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October 4, 2020 1:00 am
Salvation includes much more than a ticket to heaven when we die. Christ has given believers many wonderful gifts that accompany our salvation. In this message we begin taking inventory of what each believer receives through the work of Jesus, starting with the gift of predestination.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
Salvation is more than just a ticket to heaven when we die. Christ has given believers many wonderful gifts that accompany that salvation. Today we begin a series taking inventory of what each believer has, through the work of Jesus from Chicago. We welcome you to The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin lutes are on this broadcast the first in an eight part series on the inheritance of the redeemed later, Erwin lutes, or will speak on the gift of predestination. Dr. looks or comes now to open our time of worship now today here at The Moody Church.
We are so glad that you are here were going to be praying and then we will have a call to worship and this will be our opportunity certainly to unite our hearts as the Bible says to fear God's name. Thank you so much for joining us. Let's pray father we ask today that you shall grant to us. Open hearts. We pray Lord that those who had a difficult week or are distracted that they might be able to concentrate now by your spirit putting everything else aside to give you glory and honor.
We ask in Jesus name, amen and in and in and in and in and in and in and in and in and in and in and out on the bold print.
This is God's holy word Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace with which he has blessed us in the beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of his will according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will that we who were the first to hope in Christ, might be to the praise of his glory in him you also, when you the gospel of your salvation and believe in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of her inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of his glory will Peter Dina cutout was a Russian evangelist who was converted here at The Moody Church before this building was built when there was a tabernacle along the side where the church is today.
He left Russia in eight teen 98 and got on a ship and came to America before he left, his mother made him a bag and really a box full of food so that he'd have enough food for the journey. What she did as she took a lot of bread and she dried it so that it wouldn't rot and that was part of it. The food was so happy that someone else actually carried it onto the ship for him as the boys began, he began to look through the window to see all the people in the dining room and how wonderfully they were eating and he go back to his room and he'd have his bread is water. The sailors made fun of him and they said, you know, if you help us in the kitchen will give you food, so he helped in the kitchen and got some food and basically work for his food. Across the ocean.
He says that it was not until the last day of the voyage, he learned that three meals a day were included in the price of the ticket. I think that's the way we are as Christians, we forget the fact that he was spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all. The Bible says, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things. The intention of this series of messages is to emphasize some of those all things that come along with faith in Jesus.
Sometimes we think we are spiritually poor. When God says please understand all that I have given to you in Christ and today were going to begin with the difficult doctrine of predestination, which means exactly what you think it means that God predetermines what happens on earth and he pre-determined you and your salvation is a believer, you know, it's a very difficult doctrine. In some regards. But what we have to do is to remember as one person said explained that you might lose your mind explain it away, you might lose your soul. So here we are to doctrine with a lot of mystery. I'm going to be scaring up a lot of rabbits that I'm not able to shoot but at the end I am going to answer some questions that will be in your mind.
There is a story about theologians who were having an argument about this and throughout church history there have been arguments about this.
So they decided to get into their various camps over here you have those who believed in predestination over here you have the people who say we believe in free will. While there was a man who didn't know how to make up his mind and so he decided to go over to the predestination crowd and they said, why are you here is that I came of my own free will. They said you don't belong here is you go over there so he went over to the free wheelers and they said, why are you here, he said I was sent here they said you don't belong here because you're only supposed to be here by your free will, so the poor man was left in the cold. You know before I begin this message. What I want us to do is to encourage every one of you to listen. You may be a teenager here today.
Please listen because God may be calling your life and you may be somewhat skeptical and were glad that you are here with diverse people watching here of course at The Moody Church and all over the world and by radio and so forth. Please listen carefully.
This is so important that I'm actually going to ask that we pray one more time. I want you to bow your head and let us take a moment to acknowledge God's help in this marvelous doctrine of predestination.
Let's pray father we ask that you might open our eyes that we might see wondrous things in your word. We pray in Jesus name, amen. The passage of Scripture is Ephesians chapter 1 years ago. I've written on this doctrine.
In fact, one of my books has four chapters on it. I didn't refer to that as I was preparing this message and then this week I speed read a book on predestination, how to speed read you your take passages of the book that you think are particularly applicable. But Friday morning I decided you know I'm a put all that aside, I just can open the text and see what it says. So here we are. Ephesians chapter 1 that glorious passage where it says this and for our purposes we have to actually begin in verse three Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ was blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing that we intend to do in this series of messages to isolate some of those spiritual blessings in heavenly places. Verse four even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him just that far for a moment that word shoes. He chose us in him occurs 22 times in the New Testament. Seven of those times, it refers to God choosing people until life, you look at the text and you realize here that we are talking about true facts that are given to us in this verse that number one is that God made the choice God chose us in him before the foundation of the world. He's speaking out about those who either have believed on Christ or people who are going to believe on Christ.
