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Living In The Shadows Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
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February 2, 2021 1:00 am

Living In The Shadows Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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February 2, 2021 1:00 am

Deep in every human heart is a conscience: a sense of right and wrong that we cannot shake off. When our conscience is clear, we have freedom. When we violate it, we’re in bondage. Can we clean up our lives and our consciences?

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Looking to Jesus in every human heart is a conscience, a sense of right and wrong. We cannot shrink when our conscience is clear.

We have freedom when we violated we are in bondage today series begins to help us clean up our lives and our consciences state from the Moody Church in this he is running to win with Dr. Erwin Sir clear teaching make it across the finish line Or give us a roadmap for the journey we begin today called the power of a clear conscience.

They like to share my heart as a pastor I can think of the series of messages that so speaks to human need, as these messages were going to be talking about the conscience clearing the conscience how to do that why it's important and were going to help people overcome barriers toward that will be talking about the origin of the conscience, yes, but also how do we overcome those nagging feelings.

You know, as a pastor I discovered that there are many people who cannot make progress in their Christian life because of some hidden issue that troubles them.

So those are the kinds of things were going to be talking about in this series of messages the power of a clear conscience my friend today. What you get on the phone and call someone invite them to listen because I believe that all of us will be helped. As we listen to God's word, the title of this series of messages is entitled the power of a clear conscience in this first message is entitled living in the shadows, but it could also be entitled out of the shadows. It was Shakespeare in Hamlet who said that conscience makes cowards of us all. And isn't that true don't care your background doesn't matter what religion your brought up in what tradition whether an atheistic home or otherwise religious home. I can tell you this that you have added times violated your conscience, which sits in judgment of all of our actions and says half you have violated what you know to be the truth. We can be assured of that. Now the word conscience comes from two words con which means with and then science which means knowledge is knowledge along with us. It is knowledge that we carry with us and today were going to look at the origin of conscience and its implications. Now there are a couple of things you should know about conscience. First of all, it is universal. Everyone has a conscience in Romans chapter 2, the apostle Paul says that the pagan who do not have the law are going to be judged by their conscience which is either going to accuse them or excuse them because the conscience is the rudimentary law of God written on every heart. Now, of course, that conscience can also be determined. It can be, what shall we say, conditioned the apostle Paul talks about some Christians who have conscience that they can do something and other Christians may have a conscience that they can and conditioning is part of the conscience. For example, if your brought up in Islam and then converted to Christianity. You might feel some guilt for not attending prayers in a mosque at least at some point, your conscience might trouble you.

I was brought up in a very strict Christian home, where we were not allowed to go to movies at all. Now, of course, movies were just in there in C when I was young and growing up but I'll never forget the first time I ever was in a theater. It was many years ago to see the sound of music and data that dates me a little bit doesn't it. I expected the theater to kind of collapse on me. I expected the judgment of God. Well judgment didn't comment since that time, Rebecca and I we do go to movies about, I would think maybe one a year. If one a year, but the point is that conscience can, to some extent be conditioned, now I need to remind you that conscience has tremendous power.

It can destroy you. It can haunt you.

It can be there day and night. The problem is that conscience, to begin with. Conscience does not trouble you before you do an action and remain silent. But after you have done it, especially in the night there. It is haunting you, reminding you that put you to bed at night and it awakens you in the morning. I know of a man whom I become friends with the man of God, whose mother was put into a psych ward of the hospital when he was growing up, she was frequently in a psych ward. It turned out that when he was 22. She confessed to him that the man whom she own whom he thought was his father was not his father at all. His father was actually a doctor in the community with whom she had had an affair. Now you can imagine what this did to this young man whole questions of identity and by the way, today he is mightily used of the Lord and holds ministries of revival in different churches proof of the fact today my friend that your origin does not hinder you for who you are. If you take advantage of the marvelous incredible grace of God. Aren't you glad for that. But after his mother confessed she didn't have to go to the psych ward anymore. I remember reading a doctor who said that I could dismiss half of my patient if I could just look them in the eye and give the assurance to them that they are forgiven. Today were going to talk about this and this is what this series of messages will be about tremendous power. There is a man who is a wonderful Christian very lovely wife, lovely children. He's asked to be an elder in his church.

This is not moody church. This is in a church in a different state, and he always said no.

I said no one you know you're gifted you know the Bible truth is, he confessed to his pastor, that when he was in college. He had an affair with a young woman and there's a little boy growing up in Dallas who is his.

His wife doesn't know it is children don't know it and always haunted by the fact of what he did in the past. He is stuck whenever he wants to make progress in the Christian life.

