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Walking In The Light Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
February 17, 2021 1:00 am

Walking In The Light Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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February 17, 2021 1:00 am

One of the most important Bible verses for having a clear conscience is 1 John 1:9. Let’s look at the process of daily confession of sin and how it keeps the way clear between us and God.

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. One of the most important Bible verses for having a clear conscience is 1 John 1.9. Today, we'll look at the process of daily confession of sin and how it keeps the way clear between us and God.

From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, keeping short accounts with God goes a long way toward living a joyful life. You know, Dave, I'm sure that this is true of other believers as well, but I don't think that there's a verse of scripture that I have quoted as often. I don't think that there's a verse that I have needed as often as 1 John 1.9.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and the fact that we can actually take God at his word. Now, for all of our listeners, I want to ask you a question. Are you blessed as a result of the ministry of Running to Win? Did you know that you are blessed because there are others who have invested in this ministry and they've made these investments so that we can continue and even expand the ministry?

Would you consider becoming a part of that group? We're speaking here of endurance partners. I'm describing people who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. I'm going to give you some contact information, but I'm going to give it to you again after the message as well.

Go to rtwoffer.com, click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now with that, let's go to the pulpit of Moody Church and understand once again a basic beautiful truth that we all need. You say, oh, pastor, how do we know when we have to confess our sins to other people and not just to God?

Listen, if that's the question you are asking, you have come to the right place. I just can't believe that you're thinking that because, you know, I have a message that I'm going to preach on that as a part of the series and will give you some principles that you can use in terms of reconciliation. But confession means complete total agreement with God. All right, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. We claim our forgiveness and he is faithful and just. He's to be depended upon. What God says is true. It's in the word. I believe it.

I receive it. Woman said to me, Pastor Luther, I had an abortion. And the little girl would be about three years old now if I hadn't aborted her.

When I walk into a mall and I see a little girl who's about three years old, I'm just absolutely overwhelmed with guilt. I said, well, did you confess your sin? She said, I've confessed it a thousand times.

Do you know this dear lady? And I'm sure I understand the pain. But what she is saying is God is not faithful and just to forgive us our sins. And you see, what happens is she is in this cycle of confession, of confession, of confession. That's why the next verse in the text is so important.

Your Bibles are open, aren't they? We confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.

Here we go now. Now we're talking about the level of conscience and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So the next time you see a three year old and all the guilt comes back, you don't go and confess again and wallow in the past as if God is not righteous and just and can't be trusted. What you do is say, Lord, I'm not going to fear those thoughts anymore. And the moment they come to me, I'm going to turn away and I'm going to give you praise for the fact that that issue no longer stands between me and you because you have forgiven me and I stand on the basis of my cleansing. And then what you do, every Christian who's been saved for at least six months knows Psalm 32 by memory, right? I mean, don't you all? How many of you have been saved more than six months?

Could I see your hands, please? I will not ask you whether or not you know Psalm. I'm just too tender hearted. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven and whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord impudeth not iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit. What you do is you affirm the fact that that issue no longer comes between you and God and that you are standing on the fact that he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from every individual unrighteousness so that you can come and you can worship God with a clear conscience and you can sing the praises of God. And if the thoughts of what you have done come back to you, you affirm the fact, Lord Jesus, thank you for reminding me about how much you've forgiven me. But you don't continue to wallow in the past.

The consequences will continue. That's separate. I think I clarified that in a previous message. I'm speaking to you today obviously to want to help you.

I always preach actually to help you. Many Christians don't know the difference between the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the accusations of the devil. And so they're responding to the accusations of the devil, not the conviction of the Spirit. The Spirit of God is given to us to lead us to repentance and confession. But once confession has been made, and sometimes that confession takes time, it isn't simply mentioning it. I don't know about you, but God never allows me to just confess all my sins in a bundle. I have to separate them and just feel the pain of how I hurt God as a result of this, this, this, this. But once that is over and I receive cleansing, if after that Satan comes and reminds me, and I'm reminded, my guilt reminds me, I know then that that's not from the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit says, hey, that's gone. So, you know, you come and you say, oh God, I have to confess this sin again. And God is saying, I don't get it. What sin are you talking about?

He throws them in the depths of the sea and then he puts up a sign that says no fishing. All right. Is he faithful? Is he just?

I think so. I know so. I've experienced the faithfulness and the justice of God to forgive my sins so that I can worship God without a cloud of guilt or a shadow coming between. I'm going to give you three transforming lessons now because I want this applied to your life. I want you to have a clear conscience. Number one, truth hurts. Truth hurts, but lies hurt a whole lot more. Truth hurts. Later on, I'm going to talk to you in another message about the price that people have had to pay to be fully right with God and others, which is of course the goal. The apostle Paul says that that is his desire to be right with God. And truth hurts, but I'll tell you this, living a lie in the end hurts a lot more, a lot more.

Religion is never a good idea. Darkness by itself never turns to light. And I have to say, and I'll probably say it in another message, that most people don't change when they see the light.

They change when they feel the heat. When their conviction becomes so overwhelming, they can't take it anymore. And therefore it's more important than their reputation. It's more important than anything else.

The only thing that matters is that I be right with God. That actually is what brings revival to a church or a nation. Did you know that?

It is when people are so desperate to have a conscience free of offense, they do anything. Truth hurts. Lies hurt even more. And sometimes it takes years for people to learn that, but that is true. Second, only light can drive away the darkness. Only light can drive away the darkness.

By the way, I have to mention this. A moment ago I told you that when we confess the sins that we know about, God forgives us for those that we've forgotten or we may be unaware of. And I want you to look at one of my favorite verses here.

I love to emphasize verse seven. If we walk in the light as he, that is God is in the light. In other words, the light is driving the darkness away because we're walking in the light.

What does that mean? That means I'm totally clear with God. And if something happens in my life that I need to confess, I confess it right away.

I don't allow sin to accumulate. So I may be driving a car, I may be who knows where, but as sin is brought to my conscience, I immediately confess it to God. If we walk in the light, and here's where it gets so exciting, I just can't believe God.

I don't get this. Because what I'm going to share with you today right now is going to be unbelievable, except by the power of the Spirit you'll believe it. If we walk in the light as God is in the light, always exposing ourselves to God with all the sin that is brought to our consciousness. What about the other sins? The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses us from all sin. And then the scripture says this. When we walk in the light, verse seven, as he is in the light.

Are you ready for this now? We have fellowship one with another. Oh, you say that means I have fellowship with you, you have fellowship with me, and of course that's true.

But look at the text. Do you remember in grammar, can you think back to what an antecedent is? I hope I do, because now I'm speaking to you about antecedents. And I said to a little boy one time, what about your grammar?

He said she's upstairs with grandpa. Notice this. If we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. The antecedent of one another there is God.

If you take the antecedent to be the closest pronoun, it would be God. If we walk in the light as God is in the light, totally exposed to him, we have fellowship one with another. God has fellowship with me, and I have fellowship with God. God desires our fellowship, John said in the opening verses. Indeed, our fellowship is with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. God desires fellowship with you, of all things.

But he says, look, I can't have that fellowship as long as you've got all this darkness. See, the reason I'm preaching this message is I want you to open up the sandwich. I want to say cellophane, but I think that's an old word.

I think now it's saran wrap. Do I have that right, by the way, any witness out there? Thank you.

I assume that that was women clapping, because how in the world would the men know what it's supposed to be called? Only light can drive away the darkness. You know, I've told you before about that legend. There is a legend that there was a cave, and the cave, of course, had darkness, and the sun said to the cave, why don't you come into the light? And finally, the cave came into the light, and then the cave said, now, I've experienced some light. Sun, why don't you come into my cave so that you can experience some darkness? So the sun said, oh, OK, I'll visit your cave. Sun came down into the cave and says, me, oh my, I don't see any darkness around here at all. I don't see any darkness. I feel sorry for people who spend their lives just managing their own darkness, going from one pillar to a post, trying to figure out what life is all about, trying to find peace, sometimes going on to substances to somehow get some relief from the fact that life is so empty and they can no longer live with themselves, when the Bible says that the answer is you come and you expose yourself to light.

And by the way, that now applies to those of you who've never trusted Christ as Savior. You come to him and you say, I am darkness, but you died for people like me, and I receive your grace and I receive your forgiveness and come into my life and bring light, light. And that's the only answer to the light that you and I need is God who is light. Finally, if you live in darkness, you die in darkness. Live in light, you're going to live in light.

Amazing. We could trace this through the scripture, but what does the Bible talk about when it says that there are those who've never trusted Christ and therefore have no protection for their sins? What happens to them? It says that they are thrown into what? Outer darkness. You live in darkness, you die, and you go into darkness. What about those who live in the light, who've received Christ as Savior?

