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God, Yes, But Why Jesus? Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
January 5, 2023 1:00 am

God, Yes, But Why Jesus? Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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January 5, 2023 1:00 am

As we compare Buddhism, Islam, and New Age Spirituality with Jesus, what sets Him apart? Some admire Jesus but have never accepted Him. In this message, Pastor Lutzer invites us on a journey to find a sinless Savior. Finding out the truth about our spiritual condition and its remedy must be our number one priority. 

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

Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. If you were near death in a hospital, you'd want the truth about your condition.

Mere opinions wouldn't cut it. Finding out the truth about your spiritual condition and its remedy has to be job one. Today, more about why Jesus is the only road that leads to God. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Wind with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, we're asking, God yes, but why Jesus?

As you teach today, remind us how vital this teaching will be. Dave, I can't think of anything more important than knowing who Jesus is and was and shall be to come, because after all, he's the only one who is qualified to save us. And we here at Running to Wind are totally committed to Christ. We want to get the gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible, because in the end, as you mentioned, Dave, all of us will die. I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of Running to Wind.

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 do to find more info. You can go to Of course, RTW offers all one word. When you're there, click on the endurance partner button.

Or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337. Thanks in advance for sharing with us a heart for the gospel and a desire to see Christ proclaimed as the only savior of the world. Let's go on to a third credential of Jesus. The first is his deity. The second is his humanity. And the third, we could say, is his ability.

He can do what nobody else can do. I'm still in verse 14. The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. In Greek, it's very interesting that the word there, schema, really means tabernacle or tent. And what John wants us to understand is this, that Jesus Christ now replaces the tabernacle of the Old Testament. Now, what was the tabernacle of the Old Testament? It was a construction of 45 feet long, 15 feet wide. One third of it was known as the Holy of Holies.

That could only be entered once a year. The other two-thirds was known as the Holy Place. And that's where worship took place. And it was to be the only place that the people were to really worship God, to bring their sacrifices, to bring their gifts, and to worship. Well, we don't do that anymore, do we?

Why don't we? It's because of Jesus. Think with me very quickly what that tabernacle represented, and we'll see how Jesus Christ replaces it. First of all, as I mentioned, it was a place of worship. Today, we don't have to go to that tabernacle and worship. We can worship Christ all over the world. As Jesus said to the woman at the well, the day is coming when you shall worship not in Jerusalem or in Gerizim, but in spirit and in truth everywhere. And we can worship Christ. The veil of the temple was torn in two.

Why? Because the entry of that high priest into the Holy Place, which happened on one day a year, we now have the same access through Jesus at any time when we pray in his name. And it was indeed a place of worship. And today we worship Christ.

At O'Hare Field, I was in line for a ticket agent, and I noticed someone who seemed to have a religious book in his hand. I didn't know exactly what the book was, so I struck up a conversation with him, and he said that he was a Jehovah's Witness. Now, you need to know that the Jehovah's Witnesses deny that Jesus Christ is fully God.

They kind of believe that he was a kind of God or a lesser God. So I asked him, I said, you know, I have a question. I said, do you worship Jesus? And he said yes. And I said to him with a smile on my face, because one always should be smiling when you say these things to lessen the impact and to help the relationship. Well, that's true. That's true.

You always smile when you say this. I said, don't you realize that on the basis of your premises, you're an idolater. The Bible is very clear that Jehovah says, you shall worship me alone and worship no other gods. You are worshiping something other than Jehovah, because in your theology, Jesus is not Jehovah. And at that point, we had to go our separate ways.

He went one way and the other way. I'm just trying to defend Jesus wherever Jesus plants me. So we worship Christ unashamedly. And you read the book of Revelation, it is full of worship of Jesus and songs to the Lamb. The tabernacle was also a place of sacrifice, and Jesus replaces that as well.

This, however, is the difference. In the tabernacle, you have many priests, and you have them continually offering lambs and goats on the altar. And when Jesus comes as our high priest, what does he do? He becomes the sacrifice. In the Old Testament, the priests, they of course sacrificed, as I mentioned, sheep and goats. But Jesus becomes the sacrifice for us and dies in our stead so that God's holiness can be appeased, so that we can enter into God's presence and to have the merit of Jesus credited to our account.

There's nobody else out there like that. And it was also a place of glory. When we talk about the glory of the Old Testament, you remember like a cloud, it would come and it would be right there in the holy place, right there where you have the ark of the covenant, the cloud would descend. What does John say here?

I'm still in verse 14. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. We sing at Christmas, veiled in flesh, the Godhead see. And Jesus Christ's glory was veiled. It had to be.

It had to be, or they couldn't have even communicated with him. It would've been so powerful and so glorious. But there was one day when it just broke out, when the veil was taken away and that was on the Mount of Transfiguration where Jesus appeared in dazzling, dazzling light, full of grace and truth. That was the glory of God. And John says, we saw that glory, full of grace and truth.

And what a beautiful balance. There are some people who are full of grace and they have no truth. All that they are is loving, forgiving people and they are not interested in truth. There are those who are into truth, you know, we are really into truth, but they are harsh and uncaring and they don't have a lot of grace. I want you to know today that to be saved, you both need some truth. You need truth to be saved, but also it is truth full of grace. Let's go back to Ingmar Bergman, standing in the cathedral, saying, Lord, speak to me.

