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An Extraordinary Birth Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
May 4, 2021 1:00 am

An Extraordinary Birth Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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May 4, 2021 1:00 am

Jesus was fully human, yet He had no human father. Born to a young, Jewish virgin, His beginnings on Earth were indeed extraordinary. So, how important is the virgin birth, and why was it necessary?

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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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.

Jesus was fully human but had no human father. Born to a young Jewish maiden who had never known a man, His beginnings on earth were indeed extraordinary. So how important is the virgin birth?

To find out, stay with us. 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, are there any mythological gods who were said to be virgin born? Well, you know, Dave, whether they were said to be virgin born or not, there are plenty of stories of mythology that have to do with the birth of great people.

For example, Alexander the Great, just to choose one, supposedly his mother swallowed something and was impregnated. But here's the difference. When you read the New Testament, it is bathed in holiness. All of these other myths contain with them some immorality. What a difference the New Testament is. And so what we need to do is to understand that the birth of Jesus Christ is definitely unique. I've written a book entitled Christ Among Other Gods, a Defense of Christ in an Age of Tolerance. We need to be able to defend the virgin birth, the resurrection, the authority of Jesus, and so forth. For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours. Here's what you do.

Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let us listen carefully as we discuss the uniqueness of Jesus Christ our Lord. What I'd like to do now in the time that is before us is to discuss very briefly the necessity of the virgin birth, the virgin conception and its implications. First of all, it was necessary to fulfill prophecy. To fulfill prophecy, if your Bible is still open to Matthew chapter 1, you'll notice it says, verse 22, Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son.

And they will call his name Immanuel, which is God with us. You know, Isaiah 7-14 says, Behold, a young woman will conceive and bear a son. And many people have said, well, the Hebrew word Alma means young woman.

It doesn't mean virgin exactly, and that may be true. But interestingly, in the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament that was used even during the time of Christ, the Greek word parthenos is used, from which we get parthenon, which is the word virgin, and it is used here in the Greek text. So Isaiah predicted that a virgin would be with child.

But there's a second reason for the virgin birth, and that I've already touched on, and that is the need to have a sinless Savior. Take your Bibles now and turn to one other passage, and that is the seventh chapter of Hebrews. Hebrews chapter 7, where this is laid out for us with incredible clarity. Hebrews chapter 7, verse 28.

Listen to the text. Hebrews 7, 26. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled and separated for sinners and exalted above the heavens, who does not need daily like those other high priests to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this he did once. Christ does not have to do it over and over again. This he did once for all when he offered up himself, the author says.

Notice observations in the text. Christ is like us except in disrespect he is sinless and we are sinful. Unlike others, he does not have to offer a sacrifice for himself because he is sinless. He is not in the same predicament that we are. He is not reaching a limp hand to us as we are going down in the water and saying, well, I'm going down too.

Let's at least go down together. And then the Bible says that he offered up himself once for all. And because his sacrifice was absolutely perfect, because he was sinless, God accepted that sacrifice and he does not have to ever offer himself again because it was perfect and it was accepted by a perfect and a holy God. Now what can Christ do as a result of that?

Well, take your Bible and glance to verse 25. It says, hence also he is able to save forever those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. Sometimes we interpret that verse to mean that God is able to save to the uttermost, that is to the guttermost. God is able to take the greatest sinner and reconcile them to God.

And that certainly is true. He can take drug addicts and alcoholics and child abusers and he can forgive their sin and he can reconcile them to God. But actually the text is not talking about what we are being saved from, but what we are being saved unto. He is able to save forever. He is able to save completely those who come unto God by him because he is a unique savior. Also it says, those he saves are those who come unto God by him.

We are always being asked in this day of eclecticism. Well, you know, you say that Jesus is the savior, but what's wrong with all these other prophets? What's wrong with all these other gods, these other saviors?

Well, my friend, I hope that you understand it already. When you ask a question like that, Jesus Christ has absolutely no competition. I've already told you that there is not one single prophet that I know of in all the different religions of the world who even had the nerve to claim sinlessness. So actually Christ has no competitors. All ye who are sinless enter here and nobody but Christ accepts the call. That's why it says that God can save forever those who come unto God by Christ. And that's why all the other prophets are disqualified as mediators between God and man. Oh, they may be prophets because you can be a sinner and be a prophet but you cannot be a sinner and be a savior. For that you need someone who is sinless and perfect and only Christ qualifies.

There's nobody else around. There's a third reason why Christ had to be virgin born and that of course has already been referred to and that is really to live up to his name, to live up to his name. Why is it that when Mary received this revelation from God, the angel kept saying he shall be called Jesus?

Why not some other name? Well, the answer is because the name Jesus means Jehovah is salvation. Jehovah is salvation. Now there are some people who don't live up to their name but Jesus had to live up to his name. He couldn't just be a good teacher.

