's time for my suitcase to be taken out of the trunk and it is there and he says to me, will you know what I figure that all the religions essentially say the same thing mainly be good now. I've got 30 seconds. No time for a sermon at this. I will let me give you a sermon as to why Christianity is special. No, no, no, were talking 30 seconds you say what did you say to him. I'm not going to tell you right now but I will in a few moments the passage of Scripture. I want you to turn to is the fourth chapter of Romans Romans chapter 4 and remember Paul's point in the first three chapters and I preached two messages just essentially on verse 20 of chapter 3 where it says in Romans 324 by the works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

Could it be any clearer that nobody is saying because he's righteous. Nobody is saved because these moral nobody is saved because he lives good life because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight. Now Paul is speaking here is he writes this letter to the Roman Christians to a diverse group. There are those who are Gentiles, but then there also Jewish people and they have a tendency to say to themselves, where special because were called of God, which is true, they were called of God, but they began to depend upon their calling. They began to think to themselves, we have circumcision and I as they said to Jesus, we have Abraham for our father and Jesus admonished them. You may say that you have Abraham to your father, but God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham what's going on now in the text. What Paul is going to do is to go back to Abraham and show whether or not Abraham was also justified by works or whether he was indeed also justified by faith. And that's why the fourth chapter opens because Paul is knowing that if he convinces the leader that Abraham the great father of the nation was declared righteous by God by faith, then who are we to argue with salvation by faith alone through grace alone.

So Paul begins send them this is what he says here in the book of Romans chapter 4 verse one what shall we say, was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh. For if Abraham were justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say Abraham believed God did and it was counted to him as righteousness.

I told you I was going to give you the characteristics of some true faith. So first of all true faith believes specific promises. It believes specific promises that this passage is that really quoted from the 15th chapter of Genesis in Genesis chapter 15 God takes Abraham outside and says look at the stars. Can you count them. No, so shall your seed be. In fact, you personally will have a son and from his seed.

There is going to be a multitude are you kidding me.

Abraham was 99 years old and Sarah was 90. As we'll see in a moment way beyond obviously childbearing age Abraham. The Bible says in the fourth chapter. Here he looked at his body and he saw it as good as dad sexually. Dad and the barrenness of Sarah's womb move, who never had a child like you kidding, but Abraham believed God, and God's is unaccounted to you for righteousness.

You're going to be saved, not because your moral though it's good to be moral here can be saved, not because you're special, but you are special, but that's not it. You believed my specific promise that is not a promise that I believe God is never said to me that my seed is going to be as great as the stars in the sky innumerable that's for sure. Sometimes as children we used to sing every promise in the book is mine. That's not true.

There were some given to Abraham and others that don't apply to us. But when you and I need to do is to believe our promises promises for us when it comes to salvation, and the New Testament is filled with those kinds of promises. He who believes on me said Jesus has everlasting life, and he who believes, not the son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. Now there's a promise you can take all the way to the bank yesterday I was reading the 22nd chapter of Revelation. The last chapter in the Bible and the Spirit and the bride say, come.

And let him who is the thirst, and whoever wills let them come and take of the water of life freely. Now there's something that you can depend upon, namely the free offer of the gospel to whoever is willing to believe you have to know the promise. You have to know the gospel in order to believe it. Step number one you need a specific promise. Step number two it's very important is that faith saving faith understands both law and grace. Or we could say it understands the matter of sin and grace. And this is where many people get tripped up but let's look at the text Paul again says that I'm really quoting here verse two for if Abraham were justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. You can boast and I've met people and you have to continually boast they boast about.

I'm better than so-and-so and I'm as good as those hypocrites in the church and on and on.

They boasted they may have a right to boast that they can boast before God, because God doesn't accept their righteousness. That's the problem, and so the person who believes in Jesus needs to understand that it's not a matter of me contributing to my salvation. It's a matter of receiving what God is done. It's something like a farmer that I read about who was collecting a lot of money and keeping it at home keeping it in his sock as the saying goes, not knowing that in his country. That money had been totally canceled and there was new money printed and yet he kept on with the same money and then he brought it to purchase some oxen and lo and behold it was worthless. He wrote a letter to one of the leaders in the country explain this dilemma, the leader says your money is worthless. It cannot be accepted, but I will give you the money to purchase those oxen because I think you're an honest that's what God says in all those good things that you hear about people doing. It's wonderful. They do them but when he gets to heaven. It's all canceled. God has to do it in this by the way, leads me to that taxi driver what I said to him in the 30 seconds that I had is this take all the religions of the and you will find that every one of them is based on works righteousness works righteousness. You do this you follow this you follow that. But there can never be any assurance that you had done enough. Christianity says that Jesus did it all for us.

So it's not what I'm doing for God. It's what God did for Jesus that's the gospel.

