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Rescued By A Hand From Heaven Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 24, 2021 1:00 am

Rescued By A Hand From Heaven Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 24, 2021 1:00 am

If you’re tossed overboard into a stormy sea, the most important thing on your mind is being rescued. Humanity is drowning in the stormy sea of sin, and even though most don’t realize it, they’re headed for an eternal death. Sinners need outside help, and so God has put in place a rescue plan from heaven—a plan outlined in the book of Romans.

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Looking to Jesus humanity has been tossed overboard into the stormy sea of sin, even though most don't realize it. There headed an eternal death.

Sinners need outside help. So God has put in place a rescue plan from heaven a plan outlined in the book of Romans from the Moody Church in Chicago this morning to with Dr. Erwin Blitzer was clear. Teaching helps us make it across the finish line vasculature take a moment to tell us why the book of Romans is so foundational in understanding salvation will first of all day and I want to say that you put it so currently we have been thrown into a pit of sin. If I might put it that way and we need to be rescued. We need a hand from heaven and I'm so glad that the book of Romans explains that now. Historically, the book of Romans is had a great impact in the early church, and of course during the time of the Reformation and what we must do is to answer the most important question that anyone could ever ask, how can a center be right with God and to all of you who are listening but you pick up the phone and invite a friend to listen so matter fact, it is important that we all listen to the gospel.

But you know people who need this series of messages and I believe that God will use the messages to lead many people to personal faith in Christ and assurance. So thanks for your prayers and let's go now to the pulpit of Moody church where we begin this series rescued again today with a question for you. What is so special about Christianity. Why be a Christian.

Rather than being a Buddhist or Hindu or Muslim is so unique about Christianity anyway. Answer very briefly is that Christianity has some good news directly from God. I realize of course that there are other religions who believe that they also have heard from God. But when you read their revelations. What you'll discover is that God is always telling them what he expects of them what they are supposed to do for him. Christianity is some good news that exemplifies and explains what God has done for us in a word he's come to us with a rescue mission and the book. I suppose that best explains all of this is the book of Romans. In the New Testament, and you may take your Bibles at this point and turn to the book of Romans and what we discover is that Paul is writing a letter to the church in Rome. The question of course is how did the church in Rome. "We have some indication in the New Testament because in acts chapter 2 where you have the Holy Spirit of God coming up on people and their speaking languages that they didn't learn it says in chapter 2 verse 10 and there were also visitors from so evidently the church in Rome, was begun by Jewish Christians who heard the good news about Christ. There went to Rome began to spread abroad, and the apostle Paul, if you'll notice in chapter 1 he is talking about the church there and he says in verse eight, first I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because your faith is proclaimed in the whole world.

How could that happen what it was a Roman Emperor who years after the churches began had all of the Jews that were in Rome. They all had to leave and evidently these Christians who had come to saving faith in Christ and they became messianic believers. They began to go to different parts of the country and they spread their faith and so the faith of the Roman church began to grow and it was known worldwide. If you look at the world in terms of its limitations of that day in the apostle Paul goes on and says that he would like to be with this church, he says, verse nine for God is my witness whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his son, that without ceasing I mentioned always you in my prayers asking by God's will. I may now at last come to you and if you know anything about history, you discover that the apostle Paul eventually did get to Rome and tradition says that he was beheaded there for the cause of the gospel. Let me ask you this question. What would the church be like in Rome.

What were the conditions of the Roman Empire and its subject. It's easy for us to romanticize ancient Rome because we go to Rome today and we see there in the Roman forum. All of the great buildings that were built in the tall columns that still stand, which remember that all of those beautiful buildings were built by slaves. I read a report regarding what life was like in Rome. In those days and it was very depressing. I mean, I want you to visualize rows of homes with a great deal of poverty. What you find is that the sewer was basically the street Christians living in squalor all over the place so that was true economically, politically, the Caesars, the Roman emperors were ruling and they were very very hard on the Christians.

As you know eventually and decades ahead they would be putting hundreds if not thousands of them to death, so that was the situation what's interesting is that as you read the book of Romans, the apostle Paul doesn't deal with politics the political problem, or the poverty problem are they important problems absolutely so matter fact, the reason that Christianity spread is because of the concern of Christians for the poor and in helping the downtrodden and through hospitality.

But that isn't the most urgent message that we could possibly have. Because the apostle Paul is saying that God came on a rescue mission, and this is even more important than the issue of poverty or the political loss of religious freedom. This is absolutely critical. So I say to you today.

