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Romans Chapter 2:17-24

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
April 17, 2022 1:00 am

Romans Chapter 2:17-24

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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April 17, 2022 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 41509-1

Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
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J.D. Greear
Kerwin Baptist
Kerwin Baptist Church
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg

Why do you think you're going to heaven?

Because I'm basically a good person. I've kept most of the Ten Commandments, and we've gone through it before, but nobody has kept the Ten Commandments. They say don't commit adultery. And Jesus says, you know what, if you've looked on somebody and lusted them in your heart, you've committed adultery. So Jesus was looking further than just the actions towards your attitudes.

Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. As hard as it would be to keep the Ten Commandments, Jesus raised the bar in the New Testament to include our attitudes as well.

Fortunately, he also gave us a solution. Find out that solution today as Pastor David continues in the book of Romans chapter two. But before we get into today's teaching, from beginning to end, the Bible shows the special nature of God's relationship with the nation of Israel.

But what does that have to do with you today? Romans chapter 11 tells us that God's covenant relationship with Israel has huge implications for you. To help you understand more, Pastor David wants to send you his teaching video recorded in the Holy Land called Israel, the Bible and You. This powerful resource will encourage and strengthen you as you learn how connected you are with God's chosen people. Israel, the Bible and You is our gift to thank you for your donation to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life. So visit to request your copy.

Again, that's Now here's David McGee with his teaching, Be Changed. Turn with me to chapter two of Romans. And we're reminded that Paul wrote the book of Romans. At this point, Paul has not actually been to Rome. So we are peeling back a few years from the close of Acts where we find him in Rome.

And he's writing to these people about spiritual truth and things that he's learned. And we're going to pick it up in verse 19. So Romans chapter two, verse 19.

Well, you know what? Let's back it up to verse 17, actually, for context. Verse 17. Indeed, you are called a Jew and rest on the law and make your boast in God and you know his will and approve the things that are excellent being instructed out of the law and are confident that you yourself are a God to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness. So looking at verse 19, understand that God has blessed at this point in history, he has incredibly blessed the Jewish people. He's blessed them, given them the law or the Hebrew scriptures, the Old Testament, we refer to it as sometimes. He's given all this rich spiritual heritage, the temple, the priesthood, a wonderful land and many, many, many blessings. But in the end, it's what they did or didn't do with the blessings that really matter. And I think there's a lesson probably in there for us because we are so blessed in this country and we're so blessed in this church. The reality is what do we do with those blessings? Do we just come week after week and say, yes, bless me, Lord, bless me with a teaching, reveal more about you, reveal more about the Bible and just continue to soak it in?

Or do we continually look for places to pour it out? Let's read on verse 20. An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. So what Paul's dealing with here is, is because of their familiarity with the Bible, their knowledge of the Bible, they begin to possibly take some pride in that. Now we should be careful with this because what we can do is we can begin to take pride in knowing the Bible. Now, obviously here teaching verse by verse, we want to know the Bible. I want to encourage you to know the Bible.

Okay. But be careful about taking pride in knowing the Bible. We should make sure that we know the author is the important part. So be careful about, you know, well, I know this and I know that because again, what is, it's what you do with what you know that really matters.

There's people in seminaries and Bible colleges know a lot about the Bible, but the question is, are they really living it out and making a difference in this world? Because see the more you learn, the more you should be doing. And we see over and over in the Bible that God really doesn't care about empty, shallow rituals. Now this is where some of us run into trouble because the church a long time has picked up these rituals that at first are deep in meaning, but then they become this empty ritual.

And what happens is then you're just going through the motions and you're not really walking out what you're learning about. And certainly the charge of hypocrisy comes into being them. I understand we use this word hypocrisy.

Hippocrates in the Greek. It's not that internal struggle that every person who's following Jesus has because we all have that struggle, the flesh versus the spirit. In other words, part of you filled with the spirit of God wants to do good. Part of you is pulled to do wrong things.

Everybody has that inner kind of flat, so that's not being two-faced. Hippocrates literally is a mask wearer, meaning you're pretending to be something you're not. So we want to be careful that we don't do that. And, you know, at the same time understand there's going to be times as a believer where you're going to do things you don't feel like doing. You know, maybe 98% of the time you feel like coming to church on a Sunday morning, 2% of the time you might not feel like coming. And you could go, well, I don't want to be a hypocrite because, you know, if I go and I don't really feel like going. Now, sometimes you have to overcome those feelings and do what you know to do, know that what is right and do what is right. And now on the flip side, if you never feel like doing the right thing, if you never feel like going to church, you know, there might be a problem there. So, see, following God is, again, we're not big on religion, we're big on relationship. And that's what Paul is talking about is we need to have a relationship with the Lord. And certainly, you know, there may be times when you don't feel like sitting down the family dinner and talking about everything. Or you may not feel like going to a family holiday event, but you go through it because you know it's the right thing to do.

