Share This Episode
Running to Win Erwin Lutzer Logo

Jesus, The Gift Of Life Part 2

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

Jesus, The Gift Of Life Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 778 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

December 19, 2022 1:00 am

Many who attend church like the Christmas music or the story of Jesus and what He’s about. But do we really understand His purpose in coming to the Earth? In this message, we explore how life with God can start now for each of us personally. The life He offers to those who believe is an eternal one. 

This month’s special offer is available for a donation of any amount. Get yours at or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. The life He offers to those who believe is an eternal one.

This Christmas, let's be thankful for the life our Savior promises, a life that transcends our eventual passing away on earth. 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, I believe you're taking us to Germany on today's program.

Well, Dave, as you know, I love the country of Germany. I've led tours to the sites of the Reformation. But today, I'm going to be discussing and describing a time when Rebecca and I rented a car in Berlin, and we drove to Herrenhut, where the Moravians lived in the 1700s. And we'll be discussing that on today's broadcast.

But I'm also going to switch topics right now. I have in my hands a very special resource that talks about God's creation. As a matter of fact, at the end of this broadcast, I'm going to be discussing even how God created us to hear so that we can connect with one another.

I'll be explaining that later, but for now, let's listen carefully. So anyway, we're looking for the cemetery, and through a stroke of providence that I will not take time to tell you about, it was just of God. We met a man who was on his way to the cemetery and who had a key to take us into a tower in the cemetery. Now, he spoke only German, so I had no alternative but to try my German on him.

And as we're walking along, I knew that I had this guy only for five or 10 minutes. So obviously, I wanted to share the gospel with him. So I began asking him in German whether or not he was Wiedergeborn.

Did you hear that? Whether or not he was born again. And he said to me, born again? He said, I was born once. Why would I want to be born twice?

I just smiled. That's exactly what Nicodemus said to Jesus. Jesus said, you must be born again. He says, well, can I enter into my mother's womb and be born a second time?

He said, obviously not. So I had to explain to him he had to be born of the Holy Spirit through personal faith in Christ. And I said to him in broken German that it doesn't happen through baptism.

It doesn't happen through confirmation. It doesn't happen by going to church. There used to be an evangelist by the name of Billy Sunday. Maybe you've not heard of him, but in the 1920s, great evangelist, he was actually buried here. And when I came to Moody Church, a woman wrote me a letter who remembered Billy Sunday. I suppose by now she is in heaven, but she said he used to hop from this platform that I'm standing on to the lower one without using the stairs and vice versa, because he was into baseball and he'd say, hit a home run for Jesus, slide into home plate.

He must have been a very interesting guy to listen to. But I remember a quote from Billy Sunday, because he was right on when he said this. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than driving a wheelbarrow into a garage and it becoming a car.

And Billy Sunday was right. You're not born again by going to church, though to go to church is good, by listening to sermons, by admiring Jesus. You're born again by faith when you recognize that you need a Savior and you transfer all of your trust to what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross. And when that happens, something else happens. It is not just that God creates within us a new nature so that we begin loving God, et cetera, though all that happens and we become partakers of the divine nature and God gives us brand new loves and we begin to love Jesus and we begin to love God, all that happens, but something else happens.

And this is why it's so critical for you to listen to this message. And that is that the whole sin issue between us and God is actually resolved and taken out of the way. And that, of course, is only something that Jesus can do because, because, listen to me carefully, for us to meet God, we have to meet him on his terms, not ours.

Now, the text is open and you'll notice what John says. We have fellowship. We proclaim to you, verse three, so that you too may have fellowship with us and don't we ever?

You can meet believers all over the world and there's a sense of instant connection, fellowship, sharing a common life. Indeed, our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. And we're writing these things to you so that our joy may be complete, so that really our fellowship is with the Father and with the Son, Jesus Christ. May I read one more phrase? And this is in verse five. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you that God is light and in him is no darkness at all.

Wow, it's time for us to catch a breath here. God is light, no darkness. You know that scientists, and you can find this on the internet, they've argued for years about whether or not light is particles or whether it is waves. And actually, I think it's both, but I checked it yesterday and the scientists say that light is very complicated.

And if they think it's complicated, I happen to agree with them, all right? But here's the thing. Do you realize that God is uncreated light, uncreated? All of the light that you and I see is created, you know, and God said, let there be light. And there was light created.

It's very difficult to understand, but that's what happened. But God, someday we will see him and we'll walk with him in his light, totally uncreated light. In God there is light. He is light, in fact, and in him not even a particle of darkness, not the slightest bit of sin. It is impossible for you and I to visualize how pure God really is. And now we as sinners are supposed to meet him on his terms and not ours.

How are we going to do that? The only person who can prepare us for that is Jesus Christ, who not only creates that new nature within us, but takes our sin and puts it to the side and takes it away so that now we can walk in the light as God is in the light. And when we do, we have fellowship with his son and with him and we have a connection because the sin issue has been put away. Now John is going to go on to say that if we say, oh yeah, I'm walking in the light and yet we have darkness in our lives.

