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The Serpent Is Crushed Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2022 1:00 am

The Serpent Is Crushed Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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February 9, 2022 1:00 am

We all deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire, prepared for Satan and his angels. But God sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place to redeem us. In this message, we’ll celebrate five ways in which the cross defeated Satan, crushing his head. Through the cross, God not only silenced Satan but also reconciled us back to himself, securing our decisive victory and redemption.  

 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. The cross allows us to run life's race right up to heaven, leaving behind a vanquished Satan to suffer eternally in a lake of fire, a lake prepared especially for the devil and his angels. For an amazing story of total victory, please 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. Today we're hearing another message on God's Devil, the incredible story of how Satan's rebellion serves God's purposes. Pastor Lutzer, if Jesus crushed Satan on the cross, why is the devil still causing mayhem now? Well, Dave, once again you've asked a very interesting question, and I need to respond by saying that Jesus Christ did crush the devil when Jesus Christ died on the cross, but I like to think of it this way.

Satan now is out on bail, so to speak, but his sentence has been commuted, the decision has been made, he is on his way to the lake of fire, and by the way, he knows it. That's why we as believers can stand in a position of victory, even in the midst of a very confused and dark world. I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of Running to Win.

Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? That's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here's what you can do.

Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now at the end of this message I'm going to be giving you this contact info again. For now I want you to listen as once again we understand much better the defeat of our foe and the exaltation of Jesus Christ. And the Romans would then bring all of the captives home, and they would make them march in the presence of all of their peers, in the presence of all of the Romans who had gathered in the great stadiums.

And here were the officers, and here were the soldiers, all of them coming head-bound, oftentimes shackled in incredible humiliation, a public display of having brought them into the dust. And that's what the cross did to Satan. All of the accusations against us were wiped out, and as a result of Jesus Christ's death on the cross, Satan has been stripped clean, humiliated, and forever now has to confess that he is defeated.

What I'd like to do in the next few moments is to give you five ways in which the cross defeated Satan, five ways in which the cross now becomes the pivotal point and the serpent's head was irrevocably crushed. First of all, which I've already alluded to, is number one, sinners were permanently reconciled to God. Sinners were permanently reconciled to God. The text says he forgave all of our transgressions. It was as if Jesus Christ went into Satan's territory, the prince of this world, and purchased out from under his nose, and did it legally and justly, purchased out from under his nose those who would belong to God, and they would now no longer belong to Satan. They would be translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear son, and it would be done forever.

Notice what the text says. He has forgiven us all our trespasses. Meditate on that for just a moment with me. How many sins that you have committed were still future when Jesus Christ died on the cross? Well, you know that all of them were future.

All of them were future. When Jesus was dying on the cross, you weren't here. I weren't here. I weren't here. Yes, I weren't here.

Yeah. I wasn't around to make grammatical errors, plus a whole lot of other things that I've done. Were those sins that Erwin Lutzer was going to commit, were they nil to the cross? Well, bless God, the answer is yes. Those sins, I had not yet done them.

I had not yet had a chance to think about them. God already anticipated all that and said, I take those sins as well, and I nail them to the cross. Well, what about the sins that I am still going to commit?

Because I still plan on living. And what about the sins that I still commit? Were they also nil to the cross? Well, yes, bless God, they also were nailed to the cross and they were taken away. The debt was canceled because he forgave all, underline that little word, all our transgressions, all of them. That's why I know when I'm going to go to heaven when I die.

That's why I have that assurance. If when I received Jesus as my savior, it were to take all care of only the past sins that I've committed, if it were not also to take care of future sins that I will commit, then I could have no assurance of eternal life because I could commit a sin and then suddenly die, and I'd be lost forever. No, he forgave me of transgressions that I will yet commit. Oh, some of you are saying, now don't preach that because you're going to get everybody out there and they're going to just sin after they learn that. I want you to know that grace does have its risks. But I also want you to know that it is important for us to confess our sins to God, to maintain fellowship.

But the legal requirement has been done forever. And if you need one other passage of scripture to prove it, it says in the 10th chapter of the book of Hebrews, by one sacrifice he has perfected forever them that are sanctified. By one sacrifice. That's why we sing with so much enthusiasm. Jesus paid it all.

All to him I owe. Sin has left a crimson stain and he washed it white as snow. That's why we sing it. That's why the choir sang at the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light and the burden of my heart rolled away.

It is because there God purchased us forever. Secondly, he silenced Satan. He silenced Satan. All this whimpering, all this muttering, all this standing next to Joshua in the Old Testament, standing next to us, all of the accusations of saying, you know, God isn't holy if he saves you. And furthermore, you're such a great sinner that God can never possibly save you.

If you really knew how bad you were, you'd understand that you'd, you'd go the other way. No. No. Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies. Who is there that can tell me that I am unholy and unworthy to enter into heaven when God has said that I am worthy to enter into heaven? That's why with so much enthusiasm we can say, Jesus, thy blood and righteousness, my beauty art, my heavenly dress. That's why we give Jesus Christ all of our rags that are oily and that are dirty and he clothes us, as he did Joshua, with festive robes and we become as white and clean as he himself is. And what does the devil have to say about that?

Nothing. You say, well, he's got a lot to say to me about it. That's right.

That's right. He still hassles us, still tells us that. I received a letter from a woman recently who said, I can't please my husband. I can't please my father. I'm going to give up pleasing God.

Now I wouldn't say this to anybody, but I told her this. I wrote her and said to her, why don't you just recognize that you don't have to please God? God is so much more pleased with Jesus Christ than he is even with us, even if we happen to have two good days in a row. So why don't you just rest in the fact that God is pleased with Christ and if you are in him, he's pleased with you. I know that that could be misinterpreted. Somebody could say, well, then it doesn't matter the way in which he lives. And there's that other balancing truth in the scriptures, but that's what she needed to hear. But the accuser continues to accuse.

He will not stop accusations and if you don't know how to handle them, he will drag you into the pits so that you go back to your past addictions, your past sins, because he will tell you how bad you really are. Don't listen to it. Look at the letters that I receive. Many letters. But ones like this come across my desk almost every week, almost every week.

Here it is. Last night I was tempted to commit the unpardonable sin. Ever since I found out about this sin, I was worried about committing it.

Well, last night it happened. I started to curse God. I called the Holy Spirit blasphemous and insulting names. I asked for forgiveness, but nothing seemed right. I even got more angry and then I really cursed God.

Do you think I got God so angry that he left me? Let me just say this about the unpardonable sin. There is an unpardonable sin and that is the sin of unbelief. That is unbelievers. If you do not receive Jesus Christ as your savior today, you are unpardonable in your present state. As long as you don't receive Christ and your heart may become so heartless and it may become so hard that someday you might not even want to. But no Christian ever commits the unpardonable sin. Notice what the text says. He has forgiven us all our transgressions, all of them.

Number three. He proved the power of life. Christ proved that he has life. Satan can destroy even within the parameters of God's grace and providence, I should say. He has the power of death, it says in the book of Hebrews, but notice this. It says God raised Christ from the dead, the last part of verse 12. Verse 13, when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive together with him, the resurrection. You see, Satan can kill but he can't make alive. Jesus said on the cross for these hours you win, you can kill. And so he inspired Judas and he inspired those evil men to do something which earlier he tried to prevent having happen and now he puts Christ on the cross and he delights in those few hours. But after Christ is dead, Satan cannot raise Christ nor can he raise anyone else.

But Jesus is raised from the dead to prove that he has the power of life and Satan has only the power of destruction. Number four, and this comes from a different passage of scripture. The redeemed of the Old Testament are taken to heaven. I know that there's some question as to how to interpret the fourth chapter of the book of Hebrews where it says that, or rather Ephesians, where it says that Christ led captivity captive and he gave gifts unto men and he ascended on high. I interpret that to mean that he took all of those who were in Sheol, the Old Testament saints, and now the gates of heaven became open for them as well as us and we do not have any intermediary stops when we die. We go directly from this life into heaven because God says, I have welcomed Christ into heaven and you are just as welcome as he is because you are in him.

You are clothed in his clothes. Number five, man is now exalted above the angels. Redeemed man is exalted above the angels. This is what surely angers Satan the most.

Here are creatures like you and me who basically have sided with him. Adam and Eve sided with him and we were born into a state of sin and now suddenly we are going to be raised and we are going to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. We will judge angels, the Bible says.

We will have an inheritance. We will look like Christ because we will be human with our transformed body just as he is human and we have privileges that the angels do not have and now Satan sees God's generosity and grace and hates it. Now if you add all this together, what it really comes down to is that Satan's doom was sealed here. The Bible says now is the judgment of this world. He was judged. He was found to be morally incompetent. His accusations were found to be false and all that is taking place now is there is some time that is elapsing until eventually the sentence is directly carried out and he will be confined to the lake of fire.

You say well was that victory on the cross really decisive? Why then is Satan still given so much power? Well for one thing he doesn't have quite as much power as we think he does. We are going to be commenting on that in the next message that sometimes we give him more credit for his power than he really deserves.

But number two is just a matter of time. The Bible says Saul was rejected by God from being king of Israel. God says Saul you're finished. I have chosen another king. The title was stripped from Saul. For 10 long years he still reigns and hassles David but eventually it came to pass. Did you know that thunder and lightning happen at the very same second?

It's just that we hear the thunder later because sound does not travel as fast as light. When Jesus died on the cross it was all done. Satan was defeated.

The redeemed were purchased. Our transgressions already then were wiped away. In God's providential decree we already belong to God and it's all finished. But now he's out on bail but eventually his sentence will be given to him and he has been disarmed.

He has been humiliated and all that he can do is rant and rave especially in the lives of those who do not know that he is defeated. My wife and I have been to the Wartburg Castle on a number of different occasions and we like to go into that room. Now the Wartburg is a big castle and it reminds you of what Martin Luther meant when he wrote A Mighty Fortress is Our God. I would say without exaggeration I think it may take an hour and a half or so to walk through the Wartburg just barely stopping in every room and trying to find out what happened there.

It's a huge mammoth place right at the top of the hill. And in that Wartburg there is a little room perhaps only 12 feet by 12 feet max and that's where Luther lived for 10 months and translated the Bible into German, the New Testament into German and it's there that he went through all of the self-doubt and he used to look out of the window and the first time I was there in the Wartburg you could actually open the window sash and look out and see what Luther saw, all of the trees in the forest that he wrote about. But you know there is a tradition that Luther threw his inkwell at the devil when he was there and tour guides I'm told used to sometimes put a little soot along the wall so that visitors like you and me could see the place where the inkwell landed because it's disappointing to go that far and not see where the inkwell hit the wall. Well you know I'm not sure that he actually did throw his inkwell at the devil. He said in his table talks that he fought the devil with ink and what he meant was he fought to the devil by the translation of the word of God into the German language. And thinking about this this mighty fortress he wrote he says though this world be with the devil's field shall threaten to undo us. We have no fear for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness grim we tremble not from him for lo his doom is sure he said. And then he went on to say one little word his rage we can endure for lo his doom is sure one little word shall fail him. What is that little word that Luther was referring to? The little word was a six-letter word Christ.

Christ. Jesus Christ king of kings lord of lords having taken our sin nailed it to the cross forgiven us our transgressions disarmed all principalities and powers humiliated them and triumphed over them in the cross. And today we are invited to participate in that victory.

Let us pray. And our father today we do thank you that the serpent's head was ground into the dust. We thank you father for that. Thank you that all that he could do is to nip Christ's heel that was the best that he could do and we praise you and we ask oh Lord that in grace you will give us the opportunity of understanding more of what Jesus did for us. And may all those who are here today who have never savingly believed on him may they come to know him that they too might find their transgressions forgiven in Jesus name.

Amen. You know my friend this is Pastor Lutzer. It's so easy for us to be distracted because of the pressures of the world that we forget that it is concentrating on the word of God and Christ that gives us hope. I'm holding in my hands a letter that we received from a listener who said I'm finally back in God's word.

I've been out of work for three months. I've been experiencing spiritual attacks but I started reading the Bible and praying again yesterday. I've been so distracted but your radio ministry and my pastor helped me to get into God's word and see what he had for me. It was amazing and it is amazing. It's because of people like you that help us get this ministry to many people.

We're so thankful that Running to Win is in more than 20 different countries in three different languages. If you wish to help us with this ministry here's what you can do. Go to rtwoffer.com. When you're there click on the endurance partner button.

Endurance partners are people who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts and of course the amount that you contribute is totally your decision. rtwoffer.com or if you prefer call us right now at 1-888-218-9337. I hope you had time to write that down 1-888-218-9337. It's time now for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Dr. Lutzer, as we know sometimes young people reveal an amazing spiritual understanding.

From Blue Springs, Missouri, Melissa tells us this story. I've always heard that God cannot look upon sin or be in the presence of sin. I've often heard this was the reason that God had to turn his back on Jesus at the cross when Jesus cried out, why have you forsaken me? If this is the case then why is Satan allowed to approach the throne and talk to God as he did in Job where it describes a conversation between God and Satan. Our 13 year old son posed this question during family devotions and I've not been able to find a suitable answer from my Bible when searching on the subject.

I think I can Melissa. You know when the Bible says that God is a purer eyes than to behold evil it's actually a passage from Habakkuk chapter 1 verse 13. It doesn't mean that God doesn't see evil. Of course God sees evil he sees it every day and that's why he can see Satan and they can communicate as they did in the book of Job and perhaps they can continue to do that today. What it means is God doesn't regard evil. God doesn't, what shall we say, approve of evil. And it's this kind of a meaning that we must give to that verse and clearly that's what Habakkuk meant. What he was saying is God revealed that evil was coming into the land and so Habakkuk says well you know you're so pure you can't look upon these kinds of people with favor. That's the idea that is there.

So that's your answer and when your 13 year old son asks you the answer say that yes God does see evil God does connect with the devil evidently as he did back in the days of the book of Job but it simply means God does not regard it he doesn't approve it and it is not absorbed into his character in any way shape or form. Thank you Melissa and thank you Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered go to our website at rtwoffer.com 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, Illinois 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. Next time a believers strategy session as we learn what the serpent wants from you. Plan to join us. This is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-07 15:55:19 / 2023-06-07 16:03:52 / 9

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