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Rescued From The Folly Of Self-Salvation Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
April 5, 2021 1:00 am

Rescued From The Folly Of Self-Salvation Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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April 5, 2021 1:00 am

It’s clear the Apostle Paul knew nothing of political correctness. He catalogs the depth of human depravity in chapter three of the book of Romans. It’s a list many would argue with, but an accurate list, nonetheless. Unless we are prepared to see our true condition, we will never understand how desperately we need the grace of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.

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It's clear the apostle Paul. Nothing political correctness catalogs.

The depth of human depravity.

In chapter 3. In the book of Romans. List many would argue with but nonetheless today seeing our true condition and why we are in such desperate need the grace of God is revealed in Jesus from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Irwin looks her was clear. Teaching helps us make it across the finish line, loser you're talking about being rescued from the folly of self salvation.

Why do so many people feel they have no need for salvation at all Dave. The answer to that question is because they think that they are going to be judged on the curve, so to speak, and they always look at other people and say I'm better than so-and-so. And so they think to themselves, they're going to get to heaven based on their good works like a man on a plane told me I plan to stand before God on the basis of my own record.

I told him that his own record is going to reveal a lot of sin, a lot of self-deception and I hope that he understood the need for God's grace and God's intervention in all these messages on salvation are so critical in a confused world.

Let me ask would you like to have these messages so that you can listen to them again and again were making them available as a resource for a gift of any amount they can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for this series of messages entitled rescued what God did to save us. My topic today is the folly of self salvation. We as human beings are very interesting creatures aren't way on the one hand potential for great good. On the other hand, potential for on imaginable evil all existing in human nature. All existing at times in the very same heart. I recall watching the news and that there was a time when I saw news about a tremendously ugly assault of a woman I'll just let you fill in the details and then after the commercial they came back with a story about a woman who is using her own band spending their own money to feed the poor, and I thought what an interesting commentary on human nature and does see some great wickedness in the seeds of good as sly in the human heart, but today were going to examine the human heart from God's perspective and were not going to like what we see, but Martin Luther said that it is not possible. He said for us to ascend into heaven until we have first ascended and descended into hell. So were going to look at human nature and all of its ugliness. As we look at this. Some of you are going to argue with what the Bible has to say and when you argue with what the Bible has to say. It only shows you don't really understand yourself and you don't understand grace. There are many people who believe that grace is wonderful and were glad for it but they had no idea why it is so amazing.

Now when I preach. I frequently emphasize that I want you to hear the entire message and that's always the case. But today, especially if you're listening on the radio and there is another segment of the message.

Be sure to listen next time because to to simply look at the human heart itself can be very depressing, but I'm doing it so that we might understand grace the amazing grace of God, and that's why am going to end by very brief exposition of grace now in order for you to understand the human heart, you must realize that as individuals we are not like individual stocks of core.

It's much better for us to see ourselves as part of a tree and the root of the tree is corrupt thanks to Adam and Eve and because of Adam and Eve and their sin. They can be thought of as the acorn that is in the ground and from now on everything that grows is going to be cursed all your branch might be much straighter than that of someone else to be sure, but at the end of the day. We are all part of a very corrupt perverse tree, and in order for us to understand that I do invite you to take your Bibles and turn with me to Romans chapter 3 Romans chapter 3 and Deb were going to begin looking at verse nine and were going to go through this catalog of human nature.

There was a man in Scotland who was walking through a park and he had leather satchel and do some of the young people there thought that he get a camera and it actually had a New Testament and it so they said to him, would you take our picture. He said I already have and then he read this passage of Scripture to them. This is like a window into the human heart and it's not a pretty picture but it will help us to understand grace now in verse nine, Paul says, what then chapter 3 of Romans.

What then are we Jews any better off. No, not at all, for we have already charged that old both Jews and Greeks are on sin. What an expression of course we are sinners, but we are also under sin that can mean under sin's dominion under sin's judgment, but also just the stress and the weight of sin. Some of you understand that very well right now you are in your own spirit and your own mind struggling with his weight of sin.

The imagery is that of John Bunyan Bunyan in the Pilgrim's progress and by the way this is immortalized on his tomb in London that Rebecca and I saw two years ago. He visualizes Pilgrim with a very heavy burden of sin and this Pilgrim on the way to the heavenly city is burden down and can bear it no more, and then he comes to the foot of the cross and the burden is rolled off at the foot of the cross and it rolls into the tomb of Christ, and now Christian is able to stand up and to stand erect because the weight of sin has been taken from him. That's the imagery we are all under sin. Now what Paul does is he quotes many verses from the Old Testament and I think you give something like a 16 point indictment of human nature were going to comment on some of them very briefly and when we are through your gonna want to catch your breath and say am I really that bad, and the apostle Paul would say yes, and a whole lot more. Are you ready for the journey. First of all Paul says them in verse 10 there is none righteous, no not one.

