You live according to the grace with which you were saved. See, Paul is saying it's not both. It can't be both. Now, we want it to be both sometimes because we want to feel like we did something and we earned it. And oftentimes, you know, we get saved and then it's like, okay, now I'm going to earn it.
No, no, no, no. It's already been given to you. You can't set about earning something that's already been given to you.
Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. Throughout Scripture, we hear that we cannot go to heaven nor earn salvation through the law. It is only through God's grace. Pastor David discusses why this is so important today as he continues in the Book of Romans, Chapter 7. But before we get into today's teaching, the devil is able to influence so many Christians today because they simply don't know their Bibles. And if the enemy can keep you ignorant about God's word, he can keep you weak. That's why we want to send you Pastor David's DVD message, Romans from Rome, recorded in the heart of ancient Rome.
This eye-opening teaching will show you beyond a doubt the historical accuracy of the Bible. Romans from Rome is our way of saying thank you for your gift today to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life. So go to crossthebridge.com to request your copy.
Again, that's crossthebridge.com. Now here's David McGee with his teaching, The Life-Changing Joy. Romans, Chapter 7. Chapter 7 is a really, it's a, you know, we're going verse by verse, but Chapter 7 is a, there's a lot of interesting things in here, some difficult things.
Um, so we're just going to skip it. We're going to go to Romans Chapter 8. So Romans Chapter 8, verse 1 is a, there is therefore, no, I'm kidding. Sorry.
All right. Romans Chapter 7 says this, it says, or do you not know brethren for I speak to those who know the law, that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives. Now notice that phrase, do you not know? Several times in this book, several times in the Bible, it says, do you not know? Do you not see? Do you not understand?
So let's understand. Christianity is walking by faith, but it doesn't mean you cut your head off. It means we're encouraged in the Bible to study, to show ourselves approved. In other words, you need to know why you believe what you believe. If you don't know why you believe what you believe, then people can take advantage of you.
They can lead you down all kinds of path. So we want to base our beliefs on the Bible. So it says, do you not know? Let's read on verse two. For as the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives, but if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then, verse three, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress.
But if her husband dies, she is free from that law so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Paul is talking about the law and he's talking about grace. He's not necessarily dealing with marriage. He's talking about marriage as a principle that he's going to bring a truth about law and grace. So this is not to beat up people who have gone through the pain and agony of divorce.
It's talking about the law and grace. Now, whenever I say that, people are like, well, you need to beat them up. No, no, I don't.
I need to help them and I need to see them healed and walking with the Lord. And in case you're sitting there going, well, yeah, you've probably been married 27 times. That's why you say that.
No, I'm still on my first marriage. She's still putting up with me. So let's read on. We're not going to beat people up over that.
We may beat you up about something, but no, I'm kidding. Verse four. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. That's a whole lot in these four verses.
And I've read four verses real quick. So he's talking about this marriage thing. And Paul is basically saying, you know, in life you get to choose who you marry. Now, you don't really know who they are when you marry them, because when you date somebody, you're not really dating them. You're dating like a caricature or something of that person. You don't get to know somebody while you're dating them.
Y'all don't realize that. I mean, because really they always, they make sure their makeup is right, their dress is right, their behavior is right, their language is right, all those things. So that's not really them. You don't even discover who the real them is until after you get married. Everybody marries a stranger.
That's a Jewish thing. But you get to choose who you marry. And Paul is saying, you know what, you get to choose to marry who you marry in the sense of law and grace. You either under the law or you're under grace. It's not like you can say, well, I'm kind of married to both. I'm kind of married to law and I'm kind of married to grace.
No, no, no, you don't get to do this. Now let's go ahead and deal with something that Paul has dealt with this, but, you know, since some might be new or didn't, weren't here for this, who can keep the law? Can anybody in here keep the law? If you are under the illusion that you've either kept the law or can keep the law, please check with somebody that cares about you and ask them to say, hey, I'm pretty much perfect, right?
They're going to say, no, not really. Or even if you don't have any friends, you can call us or email us and we'll walk you through the process. The reality is none of us can keep the law. None of us has kept the law. None of us, if I said right now, look, what I need you to do is I need you all to go out and be perfect.
You may go, yes, I'll try to do that. But friend, it's not going to happen. You can't keep the law. And if you could keep the law, Jesus never would have came. Jesus never would have died.
Why? Because he wouldn't have to, because you could keep the law and get to heaven earning your own way to heaven. But guess what?
That didn't work. As a matter of fact, the law taught us our failures and showed us how sinful we are. So you can't say, well, yeah, yeah, that's the law. I want to be saved by the law. Well, you may want to be saved by the law, but you can't be saved by the law. You can only be saved by grace.
And you're under either one or the other. Now, I know that people go, well, you can't tell people they're not under the law because then they'll just go, they'll just go live crazy lives and think they can do anything. No, no, I don't think when you understand grace fully that you'll do anything. I don't think when you understand grace and the incredible price Jesus paid for it that then you'll think you're free to go do whatever. It's called theologically antinomianism, that now we're not under the law, we're under the grace so we can do whatever.
I disagree with that teaching. Now, we're looking here at these verses, and when you study the Bible, there's a couple things to keep in mind. If you're a student of the Bible and you should be, then you might want to write these down. Things that are helpful in the passage, number one, figure out who is writing and then figure out who they are writing to and then figure out why they are writing and or what problem or problems they are dealing with.
These things will be very helpful to you as you read the Bible. Figure out who is writing. Well, that's pretty easy because the book starts out with talking about Paul, a servant, a bondservant of Jesus Christ. So, who's writing?
Well, Paul is. Well, who's he writing to? Well, that's another fairly easy one in this situation because the name of the book is Romans. So, obviously, he's writing to those people in Philippi. So, no, no, he's writing to the people in Rome. The name of the book is Romans, so that's great. We've got who's writing and who they're writing to.
Why are they, are he writing, and what problem are they dealing with? Paul tells us. Paul tells us.
Now, let's understand the setting a little bit. Rome, there was a man, Claudius, who expelled all the Jewish people. There were some revolts going on in Judea, and he decided that no Jewish people could be in Rome because he was kind of afraid they were going to have a revolt.
And Spartacus, a hundred years plus before, had revolted, and they were concerned about it. So, they said, okay, all Jewish people have to leave Rome. Well, they excluded the Christians, the Gentile Christians from that. So, they asked Jews and Jewish Christians to leave.
A few years later, they came back. When they came back, you know, now there's two factions. There's two people groups, if you will. There's the Gentile non-Jewish Christians, and then there's the Jewish Christians. And so, they're kind of having trouble getting along.
The Jewish Christians are saying, well, you absolutely got to keep the law, and the Gentiles are saying, no, we can go do whatever we want to. And so, you know, together they found truth. And so, look at verse 1. We figure out who he's speaking to and what problem he's dealing with. Do you not know, brethren, for I speak to those who know the law? So, this chapter, not necessarily this book, the book goes between the two, and Paul tells us who he's speaking to at any one time. He says, to those who know the law.
So, who's he writing to? The Jewish people. So, why is he writing to the Jewish people? Because they think they can be justified or saved through the keeping of the law. And Paul is saying, no, no, no, no, that's not its purpose. Its purpose is to show you that you need a savior.
The law's purpose isn't to save you, but to show that you need a savior. So, he's pointing this out here. Now, let's understand, too, that, you know, we're tempted to read this and go, oh, those silly Jewish people, they used to think this, and some of them still think this. They're going to be saved by works.
Time out, time out. Let's get a little more personal. Let's not talk about the Jewish people, unless you're Jewish.
Let's talk about you, because you understand we do the same thing. We begin to think that we can be saved through works. If you don't think this is a prevalent belief, go take an informal poll. Go take a poll and say, hey, I'm wondering, what's different about a Christian? And most people say, well, they're a good person.
They're like a better person than everybody else. That doesn't define a Christian. Somebody might say, well, you know, I think they're this, or they go to church or whatever.
Another thing you can do is that two-question test that I talk about a lot. Ask somebody if they're going to heaven. Most everybody says, yeah, I'm going to heaven. And then ask them the second question, why do you believe that?
And then that second question will say, well, you know, because I'm basically a good person or I go to church or this or that. They'll give you all kinds of unscriptural reasons why they think they're going to heaven, basically because of their good behavior, basically because they're keeping the law. The Bible talks about you cannot get to heaven by keeping the law.
It's throughout the whole Bible. There's none righteous, no, not one, Romans 3, 10, Romans 3, 23. For all have fallen short of the glory of God.
You go back to the Hebrew scriptures, it talks about, no, there's none without sin. So the first life lesson here, we cannot go to heaven or earn salvation through the law. It is only through God's grace those things can be ours.
We cannot go to heaven or earn salvation through the law. It is only through God's grace those things can be ours. 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, so many people today are losing faith simply because they don't know how much real evidence there is for the truth of the Bible. We want to help you strengthen your faith so that you can live the abundant life God has for you by sending you Pastor David's DVD message, Romans from Rome. This insightful teaching, recorded in the heart of the ancient city of Rome, will help you see the book of Romans in its historical context and confirm your faith in the truth of God's word. Romans from Rome 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 go to crossthebridge.com to request your copy today. Again, that's crossthebridge.com. This is Pastor David McGee with Cross the Bridge. I want to thank you for listening to Cross the Bridge.
