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The Gift We Can't Live Without Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2022 1:00 am

The Gift We Can't Live Without Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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January 19, 2022 1:00 am

How can you know that you’re right with God? Jesus, the only sinless human, became sin to bring you to God. In this message, you’ll explore the truth a 16th-century German monk, Martin Luther, found so vital: righteousness that comes only by faith. You’ll discover five characteristics of the righteousness of God in 2 Corinthians that will bless your soul and take you all the way to heaven when you believe on Jesus.  

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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The race of the Christian life. There is one gift of God that believers cannot live without. We dare not die without it. Either since this gift opens the doors of heaven, making us acceptable in God's sight want to know what this gift is will stay with the church in Chicago this morning to win with Dr. Erwin Sir, whose clear teaching helps us make it across. We're in a series on how you can be sure that you will spend eternity with God rest her loser is this all important available to anyone you know Dave, the answer is yes.

I was brought up in a small church in Canada and we used to sing a song and I still remember a line or two from that song and that that has been a tremendous blessing to me. It goes like this. The vilest of sinners who truly believes that moment from Jesus. A pardon receives the reason that I love to speak about the grace of God is that it is available to everyone in this series of messages emphasizes that let me ask the many people who are listening today. Are you blessed as a result of the ministry of running to win.

If so, would you help us as we continue to expand this year because our desire is to get the gospel to as many as possible. If you consider becoming an endurance partner. Here's what you can do.

Go to RTW that's RTW know when you're there you click on the endurance partner button or you call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let's go to the pulpit of Moody church where we hear more about the amazing grace of God at an evangelical conference, several men with a tape recorder interviewed participants is a conference where books were published on theology. Now this is from conservative evangelicals and they kept asking the question, is it necessary to be perfect to enter into heaven, and they couldn't find anybody who would say yes that's astounding the people simple know of course not, you know, we live in a day and age when people do not think theologically but think of the foolishness of that answer here is God holy without staying and he's going to let imperfect people into its unthinkable shows you the extent of our theological navet, even among those who should know better.

So in order that it might be unambiguous and clear. Let me state flatly and without qualification that if you are not as holy as God. Don't even think about being admitted into heaven. Don't even let the thought cross your mind, but that they said with clarity. Now your thinking and I know you are you stable pastor Luther. I've got a problem and you do it's a big problem because my guess is you're not perfect so you have a mighty big problem. Let me tell you how big your problem is your problem is so big that there is nothing that you can do to solve it. Unless God solved it. You had it. That's how big the problem is whether you are here today as a Protestant or as a Catholic. We must all appreciate the struggle of a monk in the 16th century by the name of Martin Luther.

He enrolled in the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt to save his soul.

He was troubled with what is known in German as unfinished and no the existential despair of soul, the consciousness of sin when he entered into that monastery.

He decided to really become as perfect as he could be because in those days at least.

People knew you had to be perfect to get into heaven. Give them credit. They understood that but they believe that the only way you become perfect is that God infuses grace into your soul and then you can do good works, and you hope that you get doing those works better and better and better until eventually you're perfect enough. And if you're not perfect enough.

As most people thought they weren't, you would go into purgatory where you would be purged on till you would be perfect enough give them credit for knowing that no imperfect person ever gets to heaven so Luther began his quest for perfection. He took advantage of all of the means of grace that were afforded him in the monastery. I he began to be disciplined. He wore coarse clothing so that he would not be able to enjoy life so that he would mortify the flesh.

He sometimes lasted so long that some of his friends thought that he was emaciated and that he might die because of the way in which he treated his body next month. God willing, I will be leading a tour to the sites of the Reformation which have had the privilege of doing before and we will go into the actual room the cell in which he lived there in Erfurt, which is basically a very bare sale with a stone cold floor and there he slept without blankets so that he might put the flesh to death and there were the sacraments of the church confession gave him some soulless. But he began to confess his sins reminding himself of them by reciting the 10 Commandments and the seven deadly sins, and then he would go to Stout puts his confessor, and he would begin confessing his sins up to six hours at a time Stout puts was so sick of seeing him that one day sit Luther. The next time you come to me.

Let it be some big sin like murder or adultery or blasphemy, but not all these little tiny insignificant sin. Let me tell you something Luther understood something more clearly than the people of his day and certainly more clearly than many people in our day and that was it didn't matter to God. Whether the sin was big or little. The point is whether or not it had been forgiven because in the side of the holy God one tiny little speck of sin was great enough to cast you out of heaven forever. The issue was not whether it was big or little issue was whether it was confessed and forgiven, but he reached an impasse. There were times when he did not know whether he was remembering all of his sins. Furthermore, there were some things he did that. Perhaps God considered to be sin that he didn't consider to be sin sins in order to be forgiven had to be confessed in order to be confess they had to be remembered, but if they were not. Remember, they could not be confessed, and if they could not be confess they could not be forgiven is despair only increased. Then he realized something else.