We tolerate sin and we have darkness. Then John is going to say, we lie and do not the truth. He goes on, but now your Bibles are open. I want to show you something. I want to show you something that ought to just bless you so much that you ought to start hollering, but maybe I'll give you the signal first.

All right, look at this. Verse six, if we say that we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie. Are there Christians who lie? Oh yeah, Christians who lie. Oh yeah, yeah, I'm walking with God.

Oh really? Look at the sin in your life that you haven't confessed and dealt with. We lie and do not practice the truth, but verse seven, if we walk in the light as he, that is God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ, his son cleanses us from all sin. What is the antecedent? When it says as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. You say, well, that means that I have fellowship with you. You have fellowship with me and the blood of Jesus Christ, God's son. That's not the antecedent.

That is true. We have fellowship with one another. Do you remember the word antecedent? Little boy was making a grammatical error and a neighbor said to him, little boy, where's your grammar?

He said, well, she's upstairs there with grandpa, you know. So the word antecedent. Here's the deal. The real antecedent to this is God. If we walk in the light as he is in the light, the we, who's the we?

God and I. We have fellowship one with another. God has fellowship with us and we have fellowship with God and it's reciprocal. It's a reference to God fellowship one with another. Oh yes, we have fellowship with one another here as human beings, but imagine living in fellowship with God and we're doing it on his terms, namely walking in light as he is in the light, thanks to Jesus who came to take away our sins so that the way to God becomes clear and unmistakable. It is all because of Christ.

Imagine. No wonder John can say, I'm writing these things to you so that we might be joyful and that your own joy may be complete. I mean, imagine walking with God and there's no sin in between and when sin comes in between, you deal with it. You confess it, you deal with it, you put it behind you and you and God have fellowship together. That's the whole Christmas story.

That's Christmas. God says, I want to be your friend and I want to be your friend eternally. That's what the whole thing is about. And Jesus is the only one, as we shall see, who can bring it about. And so what you really have is fellowship with God. Remember the words of the creed, the words of the creed where the chief purpose of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. And I think John Piper is right when he says that what it really means is the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever. You know, you say, I want God to be glorified in my life.

Well, let me tell you how. When fellowship with God and your passion for God is greater than your passion to sin. And when that happens, you see, God is glorified because our joy is in God.

And that's the purpose of it all. Rebecca and I have been to Europe a number of times. And when we drive from Germany to Switzerland, we always go through a little town called Lichtenstein. People go to the post office there. There is a post office in Lichtenstein.

I don't think that there's a street lamp, but there is a post office because they want to say, I bought a stamp in Lichtenstein. And one of the things about it is that high on a cliff, really high on a mountain, there's the palace of the king of Lichtenstein, this wee little postage stamp area. And they tell us that when the flag is up, that means that the king is there. Well, the day that we were there, the flag was up.

The king was in residence. You know what joy is? Joy is the flag that we put up when the king is in residence. When Jesus Christ is the one who is the Lord of our life and king and God. And the purpose of it all is that I might have fellowship with God and God have fellowship with me.

Can it get any better than that? Now as we nail this down, a couple of things. And that, by the way, is what eternal life is, you see. Jesus said, I came to give them life and that life more abundantly. And what is the eternal life? It is life with friendship, with God forever.

Now a couple of things. First of all, as we nail this down, if you're wrong about Jesus, you're wrong about God. If you're wrong about Jesus, you're wrong about God. In fact, John says later here near the end of the epistle, he says, he who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son does not have life.

It's that simple and yet that profound. He who has the Son have life because Jesus is the only one who can do for you. Prophets, gurus, they can say live better, do this.

This is the way you handle reality, check out, whatever. But only Jesus is actually able through the power of the Spirit to create within us the new birth, sometimes called being saved or, and also not or, but also to give us eternal life and to take away our sin. You know all these other religions and I'm acquainted with some of them, you know, they're all talking about meeting God, getting to God this way. None of them have a clue about the huge gap between themselves and God. They all avoid the sin issue, but you can't. You have to get to Jesus on God's terms and the only person who's able to enable you to do that is Jesus to meet God's terms and he himself becomes our holiness and becomes our righteousness so that we can stand in God's presence. So first of all, if you're wrong about Jesus, you're wrong about God. Jesus made that very clear. He says, if you don't receive me, you don't receive the Father. You don't get the Father. You don't bypass Jesus and get to God.

Sorry, thanks for the attempt, but it can't be done. Now something else and that is that Jesus not only wants to be trusted, Jesus not only wants to be trusted, Jesus wants to be enjoyed. That's why the Bible talks about fullness of joy. It talks about the fact that we should enjoy our relationship with God and as I mentioned, having a passion for God that is greater than our passion to sin brings glory to God and reminds us of the fact that we do indeed belong to God forever.

You know, one of the great problems of the world is this. We're deceived by the world because people confuse pleasure and joy, huge confusion and I'm thinking of the wrong kinds of pleasures. You know, if you really get pleasure, you know, you do all this and I enjoy doing this and pleasure and they forget the fact that there's a great difference between the pleasures and joy.

