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The Word Of God Has Visited Us Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
November 23, 2021 1:00 am

The Word Of God Has Visited Us Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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November 23, 2021 1:00 am

Do you feel under pressure by all the needs and expectations upon you? You might think that your greatest need is to repair your crumbling marriage, to get out of financial ruin, or all kinds of other things that may be happening. These are legitimate needs. But your greatest need is always a fresh vision of God, a fresh vision of Jesus. In this message, discover the implications of seeing the Word become flesh. When Jesus reveals God, it puts everything else in its proper place.  

 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. John chapter 1 is a breathtaking overview of how Jesus is God's expression to mankind. Jesus shows us what God is like. Today, more of the wonder of a Savior, whose words are those of God himself.

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, today you conclude your series on being changed by the word. What is your desire for us as we listen? Well, you know, Dave, it is true that the word of God does change us. And when we think of Jesus Christ, the expression of the word, the logos, as you've already mentioned, we actually do see God.

You know, Martin Luther said that when we are overcome by the mysteries of the invisible God, we have to run to Jesus. And that's why during this Christmas season, we are so pleased to be able to make available to you resources that will help you in your Christian walk. But you know, because today is the last day of this particular series, we are making it available to you by CD for a gift of any amount.

Simply ask for the series changed by the word. Here's what you can do. Go to

That's And of course, for a gift of any amount, as I've mentioned, we're making this available or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Let us open our hearts to the word of God and know that God has spoken to us with clarity, especially with the coming of Jesus. Today in some churches, there's so much grace, you'd get the impression that God was never mad at anything, that everything was okay with him.

The balance between grace and truth comes to us in Jesus. And then notice also the very person of God is revealed. No one has ever seen God. As I explained, no one has ever seen the essence of God as God. But the only begotten God or the only begotten son who is at the father's side, he has explained him. Jesus explained God. The words of Jesus are the words of God. The acts of Jesus are the acts of God. Finally, the invisible God, the mysterious invisible God comes to us visibly in Jesus so that Jesus can say, whoever has seen me has seen the father. Wow.

Takes your breath away. Whoever has seen him has seen the father and Jesus takes us into God's presence. Now I promised you that this sermon could be transforming.

I hope it is. It is to me and I hope it is also to you as a reminder of what we have in Christ. But what I'd like to do is to nail this down for us so that we understand its implications. And I nail it down first of all by saying that our greatest need is always a fresh vision of God. Maybe you came here and you thought something else was your greatest need.

You thought your greatest need was your crumbling marriage. It was all kinds of other things that may have happened and those may be needs, but your greatest need is always a fresh vision of God, a fresh vision of Jesus. I marvel at Moses. You know, in Exodus 33, when he said, show me thy glory, I read the text and I say, Moses, come on. You've been in the mountain, up in the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights with God. And you still don't have enough?

I mean, there are people who think they have enough if they go to church once a week and you've been up there with 40 days and 40 nights. And Moses said, I still don't have enough before I move. I need another revelation of God.

It's always our greatest need. And then the interesting thing is, you know that Moses can't go into the land. You know that story because of his disobedience, but he shows up in the land on the Mount of Transfiguration and what in the world, and it is in the world, some of us are going to be at the Mount of Transfiguration in a couple of weeks. What in the world is he doing? He's getting more of the glory of God.

He just can't get enough. You think that heaven is going to be boring. We're going to begin at the first song in the hymnal, sing our way through.

And then when we're done, we re-sing it again. Is that your view of heaven? Some of you are being too quiet here today. Are you listening? You're with me? I'll tell you, heaven is going to be getting more of God throughout all eternity.

That's what it's going to be. And our biggest need always is to see God in a new way. Look at the texture of his fullness. We have all received I'm in verse 16 from his fullness. We have all received grace upon grace, inexhaustible supply of grace for inexhaustible problems, for inexhaustible doubts, for inexhaustible situations. There is Jesus supplying us grace upon grace. And it's all in him because in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and we are complete in him. If only we understood that better, we find that there is grace for every need. There's corresponding grace. Our greatest need always is a fresh revelation of God, a fresh revelation of Jesus Christ who reveals the Father to us and explains him to us. Second, it's very important to realize that our need for Christ, let's take this slowly, our need for Christ has to be shown to us by God.

Christianity here is the only religion like this. In order for us to understand the statement I just made, let's back up a little bit. It says in verse 10, he was in the world, the world was made through him yet the world didn't know him. By and large, the world rejected him.