God chose us, and a second fact is, it was done before the foundation of the world before God spoke the stars into existence before angels flew in the courts of heaven and were created in eternity past to God knowing all things both actual and possible, chose us in Christ because it was never God's intention to save anybody apart from Christ. Just think of it this way. Obviously, redemption was part of God's plan. From the very beginning right. I mean, some people say oh you know God hope that Adam and Eve wouldn't sin and then they messed it up.
And God says I got a mess to clean up here. I'm going to send Jesus that was a part of his plan from before the foundation of the world. It's an expression that relates to eternity past. Now some of us haven't been chosen for much of anything right. I remember how difficult it was for me in grade school because whenever they were choosing teams to play softball or some other sport. I was always the last to be chosen. I was not a great athlete and it hurts to be passed over. You may be passed over in your job but think of this God choosing us.
Now you say was it arbitrary. Was it like a lottery. Did God, blindfold himself and say here's a big jar with all these numbers I'm going to go down and going to see who I choose. Obviously not obviously not in the reason for that is because God had to create an entire context where you would be born who your parents would be all kinds of contingencies regarding who would share the gospel with you.
It was not an arbitrary choice and disable it was based on foreknowledge God for new who was going to believe.
Many people think that but if you look at the word foreknowledge in the Bible. In the New Testament. It never refers to simply knowing ahead of time. It really means stuff for love gets is in Amos you only have I known of all the people of the earth. Of course, God knows everyone course. God knows all things. But it wasn't based on foreseen faith was based on God's choice for sale. What was the basis upon which he did the choosing. Good question. The apostle Paul. Struggling with that in Romans chapter 9 gets to that point and basically says that she raises it kindly and this is a paraphrase. Keep your mouth shut. That's the answer.
He says were now the edge of mystery and God has not revealed that so we have to accept that the Potter is power over the clay to make one lump to honor another, to dishonor, so we stand in the sovereignty of God, and we allow God to be God, and we don't understand it all.
We also noted that the choice was personal. He calls his own sheep by name, you realize that God didn't learn as single thing about you when you arrived here on the planet Earth and were born God didn't say all house wondering what he was going to look like so sort of a surprise to me that he only weighs 7 pounds. I was thinking that maybe more net. Listen, God hasn't found out one thing about you since you arrived that he didn't know any eternity past, and he knew your name before your parents decided what to call you. He knows his sheep by name, imagine that you know to know somebody by name. It's it's a way of honor. I know that I disappointed many people because I'm not very good at remembering names. Some of you. God bless you. You've been so kind. I've asked your name many times that I just throwing a parenthesis. The reason for that is when I hear a name I don't remember it when I see it written I see it in my minds eye and I remember it easily. But God so what if Pastor Lutzer doesn't know your name. Sorry about that but your known by God from the foundation of the world. It was a personal choice. So God chose us in him that we might be blameless, and of course, ultimately blameless in Christ, but we have to hurry. Now we get to the word predestination and that of course is there for us. This word predestination occurs six times in the New Testament four times. It refers to people being predestinated to eternal life.
You'll notice it says in verse five in the love he predestined for us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, and that actually shows why God did what he did according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of the glorious nest of his grace with which he has blessed us in the beloved. Oh so much in this past even that phrase blessed us in the beloved. I was going to say anything about it but is the same expression that Gabriel used for Mary hail Mary, you have found favor with God.
God has graced us full of grace and the beloved one but let's look at that word predestination it means to predetermine as we've already emphasized and the fact is that it where predestined to the adoption of sons now in this series of messages I intend to preach an entire message just on Sun ship becoming a son and daughter of God. So I'm going to skip that were going to come back to it in a different message I got up early on I noticed that the word redemption occurs there in verse seven in him we have redemption through his blood and the forgiveness of sin. How much did God pay to redeem us. It's a slave image here of buying a slave out of the marketplace. How much did God pay what about all of the opulence of Rome past and present. What about the pyramids of Egypt.