But even if he remembered all of his sins, even if he had all of them forgiven all tomorrow was a new day with new sentence and it had to begin all over again was like mopping up the floor when the faucet is running and you keep mopping and mopping and mopping. It's always finally when he decided to go to Wittenberg where the Elector Frederick was beginning a new University. Stout puts visited him that a courtyard there, which is still in existence today and sat down and said brother Martin. Possibly you should begin to teach the Bible to assuage your conscience and so he began to teach the Psalms. He came to Psalm 22 verse one, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken, and he knew that those were the words of Christ on the cross and he began to think how is it that Jesus himself who was sinless. Experience this disquiet of soul lists on factor known this despair that he realized it was because Jesus was taking upon himself our sins and our despair. Then Luther got to the book of Romans, which you can turn to today.

Romans chapter 1 and he began to ponder the phrase the righteousness of God. It says in verse 17 for in it the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation.

Romans 117 in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith as it is written, the righteous man shall live by faith with her began to ponder that and say the righteousness of God. He said that is frightening. He said I know that I have to attain the righteousness of God. But how does a sinner get the righteousness of God.

He said day and night. I pondered that question. Then as he began to study the book of Romans. He came to chapter 3 where the Bible says that all of send and come short of the glory of God and it says in verse 24 of chapter 3, being justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus and that God set forth his righteousness.

Middle of verse 25 God set forth Christ that he might declare his righteousness. Verse 26 for the demonstration.

I say all this righteousness that God might be just and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus. Luther saw something in the Bible, but he hadn't realized that there was such a thing as the righteousness of God which was an attribute of God. But there was also the righteousness from God, which was a gift given to needy sinners, and as he pondered this and began to see the connection he says, then it was as if I was reborn and I entered into the gates of paradise that there was not only a righteousness of God.

But there was a gift that is the righteousness from God, given to needy sinners want you to take your Bible and turn now to second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 21 second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 21. Notice what the text says, and I'm giving you time to find it. If you have your Bible, and I encourage you to always bring your Bible when you can.

It's a second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 21 he that is God made him the Christ who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in him. Let's take this verse slowly, here is Christ, who knew no sin, who is made sin for us, Christ received the alien sin, and I use the word alien because it was not a part of his nature.

It was credited to him. It was imputed to him and when Christ died on the cross, he became guilty of breaking all of the 10 Commandments and he became guilty of genocide and he became guilty of adultery and he became the guilty of all of the sins, the ugly ugly damnable sins that people commit. They were not his. He was legally guilty of them. God says I am counting you as being guilty of them follow this God places upon Christ all of our iniquities and all of our sins, he who knew no sin become sin for us, our sin is imputed to Christ and what do we get in return of that last part of the verse that we might become the righteousness of God. So we give to Christ what we are, namely, our sin, and he gives to us what we do not have, namely what God has, namely righteousness, which is the thing that we lack so desperately now, Luther began to see it. Is he up until that time, the promises of God in the Bible were like giving a promise to a blind man that says I'll tell you what, I'll make you a deal. Okay, you're blind all that you need to do is to see and if you see it in million dollars go and enjoy the million dollars but see first oh such a lovely promise, but a condition that is impossible to fulfill. How does a man attain enough righteousness, so that he can stand before God answer he can. Not he cannot.

How does he receive it.

He receives it from God, who imputed sin to Christ and Christ's righteousness to us. What I'd like to do in the next few moments that are still allotted to me and whether they are allotted to me or not. I'm taking them.

I would like to give you five characteristics of the righteousness of God. Characteristics that will bless your soul and that will take you all the way to heaven. If you believe in Christ number one. Obviously obviously it must be a free gift. It must be a free gift. It is the gift of righteousness being justified. We read in the book of Romans.

A moment ago, being justified as a free gift with the world are we going to earn this righteousness are we going to make ourselves worthy of this righteousness answer.

We cannot don't try. Don't bother, don't waste your time. Luther called it a passive righteousness because by that he meant that it was a righteousness that we simply receive and we can do nothing to make ourselves worthy of it. We just simply receive it as a gift from God. He is the illustration of rain. What is there in rain or what is there on the earth, I should say that makes it worthy of the rain. The earth may not deserve the rain. The earth may not create the rain all that it can do is to enjoy the rain as a gift and then later on, it bears fruit just like we as Christians, we receive the righteousness of God through faith. And then we begin to bear fruit, but the reign of the righteousness which refreshes us and covers us is a gift. All God as we learned last week when we spoke about grace and you know of course that this is a series of messages and I hope that you have the opportunity of listening to all of them because they are connected so the first thing is, it is a free gift.

