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A Bad Man Made Good Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
January 29, 2021 1:00 am

A Bad Man Made Good Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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January 29, 2021 1:00 am

Many philosophers believe that good and evil naturally coexist in humans, fighting for ultimate control. The Bible paints a different picture, one of a basic depravity that can only be remedied by the grace of God in Christ. In this message, we will see a big picture view of who we are, and how we can be made good in the eyes of God.

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Morris phoned her many philosophers have seen the dual nature remember going to a coexisting lighting ultimate control Bible paints a different picture.

Basic depravity can only be remedied by the grace of God through Christ. The church in Chicago. This is when Sir James helps us make it past the finish line faster looser you begin your final message on why good people do bad things, give us a look ahead into a bad man made good day.

What I want to do in this message is to show that it is possible for God to take the vilest of sinners who truly believes, as the song goes this moment from Jesus. A pardon receives.

Of course it's the life of the apostle Paul and the transformation that God brought about very critical. Let me ask our listeners a question are you struggling with your emotions one way or another. Are you denying your emotions. The Bible is a book that exposes the fact that we are created with emotions for a reason.

And by the way if you've never read the book of Lamentations recently read it. It's Jeremiah's emotions spilling over weeping over a destroyed city spine to have emotions but we need to also control them and not be governed by them. You know, I've written a book entitled managing your emotions. God's good gifts gone wrong and today is the last day, we are making this offer available to you for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here is what you do go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. I think that this book will help you put your emotions in proper biblical perspective and now let us open our hearts and our minds as we consider the transforming power of God, even in the life of great sinners this past summer I took time to read the book, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde heard about all my life never read it, checked it out of the library decided to see what Robert Louis Stevenson had to say. The premise of the book is that really man is not one but two there's two of us insight here on the one hand, that there is the intellectual part.

That's the Dr. Jekyll the noble part, the part that can be very generous and kind, caring, on the other hand, there is the Mr. Hyde part of us that the dark animal instincts. That's the selfishness, the less the greed and the problem is that the two of us are chained together, and there's nothing that we can do about it. So Mr. Hyde resents all of the control and the restraints that are put upon him by Dr. Jekyll. Dr. Jekyll is grieved and lives in Ray Morris that he so often is influenced by what Mr. Hyde really wants in the depths of his desires. Masses Stevenson what would happen if it would be possible to separate the two.

Let Dr. Jekyll become a good man as good as men can be, and leapt at Mr. Hyde become as evil without restraints in the movie version of the book. Dr. Jekyll is the one who is a very kind man and will lose and wins the young woman's heart through his kindness and his love, then he drinks a potion and becomes Mr. Hyde, as though he becomes evil, uncaring, abusive, terrifying to her that we may question whether or not the theology of Robert Louis Stevenson's writing in all respects, but that he's on to something. Is he not, is it not true that there are these two parts of it you think of the women who might be able to testify that when they walk down an aisle to marry someone, they were marrying a Dr. Jekyll kind a loving and then they woke up on their honeymoon next to Mr. Hyde. So what would it be like if indeed the restraints were gone will listen to the quote from Oscar Wilde, who won many awards for his writing. This is what he said. He said the gods and given me almost everything, but I let myself be lured into long spells of senselessness and sensual tired of being on the heights. I deliberately went to the depths in search of a new sensation what the paradox was to me in the spirit of thought perversity became to me in the spirit of passion. I took pleasure where it pleased me and passed on. I forgot that little actions of the common day make or unmake character and therefore what one has done in the secret chamber one someday has to cry aloud from the housetop, I was no longer the captain of my soul and did not know what I allowed pleasure to dominate the eye and did in horrible disgrace. That's Dr. Jekyll.