Oh, this is so glorious. Speaking of the holy city, there is no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is its lamp, and the glory of God is the light thereof. No sun, no moon in heaven. Light, God's light. And remember this, it will be our first experience of uncreated light, uncreated light, because all the light that you and I see, the sun has light, and we have electricity that brings light. It's all created, but God who is light, no wonder of New Jerusalem, no need of the sun or of the moon, no need for electric lights in glory, because God is light. You walk in the light, you go to a place where there is light.

Now I have to ask you, have you unwrapped that rotten sandwich in saran wrap? Do you see now how you can, how you can, by God's grace, get out of the pit and get on with the journey instead of constantly going back to what has happened? Once it's been exposed to God, it's been forgiven, it's no longer an issue, so that your conscience is clear. Where are you at? Are you going to do it? I'm going to pray right now, but I want you to pray too. I want you to tell God that you will do whatever is necessary to have a clear conscience, a sincere faith, and be able to worship in spirit and in truth without shadows coming between. Can we pray? Father, it's always been up to you, but especially now it is up to you.

We can't change the human heart. We cannot show people truth apart from your spirit. The Bible is very clear that it is when Jesus Christ shines into the heart. He brings the light of the gospel. For those who've never trusted Christ, may you bring that light. For those of us who know you, bring light, Lord God, and grant us the ability to be dead honest with you. Before I close now, you talk to God in just a moment of silence, and then we will sing about God's desire to purify us.

Would you talk to God? Father, bring about the transformation that you desire. May many people go home today and spend time in your presence dealing with issues that always get in the way when they want to worship you and love you and have joy. In Jesus' name, amen. My friend today, this is Pastor Lutzer, and as you might already know, we as sinners need this truth over and over again.

Let me ask you a question. What do you think it is like for people in the Middle East to hear messages like this? We're so glad that the ministry of running to win is now in Arabic, heard throughout many countries in the Middle East. We received a report from someone who said that if I were to declare the fact that I've become a Christian, I might be killed. He encourages us to stand at his side and to continue to be faithful to preach the word of God. You can be a part of that ministry. We believe it is very important to recognize that running to win is not the ministry of a man or of a church or an organization. It is your ministry.

Would you consider becoming an endurance partner, someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts? Here's what you do to get the info that you need. Go to RTWOffer.com. That's RTWOffer.com.

Click on the endurance partner button, or if you prefer, you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Every testimony that we receive is really your testimony of God's faithfulness in your life, and together we are making a difference. Time once again for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life, uncovering the roots of spiritual weakness.

Sheri in Lombard, Illinois, listens to us on WMBI and needs some advice. Recently, I read an article you wrote for Leadership magazine. You spoke of demonic oppression or influence in one's life.

You also talked about deliverance. I've been a Christian most of my life, but have struggled and never felt really confident about my Christian walk. Among other things in my life, I was sexually abused at a very young age.

Based on your article, this could be what has hindered my walk with the Lord and my attempts to live a consistent Christian life. Basically, I'm writing to ask what the process of deliverance is. I feel my life would turn around if my past didn't have a stronghold on me.

I'd appreciate any help you can offer. You know, I have to say it's very difficult for me to offer you the path of deliverance in this sense. It would be so much better if we could sit down and I could hear your story and find out what happened and find out the effect that it had on you. I'm not sure that I should be here today and simply saying step number one, step number two, step number three, because for many people healing and help comes differently.

But I would like to suggest a few things. First of all, it is very important that you be secure in your own faith that you've received Christ as savior. And despite the evil that has been done against you, you must be willing to lay it down. That does not mean that you can reconcile with the people who did this evil against you.

Oftentimes they deny that they did it. But you personally, through counsel and through submission to God, what you must do is to simply lay that down. Secondly, I think it's so important for you to be in the word of God, standing against the kinds of struggles and the kind of evil that may arise in your heart because of the evil that was done to you. And so there's a whole process here of discipleship, going to church, worshiping with others, praying in small groups, praying for each other. All of this, I think, is important for the process of bringing help and healing to you. And many books have been written, I'm sure that are very helpful when it comes to the matter of deliverance and struggles with demonic spirits. Go to your pastor, ask him for help and counsel, and perhaps he'll be able to guide you further along the way. Bottom line, you have my compassion and you have my prayers. Thank you, Sheri, for your question, and thank you, Dr. Lutzer, for your helpful counsel. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at rtwoffer.com and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. That's 1-888-218-9337.

You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Long ago, a key doctrine that gives hope to the hopeless was lost. That doctrine is justification by faith. Next time, what justification means. Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-24 06:18:43 / 2023-12-24 06:27:06 / 8

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