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April 21, 2021 1:00 am
After the first murder recorded in the Bible, Cain had no remorse for killing Abel. Rather, he bemoaned his fate of being made a restless wanderer. He was self-absorbed in his own circumstances. Sin turns us in on ourselves, self-focus and self-preoccupied, and the only way we can get our eyes off ourselves is through the redemption Jesus provides.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Looking to Jesus after the first murder came no brother bemoaned his great being made a restless wanderer today.
Look at how self focus is shared by all of this and how we can only get our eyes off of ourselves, through the redemption Jesus provide from the Moody Church in Chicago this running with Dr. Erwin Sir was clear teaching us make it across. Esther Luther, it seems the tendency to focus on self is built into each one of us. David really is and you know the story of Cain and Abel fascinates me on many different levels.
For one thing, isn't it interesting that within the same family you have one who serves God properly, namely able and then his brother kills him. So the whole issue of the dysfunctional family has a very ancient origin. If we might put it that way and then after Cain kills his brother as you pointed out Cain feel sorry for himself absolutely self-will self absorption is ingrained in the human heart and God came to rescue us from ourselves and to rescue us from our sins. I'm so glad that we have the gospel of Jesus Christ that we can share with so many people I'm holding in my hand a letter from someone who writes Pastor Luther and the Moody church media are a gift they have addressed many of the worlds issues that the church desperately needs to face with biblical tenacity. Thank you, thank you for this encouragement and I'll be sharing this ministry with friends.
I want to thank you in advance that many of you who stand with us with your prayers and your gifts. If you would like to do that more consistently. You might consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com and when you're there, click on the endurance partner button and you'll receive all the info you need or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now we need to open our Bibles because we have to see that God came to rescue us from our sin, which really means he came to rescue us from our self absorption and are wrong thinking.
Let's listen carefully, it was Larry Crabb who told us recently that our biggest problem was not abuse or neglect all the problems we think we have our biggest enemy. He says, is self obsession. Think about that for a moment, self obsession, wasn't it Narcissus who looked into the water and saw his own image and fell in love with him self. I'm reminded of the man walking along well straight that I saw some time ago with a T-shirt that said just worship me and will get along fine. That self obsession or I think of the woman who said that she finally met Mr. Wright but she didn't know that his first name was always self obsession you know Jesus looked into the human heart, and he gives us an analysis that is not flattering, but today I need to be very honest with you and tell you that Jesus Christ's evaluation is completely correct. I'm going to read you a few words about what Jesus said and you honestly ask yourself if you if this is true of you. It's true of all of us.
Jesus said that from within, from within the hard tea didn't put it this way, but we have all within us as sin, factory, manufacturing river of sin and Jesus defines it this way evil thoughts that could include such things as stubbornness, self-will, murder, violence, revenge.
You know people who want to get even, adultery, sexual immorality course that could be explained in all different kinds of ways theft, false witnesses, slander, and the like.
Jesus said is all existing within the human heart. The seeds are there in all of us.
What an indictment, how do we cope with ourselves.
How do we live with ourselves, not even to mention those who have to live with us in the home or in a marriage relationship. How do we do it well, first of all, we hide from ourselves. We put on a false self, so the person that we are in church is not the person whom we actually are at all. The family will tell you that he's a very different person at home, and even within that there is secrets that are unrevealed and for the truly evil person. Remember the evil that he sees in himself.
He sees as actually belonging to other people. So he imposes his own evil on them. How can your reason with a man like that. So we hide, we compare ourselves.
We say why not as bad as someone so let me remind you that a little bit of Satan's rebellion has fallen on every single human heart, self obsession is our worst enemy's past week I was talking to someone who is telling me that they bought a church they bought a building that was going to be used as a church, and the land owner who has a lot of money was going to sell it to them with liens against the property, even in excess of six figures, but he didn't tell them till just before the deeds were signed.
They discovered it, and fortunately they were able to force him to pay it but he was so extremely angry.
Now I look at that civil demand was wealthy. Why would he be so deceptive in business there is greed there is self-will and our greatest enemy is self obsession. That's why like the book of Romans, and that's why I've titled this series rescued what God did to say this is because the book of Romans tells us what God's answer is for our sinful rivers of the hatred of self-will that course from the human heart and that the Bible tells us that God has two answers. If you have your Bibles and you open them to the book of Romans. Look at what it says in chapter 3. Now I know we studied this previously. The first answer that God has two are great on ending need is the blood of Christ, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. You'll notice in chapter 3 verse 25 it says, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith to show God's righteousness, that big word propitiation means that God was totally satisfied by the blood of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on that cross the sacrifice that was made was pleasing to God and met all of his requirements so that you and I can be forgiven when we remember that blood.
