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The Gift Of Glorification Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 20, 2023 1:00 am

The Gift Of Glorification Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 20, 2023 1:00 am

The curse of the fall has affected the fabric of this Earth, and even our bodies wear out. We long for restoration and glorification. In this message from Romans 8, Pastor Lutzer shows us the extent to which God went to redeem us. Are we eager for all God is preparing for us in glory?

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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.

They say it's always darkest just before the dawn. Knowing that a glorious eternal destiny awaits makes any believer's present suffering worthwhile. Today, the final gift God gives to all who trust Christ. 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, today you'll teach about the last of eight gifts given to all who trust Christ.

Give us a preview of where we're going. Dave, when we speak about the topic of glorification, we can only do so trying as best we can to imagine what that is going to be like. The Apostle Paul taught that someday our bodies will be like onto Christ's glorious body. If you want to know what that's like, just consider Jesus Christ after the resurrection. So to all those who are suffering in pain today, let me tell you this, as a believer, the day is going to come when you will be totally delivered. I sometimes tell people that none of us has a problem that a good resurrection will not solve. So this is going to be an exciting message. And it is actually one of the chapters in my book entitled The Inheritance of the Redeemed, Claiming the Spiritual Treasures that are Yours in Christ. And for a gift of any amount, this book can be yours.

Simply go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Meanwhile, no matter what you're going through today, look forward to your glorification because of Christ. You know, there are plenty of examples of people who were wealthy and who either didn't know it or they knew it and they refused to enjoy what they had. We really need to look no further than Bertie Adams. She died on Easter Sunday back in 1976 in Palm Springs. Bertie died of malnutrition. That's what her death certificate said. But when they investigated, they discovered that she had a lockbox in which she had certificates worth about $200,000 and then another lockbox that was worth about $600,000. Here's a woman who died of malnutrition but she did not enter into the wealth that she had, either because of ignorance or because of other issues.

Imagine that. You know, there are many people who are wealthy who may make some very poor friends, but they do become very good ancestors if they include you in their will. And she apparently included some relatives in their will in her will and you can imagine the surprise when they discovered how much they had. The purpose of this series of messages, the inheritance of the redeemed, the purpose of this series has been for us to at least get some kind of a window, some kind of an understanding of all that we have in Jesus when we believe on him. He who spared not his own son but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things? This is the last in a series of eight messages on this topic. We could have preached a lot more but hopefully as a result of this, we begin to understand much better the wonder of our salvation and the graciousness of our God. Well, today as we end this series, I'm going to be speaking on the topic of glorification. It's really the end result of all that God has done for us and that is that we someday are going to be glorified. But before we get to glorification, we're going to speak about suffering and we'll see glorification within that context. If you have your Bibles, would you turn to the eighth chapter of the book of Romans, Romans chapter 8, and this is the passage that I want you to look at, a remarkable passage and we are going to begin with suffering and end with glorification. The summary of this message is really Romans chapter 8 verse 18 where we read these words, for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that shall be revealed in us. So, first of all, I'll speak about suffering and then we'll speak about the glory that is to be revealed in us.

That's where we're going. And once again I want you to open your mind, open your heart, open your Bible, kick back and enjoy as we go on this tour of the blessings that we have in Jesus Christ our Lord. But first of all, suffering. You'll notice that in verse 19 Paul says, for the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. And then it goes on to say in verse 22, for we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in pains of childbirth until now.

I want you to hang on for a moment and I'm going to explain what's happening in those verses. What the apostle Paul is saying is just like when Adam sinned the whole creation was cursed. It was not possible, it was not possible that an imperfect sinful Adam live in the beauty of God's original perfect creation. So, when man sinned the earth was cursed. And we know it's cursed because we have storms, we have earthquakes, we have tsunamis, we have tornadoes, we have drought.

This earth is cursed. And what Paul is going to say is this that the creation therefore is groaning at this present time and it is eager looking forward very eagerly to the time when the sons of God are going to be revealed and manifested because creation is waiting for us to be redeemed. And when we enter into our eternal redemption it is then that creation is going to be recreated and it will be made perfect back into its original state. That's why the apostle Paul says that creation groans and looking forward eagerly to the redemption of the sons of God.

That's in verse 19. And not only does creation groan, it says in verse 22, for we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth now. And not only the creation but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the spirit, we groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for the adoption of sons, the redemption of our bodies. That's what we're going to be talking about in a few moments is the redemption of our bodies.