Be wrong about Social Security be wrong about politics the wrong about political philosophy. But don't be wrong on the message that is given in the book of Romans, because that is an eternal message. The Bible says that God came to rescue us from our sins. He came to rescue us from the selfishness that is inborn within us that causes strife and anger and wars and and all kinds of conflict and guilt that we don't know what to do with an end, God decided to rescue us and his rescue attempt was just in time, so to speak.

Possibly you saw that item on the news recently where a father was with his two daughters and they were on a jet ski that overturned in the midst of the storm and there was nothing between them and the falls in the Merrimack River. There was nothing between them and the falls except a cable that they were able to hang on to a cable with boys that warned people of the speed of the river, and whatever you do don't go beyond this, because the falls are close by, and there they hung and we saw the rescue attempt how a boat was able to come and and to take them and to put them into the boat and a great relief when they realize that they been rescued and they said that they had only seconds to go before they'd have to let go and go over the falls. If you're in a situation like that.

This is not a time to discuss philosophical questions. It's not a time to have a discussion regarding nutrition and poverty. It is a time to be rescued and the book of Romans says that God became to this planet to rescue us from our sins and from eternal damnation.

As we shall see. Next time.actually came to rescue us from his own wrath because the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness. We are going to learn as of the apostle Paul writes this book to help people to understand God's rescue program. The good news, called the gospel which will become plain not only in this message. But in the ones that follow that when you open your Bible to the book of Romans.

You are in one of the most important books of the New Testament, all of them are important, but the book of Romans. Perhaps like no other has had a huge impact upon Christianity. We think for example of Martin Luther, whom we will talk about how in a study of Romans, he began to understand the gospel and he says it was as if I was reborn and entered into the gates of paradise.

What incredibly good news for sinners is in this book and then also nearly 2 centuries or so later you have John Wesley, who was a missionary to America here and he said that he came to convert the Indians but then Wesley says, who will convert.

He came here is an unconverted missionary. Remember that they exist and he went back to London and at Aldersgate. He attended a meeting in which Luther's preface to the book of Romans was read and he was gloriously converted and he says that his heart was strangely warmed and he understood the gospel and believed.

While the reading was taking place. Maybe later on in another message will actually give you little excerpt of Luther's preface to the book of Romans and why it is that anyone could be converted reading at, but the impact of this book in other ways throughout history has been great is an ocean of Christian doctrine. It answers all kinds of questions like who was Jesus Christ.

Why did he come how sinful are we, what is the greatest sin that anyone can commit. How can we have assurance of salvation is God finished with the nation Israel what's predestination all about all of it is in the book of Romans and so we begin today and I introduce you to the good news of the gospel. Three features are found here in the opening verses of the book of Romans of the gospel. The first is this that you please notice that the source of the gospel is God. Now your Bibles are open. Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God underline that phrase.

It doesn't simply mean that the gospel is about God, but thankfully that's true, it is but it's the gospel that belongs to God. The Greek text is what we call possessive. It belongs to God. It's God's gospel. It's not ours.

As we begin to understand the gospel will see very clearly that nobody could make it up and it is indeed the best news that anyone could ever possibly hear and it is God's gospel because he owns that it's God's gospel because he planned it. Remember the words of Titus chapter 1 verse two in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began. Well you talk about it being God's gospel before the world begins and then we have these words in the book of second Timothy. He saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace which he gave us in Jesus Christ before the ages and another translation says from all eternity.

Wow what that really means is that it's not too strong to say that God created in order that he might redeem redemption is his finest work to create the heavens. He needed only his sovereignty and his power to redeem us justice, mercy, love all those attributes had to be involved and fully satisfied. What a message of the gospel we have. It is God's gospel AE a plan that he he promised it. Paul goes on to say you'll notice it says promised verse two before hand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures concerning his son and that in the Old Testament you find may be a couple of hundred references to the coming of Jesus Christ.

God promises the gospel that he originated that he ordained and that was part of his plan from all of eternity.

So that is of course the source of the gospel and what's the substance of the gospel. What is it all about what you see there in the text, concerning his son Jesus Christ, and you'll notice it says, who was descended from David according to the flesh, declared to be the son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all nations, including you are the coal to belong to Jesus Christ. I throw this in.

Are you cold to belong to Jesus Christ. Are you cold I'm speaking to all of you now, including those who are watching us today.

Perhaps listening on the radio or watching on the Internet. Are you cold you say will how do you know that your call will answer that at the end of the message. But the point is that what he's saying is, is that the substance of the gospel is Jesus was born of the flash that is to say he had a human family, virgin born to be sure to preserve his sinlessness, but nonetheless born of the seed of David. He came into the world, fully man and then declared to be also the son of God with power. He always was the son of God. Using that terminology. And that analogy from all of eternity. But he is declared to be the son of God with power by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead bottom line fully man, fully God welded together, we can use that terminology brought together united the better word united in one person for ever. That's why when we get to heaven were actually going to see Jesus Christ and we are going to see him as a man because this man, it says in the book of Hebrews continues for ever. And here's the point. Because Jesus was both God and man is the only one you know who can bring man and God together, you heard me say it many times and I hope you hear me say it many times in the future. There is nobody else out there like Jesus.