No one understands, and we want our and we want to say look at all the good things that we have done. Look at the good things that human nature has been able to accomplish but you must remember that Paul is looking at this from God's viewpoint when judged in relationship with each other.

There are righteous and there are unrighteous. But when judged by the holy law of God, there is none righteous, no not one.

There is none that understands, in and of themselves they don't understand. That doesn't mean that humans aren't brilliant. There are professors in universities today that can give a brilliant exposition of Christianity, and they may even be right in what they say but yet they miss the point. They don't get it, and they don't believe in it for themselves, so there's none who understands really left to ourselves and then the apostle Paul goes on and we just follow him along this way no one seeks after God again. You want to argue with Paul. You want to say that in religion and in history matters incurably religious, and so people are groping after God all the time then you're saying there's none that seeks after God taxes, none that seeks after God the best imagery of human nature is Adam and Eve in the garden. They were not looking for God, they were hiding themselves in the trees of the garden trying to get away from him. Now mind you, they did have fig leaves to cover their shame and all of human religion is people quote seek for that which is spiritual.

They are really seeking an answer to their guilt there seeking some kind of experience that will give them meaning to life, but certainly in what is called today the new spirituality.

None of those people are seeking after God, no, not one they are seeking for ways to run from God, a holy God to whom they have to give an account a God who is going to judge their behavior. Are you telling me that they are seeking for him. They are running from him as fast as they can. But meanwhile they go into various branches of spirituality to try to find meaning and hope and try to somehow manage their sin. Now you say well I know people who sought God in their Christians today. Yes, of course, because what the Bible says is that if we have found Christ it is that Christ came looking for us. He came to seek and to save and that which was lost. The Scripture says it is God who came to Adam and Eve there in the garden and came seeking for them. They were not seeking for him so far as I know when it comes to sheep and I've never been a shepherd but I know some people who have been when it comes to sheep. The sheep never go around saying hey we have to go try to find the shepherd shepherd has to find the sheep and Jesus said, no man can come to me unless the father draw him.

So God does seek individuals.

That's the message of the gospel, but in and of themselves. Nobody seeks after God and then it says, as if that isn't harsh enough. He says all of us have turned aside the imagery. There is of sheep going astray. Together they become on worthless. No one does good, not even one, and that includes you and it includes me.

You know, when you look into your heart and I've been a student of human nature somehow in human nature fascinates me because I know what is in my heart and I suspect it's much like what is in your heart when you think of human nature. You must realize that we even as redeemed people as redeemed people everything that we do is tainted with self-interest and sin.

I given this illustration of the time when I'm driving along and it's it's not a busy street, but it is a street kind of out in the country not too far from the city and that there on the side of the road is a woman who has pulled off and I stop and ask her what the problem is and she says my car is out of gasoline I should've put some in but ran out of gasoline thalidomide I go back to a service station and of course they wouldn't trust me with a can that I could just use and bring back so I buy a can, a 1 gallon can gasoline I put gasoline in it.

Of course, and then I take it, put it in the trunk and take it to where she is and there I am half in a ditch with a suit on, catch the picture with the suit on and I am filling her tank or at least putting in 1 gallon of gasoline into her tank and just like that. The thought came to me.

I wish all of the people at Moody church could see me now. Nothing that you and I do is untainted from self interest and sin. I do know how we as Christians even become pleasing to the father. You know how that happened. Jesus takes our imperfect works and makes them pleasing to the father because we can't even do that on our own when it comes to those who do not know God through Christ.

There is none who does good that God can accept no not one. We are all part of a tree that is been cursed by God while well we continue on down. Paul actually uses some parts of the human body to show how this sin within us, lives out and he begins with the mouth. You'll notice it says in verse 13.

Their throat is an open grave. The imagery is not that there was somebody who was married and they forgot to put the lid on the casket nearly as much as it really is that the person is been buried for a long time and now the lid is being taken off and what you have is the stench coming from the tomb, you say will know this is exaggerating a little bit you know in polite company.

There are certain words that you don't use and so people clean up their act so to speak, but have you ever been in a company where you don't have that social pressure.

I remember as a student at University.

I I marveled.

First of all, that all of the epithets and the the uncleanness that came out of students mouths and then what really surprised was that it wasn't just among the boys.

It was also the young women. Some young women, beautiful young women saying very unclean things Paul says their throat is just like that some of you know that you work in environments where just one word after another is an unclean word so it says that they've all turned aside, together they become worthless.