Every religion of the world overestimates human goodness, and underestimate divine holiness and we must understand that now in the rest of this section, Paul goes on and this is his argument, and I'm going to summarize five or six very quickly for you. Here is the fundamental issue that people in his day, asked the Jewish community well were circumcised. Circumcision is a sign of the covenant, and therefore this is proof that we belong to God because we have circumcision in the Gentiles, don't, here's Paul's argument for the next five or six verses here in Romans chapter what Paul says is this that Abraham was justified by faith. And then it was for teen years later that God gave them circumcision so the whole point is this that he really is the father of us all is the text says when it comes to faith and the reason is because he was just I before God justified before God long before he was circumcised. So if circumcision comes as a result, circumcision comes as a result order brings about salvation. That just doesn't wash. He says circumcision is a sign of faith that it is not an indication of faith is not way. Salvation comes Paul here is arguing for a message that you and I need to hear that rituals never say, and yet I need people to say what I was baptized a Christian, I have a certificate that says I was baptized a Christian. I need people who say that I participated in the sacraments or in one way or another. I did this ritual.

I did this prayer and and the Paul is saying none of that is the means of salvation. These may be expressions of salvation and a little bit. We're all going to be able to participate in what we call the Lord's supper as we participate.

We are saying do this. As Jesus said in remembrance of me. It does not say, but it is an act of worship because we have been saved through faith, so the answer to saving faith is. You need to understand sin and grace that Abraham was not justified simply because he was a good man. He was justified because he believed God's promise. Parenthesis is a because all the other religions are based on works or there are people who are absolutely convinced that their religion is true they are willing to kill others to prove that their religion is true and be killed, what they do not have. Please understand this what they do not have his personal assurance that when they die they will go to heaven because there's something with in them that tells them that that's assurance is impossible because after all, after all, that assurance is something that they cannot attain to Christianity says that when you believe on Christ. There is an assurance and that assurance is the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the ministry of the Spirit gives us that deep settled peace that Jesus paid it all and that we belong to him. Romans chapter 8 for as many as are led by the spirit of God. They are the sons of God and the spirit cries within our heart and the father God, you are mine and I am your child and thank you that you have adopted me into your family. There's 1/3 characteristic and that is that to saving faith always is a growing faith. For this I want you to look at the latter part of the fourth chapter, you'll notice that it says in verse 18 and hope he believed against hope that he should become the father of many nations because he was told. So your offspring shall be. He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dad since he was about 100 when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb faith. I should put it this way, faith, true faith is both an act and the process. It is an act, God had told Abraham many times you're going to be great.

I'm going to multiply your seed in so far as we know Abraham was not justified because he didn't believe it, but there in the 15th chapter of Genesis. He finally really believed God before his faith was perhaps somewhat shallowly he heard what God was saying but there in the 15th chapter at least he knew that what God was telling him was the truth, and he believed in God. He believed in a God who could do the impossible credited to him for righteousness. That was the active faith that saved Abraham but that was the end of his life of faith. Was it years later Isaac is born in accordance with God's promises. And now he's the son of promise and God says to Abraham I want you to take him to Mount Moriah and sacrifice and what's going on there. That's a longer story, of course, God didn't want him to be sacrificed in God.

Never let it happen, but God is saying, Abraham, you know this business of the seed you believe me once, namely that you were as good as dad and Sarah is good as dad decades way past the age of bearing children but yet you trusted me that I could actually raise you from the dead. Can you trust me that I will raise Isaac from the dead.

If you sacrifice it. Bible says in the book of Hebrews that when Abraham went on to Mount Moriah. He believed God was even able to raise him from the day. No wonder the text says he didn't struggle with faith.

Well that's not exactly what it says he did struggle with faith. You know the whole story about his relationship with agar Abraham's faith was imperfect but as you look at his life.

You see the S founding faith he had that he had heard from God and that God was going to fulfill his promises. What an amazing story and you and I know that we come to saving faith in Christ. It is an act and then God keeps bring us more trials more trials more trials. Why to test our faith to develop it to give us such confidence that even if we should be put to death for our faith, we can endure it because as the text says regarding Abraham. He was absolutely convinced that what God said God could perform. I like to nail this down and quickly give you three facts about faith that will help you determine whether or not you really believed in Jesus, or whether you're just going along with the crowd and your family. Listen carefully, because I believe God is been preparing some of you to hear this message so careful. First of all, it's very obvious that the object of faith is much more important than the amount that you have Jesus that even a little bit of faith if it is placed in the right thing can bring you great benefits a little bit of faith in the true Jesus is much better than absolute confidence in the wrong Jesus and this is maybe why those folks were barred out of heaven. When Jesus said I will say to you I never knew you even though you know you cast out demons, and all that they were believing in a wrong Paul says in second Corinthians chapter 11. He says I'm afraid that some of you are being misled by another Jesus. We don't know exactly what that Jesus was like, but we know it was so much like the true one that Paul feared the people wouldn't be able to tell the difference seen on any Jesus will do you have today.