I also want to tell you about an exciting website. The website is lostlovedones.org, and it works very simply like this. You go to the website and you put the first names of up to ten 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.
It's interesting. God saves us through grace. We come to him through grace, unearned, unmerited favor. God doesn't owe you forgiveness. He offers it. But a lot of times we come to him and go, Okay, well, you saved me through grace. Now I'm going to live according to the law.
Oh, don't do that. You won't make it. You live according to the grace with which you were saved. See, Paul is saying it's not both.
It can't be both. Now, we want it to be both sometimes because we want to feel like we did something and we earned it. And oftentimes, you know, we get saved and then it's like, Okay, now I'm going to earn it. No, no, no, no. It's already been given to you.
You can't set about earning something that's already been given to you. And Paul says it's either or. And some of us go, Well, no, no, no.
It's kind of a mix. So you come to God through grace, but then you got to do this and you got to do that and you got to keep these rules and that rules and definitely got to cut your hair, cut your hair, quit wearing earrings, quit doing this, quit doing that. What are we doing? We're being legalistic. We're being legalistic. You need to understand there is an inherent danger in each and every person in here to be a legalist. Now, we usually aren't legalists for us.
We're legalists for others. We look at other people and go, I doubt he had devotions this morning. Oh, look at her.
I bet you she did. She hadn't prayed. I bet you hadn't prayed in months. We get judgmental and we get legalistic and nothing will ensure a frustrated Christian life more than you starting to be a legalist. You've probably run into them all the time. You can tell by the scowl on their face and their anger. Why?
Because they're failing and trying to earn God's favor, not realizing that through his grace, he offers it. We go, OK, well, you know, I think it's a little of both. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You can't, Paul's saying marriage. You cannot be married to two things, two, I'll use things, two things at once. That's illegal in most states and parts of North Carolina. So I'm from here so I can say that.
If you're not from North Carolina, you can't really say that. But it's called bigamy. It's being married to two people at once. That's illegal. OK. And if you're really messed up, the polygamy is three or more. And that's you can't do that. You can't say, well, I think it's law and grace. No, no, no.
It's either or. I choose grace. I've tried living under the law. I didn't do so well. As a matter of fact, let me share something, because this Bible talks about the grace of God. There was a long time that I kept trying to earn God's favor. Let me point out something that's kind of subtle and then we'll go back to that point.
There's something that and I was in this passage for like hours. And every time I teach, I try to do three things. I try to give milk, meat and the gospel.
Here's what I mean by that. Milk. If somebody just got saved, I want to provide something for them to kind of think about.
Something to help them live. Second thing is meat. In other words, if somebody's been walking with the Lord a long time, you know, they can get some kind of deep spiritual truth.
Although, you know, if you eat meat, you still need a little milk every now and again. And then the gospel. Every time here on Sunday morning, I want to be sure that I share the gospel. I want to be sure that, you know, some of you are bringing friends, family, co-workers and seeing these people get saved. I don't, you know, you've probably been to churches where you bring your friend and you think, well, I hope they share the gospel this morning. You know what? Every Sunday morning, you're going to hear the gospel. So milk, meat and the gospel. I'm getting ready to share.
Maybe a little meaty, but I'll just spend a couple minutes. But as I was reading, I saw something that I thought was bizarre. Now let's go back to verse two. For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then, if while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.
Okay, we're fine so far. He's presenting this marriage and he's saying, look, if the husband dies, then, you know, the bride is free to remarry. And that's consistent with scripture because we're always presented, the church is in the feminine. Okay, the bride of Christ. And it talks about the brides waiting for the coming of the groom. It refers to Christ as the groom when it talks about the mystery of marriage. It talks about Christ being the head, that whole thing. So we're fine so far.
And I love the study of logic and debate and stuff. So we read verse four. Now look at it. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ that you may be married to another, to him. I was like, wait a minute. Okay, I thought we were the female and the male was dying. But then he opens up verse four and he says, but you have become dead. But wait a minute, Paul. This is getting illogical because if somebody dies, they can't get married.
You can't marry a dead person. So is his logic and the flow falling apart? No, it's not.
It's not. Let's look at verse four again. Therefore, my brother, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ that you may be married to another, to him who was raised from the dead. So let me ask you a question. How does a bride who has died get married again?