It can be given as we explained last time to big sinners and to lesser ones indiscriminately. In fact, let me change the illustration and use one that Luther did not use think of snow here you have a messy trails in the snow and some of you.

Looking back in the rearview mirror of your lives. You see those messy trails don't you you see what you have done to your body. You see what you have done to other people and to some of you are still doing bad things to other people.

Right now, and you look back and you see this messing you wish things could've been different, but the past cannot be changed in all that you see is the mod and the grime and the dirt. But then a snowfall, Ms. 18 inches of snow that blankets the whole area, now, let us reason together, says the Lord, your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. God says there's a messy trail but I'm going to cover it and it will be covered by this special pure righteousness of Christ which is my righteousness, so that before me, you will be as holy as he is in the first characteristic is. It is a free gift.

What you do with those who can forgive themselves spell it and it was a friend of Luther did some things he couldn't forgive himself for he had given some bad advice and he heard other people because of the advice that he could not be consoled if Luther had been living in our century.

He would've said now spell it and let's get a couple of things straight.

First of all, it was not that big a deal. Everybody is in the same boat as you are number two what you need to do is to work through this through recognizing that you have to feel good about yourself that your real problem.

So I'd like to do is to help you to feel good about yourself. Luther didn't do that and he did not minimize the sin he magnified grace, he said, this politician in a letter, my faithful request and admonition is that you join our company and associate with us he says are real great and hard-boiled centers should you committed a great sin all, join us because because we're big sinners. You must by no means make Christ to seem paltry and trifling to us, as though he could be our helper only when we want to be rid of imaginary nominal and childish sins old and knows spell it and he said that kind of a Redeemer would not good for us. He said he must rather be a Savior and Redeemer from real grading grievous and damnable transgressions and iniquities day from even the greatest and the shocking sin I didn't bring it with me but we have a letter from a man in prison listens to our radio ministry who wrote was guilty of rape rate for women he's in jail now he has come to saving faith in Christ, but he is wondering how does a man who has done something so terrible with consequences that are still ongoing and was had such a terrible effect upon women. How does a man like that ever become at peace with himself, not by feeling good about himself or even getting in touch with his pure inner child.

Some people are doing is to realize that God has sent a snowfall and covered the mass God helps us with the consequences. He helps us work through it, but we have a brand-new basis upon which we can accept him. He is not looking at us legally now as those who are such damnable sinners, but he sees the righteousness of Christ to be found in him as said pole not having my own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith hurts me to say it, I must say it anyway.

God's righteousness is so perfect and so pure that it even can cover a rapist. Now, instead it number one. It is a free gift number two. Let us remember it is on change of it is on change, my friend, this is Pastor Luther. I hope that is you have listened to this sermon that you'll understand in a better way. The marvelous grace of God there is no PIP that is so deep but that God is deeper still. And no matter where you are today you can be saved. You can be forgiven. You can stand in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

What a message let me ask you a question. Are you willing to help us get this message to many, many people already thousands upon thousands listen to running to win every single day. We are, after all, in 20 different countries in three different languages. We want to continue to expand the ministry. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner that somebody who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Of course you need more info.

So here's what you can do. Go to RTW when you're there, click on the endurance partner, but now I'm going to give you time to pick up that pencil so that you can write this down or you can call at 1-888-218-9337 that's RTW Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337 it's time again for you to ask Pastor links her question about the Bible or the Christian life, relationships are very important to all of us. That's why we feel so much pain when a loved one dies received an anonymous question about this.

Pastor links her goes like this. Does the Bible really say we will know one another in heaven. If so, where. Well, I think it says that quite clearly in first Corinthians chapter 13 where it says that now we see through a glass darkly, but then face-to-face and then we shall know even as we are also known so clearly what it's talking about is at death were going to know a lot more than we do here on earth and we will know one another. In fact, I can't imagine that in heaven we are going to know less than we did here on earth, so obviously were going to know one another. There's another hint about that on the passage of Scripture that speaks about the transfiguration. Jesus is there on the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter James and John and Moses and Elijah show up and you remember that story. I don't think that they needed to be introduced high think that in heaven will have intuitive knowledge of who it is that we are meeting there you have it. Knowledge of people who have died in Old Testament times still having their names the very same people. And yes, of course, we shall know one another in heaven. Thank you Dr. lutes are if you'd like to hear your question answered. You can by going to our and clicking on ask Pastor Luther or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 for those running the race of life goal line is heaven now. If there's one thing you have to have. To get into heaven you'll want to know what it is. Next time I'm running to win will make theology practical tune in to learn what it actually means to receive the gift of righteousness. As Dr. lutes are wraps up the gift you can't live without running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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