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Living Clean In A Dirty World Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
August 8, 2022 1:00 am

Living Clean In A Dirty World Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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August 8, 2022 1:00 am

Moral and spiritual pollution is everywhere, even within us. When Jesus knelt to wash Peter’s feet, the conflict within Peter was intense. In this message from John 13, servanthood and submission are displayed, even as Jesus revealed another type of washing that is deeply inward. With our daily sins and sinful nature, how can we be cleansed?

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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. When Jesus washed Peter's feet, the conflict within Peter was palpable.

He had a visceral reaction as his master knelt before him. But servant leadership was on display, and we, like Peter, must heed this stark lesson in how to serve. 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. We're in John 13, learning that after a day in the world, Christians need to be cleansed of the dust of sin. Pastor Lutzer, much to Peter's dismay, Jesus taught that lesson dramatically by taking a towel and washing the disciples' feet.

Absolutely. It was very dramatic. It was very memorable, and we learn from it today. What a Savior we have. And you know, Dave, if I were to be totally honest, and I always want to be totally honest, I have to tell you that the lesson of servanthood is one that I continue to learn. The fact that Jesus was willing to take the initiative in these circumstances is a tremendous rebuke to us, and we can identify with Peter. In a moment, I'm going to be giving all of our listeners an opportunity to do something to help us get the gospel to many, many more. It has to do with our matching gift. So you stay tuned.

At the end of this broadcast, I'll be giving you some contact info. But for now, let's consider the words and the actions of Jesus in that upper room. Well, when Jesus said to Peter, if I don't wash you, you don't have any part with me. Peter again, a man of extremes, says, oh, Lord. He says, not my feet only, verse 9, but also my hands and my head. Jesus, if it means that I'm not going to have any part with you, pour the bucket over my head.

Do the whole thing. Don't you just love it? He was finally brought to the point of submission. But there's a third lesson. There's the lesson of servanthood.

There's the lesson of submission. And thirdly, there is a lesson on salvation. Salvation. That word salvation means that we are saved from something. We are saved from the wrath to come. We are truly saved.

That is a good word to use. It's biblical. All throughout Paul's writings, he talks about those that are saved.

It means saved forever from God's wrath and saved for heaven. And notice how Jesus now takes this as an illustration of salvation. Peter says, not my hands only, but also my hands and my head. Verse 10, Jesus said, he who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not all of you.

For he knew the one who was betraying him for this reason, he said, not all of you are clean. Now Jesus indicates here that there are two different washings, and I hope that you've experienced both of them. The complete bath, first of all, the complete bath is the washing of regeneration.

That is getting saved. It is regeneration because God does a miracle in the heart. It is the new birth. You become a child of God.

That is a bath that does not have to be repeated again ever. New Christians sometimes say, well, you know, I've received Christ as my savior, but now I have sinned. Do I have to be saved again? The answer is no, you don't have to be saved again.

Once is sufficient, but you do need your feet washed. You do need your heart cleansed, as we shall see in a moment. I mean, folks, we take this all for granted, but salvation is a mighty big thing. Here's somebody who believes in Jesus Christ as savior, receives him as his or hers. Think of what God does. The Bible says that he seals you with the Holy Spirit of God, and you are sealed until the day of redemption. The scriptures indicate that you become a member of God's family. You are a child of God, adopted permanently, and you get a new father. Then the Bible says that we are so put into Christ that we become a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones to the point when he ascended into heaven, we are spoken of as being there in heaven with him.

Wow. And then that's not all. It says that when you get saved, your destiny in heaven is so certain that God already glorifies you. It says in Romans 8, those whom he called he justified, those whom he justified he also glorified. God says, for all practical purposes you're already in heaven. So, you see, once a person has been bathed, once you've had the bath, the Greek word is luo, you don't need to be saved again because God does not undo all the beautiful things that he has done for you. To top it all off, by the way, it says that if you ever are saved, or when you are saved, you should know that your name, because of election, has been written in the Lamb's Book of Life from before the foundation of the world.

God is fulfilling his plan for you. How much more certainty could you get? Dr. Harry Ironside, who preached here at the Moody Church years before I was around, said that on one occasion someone came forward and said, Dr. Ironside, I have been saved 99 times. You know what I would say if I ever met a person like that? I would look at them in utter disbelief and say, what do you mean, only 99 times? Is that all?

I would have expected 999. If you need a complete bath every time you sin, you'd better be saved over and over and over and over and over again. And there are some churches that teach that. We had a friend in our home one time and she said she was brought up in a church where you got saved on Sunday, you lost your salvation virtually every week, especially over the weekends. You lost it on Saturday, you came back and got saved again on Sunday. And she said the town drunk used to get saved every Sunday night and then lose his salvation by Monday afternoon. One day the pastor said to him, you know, next week when you get saved, I ought to shoot you so that at least we'd know that you're going to heaven. Shoot them right after they're saved so that they make the pearly gates.