The blood of sacrifice is primarily for God.
The best illustration is the Passover in the Old Testament. Remember how the Lord told Israel take his sheep kill the sheep, and then you take and you put the blood on the doorpost of the lintel. The side posts of the door and the angel of death said when I see the blood, I will pass over you. That's where we get the word Passover and the instructions were this, that if you do this you will be spared the judgment of having your firstborn kill. But all those in Egypt who didn't put blood on their door or their firstborn son will be killed so that the Israelites can leave Egypt. Let's imagine for a moment your firstborn son. There's blood on your door, your father put blood on the door. You may be a very good sign. You may be an obedient son. On the other hand you might also have been a criminal. It would not have mattered. Even criminals son would've been exempt from death because there was blood on the door. God says, not when I see your goodness when I see your attempts at goodness. I will pass over you. He said when I see the blood, I will pass over you because God has been fully satisfied in Jesus I the blood and the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made you realize what that means for us.
That means that the real issue is not the greatness of our sin.
Of course it's much better that you be a good son than a criminal. Most assuredly, but at the end of the day that's not really the issue. The issue is as it was in the Old Testament is there blood on that door and you received Christ as Savior and the sacrifice that he made the sacrifice of atonement the sacrifice of propitiation. Have you received that now many Christians understand that part but now when it comes time to pray in their own individual lives. They think that they're going to approach God on some other basis so they think, well, you know, I think God will hear me because I've been faithful. I taught Sunday school, God will hear me because I I have a witness to someone or I've read the Scriptures or I've I've prayed or I've done something kind this week and they approach God with uncertainty because of that because that's not the way you ever approach God. The Bible says having boldness to enter into the throne of God.
The very throne room of God by the blood of Jesus and it is always the blood of Jesus. But you realize what that means. That means that there is no sin that you can ever commit that is so great that devalues the blood of Christ. I receive letters all the time from people who think they've committed the unpardonable sin. There is an unpardonable sin, but it's always committed by unbelievers who say no to God too long and too often, but if you want to be forgiven. I say to you today, no matter who you are, no matter what crime is in your back around. If you receive Christ as Savior.
The blood of Christ is sufficient also for you and you too can be saved. Let me say this clearly as it can be said there is no sin that you can ever commit that will devalue the blood of Christ, you may not think the blood of Christ can forgive you, but God thinks differently and he says this blood of Christ is so valuable that when I see the blood judgment is withdrawn.
I will pass over you. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.
Now when the sixth chapter of Romans opens, you can imagine after Paul explains all this you can imagine what the response is going to the ends. Chapter 5 by saying that where sin abounds.
Grace abounds much more you can never out sin, grace so you make that statement and what are people thinking their thinking wow this is too good to be true, too good to be true like one wag put it he says I like to sin. God likes to forgive what a wonderful arrangement that is more like a college student said to me, if I send in a big way I can be forgiven in a big way and then talk about God's grace and real big way. You know when I've explained the gospel to people they respond by saying what does that mean I can just go out and commit any sin that I want and still be saved. The answer to give at that point is with a smile on your face say yes.
And the reason that you want to say yes is so that they understand grace they are close to the kingdom.
When they say that now you have to qualify the yes as we shall see in a moment, but we want people to understand grace and to understand it clearly salvation a free gift.
No sin to great to forgive when Jesus said it is finished, pay in full to those who believe he meant and that's why reach out to those of you who think that you have sinned too much for God, you have not, how do we answer this business of saying well that's the way it is.
I can just go out and sin. All I like Paul knew that's exactly what people would be thinking he knew that exact. He knew that people who love sin would think of that right away and so he addresses the issue in chapter 6.
This is what shall we say then are we to continue in sin that grace may abound is not exactly the argument of the natural person who is in love with sin pulses by no means really literally in Greek God for bid convert bid. How can we who died to sin still live in while we have to stop there. Don't catch our breath.
Notice what the apostle Paul does not say it is not say now if you abuse grace that is proof that you were never saved there. Some people say that that any Christian who abuses grace is never been safe. Paul doesn't say that nor does Paul say something else like Kim.
If you abuse grace you lose grace and your no longer say what he does is he begins to help us to understand something that continuing in sin, a deliberate choice to continue in sin is thinkable because we died with Christ, and we are dead.
Sin is a will Pastor Luther that needs explanation because I'm a believer, but I'm not dead to sin.