Their throat is an open grave.

They use their tongues to deceive the venom of asps that is snakes vipers is under their lips always retaliation always in insistence on making themselves look good in other people look bad and I'm you'll notice it says their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Again man without God is like that. Jesus said from within the heart of man, come evil thoughts, adulteries, on occasions, thefts, covetousness, and then he says, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. James says you can't have a dirty well and then find within it, clean water, likening it on to the human heart is able. Again, this is an exaggeration.

Years ago I read a book entitled, the day America told the truth.

Now this was years ago, so I might be wrong on some things, but if I remember correctly about 50% of the people interviewed is said that they lie at least once a day at least once a day, some multiple times that day and I was surprised at the number of people who would do despicable things. If you could absolutely guarantee that they would never be found out and even such things as what they'd be willing to do for $10 million. I think it was about 7% who said that they leave their wife and their family for $10 million and on and on it goes. And you look at that, the day America told the truth and you say to yourself while of course there's an interesting philosophical puzzle.

I was going to comment on. But since I have your attention, I will if somebody tells you that he's a liar.

Can you believe him and Isis thrown out there. Paul has an interesting comment in the New Testament. He says all Christians are liars and he said the reason I know that is because accretion told me have always been interested in that. Can you believe accretion if he tells you that all Christians are liars set that aside, folks, let's get back to the text. All right, so you'll notice that that is the way it is.

I like the prayer that was prayed by Fred Holloman, chaplain of the Senate in Kansas when you love to pray this in the US Congress, omniscient father, help us to know who's telling the truth one side tells us one thing the other side just the opposite. And if neither side is telling the truth.

We'd like to know that to and if each side is telling only half the truth. Give us the wisdom to put the right halves together, great prayer there is none that does good.

All right, so he talks about our speech and then he says their feet are swift to shed blood. That's verse 15 it means that they very easily resort to violence, they resort to violence and endo- retaliation. Everything has to be retaliated. There can be no injustice and you did this to me and all do that to you.

Always violence and retaliation in their paths are ruin and misery the way of shalom the way of peace they have not known you my friend, someone described to me this way you're standing on the floor because you believe that this is as deep as evil can go and then you discover that under you there's someone knocking there. Still another story than the few the evil of the human heart is absolutely overwhelming and that's why I am so thankful for God's grace in the book of Romans.

As you've probably heard me say takes us apart piece by piece, but then it puts us together, showing us the wonder of God's grace.

Would you like to have these messages so that you can listen to them again and again share them with your friends, listen to them a second or third time as these truth become a part of who you are for a gift of any amount. These messages can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 were making this resource available to you because as you frequently hear us say we want to help you make it all the way to the finish line. And even as you connect with us.

I want to thank you so much for your involvement for your gifts because we view this ministry is your ministry's not the ministry of a church or a man or an organization. It is yours for a gift of any amount ask for the series of messages entitled rescued RTW or if you prefer to call us at 1-888-218-9337 it's time now for another chance for you to ask investor loops or a question about the Bible or the Christian life sometimes Bible promises don't seem to square with the realities of life that is quite concerned about this and she wrote to say the promise of Scripture is that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. Yet I know several devout Christians who became so depressed that they took their own lives. How can you reconcile this patio want you to know that that's a question I have thought about often and I wish that I had a real good clear cookie-cutter kind of answer. I don't but I do have some thoughts that I think will put it in perspective.

First of all I need to say that people who do that, I believe, simply are not using all the resources at their disposal, even if they are going through a time of depression. Sometimes they are keeping this to themselves, rather than going to the body of Christ where there can be some healing accountability and corporate prayer because I believe that, of course, a person who commits suicide dies is a failure. I mean they are putting a period where God only intended that there be a, and so because he has not attempted us above that we are able. We need to access all the resources that God gives us his word prayer and the people of God and any other helps there able to make us get through those difficult patches of life and so what I would say. Also, though, is that I believe that true Christians who commit suicide are in heaven. I mean, I've known missionaries who come back from the mission field depressed very much discouraged they committed suicide, even though they have been used of the Lord to win other people to Jesus Christ but still, that does not justify committing suicide. So what we need to do Patty, I think at the end of the day is this is not take for granted the fact that we can face any difficulty any trial, any temptation simply because were Christians. We need to avail ourselves of all the scriptural teaching that there is, along with the body of Christ and trust him even in the dark and because of God's promises. I believe that can be done. Thank you Patty and thank you Dr. Luther if you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to our and click on ask Pastor lutes or 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 through the gospel, God in his grace confers his own righteousness of those who believe in his son. Next time why that's truly amazing Grace this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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