This is the big world. And he came to his own people, verse 11, the Jews, and they didn't receive him. But verse 12, to all who did receive him and who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God who were born out of blood, nor the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Let's take that a little bit more slowly. What the text is saying is that though Jesus was rejected for those who did receive him, he gave them the right to be called the children of God. First of all, why is it that more didn't receive him? Because they were walking in darkness and got used to the darkness and didn't recognize the light. Tons of people like that today, walking in darkness, but they don't recognize the fact that they are in darkness. They wonder why they're constantly stumbling, why life is empty, but they don't recognize that there is light in Jesus.

But now here's the point. For those who did receive him, these people were born, let's take this slowly, not of blood. You're not a Christian because your parents were. You're not a Christian because you have a Christian genealogy. You're not a Christian because you somehow are in a church.

Billy Sunday, who was an evangelist who used to preach here and somebody who was still alive when I became pastor, said that he used to jump from that platform to this platform without using the stairs because Billy Sunday was into baseball and he carried over some of his abilities to the pulpit. And Billy Sunday used to say, putting a car into a garage doesn't make it, excuse me, I got it wrong. Can we just back up and we redo it? All right. Like a man who likes to watch his wedding videos backwards, he loves to see himself back out of the church a free man. I'm sorry, that just happened to come to mind to get me out of my dilemma. Billy Sunday said that to put a wheelbarrow into a garage does not make it a car.

I finally said it correctly. Attending church does not make you a Christian. It's not a blood. It's not by the will of man. It's not saying, well, I'm going to become a Christian and I'm going to become a living the Christian life.

Now that won't do it. It says you're born not of blood nor the will of man. You don't have enough willpower to become a Christian. You don't have enough righteousness to be a Christian, but it says those who are born of God. And that's the uniqueness of the Christian faith is the fact that God works in our hearts in such a way that we are born of God as explained later in John chapter three, the story of Nicodemus. I'm asking you today as you're listening to this, by whatever means you are listening to it, have you been born of God?

And if you aren't sure, you probably aren't. Those who are born of God have the deep settled assurance that they personally belong to God and they belong to him forever. And so it is that Jesus Christ brings us to the father. And finally only in Christ, only in Christ can we recover all the hope we are meant to have in Christ alone. Do we uncover or recover all the hope we were meant to have. We were meant by God to live this life in hope, in hope of eternity, in hope of God's glory, in hope of the fact that the God whom we have come to know is the God with whom we shall forever be. You know, Augustine, that great theologian apparently said, oh God, your word says, no man can see thee and live. Lord, help me to die that I might behold thy glory.

Wow. The desire of a soul for God eternally. Recently in another place, I preached a message which not sure I ever preached here. It was on the stoning of Stephen. And you remember as the stones were flying, Stephen looked into heaven and the first thing the Bible says is he saw the glory of God and Jesus standing in the midst. Listen, if Stephen saw that while he was still alive, while he was feeling the pressure of the stones and the pain and being stoned must not be a very, very comfortable way to die, but he saw the glory of God and Jesus standing there. If that was already true before his soul left his body, imagine what he saw after he died. It is unimaginable in its beauty, in its holiness and in its fulfillment and satisfaction.

I've quoted before the words of Johnny Erickson Tada, who has lived about 45 years in a wheelchair. I don't know of anyone whose testimony has so inspired me, so humbled me, convicted me as hers, the joy that she has in the midst of constant pain. But she said this, the reason she looks forward to heaven is not just because she can put her wheelchair somewhere else, park it at the door, or as she humorously says, put it somewhere else really low beneath heaven. It is at that moment, she said, that I'll finally be able to behold God to the extent that we as humans can without any sin ever coming in between. Only Jesus can do that and I bring you to him today, wherever you are, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey, you come to Christ who replaces the Old Testament, the glory of God, the sacrifices, the worship of God. The closer we get to him, the more we please the Father and then we discover the words of scripture, Christ in you, the hope of glory.

It can't get any better than that, can it? Father, today we say in sincerity, may we be led to Christ. May we be led to the one who reveals the Father full of grace and truth.

No man has seen God at any time, but the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father, he has explained him. Help us to rush to him for forgiveness, for fellowship, for our own joy that he promised us and find in him everything we need in this life and it'll take us to the next, we pray. Before I close this prayer, if you need to talk to God right now and I would think that many of you do, just talk to him. For some of you receive the forgiveness that Jesus offers. For some of you make it a moment of thanksgiving and worship.