All right, that's why I'm here today with the help of the Holy Spirit to help us to see the key of breaking sins power now Paul begins by saying you have to know certain things you'll notice he says in verse three.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death verse five for we have been united with him in death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
We know that her old self was crucified. While what's Paul talking about the best way for me to explain that. Is this that when you trust Christ as Savior.
You are put into Christ you know that little phrase in Christ occurs about 100 times in the New Testament believers have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear son. And that means they are in Christ. God does that for us, uniting us with Christ, for example, let's suppose I were to take this piece of paper and folded like this.
I don't want to folded too badly because I actually intended to use this sermon illustration that's on here at the end but it is that it is put into my Bible. Now, whatever happens to the Bible happens to the paper. I leave the Bible on the Oregon piece of papers on the Oregon by mail this Bible to a friend in Dallas. The piece of paper goes with the friend in Dallas. God says that when you believe in Christ.
The history of Jesus dying being married and being raised again is really your history. The implications will be clear in a moment. So just hang on to what I'm saying.
In fact, he saying that your crucifixion is more intimate than the crucifixion of the two thieves who died on either side of Christ.
They were on separate crosses. But when Jesus died, you were on that cross your old self was crucified with Jesus, you are on his cross, not even across that was next to his and so we need to understand that God put us in Jesus so that Jesus Christ history as artist I'm impulsive bases you're buried with him in baptism onto death.
We have been baptized into Christ is talking here I think about the baptism of the Holy Spirit which makes us members of Christ because he says there you have been baptized. Verse three into Christ and and that's the baptism of the Holy Spirit that we believe here at the Moody church that the baptism of the Spirit spoken here should be symbolized by water baptism and that's why when somebody is baptized here.
We actually put them into the water, symbolizing the death of Jesus we bring them out of the water, symbolizing the resurrection of that's why we baptize adults in that way because were symbolizing the death the burial the resurrection of Jesus. Here's a parenthesis there are some Christians who say what you know I'm saying them on the way to heaven, but I haven't been baptized. No big deal really. Let us suppose, for example of wedding were to take place right here in this sanctuary and you know the bride comes down the aisle with her father in their proper questions are asked and answered. And then the vows are taken and then the pastor may be knee says now would you like to exchange rings and the guys that I want to exchange ring. I just don't want. I love her. That's why marrying her. But I don't want any symbol of our marriage. I think he's going to have a mother-in-law to deal with 50 takes that baptism is the symbol of our faith in union with Christ, why would you as a believer not be baptized but anyway what the apostle Paul is saying is that to is that we are so united with Jesus.
Now let's talk about this business of death, he says, for example, in verse seven for one who has died and he saying we died in one who has died has been set free from let's catch our breath. Again, because we need the Holy Spirit of God to help us get this and I hope that I am used of the spirit to help all of us get it when we think of death. Notice that Paul does not say sin died on now if sin died. Then you and I would never be tempted. If sin died. No Christian whatever struggled with an addiction.
If sin died is not what he says. He says I am dead to sin. Why because I died in Christ to the old life. Let's suppose that you were born a slave you're born a slave. What is the way out of your slavery only only way out is really death when you die, you no longer have any obligation to your master, you die and what the Bible is saying here is that when Jesus Christ died on the cross.
Those who believe in him are put into him in such a sense that they died to the slavery of sin that we had in Adam as it says in chapter 5, and they are now alive to Christ's bottom line. They have absolutely no obligation to old a the old nature and the old Adam the obligation has been broken, my friend, this is Pastor Luther I can only hope and pray that all of us understand that better because we all feel the force of temptation and we know what it is like to give in to our lower nature, yet there it is in Scripture, we don't have to because Jesus came to rescue us as a matter of fact that's why the title of this series of messages is rescued.
What God did to save us while speaking about someone who got saved, I have in my hand a letter from someone who wrote this, and I love this letter. He said when I live up north. I lived alone in a cabin.
I could only get to radio stations up there and one was playing running to win. I started listening every day and I was saved.
All of a sudden, God's creation, the beauty and the majesty mattered more to me and I came to appreciate what God the father in the Lord Jesus Christ did for us. My friend is worth it all is in it when we invest in ministry that gives the gospel of Jesus Christ to people we are involved in a ministry that actually transforms their lives.
Of course we don't do the transformation. Jesus did, would you consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button. That's where you'll get all the info you need or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 it's because of people like you, we can receive letters like the one that I just read go to RTW offer.com.
Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer to call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us run into when 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago online 6061 until we are redeemed by faith in Jesus, we will never be free of our obligation to sin. Next time how we can be set free from our old master to serve Christ who broke the hold sin had on us. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody church