This isn't something Paul came across later in life.
It's kind of interesting. When he was not following Jesus, he's on the road to Damascus, and Jesus knocked him off his high horse. At that moment in time, it's interesting, very telling, the heart of Paul. Acts chapter 9, verse 6. So he, trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what do you want me to do?
What a great question. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. As Christians, we are not our own.
We've been purchased by Christ himself so that we can live for him forever. Today, Pastor David encourages us to serve our Lord with passion as he continues in the book of Romans chapter 1. But before we get into today's teaching, every marriage needs course corrections from time to time.
So how do we make sure our marriages stay on track when the struggles and pressures of life hit? Find out how in Pastor David's new three DVD series, Endless Love. It's our gift to thank you for your donation to help Cross the Bridge broadcast on this and other stations, helping more people cross the bridge from death to life. Visit crossthebridge.com now to request your copy of Endless Love.
Again, that website is crossthebridge.com. Now here's David McGee with part two of his teaching, A Bond Servant. We're looking at the book of Romans, Romans chapter 1 verse 1. Paul, a bond servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God. Bond servant, what does this bond servant mean? Well, a lot of people go, okay, well, it means they were a servant, it means they served, it means they were some type of slave, if you will, to Jesus Christ.
It's much cooler, much deeper than that. In the Greek, the word is doulos, which we get from the Hebrew concept ebet. Now, what that is, it's not just somebody who is a slave in the sense that they were purchased or a servant in the sense that they owed something and had to work off their debt. We certainly see that in the Hebrew Scriptures.
But what we see is something far more beautiful. You see, if you were indebted to somebody or somebody had got you out of a jam, they were your redeemer, you would serve them for six years. But come that seventh year, Shabbat year, you would be declared free. But at that point, some people said, you know what, I don't want to go. I don't want to leave. I've come to love you as my master, as my leader, and I don't want to leave.
I choose to stay. And that, friend, is a bond servant, or doulos. This isn't something Paul came across later in life.
It's kind of interesting. When he was not following Jesus, he's on the road to Damascus, and Jesus knocked him off his high horse. At that moment in time, it's interesting, very telling, the heart of Paul. Acts chapter 9, verse 6, so he, trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what do you want me to do? What do you want me to do?
What a great question. What do you want me to do? You gave me the breath that's in my body. You keep my heart beating, and you died for my sins. Lord, what do you want me to do?
Not what do I got to do. What do you get to do? Lord, what do you want me to do?
That's a question many of us should be asking. Lord, what do you want me to do? And again, this is not, this can be so freeing if you realize that I'm not talking about out of duty. I'm not talking about out of religious obligation. I'm talking about being grateful and with joy, serving the Lord, serving the Lord for all He's done. The things that you have, your time, your life, friend, those aren't yours. God has given you your life. He formed your arms and your legs and your brain while you were still in your mother's womb. He gave you life. He gave you whatever intelligence that you possess. Whatever stuff that you have, you realize that's not really yours.
Your bank account, retirement accounts, house, cars, whatever, you realize that's not really yours. Biblically speaking, you're a steward. You understand what a steward is?
A steward is somebody who looks after stuff and at some point in time gives an account of how he used or did not use those things. We're stewards. We speak about parenting. You're stewards of your children. Our children belong to the Lord. They belong to the Lord. I know occasionally as a parent you want to send them there in a hurry, but they belong to the Lord.
You just get to have them and if your kids are growing or grown, you realize this. You just get to lead them for a little while, a brief instant. Then you hand them off to the Lord in fullness. What we have all belongs to God. When somebody, especially when a believer, somebody that says, I follow Jesus, begins to demand their rights and things that they're owed, oh, I know they're headed for trouble.
I know they're headed for trouble. As a matter of fact, I really have a problem. Sometimes people say, well, I just want what I deserve.
No, you don't. You know what this book says you deserve? Death, condemnation, judgment. I don't want what I deserve. I want mercy.
I want grace. I made the decision. I didn't make the decision this morning to follow God and give Him my life.
I made that decision a long time ago and I'm walking in that. Paul prior to this had made the decision, God, this is my life. And God even said, okay, Paul, you're going to have to suffer some things for me. He told him that as you follow me. Paul said, it doesn't matter, God. I'll suffer the things for you.
I'm following you. Bond serving Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle. This word called is kind of interesting and it's important. We read this verse and we go, okay, well, I understand all these theological.