The gold of the pharaohs. You see the crown jewels in Indiana and also in Munich. Of all of the great kings and queens, she got paid when the Bible says that he paid something else but we were not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. That was the price of redemption. The followers carefully. It's very important that we understand that God would've never given us his son and had him die on the cross. Unless God loved us as much as he loved his son if God loved us any less than he loved his son he never put his son through that shedding his blood.
But Jesus said that his loved them even as thou has love me and it's that reason that God was willing to pay such a high price. We might argue and say that really he overpaid, but that's God's business. I like what Luther said and I want you to follow it carefully. Luther said God love this not because we are valuable, all of carefully but we are valuable because God loves us. In other words, even her value which is so high on God's Dow Jones industrial average that he's willing to send his son to shed his precious blood even R-value is conferred to us by God.
We do not have it innately and so here we have the redemption price. By the way, is there any sin in your life that you love more than God. After all that God has done in our lives and that he is paid such a high price. The text tells us that he has lavished grace upon us in the beloved one and the beloved one was willing to die on the cross and shed his blood is the redemption price to buyers out of the kingdom of darkness and put us into the kingdom of light, so we are chosen, we are predestined and then also God wills now the word predestination occurs again in this passage. It goes on to say that Tim God has made known unto us. I'm in verse nine the mystery of his will according to his purpose. Very good is again which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven things in their Jesus is sometime going to unite. He's going to tie all the loose threads together and he is going to put all of his enemies under his feet. He is going to rule and all things are going to be under the feet of Jesus. Now we don't see that you do. We, the book of Hebrews points out that that's a day that is coming and so we have been predestined again is using the word according verse 11 to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will so that we who were the first to hope in Christ, might be to the praise of his glory. That's as far as were going today because the ministry the Holy Spirit is the next message in this series and that's the text that will be referring to, among many others, and so why all this we are to be to the praise of his glory member reading that as a boy. In fact I memorize the book of Ephesians probably 3540 years ago or more.
When that sounds sounds like a long time, but it goes quickly, and I always thought in my mind you someday when we're in heaven were going to be to the praise of his glory. Yes, of course, but I believe it begins here on earth but me simplify your life a little bit okay it's not about a lot of things that you're worried about.
You may find that you are promoted to the praise of his glory, you may find that you are demoted.
Somebody else has taken the place that you know right well you should have and you're suffering with injustice.
Why the praise of his glory.
Look at some people who have no use for God in their living long lives in you are young you love God and find out that you got a disease some kind of an illness, maybe even a turn why that stick the praise of his glory say I lost some money in the stock market.
Yeah, I know one man who says that he made so many bad investments that if he were Tobias cemeteries convince people that stop dying. Yeah well you know so that's what my life is about. That's what I'm worried about you exist to the praise of his glory is not about all of these other things that do impinge upon us, and they all have their own sense of important but at the end of the day it's all about God and listen to this promise since we exist according to his glory and the text talk about the fact that he works all things after the counsel of his own will, I hope that you take out time to read these texts more carefully. It really is all about God and it says that all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Called according to his purpose. God takes all things and then you know what the next verse says there in Romans chapter 8 it says whom he foreknew he predestinated you notice for knowledge again but whom he for love, he predestinated to be conformed to the image of his son and those whom he predestinated. He called and those he called he justified, and those whom he justified all done going be preaching about that in the series got willing but notice that all things work together for good sale know all things are working together for my dad really know back out the farm we had a clock not likely new ones.
You know that this when I think has a battery and I have been changes in a couple of years, but there used to be clocks that you had to wind every day and if you did would stop by the next day we had a couple of those out in the farm and one time. Not sure exactly why, but I took the back off and began taking the parts out when I put it back together. I had some extra parts.
One of the things though that I noticed was this that you know when you took one of those clocks apart. There were little wheels and some of them were turning the same direction as the hands and some of them were turning the opposite direction. Some were big and some were little and the life their big wheels in their small wheels and some of the wheels turn in the right direction and some of them turn in it in an opposite direction, but they make no sense. None. Whatever, as long as you're looking at the back of the clock but somehow they work. If you look at the front of the clock to tell time sway God's purposes. You and I look at them and it certainly doesn't seem as if all things work together for good, but if we trust and believe and we live to the praise of his glory which is what it's all about God works all things together for good. If you believed on Christ. You are number one on God's list of things to take care of in this universe can make that big investment of having his son died for you and then say well yeah I kind of want, things are cold in Chicago, stock market, struggling you know when I have some time I'll get back to my people, my electric no those whom he knew and foreknew he predestinated his hand is upon you, so we can say that we were chosen we were predestinated we could use the word again. Or we could say that we were part of God's will and plan for the praise of his glory.
