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Romans Chapter 4:3-6

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
June 4, 2022 1:00 am

Romans Chapter 4:3-6

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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June 4, 2022 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 41515-1

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To become a believer, what do you have to do?

Believe. And then everything else changes. And then from that place of rest, then you begin desiring to do things for the Lord. James points us out that that grace, that faith, that living faith should lead to works, but not out of a duty of trying to earn God's favor, but out of love for what He's already done. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. All the things that we do as Christians flow from a heart of gratitude for all that God has done for us. Today, Pastor David encourages us to serve the Lord with a passion as he continues in the book of Romans chapter four with his teaching titled Faith.

Let's go now to David Magee. So we're looking at Romans chapter four. We finished with three last week. Well, we got the verse three last week.

I shouldn't say we finished because we just really barely scratched the surface of verse three, but that's where we find ourselves. We're in Romans chapter four, verse three says this, for what does the scripture say? Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Now we talked about this word accounted is, is literally an accounting term. And in other words, God considered all his sins wiped away and declared him righteous. Now what had Abraham done to deserve this righteousness being placed upon him? Well, it says he believed God, so he didn't have to go and do anything. No, he just believed God and he was declared righteous. Now the incredible thing is you say, okay, what did he believe God about? Well, that's pretty astounding. We'll bring up Genesis chapter 15 that this is quoted from and Genesis 15 five, it says, then the Lord brought Abraham from outside beneath the night sky and told him, look up into the heavens and count the stars.

If you can, your descendants will be like that too many to count in verse six and Abraham believed the Lord and the Lord declared him righteous because of his faith. Now just in and of itself, this promises is pretty incredible in it that your all spring will number more than the stars in the sky. It's pretty incredible promise. I mean, even if you were, you know, a teenager in your twenties, that's a pretty incredible promise, but let me remind you of something and we're going to talk about it a little more next week and the following week as we dig in further to Romans chapter four. At this point, this promise from God came forth. Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah, his wife was 90.

Now when I was a young man, I was like, yeah, okay, 190, whatever. As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate more and more the incredible promise that God was given Abraham and Abraham believed it. And God said, because of your belief, I now count you righteous. So that's what Paul was pointing out here, that it's not through works that through belief and through grace that we're saved. Verse three, ask a great question.

Look at what the way it opens. It says for what does the scripture say? What does the Bible say?

So it's a great question. What does the Bible say about salvation? What does the Bible say about grace?

What does the Bible say about Holy Spirit? What does the Bible say about the way we're to live our lives? We believe here that the Bible is the final authority and I've taught the pastors and led them in such a way that when somebody comes in and says, Hey, why do we do this? They'll pull out the Bible and say, well, because the Bible says we shouldn't do this. Well, why don't we do this? Well, the Bible says we shouldn't do that. This is the ultimate authority. And you know, there's a saying, a chapter in verse somebody, and here's what that means. When somebody says, Hey, you know, you really ought to do this.

You ought to, you know, run around sanctuary and cluck like a chicken and scream with like, you know, chicken with his head cut off or something. Well, that sounds interesting. What chapter and verse do you get that from? Well, I believe that all people who commit suicide are burning in hell.

Well, that's interesting. What chapter and verse do you get that from? See, we've come up and passed on all sorts of beliefs that have nothing to do with this book that it's not commenting on.

I've learned a tough lesson in ministry and in life. When the Bible's silent about an issue, we probably ought to be. Now, some of you are going, well, but isn't that a book that's written by a man?

Well, it's not really. Let me help you with this. God used men to write the Bible, but you see, if I was to there's a pen up here somewhere. If I was to take this pen and to write you a letter, would you say the pen wrote you the letter? No, I'm the one that wrote you the letter.

I simply use the pen to write it. Well, that's what God did. God is the one who wrote the Bible. He simply used men to communicate to you. Well, let's understand something from there is no way that men could have compiled this book in such a way as to so accurately predict the future as it has. It is mathematically impossible.

There's no way. Nobody has ever predicted the future with such accuracy, so you have to understand it was God communicating through them to us. Here's what the Bible says. Hebrews chapter 4 verse 12 says, for the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. It shows us where we heart, where our heart is and where our lives are. A second Timothy chapter 3, 16 and 17 says all scripture, say all scripture, all scripture.

Let's say it again. All scripture. So does that mean part of the scripture? No, it means all scripture. The reason I say that sometimes I'll talk to somebody and they go, well, you know, we, we don't really read that old Testament and we don't, you know, that's not really, it's not really for today. I mean, you know, it's old. It's, that's why they call it the old Testament.

It had nothing to do with anything. Friend, you can't even understand the new Testament if you don't understand the Hebrew scriptures. We need to have a knowledge of the Hebrew scripture so we understand the new Testament. And this verse says all scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.

It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do. That phrase all scripture is inspired in the Greek.

It's literally theos nostos. And what that means is God breathed. The word of God is the breath of God.

It is the words of God himself. And we value that and we take time. You know, I don't know if you've noticed or not. Our services are a little longer than some other people.

It seriously, why is that guys? You know what? Most of you probably watched between 12 and 16 hours of television this week.

Probably a lot of that was not Christian television. I'm going out on them here. So in like an hour teaching, I've got to undo 12 to 16 hours of television. Okay.

So it's going to take me a little bit. And I, you know, I've talked to people and, and sometimes I don't know if you've ever had this, you know, trying to explain to somebody what it is we do here. And I'll say, you know, cause they'll say, what are y'all doing over there?

There's a crowd of people. Are you giving money away? What are you doing? And I'll say, no, well, we're teaching the Bible and I've had other pastors go, well, we teach the Bible. My question is always, how do you teach it? Well, you know, we'll teach a couple of verses here. Next week, we'll teach a couple of verses from somewhere. Next week, we'll teach a few verses from there.

I say, you know what? You're not really teaching the word of God. You're teaching out of the word of God. And there's a big difference. I've been blessed by topical sermons.

Don't get me wrong. I've been blessed and God has spoken to me through topical sermons. What I mean by topical sermons is the pastor decides on the topic and then he gathers some scriptures together to support the topic. Again, I've been blessed through those things, but it's not a good diet of the word of God. I love cotton candy, but I'm not going to eat it three times a day.

Okay. But as you go through the Bible, verse by verse, that's the way it was given to us. And that is the best way to study it and the best way to teach it. So that's why in part, we do what we do because we always want to come back to this. What does the Bible say? Well, I believe this. Well, I believe that.

No, no, no, no. What does the Bible say? We need to keep that in mind, especially as we work at, as we work at grace.

No, that's a weird thing. As we look at grace. Now, Paul quotes from the Old Testament about 60 times in the book of Romans and he's talking about Abraham and, and you know how Abraham, when was he declared righteous? When he believed, not when he offered Isaac, when he believed Paul is going to be speaking at when he believed he was counted righteous. Now, see, this tears away at spiritual pride.

Doesn't it? Because the moment we believe we're declared righteous. So what the Bible saying here, but we always think, well, we, we got to do this and we got to do that.

And this, that, and the other. And no, no, the Bible says when you believe amazing thing happens here on Sunday mornings, the end of the service, I ask if anybody wants to be forgiven. Ask if anybody wants to follow me in this prayer. We're so blessed because week after week people do and they come forward and you know what happens in an instant, they're forgiven. Well, what if they're not sorry enough?

See, that's, that's the way we think in it. Well, they need to, they need to get right before they can really come to the Lord. That's not what the Bible says. It says when you believe you're forgiven, not when you start acting right, not when you start behaving, but when you start believing literally in the Greek. Now repentance, we say, well, repentance is straightening up and flying, right?

Literally in the Greek, it means to change your mind. The moment you change your mind from what, from trying to save yourself to allowing Jesus to save you, you're forgiven. That's hard for us to wrap our minds around it because we're like, no, no, no, we got to do this and we got to do that and we got to earn it. That leads to spiritual pride.

You can earn it, then God would owe it to you and it have nothing to do with grace. Thank you for listening to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. We'll return to David's teaching in just a moment. The tragedy in Benghazi, the bombings in Boston and the current unrest in Egypt are all vivid accounts of terrorism. Each time an event like this occurs, it often causes us to respond with fear, but it doesn't have to because God knows your future and you can too. With David McGee's teaching entitled, Know Your Future, Be Immune to Terrorism, you'll come to understand the realities of radical Islam while rejoicing in God's promises for your future.

Don't allow fear to consume your life. Instead, find hope with this month's special offer, Know Your Future, Be Immune to Terrorism. Know Your Future is available as a CD or DVD and is our gift to you when you call today with a donation to Cross the Bridge Ministries. It's because of your continued faithful support that we're able to broadcast across the nation with the life-changing Word of God.

To help support Cross the Bridge and receive your CD or DVD copy of Know Your Future, call 877-458-5508 or go online to And now let's return to Pastor David's verse by verse teaching in the book of Romans. Let's look at verse 4. Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace, but of debt. In other words, if you earned your salvation, God would owe you salvation.

God owes no person salvation. If you think you can go to church enough or give enough or do this enough where God owes you salvation, friend, you're on the wrong track. It's never going to happen because then it's not of grace. Now, Pastor, are you saying that we never have to do good works?

That's not what I said. I said the starting place has to be grace. Grace, once you come to that belief, it begins to change your heart, it begins to change your life, and indeed it begins to change your behavior. But it doesn't start with a change in behavior. It starts with a change in belief. And so many people are like, well, I would come, I would be a Christian, but I would have to not do this or not do that.

Their focus is on the wrong thing. To become a believer, what do you have to do? Believe. And then everything else changes. And then from that place of rest, then you begin desiring to do things for the Lord. You begin to desire and to serve. So it's not like works are thrown completely out the window. It's just reminding us that we're saved by grace and that, and James points this out, that that grace, that faith, that living faith should lead to works, but not out of a duty of trying to earn God's favor, but out of love for what he's already done.

Life lesson here. We should serve God with a grateful heart for what he has already done for us. We should serve God with a grateful heart for what he has already done for us.

A lot of times we get caught up. Well, I'm going to do this and then God's got to bless me. You know, well, I prayed a lot today. Now you got to bless me.

I read my Bible bunch. Now you got to bless me. If any of you guys have any trouble this afternoon, it's tempting to go, well, God, what do you know? I'm having a bad day and I went to church this morning. Can't believe you're giving me a bad day when I went to church and you supposed to bless me.

I can't, but I went to Walmart and there's a line. I can't believe I went to church this morning thinking God owes you. God owes no person never has, never will.

God showed me this. So clearly early on in ministry, I was ministering and I had started going play music and rest tones and ended up doing a recording and went and shared at a church and he had a little table and had, you know, some of the recordings on and guy came up and I had this policy that anybody could get anything for free. You know, I didn't want to not minister somebody over finance. So guy came up and he was looking at one of them. He goes, I said, you want one?

He goes, no, I don't have any money. I said, take it man. Be blessed. You know, he was really, yeah, yeah, yeah. So he walks off and I'm sitting there. I'm like, did that for you, Lord.

You know, next guy comes up and lays a big bill on the table, takes one of the recordings and I said, Hey, let me get your change. He goes, keep it, be blessed. God said, I will owe no man nothing. He doesn't owe us salvation.

You can't earn it through good works. It's his love for us. And let's, you know, we're going to be talking about grace and this book of Romans remind you God's unmerited or unearned favor.

There's a little acronym that kind of helps us here. God's riches at Christ expense. God's riches at Christ expense. Let's remember all blessings come through grace.

They come through grace. God doesn't owe you a good day. God doesn't owe you forgiveness.

He doesn't owe you any of these things. And once you come to this knowledge of grace and you understand it can so change your life. Friend, I grew up in a kind of religious home, denominational church. I didn't understand grace. They didn't say, Hey, you need to be born again. And the moment you come to Jesus and ask him to forgive you for sins, you're declared righteous. Now they said, well, you know, basically, you know, you do the best you can and hope your good outweighs your bad. It's not really in this book. As a matter of fact, this book points out that on those scales of good and bad, once you do one bad thing, the scales are forever tipped towards bad.

There's nothing you can do to tip them back, except come to Jesus and ask him to forgive you. Then when you do that, these things, you start doing these things out of, out of love. I, you know, I love teaching the Bible. I love studying the Bible. I love doing worship.

I love these things. I don't do them out because I have to. Now, does that mean that, you know, that some days aren't long, some days are hard?

No, I have long days. Some days are hard days, but I do it out of a, out of a love. And so we should do these things for the Lord out of love, not trying to earn his favor or earn his blessing.

Friend, if you're trying to do that, you're trying to earn his favor, earn his blessing. You're going to live a really frustrated Christian life. You know why? Because you'll never measure up. You will never measure up. The moment you have a bad day, you'll think, well, that's it.

I've blown it. I used to live like that. Well, I read my Bible so much and I prayed so much and every, God loves me. And let's say I had a bad day and I was like, oh God, God doesn't love me anymore.

See, you can't, that's like living life like a yo-yo. Christianity can't be based on works or you would be living life like a yo-yo, but it's based on grace. And so every day that you wake up in the morning, you can say, father, thank you for your mercy because I know that I'm with you and my sins are forgiven. Let's look at verse five. It says, but to him who does not work, but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.

Believes on him who justifies the ungodly. Now some of us are going to go, oh, see, see there. So we do do something. We believe, we have to believe.

Well, I agree we have to believe, but you can't take any credit for that. You can't sit in there. Well, I, you know, I'm, I believe I had to come forward. I had to do this and I had to do that. Let me ask you a question. Were you just walking down the street one day and all of a sudden think, wait, you know what? I need to believe in God or did perhaps friend, has the Holy Spirit been chasing you for quite a while before you desired to go to a church before you desired to pray the prayer before you desired to fellowship with the Lord. So that was the Holy Spirit wooing, convincing, convicting you, if you will, about your need for him and to establish that relationship with him.

It has to be grace. It can't be works or you're living like a yo-yo friend. I used to live like that as a Christian.

I don't want to live like that anymore. When I came to this understanding of grace, it totally changed my Christian walk. I was no longer walking around miserable.

I was walking around filled with joy that I'd been forgiven even though I didn't deserve it. You know what? You can often talk to a Christian and you can tell if they're basing their salvation on grace or they're basing it on works. And you know how you can tell? Sometimes you can tell real easy. Sometimes you can tell by their face because I've met Christians who were trying to earn God's favor and they were, they were miserable.

Why? Because they weren't measuring up. And so they were miserable Christians. And you could just look at their face. And then God forbid, they go out and try to witness to somebody. Unbeliever's going to look at that and go, no, thank you.

You look like you got it all, friend. Instead of talking to them about grace with a smile on your face, that appeals to people. You start talking about grace and you know that you're blessed and that's communicated at your blood.

Let me tell you one of the easy, simple ways I witness sometimes. In the south, we ask each other how we're doing. And sometimes I'll say, how you doing? They'll say, fine, how are you? And I say, man, I'm a sinner saved by grace.

It doesn't get any better than this. And I've just given them a little bit of the gospel because I've told them I'm a sinner. I've told them I'm saved by grace, that it's not some elite club of do-gooders and that it's really, really good.

And that appeals to people. You see, grace is what brings us into being God's children. I know a lot of people think, well, we're all God's children. I heard some guy on the, some networks, we're all God's children. That's not what the Bible says. As a matter of fact, Jesus, when he was talking to somebody, he goes, you're of your father, the devil.

He was very seeker friendly in that way. And so, and so the reality is if you don't belong to God, you've not come to him through grace yet. You're not as child. Now God's willing to adopt you through grace. Once you come to be God's child through grace, you're his. You're his. You're adopted. Why were you adopted because you were just such a good person? No, because he loves you so much.

Because he loves you so much. When did God bestow this righteousness on Abraham? When he got everything worked out and all his issues?

No, no, no. When he believed. When he believed is what the Bible says. Grace causes our standing to be God's children. Verse six, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works. Let's understand something.

We, we've all messed up. The Bible points that out. And once we come to Jesus and say, Jesus, forgive me, we began to live this new life that the Bible talks about. Matter of fact, second Corinthians chapter five, verse 14 puts it like this. Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us motivated by love.

First Corinthians 13 points this out too. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. This is important. Let's understand. You come to God through grace, you begin to die to the old ways, old things, the old habits, the old ways of thinking.

That's what's supposed to happen according to the Bible. It's interesting. Yeah.

Born and raised in the south. Um, you, some of you are probably aware of this, what you do with a dog or a hound who kills chickens because once they do that, they, they really, they have a tendency to do it more and more. And so you have to do something.

It's going to sound a little weird, but this is actually what you do. Once the dog does that, what you do is you take a dead chicken that he killed and you tie it around his neck and you leave it there for a week or two and pretty soon guess what? That dog doesn't want anything to do with chickens anymore.

Well, pastor David, thanks a lot for that great visual. I'll think of that next time I'm at KFC and, but I share that for a reason because we're supposed to die to the old ways. And part of you really has to get fed up with the old ways.

And that's part of what the Lord does in our lives. Because after a while, you know, you're, you, if you try to live the old life, you're going to be walking around, you know, what is that smell? It's the old bed. You, you're still trying to carry around. Let it go. Let it go. I can you imagine this is a reality of somebody saying, no, I don't want to be set free from this corpse and carcass I'm carrying around. I'm quite comfortable with it.

I'd rather carry it around. Well, that's what it looks like. If somebody doesn't die to the old life, that's what it looks like when somebody rejects Jesus. 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. 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.

And He came for those people 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 this was your first time praying that prayer with Pastor David, we would 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. Also, if you've been blessed by Cross the Bridge Ministries, would you consider supporting us with a financial gift? When you call with your gift, make sure to ask them about this month's special offer entitled Know Your Future, Be Immune to Terrorism.

This insightful teaching will fill you with hope and also help you understand the truth about Islam. Donate today and we'll send you a CD or DVD copy right away as a way of saying thank you for your support. Our number is 877-458-5508.

That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to While there, take a moment to sign up for David's free email devotional or browse our large library of teachings. Again, our website is Thank you for listening, and we hope you'll join us again next time as we continue to Cross the Bridge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-09 04:50:00 / 2023-04-09 05:01:06 / 11

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