Spong might have a good teacher but he certainly doesn't have a savior. He had to be virgin born to fulfill the name Jehovah is salvation. Now some people don't live up to their name. Methuselah is a name in the Old Testament of the man who lived longer than any other man and there was a couple who named their son Methuselah.

But little Methuselah coning died at the age of six months. He didn't live up to his name. His holiness the Dalai Lama does not live up to his name. When I was at the Parliament of World Religions, I attended the news conference with the Dalai Lama and someone who shook hands with him, a woman came running up to us and touching all of us, touching this person, touching this. She said I shook hands with him and I have to share his energy. I said lady would you come over here? And I looked at her in the eyes and I was very kind just accepted by faith and I said don't you realize he's a sinner like the rest of us and if he doesn't have a savior he is going to be damned. Don't you realize that?

And that did stop her for a few seconds and she said oh but he's got so much energy and I have to share it. You say well Pastor Luther you know you're just being a little mean. I think you're a meanie.

You should be kinder than that. Maybe the Dalai Lama if he's not holy his holiness maybe he's close. No he's not even close. In an interview he said and I quote verbatim. He said I am not the best Dalai Lama. You know he believes that he is number 14 in reincarnation from Buddha. He said I am not the best Dalai Lama there's ever been but I'm not the worst either. I thought to myself well what is that?

If you're grading on the curve B plus C minus I don't know what it is. He doesn't live up to his name. What a tragedy to know about Christ and not know him for the purpose for which he came to live up to his name Jehovah is salvation. Let me tell you one other story. As I was going from the display to display I met a woman whose story I would like to tell you.

She was with the Uransha group which is reading a thick book whose origin is obscure though some of us have a good idea as to how it was written. But she said I want to tell you my story. She said I was brought up in a Christian home and she said my mother would read me stories about Jesus and she said whenever she read those stories she said there was a warmth in my heart. She said I want you to know that I loved Jesus as a little girl. Then she said I would go to church and oh she said I loved my pastor. She said I would just love to sit in the church and listen to him preach and I was supposed to go to children's church but she said I didn't want to go in color and do those things. She said I wanted to hear my pastor and I thought to myself if I sit near the back and I'm very quiet and just fold my hands and shut my eyes nobody will see me and I'll be able to stay here rather than go to children's church. Well she did that for a while and she said a woman came along and said what are you doing here? You're supposed to be in children's church.

This is for adults. She said at the age of 10 I left the church but I didn't go to children's church. She said I walked all the way home crying but I never went back to that church again. She said six years later at the age of 16 I began my spiritual quest and I became involved in what we would call a false cult and she said their desire for money and their desire for control turned me off and I realized that they were wrong and then she said I came to this Yarantia group and I began to read this. Now you must understand that the Yarantia book claims to have in it the stories of Jesus when he was a teenager.

It's got all kinds of stories, perhaps hundreds of stories about Jesus even though there's no historical evidence that these things happen. But she says you know she said when I began to read this Yarantia book and read those stories about Jesus she said it is this group that gave me my Jesus back. Oh she said I love him. She said could I read you a paragraph and I said sure.

So she went over and she found a place in the book where it says that Jesus as a teenager helped a boy at the age of 12 and the sacrifice that Jesus was willing to do to help this boy who was in trouble. She read me the paragraph and she said she said this just touches me deeply and I said to her you really love Jesus don't you? Oh she said I love Jesus.

Tears were coming to her eyes. I said would you tell me why is it that you love him? Oh she said I love him as my friend. She said I love him as my Lord. She said I love him.

I love him. I love him and by now the tears were beginning to spill over and run down her cheek. And I looked at her and I said do you also love him as the Savior who shed his blood on the cross for your sins to reconcile you to a holy God? And she glanced away and she looked.

And she said I never think of it in those terms. And I said to her don't you realize that if you don't love Jesus as the Savior you're not loving him for the primary purpose why he came to this earth. He came to seek and to save that which was lost and that which was lost and that's why you must love him.

Let me ask you something this morning. Is it possible for someone to love Jesus to the point of tears and be lost forever? The answer is yes.

Yes. If you were to take a poll in some of the churches in Chicago this morning and say do you love Jesus everybody would say yes even though some of them probably have not thought about him for a week or two but yeah of course they love him and some love him sincerely but they are lost because they love him as a teacher, they love him as an example, they love him as a friend, they love him because of his commitment to God but they do not love him as the Savior of the world for them. And unless you love him like that you're missing the purpose for which he came. What a tragedy to love and to know Shakespeare but not as a man of literature. What a tragedy to know Newton but not as a scientist but oh what an eternal tragedy to know Christ but not as a Savior.

That is the purpose for which he came. Years ago when I was growing up in a church we used to sing a song that we don't sing often today, often in these days. I'm going to try to give you two stanzas. It goes I was sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore, very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more. But the master of the sea heard my despairing cry and from the waters lifted me.