Even someone crossing the street here on LaSalle Street as happened last week being killed with a truck as part of God's eternal plan. Blessed are those who can see past the tragedy in one of God's children and see the other side and God's purposes. It's all about the praise of his glory is not about us, it's about him. Couple of things that we have to get clear about so that we can understand this and it may be in your mind a few things. Number one.
Be very clear about this, that God takes the initiative in salvation.
God takes the initiative. There was a poem I was going to find on the Internet but for God, but the emphasis is the fact that I saw God but actually he was pursuing me. That's the essence of it and that's so true. I love to read the stories of how people came to faith in Jesus Christ. I have one booklets entitled how they found Christ.
Well I know what they mean, but you found Christ well you did, but bless God you did because God found you. That's why yes, God found you and I'm a very proud grandfather, and when ours youngest, our oldest grandchild was born his name was Jack. He's a big boy now, but when he was about 3 1/2 or so, I was playing hide and go seek with him in the backyard where there were about three trees and I expected that he would hide behind a tree and that I pretend that I couldn't find them. But eventually I would but he didn't do.
He stood beside a tree and cupped his eyes in his hands like because he thought that if he couldn't see me. I couldn't see him in this way we are with God, oh God, I don't see I don't see you think that because you can see God and sometimes life is so difficult can't. Are you telling me that just because you can't see God's got business.
He listened, his eyes are trained upon you. He knows the number of hair you have on head.
Some of you could say that you could count your own, but he knows all that, but also when Jack finally and I've course pretended I couldn't find them. You know what else is a grandfather to do at that point, but finally when he took his hands away from his eyes. He looked at me and he said I found you, Papa.
Well, yeah, I guess you found me, but you know I was there I was looking for you and if you wouldn't have found me.
I can assure you I would've found you. God takes the initiative in salvation is God who comes to Adam and Eve and says Adam where are you Adam and Eve aren't looking for God there figuring out where can we go to get away from them. Week we have to hide our shame, even if he knows what we've done, we need to run and so they tried to hide but God comes into the garden, says here I am, where are you that's a question God may be asking you today where are you so first of all we have to see that God takes the initiative in salvation. Secondly, very important. Now God works through the human will. God works through the human will. When we preach on matters of choosing and predestination. We should never give the impression that God says now you don't want to believe, but playing are predestined to believe so take you by the scruff of the neck didn't believe no, nor does the scenario ever happened where someone says all I want to be saved, but I'm not elect and never never happens. Why God works in the human heart to bring about his purpose so people voluntarily receive Christ as Savior. But behind that voluntary decision.
There is God who has burst conviction in their hearts. He shown them there sin. He shown them why they need Jesus. And that even gives them the faith by which they need to believe he does it all.
But I am hearing one or to a man's I could take three or four actually. You see, it's really all of God. God is the one you know who does it. I think a beautiful example of that is that Lydia in the 16th chapter of acts when Paul and Silas, and so forth. Went to when to apply.
It says that they went to the river and they met a businesswoman, a seller of purple goods, whose name was Lydia. Now catch this whose heart God opened and then it says she listened carefully to what Paul says and then she was baptized, though obviously she believe the gospel are. She'd never been baptized.
That's a good example. There are some of you to whom I'm speaking today and even while I am speaking though you're having problems with some of the things that are taught in God's word. You might find that your heart is open to God.
Even now, listen to that voice because it is God that opens the human heart. You and I can't do that on our own and this leads I think also to a very important fact. Of course whosoever will may come. Of course, if it is working your heart, you can come. Whosoever, many are called, and this is a general call. Few are chosen. But many are cold and few are chosen and you can find out whether not your mom chose, so don't complain. I know you got all kinds of questions about the unchosen but I'm talking to you now and I want you to understand that if you want to know whether or not you are chosen, predestined that you are within the will and the purpose of the eternal God to grant grants life to those who believe will then find out come to Jesus and he will receive you and he will welcome you into his kingdom because whosoever will may come certainly. I think that old illustration that is been used many times is actually a very good illustration that is the gospel goes out across the door and the entry point. It says whosoever will may come after you go through and you go through that door and you receive Christ, you look back and you'll notice that at the back of that are written the words elect from the foundation of the world. So the invitation goes to everyone.