For example, the cosmic Jesus who indwells everyone you have the Mormon Jesus said different Jesus, you have the Santa Claus cheese is that I think I saw on television last night we saw the Santa Claus Jesus you give money to me and God is going to bless you and give you a lot of money back. Thank you.

It's not even Christmas.

And here we have the Santa Claus and all these people you know they're talking about Jesus. Jesus there some countries in the world where parents name their children Jesus and it's a very popular night. You just can't believe in any Jesus, you have to believe in a Jesus who is a Savior shed his blood on the cross for sin whose qualified to be a Savior. You have to believe in that Jesus.

And if you come even with a little faith to the real Jesus he'll accept you better to believe in the real Jesus with a trembling heart and to believe in the wrong one with calmness and smug serenity. I am counseling a woman one day, who I believe was a true believer, but she struggled with assurance. She led Bible studies and let other people to Christ, and we were beside a lake and I said you know an illustration comes to mind a time when there was a lake that was totally frozen and somebody wanted to walk across it, and Midway began to fear that the ice was too thin and so began to actually crawl so as to spread his weight and then off in the distance toward him became a team of horses, and he knew why in the world am I crawling. Obviously, this ice is strong enough to hold me. I said I'm on the same eyes that you are it is thick.

You have promises that you can believe and trust in you can investigate Jesus.

Those promises had every reason to be believed, but I said your crawling across the lake and some of us are just so confident were hopping and skipping and sliding around. I guess on the lake. Better to trust with trembling a Jesus that can save you rather than to think that your trusting another Jesus finally or not quite finely but second second fact about faith sometimes faith how shall I put it. We have to believe that even though we don't know how God is going to do it. We have to believe even though we don't know how God is going to do it when God said, Abraham, you know you're going to be as great an organ have all these posterity more than can we can count.

Abraham wasn't given a game plan as to how God was going to do it the promise in many respects, was too good to be true, and there some of you here for listening to this message, you are saying Too good to be true. I can believe on Jesus and be saved.

And I'm saying to you today no matter what problems you have with the promise even though you don't quite see how an omnipotent God can do it.

It is very important that you realize that it's not necessary for you to understand it all.

You just know that the person who's giving the promise is reliable and that which he says he's qualified to do and that's what you must believe and when you believe that God puts everything else in perspective and in place. Finally, very important. Faith is not just information. Faith is an attitude of trust, faith is a transfer of trust and that's another place where people they say will you know I love Jesus I admire in my go to church. I am involved in this ministry or that ministry and I'm basically a good person and yeah I believe I've asked many people the question as I did on the plane this past week you were to die. What would you say if God were to say why should I let you into heaven, the man though educated in religion, said he had no answer and then he said something that I like to sit. I want to ask you that question.

While you see, the fact is my friend facts alone don't save you. There must be that transfer of trust and in transfer of trust God saves us and we begin a journey of trust and challenge because without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he read towards those who diligently seek him out for some of you the gospel that I just presented is indeed too good to be true because if the truth were known, you know very much so that you are a sinner and you need to believe on Jesus and and you say, but if you know what I've done. I don't know what you've done, but God does.

But today, as it says in this text we know that God is able to justify you by faith in Jesus.

Paul ends this chapter by saying that Jesus Christ was put to death because of our trespasses and raised for our justification.

What he means is that Tim if Jesus had just died and remained dead.

Michael Rendell. Mike is a messianic Jewish person who's a great friend of mine. He said that if there is no resurrection, Jesus is nothing more than a dead Jew but thankfully he's a living Jew, a living Savior and today I urge you just taken this information and say what was in that interesting believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. If God has prepared you for this moment right now, you can receive them, shall we pray Lord we ask that you shall take these words and bless them to our hearts and asked for those who've never trusted Christ made they do that and for those of us who have hopeless not to take for granted the great miracle that you've done in our lives that we do not understand, but Abraham never understood everything either. And yet he believed you and it was counted to him as righteousness, grant that for us all. God we ask in Jesus name, amen we sing together. My faith is found resting place on today's Moody Church.

Our Dr. Erwin lutes are spoke on rescued from misplaced faith. The eight and a 12 part series on rescued what God did to save us.

Taken from the book of Romans next week. Join us for part nine in this series the message I'm being rescued from hopelessness. We are so grateful to all support The Moody Church. Our during this month we have a special opportunity. Every gift you send will be doubled. Thanks to a matching gift fund. It's been set up by others who value The Moody Church.

Our as it reaches the wider culture and addresses crucial issues of the day you can make your gift a double one by calling 1-800-215-5001 number again 1-800-215-5001 or write to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online go to moodyoffer.com that's moodyoffer.com join us next week for another Moody Church.

Our with Dr. Erwin lutes are in the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago


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