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A Lasting Faith Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
May 12, 2022 1:00 am

A Lasting Faith Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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May 12, 2022 1:00 am

When situations spiral into sin or anxiety, what really matters is our own trust and whether God is trustworthy. In Genesis 15, God makes an astounding promise. But Abraham is obsessed with the problem of the promise. In this message, we reflect on God’s three promises to Abraham. Do we trust God to protect and preserve us? 

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Looking to Jesus and perfecter in Genesis 15 God promises Abraham, many offspring pledges to give them much Middle East know that something really big today God's guarantee of the land and the people to bring forth the Redeemer Church in Chicago. This is when Sir was clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line.

Festivals are were learning about finding strength for the journey as Abraham had to do, so long ago.

Genesis 15 is a monumental chapter in this ongoing story, Dave. You're absolutely right. Genesis 15 is critical. And let me explain why. In addition to giving Abraham a covenant as you mentioned, and giving him boundaries to the land. Something else is happening in that chapter. There's a lot of discussion about how people were saved in the Old Testament did the Old Testament sacrifices save them. What about those sacrifices without faith.

How did they come to believe.

Well, the answers given there in Genesis chapter 15 where the Bible says Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness.

The end of the day. Old Testament saints were saved because of their faith in God, not by works, lest any man should boast. I want to thank the many of you who are helping us get the gospel of Jesus Christ to more than 20 different countries in four different languages 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 when you're there, click on the endurance partner button or call us right now at 1-888-218-9337 and now to Genesis 15. Virtually every test you, and I encounter in the Christian life comes down to two questions. First of all is God trustworthy can he be trusted.

First question and the second question is can I trust him always reduced to a matter of trust and whether or not God is trustworthy you face a temptation and that the temptation is to do your own thing and you ask yourself this question is sin, ever a good idea is that a better idea than God's idea comes down to a matter of trust.

Everything comes down to that anxiety. The inability that we have to control consequences and control events that we give over to God, can we trust him.

That's the question Abraham was told by God, I'm going to give you the land and I'm going to give it to you forever and to your offspring. It will be yours. The question now before us is can Abraham trust him. Can Abraham do and to live in such a way that he believes that God knows what he is doing and can be believe the 15th chapter of the book of Genesis, which is our text for today Genesis chapter 15 is one of the most important chapters in all the Bible, Genesis 15, every Bible open to this great and wonderful chapter what God does in Genesis 15, is he gets Abraham three promises were going to look at those promises because Abraham in the 15th chapter really is having a dialogue with God and we get in on it and we get to listen in on what's happening between Abraham and God.

The chapter opens in verse one after these things the word of the Lord came to Abraham in a vision, fear not first time that expression is used in the Bible. Fear not Abraham, I am your shield, your reward shall be very right promised number one I am your protection. I am your shield, why did God say that to Abraham at this juncture, remember the context after these things, it says Abraham had just routed four kings in the East.

They had gone off with a whole bunch of loops which Abraham recaptured including law. As we noticed last time he no doubt feared retaliation very was in his tent. The Kings could gang up on him and they could come in they could overwhelm them very very easily and kill them and then what would happen to the promises of God, and the seed God says Abraham I am your shield will protect you and your reward shall be great. I know that you said no to the king of Sodom, the king of Sodom wanted you to keep all of the goods that you recaptured and you said no less thinking of Sodom say that he made Abraham rich and and because of that I'm going to bless you. You're going to be rewarded. Everything is going to be okay.

Abraham, God, it's says this lovely promise. I am your shield and your reward shall be great.

Abraham is the process with the problem of the promise though. You see God.

It said that I'm going to give it your seed. He's getting older Sarah his wife is already beyond the place of being able to bear children, and so Abraham's is trying to figure out how God's do it. Have you ever tried to figure out how God's going to do it whenever I've done that 9/10 times I'm wrong. So Abraham says to God, verse two, oh Lord God, you give me. I continue, childless, and the error of my houses Eliezer of Damascus.

He says you not given me a child and in those days that was calm and if you didn't have any children of the airship would be passed to one of your favorite servants or someone who was in your house you highly regarded and so he says, are you going to do it through Eliezer and God come stay premises. Abraham no he says expressly he says your very own son last part of verse five and verse six, shall be your heir. This man shall not be your heir.

Your very own son is going to be your heir and it leads Abraham to more puzzles about the will of God, which sometimes appears to be a mystery wrapped in and in the how is God going to do it. So Abraham says Lord, how's it going to happen.

God says Abraham, look at the stars. Previously God says as many particles of dust as there are on the earth. That's the way your seed is going to be. Not that there are going to be as many people as dust, but you can't number the dust. God says you can't number your seed. Now God says come out and look at the stars.

Sometimes in the blackness of your experience when there is nothing you can look at just look at the stars. Can you count them. Abraham no I can't count them, so shall your seed be. God says I'm your protection. I am also your provision. It'll happen.

Abraham first, promise. God says on your protection. Second, promise, a promise of righteousness. Verse six of chapter 50 Dean is one of the most important verses of the Old Testament is quoted three times in the New Testament it says and Abraham believed the Lord and he counted it to him as righteousness. The gift of righteousness, the promise of righteousness three words in that little verse that you must understand if you intend to get to heaven. Some of you intend to get to heaven. I hope that your intention will be realized in his company realized on the basis of whether or not you understand this. The first word is the word believed Abraham believed God in the Hebrew the word actually is a main from which we get. Amen it was translated into Greek as a man, and that's the way it appears in the New Testament when Jesus said, verily, verily I say unto you, the Greek says a man amen, I say to you.

Amen. Means I embrace and I heartily accept what God has said if Abraham were German he'd say young hole young hole. That's the idea, yes, I embrace that is mine.

Abraham said a man to God, and it was counted as righteousness. Are you here today being willing to say amen amen to God. That's what it means to believe. Thank you.

Thank three of you are saying. Amen. You know it's not fair that three people would say let's all say it together. Let's all say amen. Okay, let's all say hey man hey man to God.

That's what Abraham did not second word count to reckon he wasn't righteous.

He was a sinner. In fact, his sins are clear on the pages of Scripture, but was credited to him as righteousness. God says I'm crediting to your account. Something you do not naturally have and that is righteousness in the New Testament if we may jump therefore moment it becomes very clear.

Theologians call this imputation, it was imputed to him.

The Bible says that Jesus was counted, a sinner. He was a reckon to be a sinner. He wasn't personally but he was he was reckoned as a center and what happened when Jesus died. Is this. He got what he didn't deserve. Namely, our sins were credited to him and we got what we didn't deserve. Namely, his righteousness is credited to that's what imputation is and when the apostle Paul quotes this in the book of Romans.

He quotes it because he wants to show that God's way of salvation always is faith and not works. That's the context in the book of Romans and so God says today. Abraham, you don't have any righteousness, not the kind that I need but I'm going to credited to you as a free gift.

You say well how are people saved in the Old Testament times the answer is this that God saved people like Abraham on credit will know what it's like to buy something on credit, don't we will have plastic in our pocket and that we go to someplace and we say yes I want this article of furniture and we put it on credit and we begin to enjoy it and then at the end of the month. The statement comes and it has to be paid.

Remember, it has to be paid. God sets Abraham, I am going to save you on credit because I know that Jesus is coming, and in your seed is going to be the Redeemer is going to be qualified to take away your sin and already now I'm giving you the privilege of in joining me and walking in righteousness, knowing that Christ is coming as nobody gets saved apart from the work of Jesus disabled that Abraham actually believe in Jesus. He saw Jesus coming with some clarity not much but some but he believed what God revealed that it was credited to him as righteousness.

The content of this faith was different than ours, but the end result was the same third word. Righteousness what is righteousness is the kind of righteousness that only God himself accepts and the only righteousness that God accepts is his own.

That's why we sing clothed in his righteousness alone. You understand that this has to be a free gift. God does not say Abraham now that you've done this. What you have to do is in order to get you need a sacrifice go offer a sacrifice.

God doesn't say Abraham to get it you have to give money. God doesn't say Abraham go off and be baptized. No, it's a free gift. And the reason it has to be free is because this is a righteousness of which you and I have none. We can contribute to it. We can't make it better. We can subtract from that. It is the righteousness of God is polls shows in the book of Romans, and that means that God can save big centers as well as lesser ones because ultimately salvation has to be a free gift. Of course it's better that you be lesser sinner than a greater center to be sure, but at the end of the day. God says I can even save Crim if they stop trusting in themselves and trust in Jesus for their righteousness, for the gift God has given.

This is the most precious gift God gave to Abraham. It's what he needed the most. And he believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Second, promise first promises protection. The second is righteousness. And now the third promise is that about glorious future and what an important passage. This is in order to understand what's going on here and the rest of the chapter, I need to tell you that in those days when you made a covenant with someone and it was to be a blood covenant very solemn. What you did as you took animals and you cut them into you kill them and cut them into new laid them in half so that they were symmetrical and then the two of you walked through in between these pieces and what you were saying in effect is if I break my word. I deserve the same date as these animals was the most solemn covenant that you could ever possibly make so God says Abraham takes some animals take a heifer take a go take around and cut them into and lay them out. Abraham does fines he has to keep the birds of prey away from eating the exposed meat and then the Bible says that a deep sleep came upon Abraham verse 12, and behold a dreadful darkness befell him and in his sleep. God says to him, Abraham know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in the land that is not theirs. I'm in the middle of verse 13 and will be servants there and they will be afflicted 400 years, but I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve. And afterward, they shall come out with great possessions.

As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace and you shall be buried in a good old age, and they shall come back here in the fourth generation for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete. God says Abraham, your seed is going to inherit the land but that's not going to happen for 400 years. First of all, you have to have a child and then there will be this family that will be created that will go into Egypt for 400 years and then they're going to come back. And of course we know that that happened under Moses and Joshua and then they're going to enter into the land for hundred long years, but they'll be back because God is God. Time is not a limitation to him as it is to us. So Abraham receives this revelation and then most start. This is what happens. It says in verse 17 when the sun had gone down and it was dark, the oldest smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces on that day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham saying to your offspring. I give this land from the river of Egypt to the great River, the Euphrates, the land of the Canada sites and then all of these other Gershon Eitzen, Jebusites, and megabytes and all of the other. What's with this flaming torch and this pot or this oven. That's God passing through the pieces as becomes very clear both in this text and other passages of Scripture. The furnace perhaps representing the furnace of affliction that the Israelites are going to go through and the torch, representing the light that they will eventually be to the world, both suffering and glory. God says I am walking in between the pieces. All right, now you followed it this far, haven't you $64 question. Where is Abraham in this whole thing, the answer is he's asleep, he's in another world. He's somewhere else he does not walk with God between these pieces, God walks between the pieces alone because what God is saying is I'm making this covenant with you, Abraham. But guess what, this isn't an agreement where you do your part and then I do my part.

This is a covenant that I am making with you that I will accomplish and is not even dependent upon your faithfulness or your obedience. Though God will bring that about. Because I am God and this is what I have decided to do and it will happen and nothing, including even the human will will stand in my way. While you my friend, but I absolutely love it. Abraham is asleep. God makes a covenant with him in effect and says in the book of Hebrews that God was swearing by himself God's will and God's purposes will be fulfilled know I'm so glad for the many of you who support the ministry running to win and perhaps you've heard us say before that we are in many countries in the Middle East. Let me read this letter from Egypt, the running to win program is affecting my life tremendously. I wait for it daily and feel the things that I am learning are helping me in my life as a Christian. My questions are being answered. The best part is that it is based on biblical teaching. God bless you and I say to this person. God bless you. Let me ask you a question. Would you like to become a part of the running to win family as I like to put it. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner, someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Of course, the amount that you give is entirely up to you. Here's how you can find info go to RTW that's RTW and when you're there, click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337 it's time again for you to ask Pastor looks her question about the Bible or the Christian life. Many churches today are far different from those our parents knew this has Catherine concerned. She asks what are your thoughts about contemplative or emergent churches. I'm very interested in your answer, so I hope you can respond yes I can respond. Catherine the emergent church. What a topic. First of all let me say that among emergent churches, there is great diversity there some that are quite evangelical.

There are others that are way out there, so to speak, so it's always a little dangerous for us to generalize, but sometimes we have to generalize and to make some comments that are applicable to a number of different churches. One of the things about emergent churches is they downplay doctrine. In fact, one of the founders of the year one who originated the whole idea of the emergent church. He said that someday theology will be like the architecture of the medieval church interesting to a few, but irrelevant. That's a dangerous statement so far as I'm concerned, so theology oftentimes takes second place.

Secondly, there's a great deal of emphasis on this life. They say that the whole emphasis on heaven and eternity is misplaced. We need to know how to live here. And then, of course, in addition to that, you have a lot of emphasis on relationships and that might be good personal relationships but unfortunately those relationships often take precedence over worship over devotion over diligent Bible study and over theology.

Bottom line, I'm concerned about the emergent church.

Now many churches that have gone that way. It may be too new to predict exactly where they will end up, but I would say that they are on a dangerous trajectory. Yes, there is much that we can learn from them. But at the end of the day theology corporate worship, the belief in absolute truth. All that must be dearly held by the church and so I need to say that there is a word of caution, we must be very careful when we abandon these four contemporary kind of worship and church service. Some wise words from Dr. Erwin Blitzer. Thank you, Pastor looks her if you'd like to hear your question answered.

You can just go to our and click on ask estimates are or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago line 60614 in Genesis 15 God makes an unconditional covenant with Abraham. God says he will do what he promises, no matter what. Next time I'm running to win by that covenant means that the work of Jesus is all that's needed for a believer to gain eternal life running to win is sponsored the Moody church

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