Later on in this series of messages were going to talk about things like that were going to talk about reconciliation. What are the principles by which we can be reconciled because my goal is that all of us will have a clear conscience without offense before God and before man could you imagine what moody church would be like if that were true if we could look everyone in the eye, knowing that we have done all we possibly can to make things right. This series of messages is going to deal with the question, even of whether or not Lady Macbeth had to commit suicide because of all the guilt she had young people today are committing suicide, and today in the future.

In these messages we will tell them where to park their guilt and why it's not necessary. Working to deal with impossible people. There are those who harden their conscience. Some of them live with you some people here today have married impossible people. How do you live with an impossible person who does evil and has no twinge of guilt. Well, all that by way of introduction, and by the way, the end result is going to be joy and gladness. I was reading in the book of acts the other day where it says the early church had joy and gladness. You cannot have joy unless your conscience is free. You cannot believe God for the things you want to believe him for unless your conscience is free. The Bible says if our hearts condemn us not then we have confidence toward God. If you're here today with a condemning heart. You can believe, but not with a lot of confidence toward God.

I want moody church to be a safe place.

That's why we have various communities, various opportunities where you can share your need, where you can share your hardware. You can even share your past and know that you will not be ashamed you were going to be helped because the truth is my friend. As someone has said, we are either in denial or we are in recovery. All of us have issues with the conscience. Well, that's the intro take your Bibles and turn to where the conscience began, namely, Genesis chapter 3 Genesis chapter 3, you know, of course, the story that Adam and Eve are here in the garden and they have a perfect environment. Can you imagine they have all of the beauty that they want. They have all of the food that they want. They have fellowship with God who comes walking with them in the cool of the day, Eve had no insecurities she didn't have to compete with the supermodels that are on newsstands as we check them out as we check out the groceries at the checkout. She didn't have to lie awake at night wondering whether or not she had really married right man.

She didn't have those problems. And yet for all of that she and her husband decided to sin, as you well know, and were going to go right to the decision that they made in chapter 3, the serpent comes to them. He gets them to doubt God's word and that they have this dialogue and I assume that you know about the dialogue but the serpent said to the woman in chapter 3 verse four. You will not surely die for God knows that when you eat of it, that is the forbidden fruit.

Your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. The implication is that you're going to know good and evil and you're good to make your own decisions as to what is good and what is evil because you are going to take the place of God. What he said TE.

Eve was field don't think. Don't you see that the fruit is beautiful and sin always comes to is looking very beautiful and so what she did is she partook of the tree and her husband was there standing in the garden with her and let her do it. I've often thought that the first sin might not of been Eve actually eating the fruit of the tree. It might've been Adam abdicating his responsibility as her husband to watch her do it and participate with her in their disobedience. What you know the rest of the story. Suddenly, they experience what we could call the unexpected. The unplanned response of the circumstances, the unintended consequence. All of that happened. And of course we know that they could not predict what those circumstances would be when God said don't eat of the fruit of the tree for in the day that you eat thereof. You shall surely die. They had no experience of death so they said to themselves, we can handle. We can handle the consequences. It won't be that bad. Furthermore, if we don't eat of the fruit of the tree were always going to wonder what it would've been like if we had. We can't live with that curiosity. So what were going to do is to make sure that we eat of the fruit of the tree. They did not know that they were beginning as series of dominants they could have never predicted that someday they would have a son by the name of Cain who would kill his brother Abel and all of this evil would now go into the human race. All of the evil would flow throughout history they had no way to predict in my friend today you and I have no idea.

We cannot predict the consequences of our disobedience either. Sometimes those consequences are like a basketball in an ocean. You push them down over here and you think, at last I am rid of them in a pop up somewhere else and you still have to deal with them because all consequences of sin are unintended but often times ongoing. Well, now let us look at exactly what happens here in this context, Shane begins.

Shane, the Bible ended in chapter 2 the last part of the verse they were naked and were not ashamed.

Verse nine.

Now they heard the sound. Excuse me eight of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day and the man and his wife hid themselves in the presence of the Lord among the trees of the garden, but the Lord called to the man and said notice man has the responsibility. Where are you is that I heard the sound of you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and I get myself, he said, who told you that you were naked. That's a very good question. How did you know that your naked. Did I tell you that you were naked. Was there a little bird in the trees in the garden that shouted your naked your naked who told you conscience you can underline that phrase in your Bible. That's where it all began. And now suddenly Shane is going to be huge in terms of the consequences of sin. That's why the next message in this series is actually entitled, it's not all your fault because you see some of you were brought up in a shame-based home.

You were taught to live for your parents.