There's only one way, folks. She becomes alive again through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. When you come to the Lord, part of you dies and part of you becomes alive for the very first time. This is throughout Scripture. Jesus did certain things to give us a picture of some things. You see, baptism is a picture. Jesus was baptized, okay? If you think about that, why was Jesus baptized? To wash away his sins?
No, he didn't have any sins. And can you imagine being John the Baptist? And this guy shows up at one of your revival meetings and the first thing that you realize is that, you know what, this is the Messiah. This is the Messiah, the coming priest, coming king.
And then you go, oh, this is him. And then he walks up and he says, hey, I need you to baptize me. John says, baptize you? You should be baptizing me. And Jesus says, no, no, no, no, no.
We're doing this. Why did he give us that model of baptism? It was for our model of baptism so that we could understand we should be baptized. Now the baptism also ties to the tomb and the resurrection. Jesus went to the tomb, was dead and buried, was resurrected three days later. When you are baptized, you go down, if you will, into the watery grave of the water and then you come back up resurrected in the newness of life. So the way that you can walk in grace is die to the law and live for grace in that resurrection power. And if that's not enough to get you excited, the Bible says that the same resurrection power that brought Jesus out of that tomb is available for you right now today this morning.
So what was it you're struggling with that you can't do? Would the resurrection power available to you? Back to this law grace thing.
I have been in situations where people were trying to marry the two and it didn't work. As a matter of fact, as a young Christian, I was I was very much a performance oriented Christian. And here's what I mean by that. When I did well, when I read my Bible so many hours or so long each day and prayed so many at so much time, I thought, God loves me. God's happy with me.
God's pleased. And then if I didn't go the full length of time, I thought, man, he is so tweaked and mad at me right now. I live my Christian life like a yo-yo. Now, the bad thing was I was in a situation with other believers that were they were yo-yos, too. And I went to this one guy and I said, you know, I'm kind of struggling with something. He said, well, I said, I'm struggling with my sin nature because, you know, part of me wants to do good. And I didn't know Romans seven and what we'll get to at the end of this chapter.
I didn't know Paul had that same struggle and conflict going on. I said, hey, yeah, I can have a struggle with a sin nature and I want to do what's right, but sometimes I do what's wrong. And and you know what he said? He said, you know what? I think you need to revisit your salvation experience.
I said, what do you mean? He goes, well, the Bible says all things become new. So if you're still struggling with your sin nature, you may have not been born again. I was crushed, not born again. I said the prayer.
I did what it said to do. And apparently I'm not saved. I'm not born again.
And what was worse is there were some Calvinistic brothers who, you know, it was said, well, no, you know, some are predestined to go to hell and you can't do anything about it. And I'm going, oh, I said the prayer. I'm not saved. So I'm predestined to go to hell. I can't get saved. And now it's getting bad. And maybe I'm the antichrist.
I just don't know. I was trying to be married to the law. I wasn't meant to be married to the law.
I was meant to be married to grace. I can't live under the law. That's why Jesus came.
Some of you are still trying to live under the law. The Lord's going to set you free today. Verse five says for when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. In other words, before before we knew the Lord, if you're in here and you've asked the Lord to forgive you. You've been born again. If you've said that prayer on Sunday morning, we believe that the Bible teaches that. And something changes.
Really, a lot of things change now. Understand, the moment you come to the Lord and ask him to forgive you ever since he does it, he wipes away all your sins. OK, but then you still have that struggle of spirit against flesh.
We're going to be talking about that as we continue through the book of Romans. But when you come immediately, something begins to change. You're not you're not the same. Some of you have commented that, you know, in talking to old friends and stuff, you go back and they go, hey, there's something different about you. They're noticing these changes because something is different that instant and other changes. Well, friend, they begin to take a little bit longer, don't they? 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. 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 help you strengthen your faith so that you can experience the power of truly knowing and believing God's Word. That's why we want to send you Pastor David's DVD message, Romans from Rome.
This insightful resource recorded in the heart of the ancient city of Rome gives you a much deeper understanding of the historical context of the entire New Testament, meaning you'll know God's Word better. Romans from Rome 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 go to crossthebridge.com now to request your copy today.
Again, that's crossthebridge.com. You know each day comes with its share of stresses. So what better way to wake up than with an encouraging word from the Lord? Visit crossthebridge.com and sign up now for David McGee's email devotionals. Each devotion includes scripture and a message from the heart of David McGee. It's easy and it's free. Sign up today at crossthebridge.com. And be sure to join us next time on Cross the Bridge with David McGee to hear more from the book of Romans. We'll see you then.
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