Your feelings will lie to you. As a matter of fact, your feelings have lied to you. At some point in your life, your feelings have lied to you. Maybe you were in school and maybe you saw a girl and you thought, oh, she's the one. You just knew she was the one. She wasn't the one.
Your feelings lied to you. How many times have you felt sure of a situation only to find out you had it completely wrong? Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. In life, our circumstances will change, but the good news is that our God will not. Today, Pastor David encourages us to believe God and not our circumstances as he continues in the book of Romans chapter 4 with his teaching, Faith.
Let's go now to David Magee. So we're in Romans chapter 4. Paul is the writer of this book. He's writing to the church at Rome. We're going to pick it up in Romans chapter 4 verse 16 says, Therefore it is a faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only of those who are of the law, but also to those who are the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations in the presence of him whom he believed God who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did who contrary to hope and hope believed so that he became the father of many nations. According to what was spoken, so shall your descendants be and not being weak in faith. He did not consider his own body already dead since he was about 100 years old and the deadness of Sarah's womb. Verse 20, he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, given glory to God. So he's believing God. He did not waver. Look at verse 20 again. He did not waver at the promise through unbelief. I mean, and he didn't think, oh, well, this is never going to happen. He believed God and strengthen in faith, given glory to God and maybe sitting and go, well, yeah, I do believe, but part of me doubts.
That's, you know what? You should be honest with God. Mark chapter nine, verse 23 says this, and this guy had a sick son and Jesus said to him, if you can believe all things are possible to him who believes. I love the God's response. 24 immediately, the father, the child cried out and said with tears for what I believe, help my own belief. Now we read that and go, well, what do you, what does he mean he believes, but help us unbelief because don't you either believe or you don't know, no, you believe in sometimes you might have doubts, but in those moments of doubts, those moments of despair, you go to God and say, God, please, please help my own belief.
And God will honor that. I've shared many times when I, when I came to the Lord, the first time I had a lot of doubts. I really wondered if God could forgive me for all the things I had done and God honored the belief, that little spark that I have.
And I had at that moment. So again, in you, in your mind, in your heart is the ability to believe God for incredible things. And at the same time, there's this ability to doubt him over the most basic of things. Which will you trust? Your doubt or your faith? Or will you trust God?
There's a passage and we went over it a chapter or so ago. Romans chapter three, verse four says, indeed, let God be true, but every man a liar. Now what this means is let God's word be true. Let what God says to you be true and let everybody else be a liar. Let me, let me, let's extend that a little bit because maybe you don't have problem calling other people liars, but according to the first, everybody that says something against the word of God is lying. So friend in love at times, you may be that liar. You may say, well, I don't, I don't feel like God can come through.
You know what? Your feelings are lying to you. Your feelings will lie to you. As a matter of fact, your feelings have lied to you. At some point in your life, your feelings have lied to you. Maybe you were in school and maybe you saw a girl and you thought, oh, she's the one, you know, you just knew she was the one. Well, she wasn't the one. Your feelings lied to you.
How many times have you felt sure of a situation only to find out you had it completely wrong and what you felt was completely wrong? We don't base this whole thing on feelings. We base it on faith.
That's why it's important. Have you ever had the opportunity to share the Lord with somebody and lead somebody in a prayer that they're asking Jesus to forgive them of their sin? After they say, amen, do not ever look at them and say, now, how do you feel? Because maybe they feel awesome. Maybe they're weeping and all, but maybe they felt nothing. And when you say, how do you feel? They'll go, well, I didn't feel anything.
It didn't work. I'm still a sinner. The Bible says, no, that if you confess your sins to the Lord, you're forgiven. Why do we trust our circumstances and our situations? Life lesson here, believe in God instead of in your circumstances. Your circumstances will change. God will not believe in God instead of in your circumstances, your circumstances will change. God will not. Now, here's the tough part, because you're tempted to believe in your circumstances to look around and go, well, this is the way it is.
That's never the way it is. Things. The Bible has a phrase that says it came to pass. You know what I mean? It means it didn't come to stay. It just came to pass.
It came for a little while and then it's going to be gone. I believe God heals people. I believe he does it sometimes instantly. Sometimes the medication surgery, he does it a lot of different ways. But I believe God heals people. I believe God heals every believer without exception.