You know the shame not only of poverty but of alcoholism and addictions in brokenness and abuse and that shame you carry. But that's not your shame. What you need to do is to get rid of it and that will be the sermon in the series next time. Shame is going to be huge hiding. Oh, this is where the compartmentalized life begins right here hiding here.

It all begins in compartment a is a Sunday school teacher.

He is well thought of, is respected in the community and apartment compartment be he's an abuser.

He's an alcoholic. He's an addict.

One time, some children of a rather prominent Christian who is highly respected came to me and they said we just want you to know even though our dad is great in the community. He's an alcoholic.

There is none night that he does not have to drink every single night. What do we do but is able to hide it is see that's why you have men studying computers to try to find out how they can erase everything from their hard drive because you see it has to be hidden above all things that shame and the sense of in adequacy but over here.

They are well respected and all of us have a private life. I wouldn't want you to know all of the thoughts that I had this past week many of you listen to James. Vernon McGee on the radio.

He's been dead for many years, but he still speaking and having a great ministry, but from this platform at founders week.

I recall he said this, I almost was going to impersonate him in his gravelly voice, but I don't know if I'm going to do that or not but he said this, he said if you knew my heart the way I know my heart. He said you wouldn't listen to and then he paused and he said now before you run to the exits.

He said if I knew your heart the way you know your heart that I would even be talking to the listen. The fall has affected all of us.

And so what happens now is you have the compartmentalization of our lives because there is that which we want to hide.

And then what you have is blaming you member God says Adam why did you eat and what did he say the first person to blame is God. He said Lord, this woman this week will woman whom you gave me whom you you gave me, she took of the tree and what's a guy supposed to do is go to eat them in his wife know my mind, this is Pastor Luther and throughout the years, I've always been interested in human nature because as I see myself. I see the same potential for deception and all of us have issues that we need to deal with and we need to be willing to admit to our dark side. I've written a book entitled the power of a clear conscience as a matter fact in this book I will discuss various issues. Various scenarios of people who simply cannot get ahead in life because their conscience condemns them and if you have a condemning conscience. You can't really believe God.

That's what it says in first John the condemnation of the conscience conscience is universal.

Some people's conscience is more sensitive than others is sort of like walking through a metal detector at the airport. Sometimes it is more sensitive than other times, but every one of us has had plenty of experience of violating our own consciences.

We've experienced it. What do we do with it what about those sins that we've confessed repeatedly and they still bother us.

I tell the story of a man who is happily married with children whenever he was asked to serve in the church, though he was gifted. He said no because it turned out that when he was in college he had fathered a child. How do we deal with those kinds of issues of conscience. That's all in the book that I've written, entitled a clear conscience. Or I should say the power of a clear conscience now for gift of any amount. This book can be yours. Here is what you do you go to RTW and by the way, thank you so much for helping us in this ministry. It's because of people like you that running to win can continue and we are continuing to grow the ministry God be praised.

Let me give you that contact information again go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book the power of a clear conscience as a matter fact, the subtitle has to do with putting your past behind you. Paul says his desire is to have a clear conscience before man and before God. Remember RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and thanks in advance for helping us as we get the gospel around the world and time know for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life 2 x 2. Dan lives in Indianapolis and listens to running to win on W GNR. He asks, I heard you answer a listener's question on one of your broadcasts in part you said that you believe the dinosaurs were wiped out by the flood. I don't disagree but wouldn't know what have included dinosaurs with the rest of the animals aboard the ark.

Well, thank you so much for writing thanks for your question. You know, I know I made that statement because that is always what I believe that the dinosaurs would've been wiped out in the flood and I thought to myself. Noah might not have taken them into the ark because they are so big. But you know because of your question, I actually looked up some articles on this and I discovered that many Christians, many scientists and that those who work in terms of the age of the earth, and so forth. They take the point of view I'm talking about Christians. Now of course they take the point of view that indeed Noah would've brought the dinosaurs into the ark, and after the animals came out of the ark they would discover all kinds of new challenges and conditions that they would have to adapt to.

So, it's because of that may be because of their size may be because they were hunted for whatever reasons, the dinosaurs died out just like some other species have, so that might be a better biblical answer. So thanks so much for your question because it made me rethink that statement that I made some time ago. God bless you and keep reading the word and keep trusting it, even in scientific matters. A veritable flood of wisdom for Dan and all of us. Dr. Erwin looks her thank you Dr. lutes. Or if you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to our and click on ask Pastor Luzerne or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 when sin entered the human race.

We moved the sunlight into the shadows. Next time I'm going to win more insights in the garden living. Thanks for listening. This is Dave Callister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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