The reason that I take delight in reading testimonies about people came to saving faith in Christ is that each story is different. Each circumstances different each person approaches it differently, but at the end of the day.
It always comes out the same that people see their sin. They see their need and they see is Jesus meeting their need, because he died for sinners.
Take a few people just take a couple of famous people. Let's take Martin Luther for example, here is he's struggling so much with his guilt in his heaviness and is in day and night.
I pondered to try to see the connection between the righteousness of God and faith because he was troubled by the righteousness of God. If God wasn't so righteous I might be able to meet his standards is so holy he's so righteous, I can't meet those standard. That's what frustrated him till he said I saw the connection that there is not just the attribute of God.
The righteousness of God. There is a gift of God given to those who receive it by faith. And he said when I saw this, he said it was as if I was reborn and I went through the gates of paradise.
The struggle was over, the conscience was silenced.
Jesus was now meeting his need all Lord Jesus, I am that I send out my righteousness, I except that he was converted take another theologian's name is John Calvin lived in Geneva.
Calvin said that God overcame his blindness and his darkness and showed him the light of the gospel. That's one way to describe it, and if you would like to have somebody who emphasized free will and find out their story.
John Wesley said that he had no assurance of salvation until someone was reading Luther's preface to the book of Romans with the gospel is clearly presented in. He said that he found his heart strangely warmed and he said to himself. I do believe in Christ. I do believe any any grasp that I do believe that was the point at which he had the assurance that he belonged to God forever. Everyone story is different. As you know I usually witness to somebody on the plane is sitting next to me. Not all the time, but almost all the time I had would have no idea of the number might explain the gospel on the plane. Most of them receive it graciously. We interact and I'm not led many people to Christ at all. I think that I see myself as helping them along the way other people are going to reap where I have sewn and so I leave those results with God. But this past fall I was flying in from God knows where. After a while the flights lurk just a little bit but I know that I was coming from the east to Chicago. I sat beside a businessman who knew all about gold and silver, in which one was going to go up and which one was going down. He had many clients he had people working for him under him. What we got into the gospel. When I asked him you know where you and your spiritual journey. Turns out that he goes to church in all the right things but clearly does not know the gospel. I explained it to him and he asked some questions and I answer them and they says you know I want to tell you today.
I really get what you're saying. He said I understand what it is that you are telling now. I should've prayed with them there on the plane. I actually didn't. I entrusted that to the Holy Spirit after we got off the plane at O'Hare we still connected together and he said again he said I want you to know that I got what you were saying.
He said I understood you were saying. And of course I gave him a good book that would help him carry himself through the door with the help of Jesus.
Of course, and actually the scooping up of Jesus, which is a better metaphor of salvation I expect to see him in heaven. I've explained it to many people and they just don't get it. You know why God why Jesus I'm not that bad a sinner. I'm a good person.
No, just dawned on me all the people I've talked to, I don't think I've yet met a bad person. I really don't.
Everybody's and they have no sense of conviction. No sense of their need for God.
No sense of they just don't get it, but as we sow the seed we find people like that businessman who told me twice just want you to know I get what you're saying is that where you are at today. I hope that there are people who are right now saying I get it.
I need a Savior. And if you say that that means that God is working in your heart to bring you to saving faith in all of our trust. All of our eggs in one basket. All of our trust is in Jesus and Jesus alone. The only Savior of the world you know him.
Do you get it. It's pray together. Father we ask in the name of Jesus that your word might go out in such a way that people across this nation who are listening to this message and here in the sanctuary of Moody Church may say to themselves I get it and believe the gospel and thereby prove that they were chosen.
They were predestined.
They were part of your will and part of your plan all of eternity. Jesus name Amen stand trust Jesus today with me trust him again.
Testing for the first time on today's Moody Church. Our Dr. Erwin Lutzer breath. The first of eight messages in a series on the inheritance of the redeemed. Next time will learn all about the gift of righteousness. Lockdowns economic chaos thousands dying over 19 has changed all of us forever.
Agendas are flying as the press and politicians maneuver for advantage. The ultimate question what is God saying to us through a deadly pandemic.
Erwin lutes has authored a new book on pandemics plagues and natural disasters and we'd like you to have a copy as our thank you for your gift of any amount to The Moody Church.
Our call 1-800-215-5001.
Let us know you'd like to support Dr. Luther's ministry will send out this new book right away. Just call us at 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