No, no, no. We speak Christianese. That's our own language. When you start becoming a Christian, oftentimes after a few years, you begin to speak a whole different language. Nobody around you even understands. And then instead of asking somebody if they've known the forgiveness of their sins, we say, hey, have you been saved, sanctified, and washed in the blood of the Lamb, filled with all the blows?
Sanctified. They got no idea what you just asked them. Why? Because you're speaking Christianese.
Called. What does that mean? Well, literally, kleitos in the Greek means invited.
Now, this is where some of us get off track. We think there's a small little segment of people who are called. They're full-time ministry. They're what you call professional Christians.
They're paid to be Christians. And so then everybody else is not called. Friend, the moment you come to Jesus, you are responding to an invitation of him calling to you. And with that calling comes another calling to be a part of changing the world. Now, whether you respond to that calling, again, that's between you and the Lord. But he has invited you upon that journey.
It's your choice. Everybody has a calling. Now, everybody's calling is different, and yet everybody's calling somewhat is the same.
Love God, love people. So Paul is called to be what? Called to be an apostle. What's an apostle? Apostle is somebody that's sent out on a mission. In a biblical sense, an apostle was called, somebody called to be on the mission of telling people about Jesus Christ. Do you understand every one of us is called on that mission? I'm not saying you need to go to Myanmar or somewhere, but you're called on the mission to tell people about Jesus.
That's why we have that big sign over those doors out there. It said you are now entering the mission field because there's people out there that don't know Jesus. They need to come to know Jesus. The apostle separated to the gospel of God, separated, set apart, marked off by a boundary. Separated, notice it pulled out of the world's philosophy, way of thinking, way of acting.
Separated to, set apart, if you will, for special use, Paul was, and we should be as well. To the gospel was the gospel. The gospel is good news. Literally means good news.
Now, look, if I'm up here and I say, let me share the gospel with you, that if you try hard enough for long enough and you quit acting the way you do and you straighten up and fly right, then God may forgive you of your sins. Is that good news? That's not good news to me.
That sounds like a little cheerleading thing. The good news is even though your bad will always outweigh your good, that you cannot reach God in your own righteousness. That's the bad news. The good news is God in His mercy and grace has provided Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. And even though you've messed up, all that can be pardoned and forgiven if you come to Him.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? That's why they call it the good news. And notice this phrase, the gospel of what? The gospel of God. It's not my gospel. It's not your gospel. It's not the Baptist gospel. It's the gospel of God. We don't get to decide what the gospel is. God has said, here's the good news. Here's the gospel. It's mine.
I want you to present it. It's not for ours to critique and say, well, I like that part. I don't like that part. It's not a cosmic salad bar. A lot of us look at Christianity kind of like a cosmic salad bar. Here's what I mean by that.
You're at the cosmic salad bar and you go, oh, joy, like some of that. Peace. Oh, I love peace. Oh, love. I love love.
There's their forgiveness. I like that. I'm serving. Ooh. Tithing. Ooh. Going to church. My.
No, no, no, no. It's all part and parcel, if you will. Separated. The gospel of God. Verse 2. Which he promised before his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. Understand, Jesus was not just a new kind. It wasn't a New Testament expression. It was expressed in the Hebrew Scriptures, in the Old Testament, what we refer to as the Old Testament. See, to understand the fulfillment in the New Testament, you need to understand the Old Testament.
I love this saying. The new, speaking of the Testaments, the new is in the old concealed, the old is in the new revealed. The new is in the old concealed, the old is in the new revealed.
Meaning all these prophecies about Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures were fulfilled in the New Testament. We talked, was it last week? A couple weeks ago.
A couple weeks ago. About the odds of that happening. About Jesus fulfilling all these prophecies. The odds are one in ten to the twenty-third power. That's twenty-three zeros. Remember we talked about the fact that's the state of North Carolina covered nine feet in acorns. All the land, all the water, nine feet in acorns, marking one acorn and turning a squirrel loose and thinking that on the first try it's going to grab that one acorn in the state of North Carolina. And yet some people are gambling against those odds. Those are not good odds.
That's worse than the lottery even. The fulfillment of these things. Paul is ministering to people who he hasn't been to Rome. And this really ministered to me.
Why? Because I'm looking at this book. He writes this book, this letter, to these people in Rome. He's never met. He doesn't know if he's ever going to meet them, but yet he's ministering to them. He's using the technology that existed to minister to people he'll never meet.
Do you realize that we are ministering to people that we will never meet in this church? Notice I said we. We're doing it through television. We're doing it through radio. We're doing it through the internet. We get calls.
We get emails. We get people going, hey, you know, I'm in Oregon, and I just want to let you guys know that I just gave my heart to Jesus Christ as my Savior. People coming to the Lord. You're listening to Pastor David McGee on Cross the Bridge.
He'll be back with more in just a moment. God desires to reveal himself to the world, and the Bible teaches that marriage is supposed to be a picture of God's love to others. Pastor David and his wife, Nora, want to show you how to make your marriage one that proclaims God's love in their new three-DVD series, Endless Love. It's our gift to thank you for your donation to help Cross the Bridge air on this and other stations, helping more people cross the bridge from death to life. Go to crossthebridge.com now to request your copy of Endless Love. 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 lostlovedones.org, 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 3, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born in the seed of David according to the flesh. Notice His Son is declaring Jesus as what?
God's Son, God's Son. If you watch Discovery Channel, they'll say, well, no, no, no, they didn't decide that Jesus was actually the Son of God until, like, 300 A.D., and they did all this, and you know what? That's so bogus. And I don't mind having debates with people and talking with people who are open to the evidence, but a lot of these people are intentionally misleading people, misrepresenting historical facts, archaeological facts. They're disregarding those things, and you have to, at that point, you have to say, well, there's an agenda going on there, and you have to ask yourself, well, Paul in here, 56 A.D., he's calling him God's Son. Now, who do you think is confused, Paul or the Discovery Channel? I'm thinking the Discovery Channel. Notice it says Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let me help you. Jesus Christ our Lord, Jesus Christ. We think of Jesus Christ as His name, Jesus' first name, Christ as last name.
No, no, no, no, no. Jesus was His given name in the Hebrew Yahshua. Our English word for that is Joshua. Christ is His title. Christos in the Greek meaning anointed one.
We got that word from the anointed one in Hebrew, Mashiach, where we get our word for Messiah. Again, Jesus the Messiah. That's why sometimes when you see, you'll see in the Bible, Jesus the Christ. Jesus being His name, Christ being His title. Notice our Lord.
It's interesting to me. Jesus is referred to as Savior in the New Testament 25 times. That's pretty many times. He's referred to as Lord in the New Testament 714 times. So Jesus doesn't just want to be your Savior, doesn't want to just be your get out of hell free card.
He wants to lead you through life and declared or proven to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead. Jesus never sinned. He was tempted, the Bible tells us, but He never sinned, never did anything wrong.
It's interesting. We see Him getting angry at people, but the Bible says be angry and sin not. So anger itself is not sin, but it certainly can lead to sin. I think we probably would do well to get angry more often at some of the things we see. Jesus said turn the other cheek.
He didn't say look the other way. Declared to be the Son of God, power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead. Yeah, resurrection.
That's an interesting thing. Do you understand some churches, some movements, some seminaries out there now say it was not a literal resurrection? Well, if it's not a literal resurrection, throw the whole thing away because it doesn't work.
That's not my words. That's what the Bible says. Paul, 1 Corinthians 15, verse 14 says, And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty, and your faith is also empty. And verse 17 says, And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile. You are still in your sins. A few chapters in Romans were told this. Jesus, who was delivered out because of our offenses and raised because of our justification. We're talking about justification another day. But we were forgiven, if you will, through the process of him dying and being resurrected.
Now, let's admit something. This whole resurrection thing, that's when faith comes into play because what we're saying, Jesus died and did not stay dead. He didn't stay dead. Yeah, I love these little animations that people send me sometimes. And I saw one little animated thing and the angel comes down and it moves the stone away, you know, and then it moves the stone away from the tomb and then Jesus pops out, you know.
And it's very cute. But you need to understand something. Jesus was not alive in that tomb waiting for that angel to roll that stone away. Jesus was not there going, hey, let me out. Move the stone. I'm alive.
I need it. Let me out. Move the stone away. That didn't happen. We're told later that Jesus walked through a wall.
Why are we told that? It goes back to the tomb. So we understand he could walk out. He didn't have to move the stone. Certainly he could have moved the stone. I think he was already gone. So why was the stone moved? If it wasn't moved to let him out, why was the stone moved? So we could see in that the tomb was empty.
He's not there. He is risen and he is risen indeed. And you need to understand there is more literary proof that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and resurrected than Julius Caesar ever lived or George Washington ever crossed the Delaware.
And when's the last time you were talking to somebody? You go, oh, that whole Julius Caesar thing. I don't believe that. And I'm not talking about just in the Bible. I'm talking about outside the Bible. There's literary proof. It talks about Jesus Christ being resurrected from the dead and walking around, being seen by 500 people.
Now, what you do with that, friend, is the question. But it makes Jesus a lot different than everything else. Christianity is not just another religion.
It's distinctively different than anything else. See, there's a lot of religions today. People are following Buddha. Buddha is dead. People are following Confucius. Confucius is dead. People are following Muhammad.
Muhammad is dead. You go to Confucius' grave. You know what you see? You see Confucius' bones. You go to Buddha's grave. You know what you see?
Buddha's bones. You go to the grave of Muhammad. You know what you see? You see Muhammad's bones. You go to the grave of Jesus.
You know what you see? Empty tomb. He's not there. He's risen.
I want you to go back in time with me for just a second, though. Peter. I love Peter. I feel a kinship with him, if you will, because Peter messed up. And we're told that. We're told that Peter, when it came down to the moment, Peter actually denied knowing Jesus. Not only that, but it says there was a moment in time, right after it happened, he looked into the eyes of Jesus. What a look it must have been. I relate to Peter in part because you know what?
I've done the same thing. Through my actions or through things I haven't done, I've denied the Lord. And I think if everybody in here was honest, they would say the same thing. Jesus was crucified. And Peter, according to the Bible, thought that's it.
The man loved me, served me, died for me, and I betrayed him and I denied him, and now it's over. The Bible records that John and Peter ran to the tomb, and they were confused. They weren't sure what had happened. They didn't get to the tomb and see it empty and go, oh, this is great.
No, they weren't sure. But in the Gospel of Mark, we're told that the angel came and said, go tell the disciples and Peter. Be sure Peter knows that he's risen. Because guys, this changes everything. It changes everything. See, if we were following a guy who had died for us, great, he loved us.
Awesome. It's great to be loved. But Jesus, when he was resurrected, declared his power and his victory over death, over sin. He shows the ability to be able to forgive you of your sins, to deliver you from the power of death. It changes everything. Jesus, 100% God, 100% man, and he died for you.
And he was resurrected. This changes everything. Now, I wish I could sit up here and make a decision for people.
I truly wish I could, but I can't. I can simply tell you that Jesus is calling right now. And right now, friend, I'm speaking to those who don't know Jesus as their Savior or have rejected him, or maybe they've wandered or drifted off.
But reality is, I'm speaking to everybody in here. Jesus is calling each and every one of us. He's inviting us to follow him, to serve him, and to serve people. And what you do with that, friend, doesn't tell about God. It tells about you.
It tells about your heart and how grateful or ungrateful you are to the Lord. You see, all of us have messed up. A lot of people think Christianity is, well, you know, you do your best, and you hope your good outweighs your bad. The Bible says your good will never outweigh your bad. Your bad will always outweigh your good. The Bible says if you broke the law in one place, you've broken it in every place. And if you're depending upon your own goodness, friend, you are in trouble. So we're sitting there with the scales that are tipped against us, going, well, there's no way.
And then Jesus places his nail-scarred hand and leans on the scale. And forever the scales are tipped in the favor of mercy and grace. Your past can be pardoned.
Heaven's gates are opened. And your future can be assured. But, friend, that has to be your decision. I can inform you about the decision.
I can inform you about the invitation. But, friend, choose well. Everything rides on this one. 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 say goodbye, in both the Old and New Testaments, marriage is a practical picture of God's relationship with His people. People are intrigued and drawn to godly marriages.
And when they're drawn to our marriages, they're drawn to God. We want to help you keep your marriage in balance and proclaim Christ through it by sending you Pastor David's three DVD marriage series, Endless Love. This series is our gift to thank you for your donation to help Cross the Bridge air on this and other stations. So visit crossthebridge.com today to request your copy. Again, that website is crossthebridge.com. Also, if you're not able to make it to your home church this Sunday, why not join us for our live stream at 9 a.m. and 1130 a.m. Eastern? Just visit crossthebridge.com and click on our live stream link. There you can watch Pastor David teach from his home church, The Bridge, in Kernersville, North Carolina. Again, that website is crossthebridge.com. And be sure to join us next time on Cross the Bridge with David McGee. We'll see you then.
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