And here's how I can say that. It's not a question of if he will heal them. It's a question of when may not be here. You may take sickness or disease or scars or whatever up to the gates of heaven. But let me promise you, you're not taking them in. You will be healed.
It's a question of when. Don't trust your circumstances. Circumstances change trust in God. First John says this, that if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he's faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sin, we make him a liar and his word is not in us. It's interesting. These verses, I love these verses.
You might want to pray about committing them to memory. Basically say people are in two camps. One say they haven't sinned and they're lying. So if you're here this morning, you're going, well, I'm not really a sinner. I'm pretty religious, pretty righteous.
I do this right and I do that right. God says in his word, you're lying. As a matter of fact, try to tell your family or friends you're righteous. They're going to look at you and go, dude, you're lying, man.
You're not, you know, we know. And it says if we confess our sins to say we are faithful. No, it says he is faithful to forgive us our sins. See, I grew up in a denominational kind of religious background and I was pretty much taught, well, you know, you just go through life and your hope, your good outweighs your bad and if your good outweighs your bad, you get to heaven. And had the concept that, um, well, that, you know, good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell.
That's the way it is. It's God's system. The more I learned about the Bible, you come to the understanding that actually the opposite is true. Bad people go to heaven. Good people go to hell.
Here's what I mean by that. If you think you're good enough in your own works, on your own righteousness, guess what you're going to do? You're going to refuse Jesus. I don't need your help. I got it covered.
Guess what? You're not going to heaven. But if you realize that you're bad enough that you need forgiveness, then you'll come to Jesus and say, Jesus, I really need your forgiveness. You say, you're forgiven.
Come on in. Jesus said, I don't, I didn't come to save the righteous. I came to save the sinner.
Those who understand that they've messed up. So what are you trusting in? You're trusting in your works.
Are you trusting in him? Verse 21, and being fully convinced that what he had promised, he was also able to perform. I want you to notice that hopefully whatever version you're, you're reading out of and being fully convinced that what he, there's a capital H there or should be that what he had promised. And then he capital H was also able to perform. Now they're speaking about Abraham. No, it was Abraham.
It'd be a little H. So big H. Why? Because it, it tells us he is God. It's referring back to God.
So in other words, he promised and he was able to perform it. So is it about Abraham's ability or is about God's ability? It's about God's ability. Why don't we, why are we going over and over and over and over this? Because a lot of times we think it's our ability, especially when it comes to grace, especially when it comes to righteousness, we think, well, it's, it's about our ability. It's not about your ability. It's about God's ability.
As a matter of fact, what you're going to find out if you hadn't already found out is that sometime at some point you're going to struggle, you're going to fall, you're going to fail. God will still be faithful. He'll still be faithful. What can God do? To do anything, supply or break a promise.
He can do anything. Ephesians three 20 says this now to him. And notice again, there's a capital H there who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us with a new living translation, same versus this now glory be to God by his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. It's an amazing verse.
More than we can dare ask or hope. Abraham, Abraham knew that. 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 CrossTheBridge.com. Now let's return to Pastor David's verse-by-verse teaching in the book of Romans. Look at verse 22, and therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness. In other words, he believed God and God reckoned him righteous. Now, Abraham did some bad things.
If you're familiar with his life story, he did some things that were not good. He lied about who his wife was, said that she was his sister, and went back to Egypt when he shouldn't have, and did some other things, but he was declared righteous. We talked about David last week or week before, and David was, after all he messed up, David was declared righteous. As a matter of fact, it's kind of interesting, in the whole Bible, there's only, other than Jesus, there's only two people that it doesn't talk about their sin.
One's Joseph, the other's Daniel. Now, they were sinners. They messed up somewhere, but the Bible doesn't talk about that, I think in part because they were kind of a type or shadow of Christ, but everybody else, it talks about how they messed up.
The heroes of the faith. It talks about how David messed up. It talks about how Abraham messed up. It talks about Peter, how Peter messed up. Why do I say that?