All right, let's just get that straight. Bring me your profit. Bring me your let's look at him and then let's compare them to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Both man and God King of Kings and Lord of lords, forever and ever and you'll see that there is no comparison. So the gospel the substance of the gospel is Jesus Christ and what he did for us. What is the scope of the gospel. Let's look at verse 14. He says I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians. What he means is the educated and the uneducated. I I have to smile here at this point you'll have to forgive me but about 20 years ago I was invited to Barbados the island of Barbados where I spoke. I think some of you know what's coming, don't you your laughing already. Where I spoke at a Bible conference and I said how wonderful it was to be among the barbarians and I think the correct word was Barbadian's and I said barbarians now everybody laughed. They were very kind but maybe I should point out in passing that I've never been invited back.

No, the apostle Paul says I am called not only to preach to the Greeks to the educated. I am called to preach also to those who are uneducated and guess what the message for the educated, the Greeks and the message for the I hope I get it right this time the barbarians is the very same message because there is only one message and no matter what religion you belong to.

No matter what your background is, no matter the color of your skin or where you were born, there is only one gospel, and it applies to you around a lot a Gospels hanging out there some other message because you fit into different category. Paul is not saying he's gonna pay back what God has done nothing like that. But what he saying is I feel an obligation to preach the gospel to every body will. This is as deludes and perhaps you've heard me say this before, that if you get the impression that I delight in preaching the gospel. Your impression is correct.

What could be a greater privilege than to share with others the good news of the gospel, God came to rescue us and that of course is the major ministry of running to win your running to win exists in many different forms. It's on YouTube. Of course were on radio in more than 20 different countries I'm holding in my hands a letter of someone who says I survived the loss of my husband because God used you as a messenger. I went to sleep crying and hearing your sermons on YouTube. They help me to cope with my grieving and then she goes on to say that it will be an honor to meet me, etc. but I want you to know that the great honor is for Jesus Christ our Lord. Furthermore, the honor is for the many of you who support the ministry of running to win. This is not a ministry that belongs to one man at church or an organization. This is your ministry, and this testimony is your testimony you had a part in it.

If you support this ministry, would you consider becoming an endurance partner. Those are people who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. You need more info.

Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW

Click on the endurance partner button and I hope that the Lord will lead you to stand with us as we get the gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible. RTW Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 I'm going to be giving you that contact information once again that I do so with a prayer that God will lead you to help us RTW Click on the endurance partner button or 1-888-218-9337 it's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor deludes her a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Does God give visions to people today like he did for his prophets in the Old Testament and the apostle Paul in the New Testament.

An anonymous listener has written asking this. I have visions that match what the Bible says they come in pictures somehow I have premonitions and I start crying for people that I know are in trouble recently. This happened to my pastor. I believe God has shown me something about him and now he's in trouble. Why does God want me to know these things about people will my friend, your question is somewhat confusing to me. I'm not sure that I have a complete answer, but I do have a couple of comments.

First of all if I had an opportunity to speak with you and ask you the question have you ever been wrong.

It's a very important question because I've heard of people who have premonitions and they had made accusations about people that are incorrect like at this person did so and so are this person is guilty of that mad and they pretended that they had this inside knowledge.

If you have ever been wrong. This may indicate that your source of knowledge is not really God certainly Satan doesn't know everything but he knows an awful lot. He knows very probably what will happen in certain situations, even though he may be wrong. In other instances, but he can observe. So I would simply throw out that caution.

Secondly, in terms of your visions if they are of God, and I do have some question marks as to whether or not they might be, but if they are of God, you need to be very very careful because for you in any way to share this with someone else may run into the very problem I've already commented on, namely making accusations and so forth. Now here's a verse of Scripture.

I want to read to you from Jeremiah let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. Now notice what has straw in common with wheat, declares the Lord. What God is saying is this, you can tell your dream and your vision but you should see it as straw in relationship to wheat. The wheat is the pure word of the Lord that comes to us through the Scriptures side, be very cautious with these quote revelations. I would not necessarily assume that they are always of God and secondly, even when they come to pass, handle them carefully, but always look at them as straw, chaff in relationship to wheat.

The wheat is God's infallible word.

Thank you Dr. Luther if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor Luther 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 many people get offended if you tell them there's nothing they can do to make themselves look good before a holy God. Next time more on how badly we need rescue running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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