What should he have done? He should have gone home, taken out his Bible, and he should have begun to read the New Testament. Because what we find in the New Testament is that God has spoken and he has not stuttered. Jesus said, what I speak to you, I speak the words of God. Who speaks in behalf of God? It is Jesus. And he's the only qualified one to do so.

Why? First of all, because of his full deity. Secondly, because of his full sinless humanity. And because of that, he's the only one qualified to say that I represent the transcendent God, the one and the only, the Jehovah, the creator, and yet I became flesh so that I could be the mediator and I could be the priest who dies on the cross to bring the holiness of God with all of its inflexibility and to take that holiness and to make a payment by which man with all of his sin and failure and inadequacy is able to meet that high standard because of me and because of what I did on the cross and in the resurrection.

I want to tell you today, there's nobody else out there like him. Parliament of World Religions, two more stories. I decided one day that I would go on a search to find a sinless savior. Now, we're in the Palmer House and in the bottom floor of the Palmer House, there were maybe 100 booths representing all the different religions of the world and they had their various material and I was there because I was dialoguing with as many people as I could about Jesus and his uniqueness. By the way, I ate dinner with some New Agers and explained the gospel to them and I'll never forget, they said, we've never heard anything like this before. Do you realize that most people have no clue as to what the gospel is and what the real message of the New Testament is? They think it's Jesus teaching on the Sermon on the Mount. They did not understand redemption at all.

But I decided that I was going to go on a search to find a savior and in order for me to have a savior, he has to be sinless, obviously. Why? Do you remember that story years ago in Florida? A grandmother was taking care of her little granddaughter and the granddaughter fell into the swimming pool and the grandmother, God bless her, was unable to swim but hopped in to try to save her little one.

And a few hours later, both bodies were pulled from the water. Listen, if you're in a predicament, somebody who's in the same predicament as you is not able to help you. So I said, what I need is a sinless savior who can take my place and I can be saved on the basis of what he did and in his stead.

That's what I looked for. So I started to go booth to booth. I began with the Hindus and I said, now what I'm looking for is a sinless savior because I'm a sinner. I need to be reconciled to God. Do you have a sinless savior? He said, no.

He said, we have teachers. He says teachers, but we have no one who's sinless, no one who has the qualification of saviorhood. I went over to the Baha'i faith and I said, did Baha'u'llah claim sinlessness because I'm a sinner and I need to be saved and I'm looking for a savior. No, no, no, enlightenment, but no sinlessness. I went over to the Buddhists. I said, I'm looking for actually a savior because I'm a sinner and I need to be saved. I said, did Buddha claim sinlessness?

I'm looking for somebody who's qualified to bring me into the presence of a holy God. No enlightenment, but no sinlessness. I went to the Muslim booth. I said, what about Muhammad? Is he able to, is he sinless? Well, in the Quran, you know, he does say that he needed God's forgiveness. I said, but I'm looking for someone who's sinless, who can present me in the presence of a holy God. Not in the Muslim faith.

Going from booth to booth. And you've heard me say this before here at the Moody Church, but I need to say it again and again and again. All the other religions of the world, they all have gurus and prophets and teachers and representatives who may at times say some very good and helpful things. What they do not have is somebody qualified to reconcile sinners to a holy God. There is nobody else out there like Jesus.

I just want you to know there is nobody else out there. We have university students here. Some of you may be studying comparative religion.

Study it. Look at all of the religions of the world, compare them and see if you have anyone else out there like Jesus and you'll find that nobody has the qualifications of saviorhood. Nobody, both God and man and the ability to be a sacrifice to present as holy in the presence of God. Jesus is the only one. Sometimes I see Christians on television being interviewed and somebody says, well, why Jesus?

Why not just other options? And sometimes you hear good answers and sometimes you hear answers that are rather weak. Well, if I've said it before, I'll say it again. Nobody has the righteousness which a holy God requires by which we can stand in God's presence. Now, can I say that any more clearly than that? Except that Jesus, who was fully God, also fully man, bridged the gap, died so that he could present us to the Father. Nobody else out there like that. One more story and then I bring the plane down.

In fact, I can already see the runway. I was talking to a woman who said, you know, this Yeransha book that she was reading, she said, gave me my Jesus back to me. I said, tell me your story. She said, I was raised in a home where my parents read stories about Jesus. And she said, I've loved Jesus ever since I was a little girl. And my parents didn't go to church, she said, but I did. And I would sit in the back because I wanted to hear the pastor. But all of the children were in the basement and a woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, now, what are you doing here?

You're supposed to be downstairs with all of the other children. And she said, I left that church as a little girl, cried all the way home and never went back. So she said, I forgot about Jesus. And then she got involved in a false cult and realized that that was going nowhere. And then she came across this book, which was written by automatic writing.

Actually, a spirit comes along in occultism and sometimes writes books. The book Conversations with God was written that way, if you've read the introduction. And she said, this book gave me my Jesus back to me. She said, I love Jesus so much and it's filled with stories about Jesus when he was a little boy. She said, you mind if I read one to you? And I said, no, read it.