Because I think we've gotten the notion in our head that these people in the Bible never messed up. As a matter of fact, this is the reason I don't really read Christian biographies anymore, because, you know, you read a Christian biography and you just, I don't know, they never share any struggle or any failing or any, you know, you read it and they, oh, he prayed 27 hours a day. That is amazing. You know, I only have 24 in mind. It's not very encouraging.
You read that and go, I can't do that. No wonder God used him. He prayed 27 hours a day. But when you look into the Bible and see who God used, you see people like Abraham, you see people like David, you see people like Peter. Peter who, I mean, let's be honest, if you've read the gospels, Peter is a very interesting study.
Why? Because Peter, he's one of my favorite biblical characters in part because I've shared some of the same flaws he had in the sense that, you know, Jesus, he, a couple of times, Peter went to Jesus to tell him how the ministry was supposed to go. Jesus said, Hey, I'm going to Jerusalem. I'm going to be crucified. And Peter says, not so Lord. And it says he took him to the side and was going to tell him. Peter was going to tell Jesus how the ministry was supposed to go.
I've tried to do the same thing. He didn't listen to me either. And I think sometimes we think of the disciples as these aloof characters that never messed up, that never had a weakness, that never shared any of the human frailties that we have. We think of them, the disciples, they were big, tall men with deep voices. And they spoke about deep spiritual issues. Do you know this book records the deep spiritual issue they talked about more than anything else?
You know what it is? The thing the Bible records, they talked about more than anything else is who's the grace in the kingdom going to be? I think it's going to be me. It's not going to be you. It's going to be me. It's going to be me.
No, it's not going to be. They were doing this when Jesus was talking about being crucified. And that's not bad enough. Two of them sent their Jewish mother to talk to Jesus about who was going to be the greatest in the kingdom. This is what this book tells us.
Oh, I've done the same thing. I've looked at Peter and God bless him, but it seemed like sometimes he was only opening his mouth to change feet. Lovingly, I refer to him as ready, fire, aim Peter. Being a disciple was a challenging thing. You look back and go, oh, it wouldn't have been great. It would have been challenging.
Why? Because Jesus was always doing things that they didn't count on. And they stayed pretty much for those three years, and you read the Bible without your religious glasses on, you'll see they stayed pretty much freaked out for three years. They probably woke up every day thinking, well, I don't know, what's he going to do today? We don't know.
Yesterday was different. And here's another telling thing is every time they had a ministry problem, do you know what the disciple solution was? Send all the people away. Jesus said, hey, there's a bunch of people that are hungry. And they said, well, send them away. She said, no, we're going to feed them.
No, send them away. That's what they kept saying. It was like at this ministry thing, it would be great if it wasn't for all the people. I think some churches are still thinking that, but they, you know, they wake up, oh, let's see what kind of day it's going to be. Maybe it'd be a good day and he won't do anything unexpected or anything.
Now, you have to be honest. Jesus did some weird things. I know that book.
There's some weird things in there and the disciples woke up and all of them. Maybe it'd be a good day. We'll just keep an eye on him.
And as long as nobody comes and people come, we'll tell them to send them away. You know, and we'll watch him. And he's, oh, he's doodling in the dirt. That's not a big deal. We've seen him do that before.
We're okay with that. But what he's what he's mixing it up with spit. Boy, that's not good. We need to keep our eye on this and make sure it doesn't do anything. He's what?
He's wiping it on the guy's eyes. Oh, I wish he wouldn't do that. Jesus, they're going to ask us about, no, no, you talk to him this time. It's not going to be me.
You go talk to him this time. Now you have to be honest. That's weird.
That's if you don't think that's weird, I want to pray for you after the service. All right. I read that passage. I go, wow. When the guy ran away, he didn't say, praise be the spit and mud.
That's some really potent mud. He walked away and he said, I was blind. I can see now.
That man was not able to see before. And God did an incredible thing with the disciples because they ended up to be these spiritual giants. But friend, they didn't start out that way.
They didn't start out that way. And it's interesting because we recognize that Jesus was teaching them right. It was also teaching them because they had all these weird misconceptions about who God was and who he was and what he was there to do. And I find it very interesting that not a lot has changed in 2000 years because when I came to the Lord, I probably had more I needed to unlearn than I needed to learn. I needed to learn that it was about God, not about me. It's not my abilities. It's his ability. And I understand that's probably a real challenge for some of you, but that's a challenge.