You know, it was Robert Burns who wrote, but pleasures are like poppies spread. You seize the flower, the bloom is shed or like the snow drops, snowflakes on the river, a moment white then melt forever. What we're talking about is eternal life. Eternal life begins now when you receive Jesus Christ as your savior.

It begins now, but it extends throughout all of eternity. The enjoyment of God begins in this life and continues in the life to come and that enjoyment is what eternal life is to be in the presence of God, beholding his face in joy without sin ever coming between us. I mean, it is unthinkable to me that is to say I can't get my mind around what it would be like when we're in a position with our new bodies to see God as God finally because nobody can see God as God today. No man can see me and live, but to be able to look upon God uncreated light and to do so without sin ever messing it up.

Don't you look forward to that day? I mean, wouldn't it be wonderful if you'd behold God without sin ever messing it up? You see, if you have never been born again, that won't be your experience. What you must do is to personally receive Christ. If you don't know the day that you were saved, you probably aren't. It's not to say that everybody knows the day, but almost everyone who comes to saving faith in Christ knows that it happened in a period of time. You know, for me, when I was 14 years old, maybe for you when you were six, maybe 20, I was talking to somebody last Sunday, they were saved as adults. They came to saving faith in Christ, but everybody knows because it's not something that just happens to you because you happen to like church, you happen to like Christmas music, and you happen to think that Jesus was really wonderful.

No, it's the transfer of trust that brings about the new birth. These things I write on to you, John says, that you may know that you have eternal life and you know it because of who you are depending on and who it is and where you are going. There is a story that comes to us from the days of Michelangelo. Apparently, one of his students made a sculpture of an angel, worked on it for an awful long time and hoped that his mentor would really like it and actually put it out there and then hid so that he would hear what Michelangelo had to say about it unvarnished. And Michelangelo came along and looked at it for a long time and said, it's beautiful, but it's missing one thing.

Well, the student could hardly sleep. What could it be that's missing? And then he learned later as he talked to the great master, he said, what I meant was it was missing life. But that's not something that a student can give to an angel or to any sculpture.

And that's not something you can give to yourself and it's not something you can give to your children. Life is something that can only be given by God. Only he can give you. John says here, we're proclaiming to you the word of life. And that's what Jesus came to bring us, is the word of life. And those of you who kind of know that you like Christianity and you like Moody Church and you like the music but you've never received Christ as Savior, God is talking to you right this moment. He's prepared you for this moment that you might come to saving faith because the life has been manifested. We proclaim it to you and it's to be enjoyed. It brings us to the Father now and forever. Let's bow together in prayer. All right, now I'm speaking to you as a congregation and all those who are listening by whatever means, by radio or whatever.

Here's the bottom line. Do you know that you have eternal life? Have you nailed this down through faith in Jesus? If not, even where you are, you can cry out to God in your heart and say this moment I received Christ as Savior. I received the life that he came to give me and to bring me that I might have fellowship with the Father now and forever.

Nail that down in your mind and heart. Father, cause those who have never believed in you but think they have to finally do so with intentionality, with a full knowledge that they need a Savior. And may they know that when they come to Christ, he is trustworthy to receive them, to forgive them, to take away their sins so that they too can have fellowship with the Father on his terms. Whatever work you've begun as a result of this message, we pray that you'll finish it even if it isn't in this moment in the moments to come. And we thank you for our Savior, whom we do adore. In his name, amen. Well, this is Pastor Lutzer. I've experienced many Christmases, but I look forward to Christmas all the time, especially this year.

As we're going through a difficult time as a country with so much conflict, we all look forward to the Christmas season. Now, you've been listening to this message, and I have in my hands a special resource. It's 365 different readings. It's a resource that will bless others every day of the coming year, and I just arbitrarily turn to May 9, and it talks about how sound enters into our eardrum. It goes through different processes, but here's the part that's very interesting.

It is transferred to three tiny bones, the anvil, the hammer, and the stirrup, and those tiny bones amplify sound 22 times. You say, well, Pastor Lutzer, why are you referring to that? This resource that we are making available to you is intended to help all of us to worship God better when we begin to understand His creation. It's illustrated—color illustrations, by the way. It's the kind of book that you would want to give at Christmas so that you and your children would be able to learn about God's remarkable, brilliant creation. Now, for a gift of any amount, it can be yours, and I need to emphasize that during this Christmas season, we're so appreciative of all those of you who support this ministry.

We say thank you over and over again. Here is what you do, and I hope that you have time to get a pencil or a pen. You go to That's, or you call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Ask for the book entitled Have You Considered? Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Thank you so much for helping us. Together we're making a difference. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 24. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. Greater love hath no man than a man lay down his life for his friends. That's what Jesus said, and that's what he did. Next time, we'll learn about Jesus, the gift of love. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-19 13:27:15 / 2022-12-19 13:36:01 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime