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February 12, 2021 1:00 am
Compulsive behaviors eventually become addictions. Whether it is drugs, alcohol, gambling or pornography, people can become trapped. The grace of God provides the way out that all of us need.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
One reason for us to Jesus. He found her compulsive behaviors eventually become addiction to drugs and alcohol, gambling or pornography. People become trapped and cannot find a way out today of the grace of God provides the way out. All of us in the Moody Church in Chicago. This is running with Dr. Erwin Sir was clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line.
Estimates are as you teach on the power of a clear conscience. We've come today to the truth that hurts you, as you might guess the text that we are going to be emphasizing are the words of Jesus who said you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
One of the most difficult things that we as human beings have to do, but we should do it is to be truthful with ourselves in God's presence. But there's more to it than that. Oftentimes we have to be truthful with others. Also, because it is in relationships that we are strengthened and we are given help and in a world that is drowning in all kinds of addictions.
These truths need to be proclaimed.
I've written a book entitled the power of a clear conscience let God free you from your past for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. You can go to RTW offer.com RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now will be giving you that contact information at the end of this message. For now, you might want to simply sit back, listen carefully and let God speak to all of us.
I actually read about a cocaine addict in your who is in a room and decided to change himself to a radiator so that he would down the street and do more: but apparently he was able to get the radiator broken and at least a piece of that so that he was able to take it back out on the street carrying this heavy metal chained to it and said Coke has a voice and when it calls I must go while but you know it's not only cocaine that has a voice it's alcoholism, it's gambling, it's pornography, various sexual addictions and it's also self-righteousness that is an addiction. If you can believe it. Were we think that we really don't need as much grace as other people.
While this is a series of messages entitled the power of a clear conscience, and of course it's really not possible to have a clear conscience. If you are struggling with reoccurring sin and always losing the battle. That's why it's necessary.
As a part of this series for me to speak about addictions and remember our key verse. I hope that you've all memorized by now. First Timothy chapter 1 verse five for the name of our instruction is love flowing from a pure heart a good conscience and a sincere faith. What we're after is a good conscience.
Now I'm going to make some introductory comments.
Five. Very briefly before we turn to the text of Scripture. First of all let me say that this is going to be a message about grace when it comes to dealing with addictions. People don't need any more condemnation they already feel it, that the file conscience reminds them that there is a part of them that is constantly being defeated and so what we need is grace, and at the end of this message.
It is my intention to show you God's grace and to leave you there and me there were we all need to be second word by way of intro is that we are all prone to be addicts all prone to be addicts. We all love something more than we should. Easy kill the prophets spoke about people who put up idols in their hearts so will discover that some addictions are very obvious and known, but there are some that are subtle, so rather than us thinking of the fact that there are some around us may be sitting next to us when we think in terms of the continuum and know that all of us struggle with sin at some level and by the way, speaking of addictions. It's possible it's almost not an exaggeration to say that almost every family in America has been affected by addiction and so let's not fool ourselves. Let's talk about the fact that our sinful nature.
The default position is toward addiction. There's 1/3 point that needs to be made as we begin, and that is then critical grace does not enter close doors doesn't enter close doors as I speak today you may be sitting there and already within your mind you're having rationalizations and reasons why you are the way you are and why you cannot afford to change what God's grace is open and it is wide, but the problem is that often times we don't recognize that in will you keep in mind that we expect not merely a challenge today.
There's a young man at permitting who preach this week and said that he's not interested in challenge he's interested in change and that's what I'm interested in. When I was younger, which was quite a long time ago I used to think that if I just lay out what people have to do they get rid of their addictions memorize these verses learn these principles go home apply them all. Now I know that sin is more deeply entrenched the rationalizations of the human heart go down to bed rock excuses abounds blindness all over the place. All that I can do is point the way and lead you to grace and leave you there next addiction has many causes your home, for example, if you're brought up in an addicted home. Whether it's alcoholism or other things you may actually have what is sometimes referred to as an addictive personality, so it may be your home.
It may be your friends who lead you into drugs. This past week I read about that where a guy said that at work. They began to introduce them to it in you know addictions always make life go along much better until life goes along much worse. And then you become hooked so the point is that it may be friends, but the real problem is you and me at your home, it's your friends. But at the end of the day it's your heart someone is said that an addiction is an evolutionary promise, creating a world of escape.
You go into a world of pleasurable sensations promises like a god, but in the end pays like the devil. Finally, in terms of the intro. There are many many different matches. If I can use that illustration that inflame addictions. First of all you have accessibility. That's one of the reasons that pornography has grown so much as a result of the Internet accessibility drugs are accessible. Not only that there are now people have a gambling addiction because you can gamble online, accessibility, secrecy, very important so that the shame remains hidden self-deception. The best definition of addiction. I think I've ever read is a short one.
I'm not sure exactly who said it, but he said that it is really the blinding absorption of sin of my is that accurate.
The blinding absorption of sin. You can't really find an alcoholic who can really see the devastation he is doing to his own life. What is he doing to his family and to his children because there is so much denial and blindness that we simply can't see it in our own a little selfish world so there is deception there is escape. I talk to people who say that all during the week there thinking about what they're going to do on the weekend.
It fuels them. It it draws them and so they put up with work because what they're really living for is the weekend when they can finally do what they want to do and and this is the world of escape. Life is hard and so what you want to do is to find a place, a place of euphoria, a place where you are in a trance work. Nothing else matters except the fulfillment of these desire.
All consequences are blotted out of your mind. I'll shake hands with the devil and walk with him over the bridge and then I'll deal with the consequences later a world of escape. A world of shame that keeps people bound well that by way of introduction. I'm going to ask you now to take your cell phones if you would please and turn with me to the eight to the eighth chapter of the book of John VIII chapter of the book of John.
I decided this week. If you can't lick and you might as well join him and that those of you actually have your Bibles that you brought from home.
The two or three of you that did that you can turn to John chapter 8, or there is also a Bible in the pew in the seat in front of you.
John chapter 8. I'm beginning at verse 31 so Jesus said to the Jews who had believed on him. If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free. They answered him, we are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone how is it that you say you will become.
Jesus said, truly, truly, I say to you everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever. The sun remains forever. So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed, but just look at the passage for a moment. I think that the people who believed on Jesus in verse 31 are probably true believers in Jesus is saying to them.
If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.
You'll know the truth.
The truth will set you free. Now I think that there was a larger crowd out there who is overhearing what Jesus would say to his disciples and so it may be that they are the ones who say we are offspring of Abraham. We've never been enslaved to anyone how you say, we shall become free. What we need to become free law were Abraham's offspring. Jesus uses an illustration they'd be acquainted with truly I say to you everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.
What a powerful statement, but the slave does not remain in the house forever. A slave can be bought can be sold can be traded, but a son abides permanently and so if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I don't overuse the word, but I do have to say well what I'd like to do in the next few moments is to give you three truths at the least, and remember this is a fly over this message as I was preparing it, it dawned on me that I could preach a whole series if we were to unpack all the things that we could think about what I'd like to do is to give you three truths that you need for freedom and then what were going to do is to give you some steps and point the way. And you have to with an open heart go the rest of the way with Jesus. I first thing I think that we need to know is we need to know ourselves. We have to know our own heart to see the people doing Jesus was speaking. They didn't know their hearts. They said well you know we've never been slaves to anyone. Please notice this, their self-righteousness closed them off to the possibility of experiencing God's grace. We've never been slaves to anyone where the righteous ones we go to the temple. We pray we keep the law. What do we need to be set free from you and I because of the deception of our hearts we make two profound mistakes. When we evaluate ourselves. Number one, we underestimate our blind we underestimate our blindness.
The Pharisees certainly did that all the time. They didn't see what Jesus was getting at the deeper issues of the heart. They were closed off from that and then the other thing that we do is overestimate our ability. We overestimate our ability. Every time I speak on addictions. I usually like to have possible and I've done that throughout the years. A couple of times I read a book about addictions and this week I was spending some time in a book entitled the last addiction and dates by woman by the name of Sharon Hirsch and some of the ideas I throw out undoubtedly come from my reading, but the point that she is making is that the very last addiction is the belief that we can get out of our predicament alone simply by helping ourselves by memorizing verses by saying we won't do it again by by a resolution that says this will never happen again, but it will will the idea that we ourselves the self that got us into trouble is the self that can get us out of trouble is mythology.
Recently I took a stress test. I don't know if you've ever had them but they put you on a treadmill and the doctor said to me at first you're going to be able to keep up with the treadmill, but eventually you will lose in the treadmill will win a right of first three minutes.
Hey, this isn't bad at all, just a fast walk and then after three minutes, they increase the incline and then the speed and you say hello is getting a little more or take more energy than I thought. And then they do that again soon.
You surrender and you say treadmill, you win.