The good part. But Mr. Hyde, evil, unrestrained, as you know we've been in a series of messages titled why good people do bad things and it's time to wrap some things up to put some things in perspective and then talk about the topic how God changes bad people. Let me give you some of the summary statements that I'd like you to be able to take home with you in terms of why good people do bad things to kind of put some kind of a summary on this. First of all let me say that the premise essentially of the topic has been wrong. Why good people do bad things. Jesus made it clear that there is no one good but God when the young ruler said to him, good master, what must I do to be saved.

He said why do you call me good, unless you're calling me God. It's out of place because there is none good except God.

We will turn from our own way. We we pulled on her own thing. We have all willfully sinned against God, you know there's some medical insurance that you can purchase the does not cover pre-existing conditions. We know the problem is when it comes to sin. All of us have a pre-existing condition.

We were born into it.

We love it, by nature where under the condemnation of it and as a result of that we have to do is to follow Mr. Hyde wherever he might lead us and as a result of that we can do some very terrible things because there is none who is good. Let me give you a second reason is we've emphasized in preceding messages we are basically rationally oftentimes inhibited.

We are desire driven. We do what we want to do it. We asked the Dr. Jekyll to cover for us to use his intellect in order to justify what Mr. Hyde wants to do and therefore we think to ourselves that if we only knew the truth, we would do it but the fact is we know the truth and we still don't do it because were driven by these desires during the days of the Enlightenment. It was believed that if only we could somehow educate people that morality would be on a new plane fact of the matter is, no matter how much the doctor Jekyll part of us knows it is Mr. Hyde, who most often gets his way. Thirdly, we deal with our unmet needs and idolatrous ways we deal with these unmet needs and idolatrous ways. Instead of fleeing to God and that's why we preached on shame and anger and addictions is a part of this series because there is something within us that says that when we have this need. I want to meet it and we don't go to God and rather than bringing our desires in line with what God requires.

What we do is we shape a God who is in line with the desires that we want to have and so and so we warp the truth and we seek fulfillment in all different places where it cannot possibly be as a result, we begin to do some very bad and possibly even evil things give you 1/4 reason we trust our ability to control sin. We trust our ability to control sin we say to ourselves. I know where I can stop I know where it is possible for me to do X, Y and Z and then at the end of the day. I will know how to make sure that I put a little box around it.

But God does not allow us to do that.

As we learned last week, God is a God who begins to move in and he begins to give us that light begins to make us uncomfortable, but we think that we been able to pull it off in the recesses of our mind in those secret chambers.

We can do as we please and not even God is allowed to enter.

When we think of moral failure or spiritual failure. We usually think of a blowout don't way. We say this man was going along the road so well and then suddenly everything went wrong. Maybe it wasn't son. It is generally said that when a tire blows up, it's because there have been cracks in that tire all the way along the line and now suddenly the separation begins to take place in the blowout occurs.

But actually, there were signs way back when.

That the tire was beginning to fall apart number of years ago I spent 1/2 an hour with Richard Dortch many of you will remember him if you remember back to the early 80s back that far. He was one of the workers without Jim at the PTL club. Jim and Tammy Baker will remember the story and end Dortch was on TV with them defending them, and so forth and eventually went into prison and I wrote a book entitled integrity what it is and how I lost it. It's it's an intriguing book. It's a good book because if there's anyone who came clean. It was Dortch. He confessed his sins to anyone who would listen, because he so desired to be right with God. But I remember what he said.

He said it is almost impossible to get by telling only one lie almost impossible because you begin to tell one and then you have to tell another to cover the one that you told and on and on it goes, and what the devil wants us to do is to make such a heavy investment in the direction of our lives in the sinful direction of our lives that we will not be able to pull back because we've invested too much and we can't go back without paying a tremendous price. As we emphasized last week.

Let me give you another reason. It's a final reason. It's 1/5 reason and I have to explain it before I give you the bottom line we as human beings we don't test we are change necessarily because we see the light. We can be talk to. It can be explained to us.

We can even agree that yes that's right.

But if our hearts isn't where it's supposed to be all the truth in the world is simply shunted aside. It is like water off a duck back and what we learned last week is that the Holy Spirit of God has to move in and make us so uncomfortable make us so desirous of God's blessing that finally we cry out in our misery and say God will do whatever you have to do. So what I want to say to you today is that people don't change just because they've seen the light today only change when they felt the heat unless the spirit of God urges them unless they are exposed. They just keep on going bait.

They said and they listen to messages and they maybe even read their Bibles on occasion, but there is no transformation because the desire is not there when I was pastor of another church. I remember a couple who brought their teenage son to the end and the boy was was really messed up into drugs and immorality.

The whole smear and and that he didn't want to come and see me obviously, but the parents insisted.

So here is now he comes into the office and it affects us. Okay, here I am six. I'm sorry I can't fix you. I can't fix you. So the question today is how is a bad man made good Immanuel Kant, who did so much damage to the Christian faith is a philosopher in Germany brought up in a pietistic home did however ask a question that is important.

She said how can a man who by nature is evil become good. Let's our topic today. The Bible says in the book of Jeremiah.

Can a leper change his spots.

Neither can you do good who are accustomed to evil because people are accustomed to evil.

They oftentimes die evil. I wish I could tell you there all kinds of people out there who are evil, but they're gonna die good know they aren't.

So Myron were gonna talk about how that happens but many of them are going to die in their sins.

How can you do good to those of you who are accustomed to evil there something else about that verse. However, and that is this, that if there's going to be a transformation that has to come from outside of the human personality and of the New Age movement only says that what you need to do is to look within and pull yourself up by your bootstraps and yes indeed God helps those who help themselves. And so what you do is you try to somehow bring about these changes by all of the enlightenment that you have it will not work.

The leopard cannot change his spots. It can't be done, the leopard can't wake up in the morning and say I want a lion's skin because a lion has no spots. So today I'm going to change my spots spots be gone. Spots are still there, no matter how optimistic, no matter how much he believes in himself, no matter how confident he is that if he just has the right amount of information in the power of positive thinking. The little engine that said I think I can. I think I can. I think I can, he can't change himself. My dear friend if you want to fundamental change. It has to be a God thing. Now it's true that mankind can change something. Sometimes they change behavior their people overcome alcoholism there people who are in prison they get out and they no longer go back into prison because they live a different lifestyle that is true there is such a thing as behavioral modification, but my friend today when it comes to spots and I take those to be the stain of sin. Only God can take those away and when it comes to the human nature is were going to see in a moment.

Only God can change it and the implant within us and new desires and a new heart, I will take out the heart of stone. God says and I'll give you a heart of flesh, that is God thing.

To illustrate this.

I want us to look at the conversion of the apostle Paul, take your Bibles and turn to first Timothy chapter 1. First Timothy chapter 1. You will recall that the apostle Paul was on a mission to exterminate the Christian church and he wanted to do that because there was a fundamental problem he had with accepting Jesus as Messiah. Many problems, but the most basic was this that Jesus was nailed on the cross and the Bible says in the book of Deuteronomy curse. It is everyone who hangs on a tree so for Paul, it was absolutely on the thinkable that the Messiah would be crucified that the Messiah would be cursed. Therefore what he wanted to do is to take all those who believe that Jesus was the Messiah and literally rub them out and notice what he says in first Timothy chapter 1 verse 12. I think Jesus Christ our Lord, who has given me strength that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer but stopped there for a moment. He was a blasphemer because he denied the deity of Jesus Christ and he desired to make sure that no one else did any forced other people to deny that Jesus was the Christ choices. I was a blasphemer in my past life and then he says also a persecutor. None going to read for you exactly what it says in the ninth chapter of acts, verse one. Meanwhile, Saul.

And that was his name before he was converted in God even gave them the new name but clean them up so drastically.

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples.

He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogue in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the way that is Christianity, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. Paul said to himself. There is some of the Christians were running around the country. Some of them are going to Damascus and I know that there is an enclave of them there and what I want to do is to go there and extradite them to make sure that they suffer full punishment.

Whether that punishment be jailing or deaf. Let's take care of this sect as he believed it was.

So he was a persecutor of the church.

But notice in first Timothy, he's not finished yet. He says I was a persecutor and a violent man. The Greek word is hubris and refers to those who are insulin those who work rule. In fact, Aristotle gave this definition to the word he says to her, and grieve people in such a way that shame comes to the man who is hurt or grieved and it refers. That is hubris refers to a man who finds the light in his own cruelty. So the apostle Paul went to the limits of sadistic brutality.

That's who he was. How is God going to change in Jesus comes out of heaven, and reveals himself to them why that why Disney use Ananias why Disney use some of the believers to understand why because there isn't a person around who believe that Saul could have been converted so the Christians were staying as far away from him as possible and nobody dared witness to them. So Jesus said because I've chosen him to be my apostle. I'm going to come out of heaven. Myself and appear to him and that's exactly what happened there in the ninth chapter of acts I shall pick up only one or two of the verses and suddenly has a near Damascus on his journey. A light from heaven flashed around and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice say to him, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me.

Who are you, Lord Saul asked, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. He replied in the rest of the story is that he begins to understand that indeed Jesus is Messiah, God of very God, let me ask you the question, what does God do as a result of this, by the way the vision was so real, so real that later on. The apostle Paul is going to argue that he has a right to be an apostle because he seen the risen Christ how real the revelation was to him. The bottom line. My friend is simply this, that God is able to save even the most unlikely great centers if he converted the apostle Paul. Now he may not do it like he did the apostle Paul on the way to Damascus, but he uses the gospel to overcome people's resistance to the truth so share the gospel of Jesus Christ. By the way, today is the last day that we are making a special resource available to you. It's a book I've written, entitled managing your emotions. God's good gifts gone wrong. It discusses the role of emotions in the Christian life shows how we should neither deny them nor be controlled by them.

I think it will give us real biblical balance.

As I've mentioned for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337. Let me give you that phone number again 1-888-218-9337. I know another chance for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Do you really know the one you're wanting to marry. That's Susan's question. She writes I've not made good choices in my relationships and now I've met a wonderful Christian man whom I'd like to marry.

I know he wants to marry me. My problem is this through a set of circumstances I've come across some text messages, he is sent to other women.

In one instance he was planning to meet one of these ladies.

He claims that he is maintaining these relationships that they are not a competition for me and the love I've shown him but still because it keeps referring to how beautiful these other women are. It's made me very uneasy.

He claims to love me exclusively, but still he does not want to break completely with these other relationships. What should I do Susan throw that fish back into the lake. All right, here's a man who says he loves you exclusively and yet he's willing to keep contact with other women. That makes you feel uncomfortable.

He is willing to talk about how beautiful these other women are and then he tells you how much he loves you and that you mean so much to him.

Here's the bottom line if you meant that much to him he would be willing to give up these other relationships that make you feel uncomfortable by continuing the relationships even though you are uncomfortable it shows that he really doesn't love you exclusively after all. And if he's willing to do this before you marry him imagine what it's going to be like after you marry him. You know what I would do. Susan I get on my knees and I thank God that he gave you a red flag. Sometimes God gives us red flags you know in marriage counseling.

When a relationship goes sour. Sometimes I say to the couple weren't there some indications that the person was going to be that way. They say yeah there were in our courting days. But I ignored them. Don't ignore this. I believe that this relationship has to end and give it to God, and it and move on some tough love from Dr. Erwin looks or thank you Dr. Moser if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 188-218-9337 you can write to us run into when 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 invoice race. We can't win without agreeing with God about her basic condition.

We need his grace not to supplement our goodness to save us margin gravity next time on our broadcast Pastor lutes or concludes his final message in this series of bad man-made good by describing the wonder of God's grace running to win is sponsored by the Moody church

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