And it was a story about how Jesus at the age of 12 helped a little boy who was lost get back to his father. And she said, you know, that's just like Jesus, isn't it? She said, to do something so beautiful and so kind.

I said, yeah, that is. I said, you really do love him, don't you? Oh, she said, I do love him. And tears began to form in her eyes.

Wow. I said, tell me why you love him. She said, I love him because he's a teacher. I love him because he's the Lord. I love him. I love him. I love him. I love him, she said. And then I looked her in the eye and I said, do you also love him? Because he died on the cross and shed his blood to reconcile us to a holy God.

And she looked away and she said, I have never thought of that before. What a tragedy. Do you know that there are hundreds of people, some who are listening to this message who basically love Jesus. They admire him. They sing songs with us, but they've never accepted Jesus as a savior. What a tragedy to know Newton, but not as a scientist, to know Shakespeare, but not as a man of literature, to know Jesus and even love Jesus and never have received him as a savior.

What a tragedy. So where are you at today? Have you ever received him? It says in verse 12 of this chapter, as many as received him to them, he gave the authority to become the sons of God, even to those who believe on his name. Let's pray together. Father, I wish I had done a better job of persuading people to believe in Jesus, but I pray for those who hold him at arm's length.

For those who say, well, it's just one among many, help them to see the uniqueness and the beauty of Jesus and the credentials of Jesus, and there is no one else out there like him. We pray that you might bring them to faith, and even at this moment while I'm praying, we pray that you might open their hearts so that they would say, Jesus, I receive you as my savior. I've admired you. I've read about you.

I've sung songs about you, but I've never received you. Cause them to do that at this moment, oh Father, in your mercy and grace, and give them no rest until they have come to the full assurance of faith. Whatever God has said to you, you talk to him. Father, thank you.

Thank you. Thank you for Jesus. In his name, Amen. From my heart to yours, my friend, let me say that if you've never trusted Jesus Christ as savior, this is the moment to do just that.

You and I are sinners and we need a savior. We here at Running to Win are totally committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, doing all we can to get it to the ends of the earth. Thanks to people like you, Running to Win is in 20 different countries in four different languages.

We are in Arabic, in the Middle East. I hold in my hands a letter from someone who says, I listen to Running to Win each weekday morning on my commute to work in a country where it is challenging to attend regular services. Your broadcast is a great encouragement to me and helps me to get started on the right foot every single day. May God bless you richly. Now, I need to emphasize that the reason that we can receive testimonies like this is because of people like you. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? That's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts.

Of course, the amount that you give is entirely at your discretion. Here is what you do to get more info. Go to That's and when you're there, click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Would you investigate becoming an endurance partner? Let me give you that info again.

Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Thanks for helping us get into countries where the gospel of Jesus Christ is making a great impact. It's time once again for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Having a heart for God, no outcome is more precious as running to win listeners contact us telling us how they've been affected by what they've heard.

One listener gave us this testimony along with a question. I yearn to turn and give my life wholly to God and I believe I'm on that path. But I'm not sure how to go about studying God's Word other than listening to Moody Radio.

How do I go about learning Bible study techniques? Help me give myself wholly to God. What a wonderful question. First of all, thank you so much for your heart. And one of the things that you can do to give yourself wholly to God is to simply tell God that you want to be wholly His. That's a good starting point. But thank you also for asking about Bible study.

I hope that you do more than simply listen to Moody Radio, though we thank God that you are listening. The fact is that you should begin reading the Bible. Now when you read a chapter a day, and of course there are many books on how to study the Bible, so I'm not going to go into an answer that is detailed, but here are three questions. In fact, there are many people who can benefit from the answer that I'm going to give.

When you read a section of scripture, say a half a chapter or a chapter. Ask yourself these questions. Number one, what does it teach me about God? Number two, is there a promise to be believed? And number three, is there a command to be obeyed?

Now let me give you a little tip that I think could be life-changing. When you put down the Bible, if you read it in the morning and you put it down back on the table or the shelf, you should have in your heart something that you can meditate on throughout the day. Now of course sometimes we read the Bible and we forget what we read.

That may not all be bad. I have oftentimes said that even when water goes through a sieve, it does clean the sieve. But the Bible says that we should meditate in the law of God day and night. Read it until you have a truth for the day. And I think you'll be helped if you ask these questions. What does it teach me about God?

Is there a promise to be believed or a command to be obeyed? Finally, very important to get plugged into your church. If you want to give yourself wholly to God and learn to study the scriptures, join a Bible class. Watch how others do it.

Have others teach you how to do it. And in the process you'll learn to walk with God in a brand new way. Some good advice for our listener and for all of us. Thank you, Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, you can go to our website at and there you can 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, IL 60614. It's a force that's growing day by day. That force is political correctness, and when it comes to the Christian faith, it's out in full strength. Next time on Running to Win, how to witness for Christ at a time when people tolerate everything but the truth and even deny that truth exists. Thanks for listening. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-05 03:26:25 / 2023-01-05 03:35:31 / 9

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