You win you in an addiction means you with the root word is it's to surrender to the gods at the end of the day we surrender to the gods and it is a myth that we can pull ourselves up and deliver ourselves, if only we follow the prescribed path. Sin is deeper. The devil is stronger and that's an illusion. Second, what we need to do is to know some truth about Satan truth about Satan, now it's very interesting that we don't have time to unpack this whole passage, but if you can skip for a moment to verse 44 Jesus interchanges here with the Jews and you know Jesus was very gentle but when he was dealing with self-righteous people. Is it really is a did Jesus say that verse 44 your of your father the devil try that on when you're witnessing to somebody say you know I just want you to know that your of your father the devil, and then see how that builds confidence as the as the witnessing continues. All right, but these people are bragging that Abraham is their father and Jesus says your of your father the devil, and that your will is to do the father's desires.
He was a murderer from the beginning, the devil is never interested in life always death and has nothing to do with the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. I've often said from this pulpit. The only time you could really believe the devil is if he told you that he were lying and then you know that in speaking the truth. He can only lie, and what the devil does is he puts ideas into our minds that we think are our own.
So were not afraid of them.
He did that with Ananias and Sapphire became and said what if you use a little bit of deception so that you look better in the church than you really are. You can tell a lie. It was actually 1/2 lie.
And then Peter says, why is it that Satan is put in your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit.
They didn't know that came from the devil or they'd a bit afraid of that thought they thought it was their own.
Now the devil has two different sets of lies to the Jews. Here his lie would be your righteous you keep the law you go to temple you're not a drunkard you're not with prostitutes you you pay your time with and you know you you you're very meticulous in keeping the law, you're okay I'm okay you're okay were all okay as long as we belong to this club to lie for God to overcome their blindness. If I can put it this way is a greater miracle than the blindness of the prostitute down the way.
That's why Jesus said that they go into the kingdom of heaven ahead of the all. I think he sometimes spoke text and said they go in ahead of y'all. So there's that lie and then for those who are bound in the fleshly addictions he has it on of lies lies like him.
You'll never change, and that furthermore you're worthless you're unloved you don't have any real value as a person. Look at your past. Look at what people think of you. Are you accepted are you the center of things no.
You have every right to hate yourself considering who you are. You have every right to slash your wrists in anger.
You have every right to be anorexic and not eat so that you can control something in your life because you're angry and everything else is out of control ask you a question. Where do those kinds of thoughts come from. Do they come from God. I don't think so. They come from Satan and are going to be times when you're going to struggle and you're going to have to say, begone, Satan, for it is written, and you're going to have to stand on the word of God because the lies are going to want to control you.
Jesus said your father is the devil, because he lies don't believe his lies.
So we need to know something about ourselves something about Satan, and of course something about God. He is gracious and merciful, and in a few moments.
I'm going to be giving you an example. Right from the chapter 8 here of that mercy and that grace the fact that God gives us the gift of his presence. He gives us what we normally don't have and don't deserve and he goes with us into the darkest closets of our life. He invites us to open the door and to let light shine there to deal with it issues that us, perhaps for years and years and God comes along and he is merciful and gracious, and we need to draw near to him and if you missed last time the message I preached on how we draw near, through the blood of Christ, absolutely critical to understand my friend today. Mrs. Pastor limits her and as you might guess as a pastor it's been my privilege to get to know people oftentimes they have shared with me their struggles, and I know something of the depths of the pain that many people are going through. Let me tell you one story a true story about a woman who oftentimes had to go to a mental institution struggling greatly with her mind and with guilt one day when her son was about 22 years old.
She sat him down and said I've something to tell you the man that you think is your father is really not your father, your father is a doctor who works in the next town that you can imagine all that this young man went through trying to figure out his identity to the glory of God. Today he is a minister.
He shares the word of God in many different churches and is very effective and leads people into personal revival after that his mother didn't have to go to an institution because the guilt that she was carrying that guilt dissipated. You know that's why I have written a book entitled the power of a clear conscience let God for you from your past because there I discuss issues on whether or not you have to confess to others, whether or not you should or shouldn't giving you some guidance but also the guidance of a forgiving God for a gift of any amount. It can be yours.
Here is what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book the power of a clear conscience RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and thanks in advance for helping us because together we are making a difference, as we proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to so many. You are standing with us and I think you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, Illinois 6061 for those with addictions are usually blind as to how addicted they really are. Next time I'm running to win more insights from John chapter 8 on the truth that hurts you running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church