And so there's a commitment that you've made in your heart that's important. Verse 21 says, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? So there's the aspect here, and we've talked about this a little bit before, of the Hebrew concept of the open fool and the closed fool. Now, there's several versions of the fool in the Hebrew, but again, we focus on the two, the open fool and the closed fool.

The closed fool is somebody who doesn't know, but doesn't want to know and doesn't even think they should know. But the open fool understands there are things that he or she doesn't know and needs to learn. So it's important for us to stay that open fool, to always stay teachable.

One of the things that really benefited me, not only as a believer, but as a pastor, is to stay teachable. I have a copper plaque in my office that says encora emparo, which means always learning. Michelangelo at 87 said, I'm always learning. I'm always learning. And so I think we always need to be teachable. We always need to be learning. Learning isn't just something we did in school. The whole life journey is about learning. So we learn throughout our life, and I've learned a lot about the Bible. But I'm still learning about the Bible. I consider myself not a scholar of the Bible, but a student of the Bible. Because I want to always be learning and never go, I've got the whole thing scoped out. And I am still applying what I'm learning as well. And so when I read the Bible, I see myself revealed in the Bible. And I don't just look around and go, well, gee, that person over there, they really need to be doing this. Sometimes you hear a point in here and the elbows start flying. That's for you, honey.

That's for you. I'm so glad you're here. Or we hear a sermon and we go, oh, this would be so good for so-and-so. I wish they were here to hear it.

And yet we're here and we're the ones that are hearing it, and we should be applying that. I understand, as we learn more and more, to be honest, I'm not really impressed with what I know or what has been revealed to me. I want to live these things out. I don't want to just say, oh, gee, this is an academic knowledge of God.

No, no. I want to experience God through my mind and through my heart. And coming back always to that revelation that, you know, without God, I'm dark, I'm hopeless. I'm weak. I'm frail. With God, I'm in the light. I have hope.

I'm strong. But staying teachable is important. And also, you know, as you learn the Bible, understanding that you may have picked up things along the way that weren't exactly scriptural, and you may need to alter your beliefs or concepts of God according to the Bible. Obviously, there's some very clear absolutes about God, the devil, Jesus, heaven, hell, all these things.

But understand, you might be wrong about the other things, about perhaps, or even about those things if you have unscriptural attitudes or wrong about what you think about another person. There's an acronym that I've learned to just love. It's FAST, F-A-S-T. And it stands for faithful, available, spirit-filled, and teachable. Faithful, available, spirit-filled, and teachable. We're supposed to stay teachable all of our Christian life.

And one thing that can really mess us up is we think, no, absolutely, there's nothing to learn here anymore. And Jesus, if you remember, that was one of those accusations where the Pharisees is, hey, you know, you're blind and you're leading other people. Now, he mentioned something here about stealing, and let's understand, because he's speaking to people who are Pharisees who are zealous for the law, and you would think, well, are these guys going out and are they shoplifting?

Are they going into the market and, you know, grabbing things and tucking them under their coat or something or their robe? No, that's not what Jesus was talking about in those sense of the word. And that's not what Paul is talking about here, but it was interesting because they used what they refer to as legal loopholes in order not to tithe or give God his due. They would say, well, you know, if this is a gift, then I don't have to tithe off a gift.

And so, you know, they got into this complex system. They give each other gifts, and then, you know, they wouldn't actually have to tithe off of that. Understand, Paul brings this point out that according to the Bible, if you don't tithe, that is, in essence, stealing from God.

That's not my words. That's what the Bible says, and let's understand. Tithe, the Hebrew word, means tenth.

Malachi chapter 3, verse 8. Will a man rob God, yet you have robbed me? But you say, in what way have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings.

You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me now in this, says the Lord of hosts. If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing, that there will not be room enough to receive it. So God says, this is the only area of scripture God says, test me, test me in this.

Do this, I will rebuke the devourer for you. And let's look at this in the New Living Translation, in Malachi chapter 3, verse 8. It says, should people cheat God, yet you have cheated me. But you ask, what do you mean?

When did we ever cheat you? You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me, for you are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, so that there will be enough food in my temple. If you do, says the Lord Almighty, I will open up the windows of heaven for you, and I will pour out a blessing so great that you won't have enough room to take it in. Try it, let me prove it to you. Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease, and your grapes will not shrivel before they are ripe, says the Lord Almighty.