And so we groan. There are all kinds of circumstances of suffering that speak to us very clearly and they militate, mitigate I should say, against faith because they remind us of the fact that we are fallen and this world is oftentimes very difficult and life is hard. Cancer, for example, is something that is willing to take on faith. Cancer actually as we respond to it and its possibilities is a test of our faith.

But so are all kinds of other things, bad marriages, the death of a child, poverty and abuse. All of these things tend to challenge our faith. But the Bible says that this is to be expected because the suffering of this present world is huge. And so creation groans for redemption. We groan for our own redemption so that we might receive the redemption of our bodies.

And then creation will follow us and be perfected. So much about the doctrine of suffering. Now second, I want you to notice how the Apostle Paul shows us the extent to which God went in order to redeem us.

How did God redeem us and what did God do? It says in verse 26, likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness for we don't know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings to deeper words. Creation groans, we groan, even the Spirit groans deep within us when we want to pray and don't know how to. And then it says, and he who searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit. Verse 28, and we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good to those who are the called according to his purpose. I wish I could camp on that verse for a moment, but we have to continue to hurry on through this passage. All of the suffering that we've spoken about, God uses it for our good and for his glory.

He makes it fit together for our good, especially if we respond to it correctly. And then Paul goes on to say that this is the way in which God redeemed us. And this is in many respects a lovely summary of the various messages that we preached on the inheritance of the redeemed.

I mean, we spoke about predestination. We spoke about the gift of righteousness, the Holy Spirit, the need and the supplying of an advocate. All of these things are ours in Jesus.

And here Paul summarizes the gospel of redemption. Notice beginning in verse 29, for those whom he foreknew. Now, before I get to verse 29 and 30, I want to remind you that there are here five verbs, five verbs that I hope you take the time to underline in your Bible. It is God really who is the worker. It is God who is the subject of these verbs.

And we are the ones who are the object. Salvation is entirely of God. And Paul lays out now five verbs that are like a golden chain, like a link that links everything together. It begins in eternity past and it completes itself in eternity future.

And then what we'll see is it ends in glory. Look at the text. First of all, notice that he says, for those whom he foreknew, this is verse 29. As I've explained in previous messages, when you have the word foreknew, it does not mean simply to know ahead of time. God knows all things ahead of time. What it means is that God foreknew, God foreloved us, just like the nation Israel.

It says, you only have I foreknown of all the nations of the earth. Well, God foreknows all things. It means that I loved you in advance. So remember this, you can put your name in this here, that if you're a believer in Jesus Christ, you were loved in advance, you were foreknown. And then those whom he foreknew, the Bible says he predestinated.

When I began this series of messages, the very first message that I preached was on predestination, how that we are actually a part of God's program all the way from eternity past to eternity future. And he laid us out. He went ahead of us and he, like a surveyor, he's the one who surveyed the land and the territory and determined what we would become. For those whom he foreknew, he predestinated to be conformed to the image of his son, that he, that is Jesus, might be the firstborn among many brothers.

And now notice, we've covered two of the verbs. He foreknew, he predestinated them, and those whom he predestinated, he also called. You know, in the Bible, there are a number of different calls.

There's the general call. Many are called, few are chosen, Jesus said. But there's also the specific call to salvation, and that's what Paul is thinking about here.

There is that specific call. For example, in 1 Corinthians chapter 1, it says that those who are called, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those who are called. And so if you're a believer today, you heard the call of God, and if you're not a believer, I hope and pray that you hear the call of God. It is the specific call to salvation. If the first two words, whom he foreknew and predestinated, had to do with eternity past God's plan, the calling now is an experience that we have in this life, when we are called to salvation. Well, notice those whom he called, he justified. Once again in this series, you remember I spoke about the righteousness of God and the doctrine of justification. And now notice those whom he justified, he glorified. So as we think about it, we are already glorified as far as God is concerned. Every one of these verbs is in the past tense. He foreknew us, he predestined us, he called us, and he also glorified us.

There's no break in this chain. The number that he begins with, those whom he foreknows and predestinates, are the same number in which he ends up glorifying them. And now we come to the doctrine of glorification. And for this, we really do need a lot of wisdom, and we need the help of the Holy Spirit, because there's no way for us to really get our minds around what glorification is unless we read the text of Scripture and we pray for grace to be able to accept it, to believe it, and in some way understand it. Before I give you some characteristics of glorification, let me read another passage of Scripture for you. This is what the Bible says in the book of Philippians. But our citizenship is in heaven. From it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, now notice carefully, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Don't hurry over the text. Our body is going to be like unto his glorious body. And then in 1 John chapter 3, we have this remarkable passage. See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God, and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Now again, let us be careful. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared, but we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. Imagine that, like unto his glorious body. So what I'd like to do now very quickly is to simply give you five characteristics of the body that shall someday be ours, the glorious body which is in our future. First of all, I want to emphasize that it will be your body, your body.

Oh, you say, well, you know, that's very obvious. Well, to some people it isn't. There are those who believe, for example, that there's going to be a resurrection, and this resurrection is really of the soul, for example.

No, it's your body. And of course, as I explained in every single Easter service, and will continue to do so if I preach at Easter time, is the fact that there is continuity between the body that you have today and the body that you're going to have in the future. The apostle Paul likens it onto a seed that is put in the ground, he says, and that seed begins to grow. And when that seed grows, when you have a tulip, for example, and you've planted the bulb, there is something in that tulip that was in the bulb that you planted. There is continuity, but also it's very different.

There'd be no way that you could simply look at a bulb and know in advance how it was going to turn out, unless by experience it has been observed over a period of time, because it is very different. In the very same way, it will be your body and it will be you, the principle of identity. When we see Adam and when we see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob someday in the heavenlies, and I assume that we indeed are, because we're going to be along with them, the Bible says, when we see them, Abraham will be Abraham, Isaac will be Isaac, Jacob will be Jacob, and you will be who you are by name, the very same person. With all your memories, with all your aptitudes, with all of your desires that have been refined and purified and made totally holy, you and I are going to be the very same people over there that we are here. Will we know each other?

Of course. You know, the Bible talks about the mount of transfiguration. Moses and Elijah show up and there are some apostles that are there, Peter, James, and John, and they know one another. We will intuitively know each other. I don't believe that in heaven we'll need name tags. And thank God the time will come when we will finally be able to remember one another's names. That is really something I'm looking forward to. I'm saying, oh God, bring the future and bring it quickly.

It's wonderful. Yes, my friend, as we emphasized in a previous message, our Savior knows His sheep by name. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep, and He knows them by name.

We can only imagine the glorious future that awaits us. I've written a book entitled The Inheritance of the Redeemed, claiming the spiritual treasures that are yours in Christ. I believe that this book will be an encouragement. It will help you in your spiritual journey.

It will also enable you to learn some truths that you can pass on to others. Remembering this, forgiveness of sins is only a part of the gospel. In Christ, we are extremely rich. Now for a gift of any amount, this book can be yours, and I hope that you have a pen or pencil handy so that you can write down this info. You can call us at 1-888-218-9337 or go to rtwoffer.com. That's rtwoffer.com, or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. I want to thank you in advance for supporting us. As you invest your funds, we use them to get the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

I also want to remind you that running to win is continuing to expand, all because of people just like you. Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Vicki hears us on KVIP in Redding, California, and is awash in guilt. She writes, My mother was 93 years old when she died on December 15th. She was on home care with hospice. I gave her medicine to keep her free from pain, and she died quietly in her sleep. The problem is that the morphine I gave her helped speed up her passing while giving her comfort. One ministry says that this is euthanasia, which is really murder. I didn't want her to suffer in her last days. Does God recognize this as murder or compassion? What does the Bible say about this? Well, of course, my friend, since the Bible was written before the days of modern medicine, it doesn't give us a whole lot of principles or guidance with regard to end of life issues.

But I would simply say this. You did not murder your mother. You know, at the age of 93, she was ready to die, and you were giving her morphine so that she would be kept from pain. If I were in her situation, I'd want my children to make sure that I received morphine so that I wouldn't have to die in the midst of pain. She was going to die anyway.

Perhaps the morphine speeded her death, but I would not be guilty over what you've done. I don't think that that's euthanasia. Euthanasia, in my mind, is when you consciously decide, I want to kill this person. And then from there on, you take steps to make sure that they die or responding to a request that they die. That's euthanasia.

It's very different, I think, than the use of medicine to take away people's pain and let them go quietly into eternity. So I would say don't be awash with guilt. You love your mother. You did what you thought was best.

And I think that you will agree you did what you hope your children will do when you're 93. Some compassionate counsel from Dr. Erwin Lutzer. 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. Ever wonder whether others will recognize you in eternity? Believers are promised glorious, incorruptible bodies. Next time, what it will be like to walk the streets of gold. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-20 02:18:24 / 2023-07-20 02:26:52 / 8

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