Now safe am I. Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves. He will lift you by his love out of the angry waves.

He's the master of the sea, billows his will obey. He your Savior wants to be. Be saved today. I want to say this very respectfully but those of you who are skeptics go ahead, go into the libraries, read about all the different religions of the world, read about what all the gurus have said, read about all of what the enlightened people have said, find out what they have said about themselves and the claims that you have made and you must conclude if you are honest that all of these teachers are people who themselves are swimming and going under, shouting to others who are going down with them, instructions on how to be a good swimmer, when they're all going down and perhaps holding hands while they're doing it. Where do you look for a sinless Savior?

Nobody even claims sinlessness. Like Peter said to Christ, well to whom shall we go? We go to Buddha who died seeking enlightenment, Muhammad who needed forgiveness. Is that where we're going to go? Are we going to go to a guru who himself is striving to perfection but is as far from it as I am? Is that where we're going to go?

No, there's no place to go. Peter says thou has the words of eternal life and we believe and are sure that thou art the Son of God, the Holy One of God. There is no other place to go, no options, except to him. Let us pray. Our Father, we thank you that if we're honest, we know we need a Savior.

We don't need someone to shout swimming instructions to us when we're drowning. We need somebody to scoop us up and we thank you that Christ qualifies. We pray for the many today who have never embraced him as personal Savior.

They've never believed on him for themselves. We pray that in grace you might enable them to do that even while they are seated here. May they call out and say, Jesus, save me.

I need a sinless Savior. Before I close this prayer, why don't you tell the Lord that right where you are seated that you need a sinless Savior and you're receiving him as Savior this morning. We pray, Father, for those who are struggling, for those who are still unclear, and for those who are scared to say, Jesus, be my Savior. Some are listening, have never talked to you personally.

They've always talked to you through such a complicated jargon. And at this moment you are personal in their lives and we pray that you might make that very personal. Father, do your work, we pray in Jesus' name.

Amen. My friend today, this is Pastor Lutzer. I trust that if you have never come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, you will do that right now.

There is no other place to go. As Peter indicated, thou hast the words of eternal life. And people are going in different directions, but they are confused and they don't receive the forgiveness and the grace that they seek. It comes only through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you could look into my heart now, you'd discover my great desire that you personally come to Christ and receive the forgiveness that he offers. I've written a book with all of these truths. It's entitled, Christ Among Other Gods, A Defense of Christ in an Age of Tolerance.

For a gift of any amount, it can be yours. Simply go to rtwoffer.com. That's rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. We exist to give you resources to help you live successfully all the way to the finish line.

Call 1-888-218-9337. It's time again for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. The uncertain economy has a lot of people thinking that very bad days may lie ahead, days that threaten our survival as a nation and as a society. A listener named Misty asks, There's a lot of buzz these days about the end times and preparedness, not preparing for Christ's return, but for famine, floods, war, no electricity, and so on. Some people are going solar and are trying to be as self-sufficient as possible.

They have stores of food and other supplies. This isn't a bad idea, but some say they are doing it to prepare for the Great Tribulation. Pastor Lutzer, is this biblical?

Well, Misty, to some extent, it depends who you ask. Those of us who are pre-tribulational who believe that the Church is going to go up before the Tribulation period, we would be inconsistent if we were to hoard some supplies for the Tribulation period, unless, of course, we were doing it for some unsaved relatives. But if you're post-trib and believe that the Church is going to go through the Tribulation, I suppose you can begin to prepare for it, but when I read the book of Revelation and read what is going to happen if we take it literally, it seems to me that whether you have food stored in your basement or not, those who go through the period of Tribulation are going to discover it is so horrendous that the fact that they happen to have something in their basement to eat is not going to give them a great deal of comfort. The bottom line is that I think it is very, very important for us to look for the return of Christ and to trust Him. And if we do go through the Tribulation period, as our post-tribulational friends say, God is going to protect His people, God is going to care for His people, and I doubt very much that you're going to have the opportunity of somehow surviving better because of the fact that you have some supplies stored up.

Finally, Misty. When it comes to matters of prophecy, long ago I've learned that it's best to say much too little than a little too much. We don't know that Christ is coming, and those people who think that He's coming very, very soon, that's wonderful, but I've been hearing this now for about 30 or 40 or 50 years. I think we should anticipate His coming.

Don't get me wrong, we look for His appearing, but the fact is we do not know when. So take care, Misty. Trust God, and He'll guide you through it. Thank you, Misty, and thank you, Pastor Lutzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, you can, by going to our website at rtwoffer.com and clicking 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, Illinois, 60614. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died as a perfect sacrifice. Not even His enemies could point to a single character flaw. Jesus was a man whose miracles proved He was the Son of God. Next time on Running to Win, Dr. Lutzer begins a message on Christ's extraordinary life, a life like none other ever lived. Thanks for listening. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-23 01:36:46 / 2023-11-23 01:45:39 / 9

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