Oh, no, no, no, no. God does not undo all the work that he does in the life of a believer just because we sin. But there's a second bath that is needed and that is the foot washing. The Greek word is nipto. It's a different word that Jesus uses here. He says he who has bathed, luo, needs only to nipto his feet but is completely clean. That's the bath of confession.

That's the bath of cleansing, which I need every single day, sometimes many times during the day. And by the way, you can judge your own spiritual maturity by measuring the length of time it takes you between becoming aware of sin and confessing it. Some people let their sins pile up and say, well, you know, I'm committing so many sins that I'll eventually confess them all.

That is immaturity. You don't understand it and you don't get it. It is not just simply a matter of keeping short accounts with God. It is a matter of keeping current accounts with God. It is a matter of constantly walking in the light of agreeing with God and saying in obedience to Christ, whatever you point out in my life, I will confess and receive forgiveness for. It's 1 John 1.9, if any of you sin, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us, the Greek text says, from each and every individual unrighteousness.

Now you know what many people do? They confess their sins in a very general way and that's why they keep repeating those sins over and over again. That word confess means to agree with God. We agree thoroughly and totally. We agree that what we have done is sin.

We also agree and get this, my friend. We also agree that God has a right to take this sin out of our lives forever. Do you know why there are so many believers who are constantly caught up in the same cycle of confession and failure, confession and failure? There are several reasons for it, but a predominant one is that when they confess their sins, they reserve in their own heart the right to commit to that same sin again. If you're an alcoholic and you want to confess your sin before God, what you should do is not only say, oh God, I have sinned, but what you need to do is to say I forever and totally and completely give up the right ever to touch another drop. When God brings you to that point of submission, you might be surprised at the victory that he will win.

That does not mean, of course, that after that there could be no failure. There might be, but it is this half-hearted confession where we reserve something within our heart that eventually becomes the seat of our problems and the smallest sin that is not exposed in obedience to the light eventually becomes the seat of our troubles and that little leaven leavens the whole lump and you say, how could something so small create problems for me that are so big? You know what God says? He says, I want you to walk in the light in obedience in confession. I want you to be thoroughly, thoroughly washed, thoroughly washed and I want you to know today that the closer you and I walk to Calvary, the closer you and I walk with God, the more dirt he shows us on our feet, in our hearts and when we walk in obedience, we have a part with him. What did Jesus mean anyway? You have no part with me. It means fellowship.

Tenth chapter of Luke says that Mary, when she was at the feet of Christ, has chosen the good part. Second Corinthians chapter six says that we have no part with the table of demons. We have no part, we have no fellowship with. Christ is saying, you have no fellowship with me when you are walking in disobedience.

Let me say this as clearly as I am able. If you in any area of your life are walking in known disobedience, you are coming to the table of fellowship with dirty hands and your fellowship with Christ will be distant, unsatisfying and eventually, perhaps, uncomfortable and it can be in any area. For example, some of you today are absolutely convinced it is God's will that after you become a Christian, you'll be baptized.

You're absolutely convinced. It's not a matter of just simply because I've said it or anybody. You believe that's what the Bible teaches and yet you are not walking in obedience. Jesus said, wait a minute here. You call me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things that I say. You have no part with me. How can you think that everything is okay between us and yet you knowingly reject what in your heart you know you should be doing? Now, what I've said about that can be said about all kinds of things that are in our hearts, all of the sins that we so tenaciously protect, whether it is anger or lust or greed or ambition or jealousy and factions and dissensions, all of those things you see keep us from having a part with Christ.

Let me look into your eyes. Jesus loves you and Jesus really wants to have fellowship with you. He really does. But you can't come to him with a dirty heart unless you come to be cleansed. That's a different matter. And do you know that he loves to cleanse you? You say, oh, Pastor Lutzer, but I've committed that sin so many times I'm embarrassed. Humble yourself and receive his cleansing.

The fact that you're embarrassed shows that that is pride that has not been dealt with. We're all embarrassed, but we all have to come. We have to come in submission. We have to come to receive cleansing. I believe that the great need of the church today throughout North America is the need to be totally and wholly cleansed from all of the things that Christians are imbibing in their souls and harboring there. If I wash thee not, said Jesus, the fellowship is broken. You have no part with me. All of the disciples had had a bath, but they always needed cleansing except one, Judas.

He never did even have the bath. Jesus said, he who is bathed needs only to wash his feet but is completely clean and you are clean, but not all of you, for he knew the one who was betraying him. For this reason, he said, not all of you are clean. Did you know that the disciples did not know that Judas was an imposter?

They really didn't. When Christ said, you're going to betray me, they all said, is it I, Lord? Is it I? Is it I? They never all said, oh, you know that Judas, we've always had our doubts about him.

No, no, no, no, no, no. He played the game so well, but what does the text say? He knew who would betray him. There was nothing hid from his gaze. Look at this lovely congregation this morning. Just look, beautiful people.

It's easy for me to look your direction, but all that I see is the outward. Jesus knows that here today there could be a handful of Judases who have never, never been bathed and we don't know who they are because they sing the same songs as we do. They quote the same verses of scripture.

They give the same words of testimony and we don't know, but Jesus does. Every good sermon has a bottom line. What is the bottom line? If you've not been cleansed by Christ, you're dirty no matter how wonderful you look on the outside.

That's the bottom line. Let's pray. Now, Father, through the strength of the blessed Holy Spirit who has been given to us as frail and sinning people, we pray that you might do a great work in the lives of those who have heard this message and no matter where it is heard, you see with your eyes beneath all the exteriors, beneath all the shells and the shams, you know the human heart. Today we pray for those who are your people who really do know you as Savior. Oh, Father, make us honest in our confession and in our cleansing. Help us to give up the right to continue to commit the same sin.

May we agree with you fully. And then, Father, for all those who have never been bathed, oh, be merciful to them lest they be lost forever and save them. And now before I close this prayer, I want to talk to you and give you an opportunity to recite a prayer in your heart to God. First of all, a prayer for those who know Christ as Savior. Why don't you tell the Lord Jesus that by His grace you'll be obedient to whatever He has shown you today. Confess the coldness, the hardness of heart, the indifference, the rationalizations.

Just be honest. Now for those of you who do not know Christ as Savior, why don't you just say, Jesus, save me. Give me a bath. I'm gonna let you wash me. I need to be saved.

I accept you. Thank you, Father. Begin a good work in the lives of people that you'll carry on tomorrow and throughout the week and next week and on into eternity. In Jesus' name, amen.

And if you've been listening to Running to Win for any length of time, you know that ultimately our bottom line always has to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, redemption, repentance. I want to thank the many of you who are helping us. I'm holding in my hands a letter from someone who said my husband went to be with her precious Savior during COVID-2020. And she goes on to say that you encourage me. You encourage me to keep my eyes on Jesus, and God has used every message to speak directly to me.

And she goes on from there. It's because of people like you that we can have this ministry. Would you consider helping us, especially during this period of time when we have some friends of ours who have said that they are willing to match whatever is given to the ministry of Running to Win? So your $20 can become 40.

You're 25, 50. Here is what you do, and I hope you have a pen or a pencil so that you can write this down. You can go right now to rtwoffer.com. That's rtwoffer.com, or you can call us right now at 1-888-218-9337, because this is so important, and I want you to have this opportunity here again, rtwoffer.com, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. It's time again for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Jesus gave us a wonderful pattern for how to pray in Matthew chapter 6, and we have other models of prayer given to us elsewhere in the New Testament.

Ruby is one of our listeners, and she's wondering this. Is it okay to end a prayer saying, in Jesus' name? I grew up in a church where I was taught to always say, in the name of the Lord Jesus, or our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

What is the right way to conclude a prayer? Ruby, I want to tell you that I think it's perfectly fine for you to end a prayer in the name of Jesus, because you and I, if I were to hear that prayer, would know that you're talking about the Jesus of the New Testament, and we should indeed pray in the name of Jesus. Now, your church, though, in saying that you should pray in the name of the Lord Jesus, or our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I have to commend them, because I think that what they are saying by insisting on that is that they want to make sure that everyone who hears the prayer knows that it is in the name of Jesus, the Jesus of the New Testament, and none other. So I kind of like that, to pray in the name of the Lord Jesus, or the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But it's not necessary, it's not required, because when you pray in the name of Jesus, you are praying, of course, in the name of the Lord Jesus and our Savior.

That's all implied in His name. Thank you, Pastor Lutzer, and thank you, Ruby, for your question. If you'd like to hear your question answered, you can. Go to our website at rtwoffer.com and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer, or call us with your question 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, 614. Running to Win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. If you lose a crucial race, you might be tempted to quit. But a good coach helps you pick up the pieces and run again. Peter faltered as he ran, amassing a load of guilt too deep for words. Next time on Running to Win, how Christ restored a man consumed with regret. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-14 20:52:41 / 2023-03-14 21:00:52 / 8

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