For some of you, may it be a sense of commitment, a new commitment beyond your present relationship. Do in our hearts, Father, whatever you desire, we ask in Jesus' name. Amen. Well, my friend, this is Pastor Lutzer. Whether you've been listening to Running to Win for many weeks or many years, one thing you will always discover is that we emphasize Jesus Christ and his gospel.

We're so grateful that we have the opportunity of knowing God thanks to his revelation in his word, the Bible, and then, of course, especially in the coming of Jesus. I believe that these messages are transformative and you might want to hear them again and again. Share them with your friends. Now, because this particular series has come to an end, this is the last day we are making available to you this series of messages in a permanent form. For a gift of any amount, they can be yours.

The title of the series is Changed by the Word. Thank you so much for helping us during this holiday season. Here's what you can do. Go to That's or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now, because I believe it is so critical that you receive these messages, I'm going to be giving you this contact info again. Thanks so much for helping us as we continue to get the gospel of Jesus Christ to so many. Here's what you do.

Go to or if you prefer, you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Some parents know the story of the prodigal son all too well.

Grace lives in Newberg, Indiana and listens to us on OnePlace. She needs serious help. I have a wayward son who will soon be 22. He's been smoking marijuana and binge drinking for the last four years. After many warnings from his very prestigious college where he received a full-ride scholarship grant, he was finally asked to leave school and seek medical intervention for addiction. Instead of coming home and seeking help, he went to a different city where he grew up.

He's been there ever since. Before I became a believer, I married an abusive man and our tumultuous marriage ended in divorce when my son was five. He was emotionally abused by his father and grew up without a father figure or a male role model. He accepted Christ when he was five and renewed his commitment as a teenager at Young Life Camp. However, he now tells me he's an apostate and does not believe in God's existence anymore.

My question to you is this. Should I continue to provide for him when he is far from being repentant and far from changing his lifestyle? Recently, I cut off his cell phone service I've been paying for. It's not that I'm trying to control his life.

He does not take any responsibility for himself and I feel there should be consequences. Am I supposed to extend God's grace to him when he's not ready to come home from the far country or should I cut him off and wait for his repentance? Grace, before I say anything, I just want you to know that I feel deeply for your predicament because I know that you love your son and it's clear also that he was damaged thanks to his father. And so we have a boy here that needs to be treated tenderly and with a great deal of care.

But that being said, I have some very difficult news for you that sometimes grace is misinterpreted. One of the things that I think you should not do is enable him in his lifestyle. He is so consumed with drugs and alcohol that that's all that really matters to him. The question always is where do I get my next drink and where do I get my next bit of drugs, whatever kind he might be using.

And this is all consuming. The tough news is that people like that do not repent until they are absolutely desperate. I've said it before on this program, but some people don't change when they see the light, but only when they feel the heat. Now, I think that we should take a lesson here from the prodigal father in the story of the prodigal son. Even though you treat him with a great deal of tenderness and it's important for you to tell him over and over again and to assure him that he will always be welcome back home.

The fact is that yes, I don't think that you should support him. He's 22 years old. He's had a good opportunity. He was in this prestigious university with a full scholarship and now he's taken a different path. What is going to bring him back?

It's the reality of failure. The prodigal son found himself in a famine. He ended up in the pigsty and began to eat along with the pigs. And that's why the Bible says he came to himself. He had reached the end of his road and the end of his rope.

And so he came back to the father. I know this is hard for you to do as a mother, but I think that probably it is best for you to simply say no more support, just love and prayer and waiting and trust God to do what you and I can't. And that is to bring this boy to his senses and that he might return home for help. And then when he's home, not to simply live off of you and take advantage of you, but rather to take full responsibility and get some help. I know a dear woman who's in a predicament much like yours who continues to support her son. She tells me if I don't, he'll starve. But my answer is that after so many years, and I mean this boy is in his forties, if you continue to sustain his lifestyle, he will not change. When people get hungry and when they're desperate and when they're at the end of their rope, you discover that suddenly Jesus becomes very important.

Returning back to their senses becomes important. And that's what you may have to wait for. God bless you, my sister. Hang in. God is on your side. Some compassionate counsel for grace from Dr. Erwin Lutzer. Thank you, Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at 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. For many people, it's just another day off. But for others, Thanksgiving Day reminds us who we have to thank for all the blessings we enjoy, and even for life itself. Next time, take a moment from those dinner preparations and listen as Erwin Lutzer tells us why Thanksgiving changes everything. Plan to join us. Thanks for listening. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-18 21:25:54 / 2023-07-18 21:34:01 / 8

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