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The Mystery Solved Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
August 16, 2023 1:00 am

The Mystery Solved Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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August 16, 2023 1:00 am

To be an heir means having a future. As believers, we are heirs of eternal life and much more. In this message from Ephesians 3, Pastor Lutzer outlines the implications of God’s mystery for our daily spiritual battles, our prayer life, and even our witness. What if we have unhindered access to the King of kings?

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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. So, your rich Uncle Joe dies and leaves you a million dollars.

All of a sudden you're enjoying something you didn't have to work for. Being an heir means having a future waiting for you. And God's Word says we as believers are heirs of eternal life and much more. 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, you've been speaking about the mystery solved as you teach from Ephesians. Tell us more about the eternal estate all believers are now heirs to. You know, Dave, I've often tried to imagine what heaven is going to be like. And all of us know that the eternal state is going to be more glorious than we could possibly conceive here on earth.

And you know, the older I get, the more I realize that the only thing that really matters is what matters forever. That's why we here at Running to Win are so committed to getting the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. At the end of this broadcast, I'm going to be bringing you some very exciting news about the expanded ministry of Running to Win. And if you are interested in becoming an endurance partner, your gift, by the way, will be doubled during this month. Here's what you can do. Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

That's Click on the endurance partner button, and we'll be sharing in a few moments about what God is doing through people just like you. You come and you believe in Jesus, and you are a part of us. We are one. You say, well, Christians sometimes don't get along.

Yeah, that's true. Sometimes they don't get along. You know, I've been thinking about this, and you know, Rodney King asked the question, why can't we get along? Well, one reason, of course, is because you know that sin always divides, but why can't we, as Christians, get along? You know, I think that we build up walls in our hearts that prevent us from experiencing the unity that God intended.

All kinds of barriers. Some of these are created within ourselves. We look at other people and we say, well, you know, they think that they are so good. Well, they may or may not think that, but that's our perception, and that becomes the wall where unity is oftentimes challenged, and unity is oftentimes not experienced. And then you have all those little cherished sins, don't you?

The ones that you love, and sometimes it's because of other people that we hide those sins. I know a man who told me that because his pastor did something insensitive, this was not at the Moody Church. I don't think that would ever happen here, we're talking about other churches in other states, if not other countries. I'll never forget what he told me. He said, after that happened, I never heard a word, he said again, even though I sat in the services. I thought about that and said, you know, I wonder if there's someone here, thankfully I don't know of anyone, but is there someone here who says, I do not hear a word about what Pastor Lutzer or any other pastor in this church says, because.

Watch it, my friend. It is sin that divides, it is humility and forgiveness and reconciliation that strengthens, and the text says we are equal heirs and we are equal members of the body, equal in relationships. Don't allow Satan to do what he wants to do, namely to divide and to cause perceptions and past experiences to bring disunity. We can never be what God intended us to be, as long as all of that is harbored in our hearts. And that's why you see when God works mightily in a church, one of the indisputable signs of the working of the Holy Spirit of God is reconciliation, where there's forgiveness that is both asked for and granted among families and church members.

Why? Because we are one. We are one. Paul says, keep the unity of the Spirit.

It's there, but are we divided in our hearts, even though physically present? Physically present. You know, Jeremy Bentham, when he died, he loaned a lot of money to a hospital in England, and on the condition that after he died, his body would be fixed up and wheeled into the boardroom every year for the annual meeting. I'm not making this up. And it's done.

Every year in England, they take him and they wheel him in for the meeting, and the chairman always says, Jeremy Bentham, present, but not voting. Are there people today who are listening to this? You're present. You're not voting.

You're not a part of what is happening. My dear friend, I want to put the responsibility today on you if you're a believer in Christ, because you are one. What barriers are you cherishing that won't let you overcome those barriers? Okay, number two. Number two is we are members together.

And number three, you'll notice we are sharers together. Sharers together, equal in our inheritance, equal in our acceptance, equal in our blessings. Sharers together of the promise of Christ.

What promise? Well, Holy Spirit of God, Jesus said, you go to Jerusalem, and then he says you wait there until you be endued with power, until you receive the promise of the Father. The baptism of the Holy Spirit took place. The filling of the Spirit of God took place. That's part of the promise of Christ. The hope of resurrection is a part of the promise of Christ, and it is no longer limited now to Israel with all of its covenants and all of its blessings. We are now all children of God by faith in Jesus Christ and heirs of Abraham and his promises. It doesn't mean that God doesn't have still something special for the physical seed of Abraham, but what it does mean is that spiritually we're now in the mainstream, even though we are pagans, even though we are Gentiles. God made us as one, and what a privilege that is. And he says heirs, yes, and members together, and then he says sharers together of the promise in Christ, the promise in Christ.

By the way, you college students, how many do we have here who attend college? Put up your hands. I want to see you.

I want you to look into my eyes. You go ahead and you study other religions. Look at their holy books, and you ask me whether or not any of those holy books have promises, and you'll discover that they don't.

All kinds of prescriptions that say, yes, if you do thus and so, things will go well with you, general kinds of promises like that, but nothing specific. Why? Because they have no God who can be depended upon with reliability and strength. This is not just another book among books. This is a sacred book. This is given to us of God.

They have no promises. You'll notice that the text says that we are heirs together, the promises of Christ. You say, well, Pastor Lutzer, all right, but you still haven't done a good job of convincing me that this is important, that this is really something that is hidden in God from before the foundation of the world. I was expecting something more revolutionary. Well, I feel sorry for you.

Toss me your handkerchief and I'll maybe shed a tear in a weak moment. Do you know how important God thinks this is? I want you to know that the revelation of this mystery astounds the spirit world. You'll notice in verse nine it says he makes plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept in God who created all things.

We're talking about something that's special here. It was in God in ages past. Now notice it says that the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in heavenly realms according to his eternal purpose. And my goodness, I almost dropped my Bible out of sheer shock.

The fact that this mystery causes those who are in heavenly realms, rulers and authorities, to see the wisdom of God. You say, well, it refers to good angels. Yes, of course it refers to good angels, not the ones that you necessarily see on that TV program. But these are good angels.

Yeah. But it also refers to bad ones too. You know that in Ephesians six, same expression is used when it says we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers.

Same thing. Now you know, of course, that this earth is populated by spirits, both good and bad. The angels, of course, they are astounded by all this. It says in 1 Peter chapter one regarding salvation and the time of the coming of Christ, it says which things the angels desire to look into.

It says that angels rejoice when a sinner repents. They're watching. This past week I took a cab from O'Hare Field, took it home. And by the way, I've been in a house close to O'Hare, great big huge jets come over their house. One day I was just walking from the dining room to the bedroom and a stewardess told me to sit down. Within God's infinite providence, the cab driver was a woman and we were on a, what shall we say, a traffic jam. I began to ask her a question. She began to tell me about her failed marriage. She said she wasn't now married.

And I said, well, that's probably good because I said there are lots of jerks out there. And she said you don't have to tell me. She said I've been married three times. She began to tell me one by one as to all that happened. I explained the gospel when we came to where I live. I asked if we could pray together and she was very willing to. I trust that she accepted Jesus as her savior, even though she was a little hesitant to pray out loud. I don't know whether or not she came to saving faith because the Bible says that every plant that my Heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up.

But she may have. And if she did, you know what it says? It says that there was a cosmic celebration in heaven. It says that the angels in heaven rejoice over a sinner that is saved. They're watching.

Maybe we're not too excited about it. We say, oh, yeah, well, just another believer. The angels, they think differently. Paul says that we are watched by angels. He said we are a spectacle to angels and to men.

They're in heaven and they're on earth here rooting for us. It matters to them whether or not we live the Christian life successfully. Why Louis Sperry Chafer used to say that a secret sin on earth is an open scandal in heaven because they're watching. The devil gets involved and says condemn him. The good angels are saying, remember Jesus. And Jesus says, I redeemed him. And that's why we sing before the throne, my shirt, he stands, my name is written on his hands. It better be written on his hands because we're talking about eternity.

We're talking about the invisible world here where there's all kinds of things going on. You say, well, what about, what do the angels see? Well, the text says here the wisdom of God.

May I read it again? Verse 10, his intent was now that through the church, that's Moody Church and other evangelical churches where the gospel is preached, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and the authorities. The many different facets of the wisdom of God are to be made known through the church. And the angels are watching. You say, well, that's good angels.

What about the bad angels? What in the world are they learning? Oh, my friend, they're getting an education that you would not believe.

I don't know whether there is tuition charged or not, but I know that they are being educated. Notice what the Bible says as to what it is they're looking at. Verse 11, according to his eternal purpose, which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. What are they learning? They're learning, number one, that there is nothing that they can do toward God's eternal purpose.

If God has spoken, so it shall be, and there is no combination of evil angels on planet Earth or in any other realm that can stand against that which God purposes to do. And as Luther would remind us, lo, their doom is sure. And when they look at the church, they confess to it and they know it. That's why they're watching. Meanwhile, they harass us and they do all kinds of things illegally.

They don't have any legal right to do it, but they keep doing it. And if we believe them, then we give them all kinds of authority. But that's another subject.

But the point is you don't think this is important. The Scripture says that the revelation of this mystery abounds and astounds the spirit world. Second, what does this mystery mean for us? It means, quite interestingly, it encourages us to approach God with confidence. My dear friend, if all of these details were known and hidden in God from all of eternity, you and I were hidden in God from all of eternity. We were known from all of eternity. God didn't get to know you after you were born.

Of course, somebody says I'm glad that he knew me before that time because he might not have wanted to get to know me after I'm born. But he didn't. Why? His eternal purposes. Notice what the text says here. Verse 12, in him and through faith in him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

So that's it. I approach God with freedom and confidence because I am an equal heir. Unworthy? Oh, believe it.

Just ask your wife. Very unworthy. I am equally accepted. Unworthy? Believe me. Equal partaker of the promise.

Totally, completely undeserved. But yet, that's God's plan. So I come and I come with confidence and I come as his child and I come with humility, realizing that there is no good in me. All the good that I need resides in Jesus. But I keep coming to receive grace and strength and power. And I keep coming because I need wisdom how to explain the gospel to someone along the Kennedy Expressway. And I come because I want to represent him well. I want to represent him well.

And I come because my own heart needs to be renewed and I need to love God more and I need to be delighted with God no matter what happens at work. You know that Napoleon, when he was in Egypt, one of his officers in the year 1798 found the Rosetta Stone. Maybe that stone doesn't mean anything to you, but let me tell you that until that time, Egyptian hieroglyphics could not be deciphered.

It's understandable. You see all of these odd symbols and if you don't know what any of them represent, you have no idea as to what these clay tablets say. All that you have is these marks. The Rosetta Stone was a real breakthrough because it had three different languages. It had Greek and then it had two different kinds of Egyptian and these were parallel messages. They took the same message in each of these languages. So because scholars know Greek, they were able to analyze the Greek to understand what was being said and because the same thing was being said in Egyptian hieroglyphics, they were able to analyze hieroglyphics and, would you believe, eventually even make a grammar of that very, very strange language. And that's why archaeologists can read hieroglyphics today. There are many people to whom God is hieroglyphics.

It doesn't make a bit of sense. We see abuse. We see tornadoes. We see circumstances. We see cruelty.

We see the smashing of families. We say, God, where are you? And to many people, total mystery, total mystery.

You know, your responsibility in mind is to say, you know, we have a Rosetta Stone to unravel the mystery. In this book, God has shown us that which was hidden in past ages. You can't find it in the Old Testament. The Jews and Gentiles are going to be one.

All that you can find is that Gentiles have to become Jews, but you can't find the unity of the body in the Old Testament. So what we need to say to men and women, look, God has a purpose. His son died on the cross for our sins and if we believe in him, we become equal heirs, we become equal partakers, we become equal in members of the body. There is hope in the world because there is another world, another world. This isn't all that there is. We can't read God's diary just by looking at nature. We get confused. It makes no sense, but the hieroglyphics can be deciphered. We don't see everything, but we see glimmers of God's purposes.

Why? Because we read the text. That which was hidden in God throughout all of eternity is now revealed. We know something of the intent of God's purposes and say to those of you who know Christ as savior, don't be bashful about sharing him with cab drivers and coworkers and people. Just pray for an opportunity and God will give it to you and then when the opportunity is there, lovingly point people to Christ and for those of you who do not know Christ as savior and that could be a good percentage of this congregation who knows the human heart and its deceptions. All that I can do is to invite you to come to a savior who's able to save you and to give you everything that I've just spoken about here today, the wonders and the mysteries and the beauty of Jesus and a whole eternity of blessings, but you come as a sinner. You come bringing nothing to the table except your need. You come to cleave to someone who did it all for us.

Paul declared the mystery. You and I should declare it too. And if you will, let us pray. Father, we wish that we could have said it better. We wish that we could have made it plainer, but I pray that you will take what has been said and particularly your word which has been read and sear it in the minds and hearts of all who've been present.

May nobody leave here the same. We ask today, Father, for a great movement of your blessed spirit that we might understand your truths, that in our helplessness we might look to you. Encourage those whose struggles seem to overwhelm them.

Help them to know that you're watching and caring and angels are watching and caring. Do you have to talk to God? If you don't know Christ as savior, you can receive him as savior right where you are. If you say, Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner. I can't save myself. Save me or I perish. You tell him whatever you need to tell him at this moment. Father, don't leave us alone until you've done all in our hearts that you would delight to do.

Break down all the resistance, all the excuses, all the time crunches that we deliberately put ourselves into. In Jesus' name, amen. I'm so glad that the mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been revealed, clearly revealed in the scriptures, and I want to thank the many of you who support this ministry. Because of you, I can let you know that over three million sermons and radio programs were downloaded or streamed in the last year on our app, through YouTube, etc. It's because of your involvement and your support. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner?

That's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts, and every testimony that we receive is really a testimony that belongs to you and to your faithfulness and to the many people who are blessed as a result of this ministry. Here's what you can do to become an endurance partner. Go to When you're there, click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. We continue to leverage social media and digital radio platforms to reach people wherever they are in the world. Thank you so much for helping us get the mystery of the gospel to millions.

Go to When you're there, click on the endurance partner button, and by the way, any gift that you give during this month will be doubled, or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Again, I invite you to become a part of what I like to call the Running to Win Family. We are committed to reach the world as far as we are able, and thanks to you, God continues to expand this ministry.

You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. Pastor Erwin Lutzer concluding The Mystery Solved, the ninth message in a series on Between Heaven and Earth, taken from the book of Ephesians. Next time, the incredible summation of the first half of Ephesians. Don't miss our next broadcast and The Fullness of God. This is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-16 03:18:20 / 2023-08-16 03:27:08 / 9

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