This is an amazing thing. God says, do this, test me in that. I will pour out the blessings on you. And yet, so many of us, we can't step out in faith and trust and go, well, I don't understand, if I can't live on 100%, how do I live on 90%? But God says, you know what, test me and try me in this. And if you've ever stepped out in faith to tithe, then you know that God can be trusted in this.

You will be blessed, but let's look at the other part. If you don't do this, it is equated in the Bible to stealing from God. Now, imagine what you would do if, you know, you were on your way in or you're on your way out and somebody's back at one of these joy boxes and they're in there and they got a screwdriver and they're prying it up and they're digging in there and they're going through the cash and trying to pull some cash out.

What would you think? You think, well, that's wrong. That's stealing, according to God, according to his word. That's what you do when you don't tithe. That's a heavy word, and I understand that, but this is what Paul is in reference to here.

And so we need to understand that. And some people go, well, I don't understand why God is not blessing me more. God says, here's a key to blessing. One of the keys to blessing is tithing. What percentage of born-again Christians do you think tithe? What percentage would you think? Nine percent, nine percent of evangelical born-again Christians tithe. In other words, nine percent of all the people trust God, believe in his word enough to do what he said. You know, friend, to me, that's amazing to me. That is amazing to me that that percentage is not more.

Now, I believe we have a higher percentage than that here, but I still don't think that it's a majority percentage, to be honest. You know, you don't really know for sure if somebody's tithing, I mean, you'd have to see their W-2. So next week, what we're going to, no, I'm kidding. We're not going to start having you bring your W-2s in. I want to encourage you in this. As a believer, I've gone through seasons where I didn't tithe, and I suffered, to be honest. I did not have that blessing that God talks about here.

And there's seasons where I did, and, you know, somehow by remembering God and placing him first, I was blessed and had more. I don't understand how that works, but the average Christian gives about 2.5% of their income, 2.5% of their income. Now, you know, I started thinking, started running the numbers, and interestingly enough, in the United States, about $1.7 billion is given to churches at 2.5%. What if all the Christians just in America tithed? Do you understand that instead of 1.7 billion, we would have closer to $7 billion?

6.8, somewhere in there? $7 billion? Think of how that could impact the world with the gospel. Think of those people who don't have Bibles in their own languages that suddenly, you know, if churches would spend it on the missionaries, like we do here, we have... Understand, I believe so strongly in this concept. This church invests a minimum of 10% missionaries and outreaches and stuff like that.

So think of the impact. You know, at this church, what if the income was four times what it is now? We would have so many missionaries, so many more missionaries. So I encourage you, trust God in this. You're listening to Pastor David McGee on Cross the Bridge. He'll be back with more powerful insight from God's Word in just a moment. But first, God's grace and mercy is greater than any of us could ever fathom. That's why he's been so faithful to the nation of Israel throughout the ages, and he's not finished.

He's promised to remain true to them to the end. We want to show you what God's faithfulness toward Israel says about his relationship with you by sending you Pastor David's teaching video, Israel, the Bible and You. In this exciting teaching recorded in the heart of the Holy Land, Pastor David unpacks important truths from God's relationships with Israel that impact your life today. Israel, the Bible and You is our gift to thank you for your donation to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life. So visit to request yours. Again, that website is This is Pastor David McGee with Cross the Bridge.

You know, I want to thank you for listening to Cross the Bridge. I also want to tell you about an exciting website. The website is, and it works very simply like this. You go to the website and you put the first names of up to 10 people that we begin praying that they get saved. Now it takes two things to get saved, presentation and prayer. And what we're offering is prayer, and also there's different tools there to help you present the gospel to them. So we're there with you, helping you with the presentation, helping you with the prayer. There's over 920 people that belong to the prayer team on Lost Loved Ones, and you can join the prayer team as well and help us to pray for others who don't yet know Jesus.

And together, we can see a huge revival starting with your lost loved ones. Now, back to today's teaching. Verse 22, You who say, Do not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? That's kind of interesting, because in these three verses you've got, you know, stealing, which is kind of a, obviously, not tithing sin against God.

You're stealing from other people. You're sinning against them. You see idolatry against sinning against God, adultery. Actually, in the Bible, it talks about sinning against yourself in that. So, and then also, you know, all sin is really against God, but it's defining these relationships and who we're affecting through our disobedience. Now, verse 23 says, You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?

Wow, what an interesting thing. You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? Paul's writing, it would seem to the Jewish people, in particular, those who are involved in Judaism, not just Messianic Jewish people, but those who would not yet receive Christ as the Messiah. And let's understand that a lot of the Jewish people had received Jesus as their Messiah. The Bible bears that out. You may have heard differently, but the Bible says, many Pharisees came to a belief in Jesus. Paul himself was a rabbi who came to a belief in Jesus. The disciples were Jewish, et cetera, et cetera.

Why do you think you're going to have them? Because I'm basically a good person. I've kept most of the Ten Commandments and we've gone through it before, but nobody has kept the Ten Commandments. Because, you know, we deal a lot with actions. Jesus was dealing a lot with attitudes, attitudes.

And so that's when, you know, he raised the bar a little bit when he said, Hey, you know what? You're not supposed to murder, but if you hate somebody, if you call them a fool and stuff, you're guilty of murder. They say, don't commit adultery. And Jesus says, you know what? If you've looked on somebody and lusted them in your heart, you've committed adultery.

So Jesus was looking further than just the actions towards your attitudes. And so that leaves us in a place where we're desperate for God to come in and change us from the inside out. Now we all stand in that place. There's not one person in here. There's not one person listening or watching who is righteous in their own selves. In the book of Romans chapter three, verse 10, it says this, as it is written, there is none righteous.

No, not one. So if you feel like you're in here and you are righteous through your obedience to the Ten Commandments, then you're basically saying this verse is wrong. God's a liar and you're righteous no matter what the Bible says.

That's a fairly arrogant place to be. Romans 3 23 says this, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. For all have sinned. All. You know what, you know, all means in the great means all.

So everybody here, now there's a couple of people at the other service that, no, I'm kidding. No, all means all. As a matter of fact, it goes even stronger in Isaiah chapter 64 verse six. It says, but we are all like an unclean thing for all our righteousness are like filthy rags.

We all fade as a leaf and our iniquities like the wind have taken us away. What's interesting here in the Hebrew, and I know this is, in the Hebrew there, the word filthy rags, the meaning is a used menstrual cloth. That's our righteousness before the Lord. So it's interesting that that's our righteousness and yet some would say, okay, this is acceptable to God. And God in his word says, no, your righteousness in and of yourself is not acceptable.

God's standard of perfection, we all fall short of that. And Paul is reminding people of this and saying, hey, look what your attitude is and you need God to change you from the inside out to give you more love for God and specifically kind of in this chapter more of a love for people. As you realize how much God has loved you, it becomes easier to love people. So verse 24 says, for the dame of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you as it is written.

So everyone stands guilty, Jew and Gentile. And Paul saying, be careful about standing high and mighty before those who have yet believed in the Lord because what you're doing is you're blaspheming them. So we need to be careful about being hypocritical. I remember one time I was in a restaurant and was listening to this lady just berate the waitress and feeling so bad for the waitress.

And when the lady got up, she had this big God button thing on and I thought, man, she complained about her food, ate half her food and then wanted to send it back. That's a big problem for Christianity. That's a big problem for us that we would blaspheme God in the way we treat other people, in the way we interact with other people. How many people call themselves Christians who really aren't and who totally disregard the teachings of Jesus? And what it does is it provides a convenient excuse for people not to come to the Lord. I say excuse because there really is no reason in the sense that the Bible says we're all guilty, we're all unrighteous. And so when somebody comes to you and says, hey, you're supposed to be a Christian and I saw you do something wrong.

So you know what? I'm still, I'm not perfect. I'm still wanting to follow the Lord. The Lord's still at work in my life. I'm trying to deal with these issues, but please forgive me rather than go, well, that wasn't really wrong and downplay it. See, we might be the excuse, but we should never really be the reason that somebody doesn't come to the Lord. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer. Simply telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him. Now God wants you to pray this prayer so much that He died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask Him to forgive you.

Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.

And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.

Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. Jesus said He would not turn anybody away who comes to Him.

Those who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. So congratulations, friend. You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. You can call us toll-free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ. Before we go, we want to encourage you in your faith so that you can experience more of the grace and love of God for you. That's why we'd like to send you Pastor David's teaching video recorded in the heart of the Holy Land called Israel, the Bible, and You. This encouraging look into the history of Israel and God's covenant faithfulness to His chosen people will help you take bold new steps in your relationship with God. Israel, the Bible, and You is our gift to thank you for your donation to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life. So visit now to request your copy. And be sure to join us next time on Cross the Bridge with David McGee to hear more from the Book of Romans. See you then.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-30 16:49:23 / 2023-04-30 17:01:04 / 12

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