It's not for me. It's from the Lord. So Abraham is counted righteous and it's not because of his abilities, but because of God. And you know what's interesting talking about David and Abraham? Do you realize the New Testament never mentions the sin of Abraham, never mentions any sins of David.
Why? They're gone. They're forgotten. They're forgiven.
What a beautiful thing. Verse 23, now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him. It was not written for Abraham's sake. Why was it written? It was written for our sake so that we could see this so that we could understand it's not our ability.
It's his ability and look at this, but also for us. Verse 24, it shall be imputed to us who believe in him, who raised up Jesus, our Lord from the dead. Now you may be sitting here today and think, Oh yeah, I don't, I don't have a lot of faith.
Pastor David, I just don't ask a question. Do you believe that Jesus Christ died and was raised again? We believe in a literal resurrection here. We believe the Bible teaches a little resurrection. I believe that any church that doesn't believe in a literal resurrection should shut their doors. It's not a church anymore.
It's a social club. If you believe that you've got faith. As a matter of fact, you've got incredible faith to believe that Jesus who was dead came back to life. Friend, that's strong faith. What needs to happen is just fan that faith. Let the Holy Spirit blow that spark into a raging fire. Because if you believe Jesus was raised from the dead, you do have that Abraham kind of faith. God was raised from the dead.
Why? We're told what he's doing right now. Hebrews chapter seven, verse 25 says, therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. Saves to the uttermost.
What does that mean? It doesn't matter what you've done, the deepest, darkest thing you've ever done. It can be forgiven. It can be forgiven, saved to the uttermost. And he's making intercession for us.
What does that mean? We're at the throne of God pleading our case, giving us forgiveness. What's the enemy doing? We're told what the enemy's doing. Revelation chapter 12, verse 10 says, then I heard a voice from heaven saying in heaven, now salvation and strength in the kingdom of our God and the power of us Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren who accused them before our God day and night has been cast down.
So that's the future. He's going to be cast down. What's he doing right now? Standing there accusing us to God. He's done this and he's did that and he's done this and he's did that and he did that twice.
And he did that a lot and he did this a lot. And then we turn to Jesus and say, Jesus forgive me. And Jesus says, innocent, dismissed, lack of evidence. According to that verse, that's what Jesus is doing. Not just covering over our sins a little bit so if it doesn't rain too hard, we're okay.
No, casting our sins into the sea of forgetfulness and then sticking a sign up that says no fishing allowed. Don't go back there. Don't look for those things.
There's no solutions in those things. Let it go. Walk in the freedom and the forgiveness that God has given us. If you've lied, you can be forgiven. If you've cheated, you can be forgiven. If you've stolen, you can be forgiven. If you've committed adultery, you can be forgiven. If you've committed murder, you can be forgiven. And God doesn't forgive like us.
You know, when I forgive somebody, it's kind of hard to forget it, isn't it? God chooses to forget it. It's done.
It's over. If you'll come to him. Verse 25. It says, who was delivered up because of our offenses and was raised because of our justification.
Was delivered up for our offenses. What does that mean? That means Jesus died because of our sins. If you've ever said the Jewish people killed Jesus, that's a wrong statement. It's incorrect theologically.
As a matter of fact, physically it's incorrect. The Romans are the ones who actually crucified Jesus, but more to the point, wasn't the Romans, wasn't the Jewish people. It was our sins that put him on that cross. And it was his decision. It was his decision the whole time. If you've ever thought the crucifixion was some type of political conspiracy gone wrong, you're wrong. Jesus was in control the whole time. The leadership, the religious leaders who wanted to execute him said, let's not take him during the passover. The people will have a riot. They go to the upper room. Jesus, who's in charge of not only his own sacrifice, but he's in charge of the timetable, turns to Judas and says, that that you're going to do, meaning betray me, go and do it now.
Go do it quickly. And Judas runs off, starts the whole chain in motion. These guys aren't really ready. That's why they're in such a scramble for the false witnesses and they weren't sitting there ready to do it. And Jesus was in charge the whole time.
So if you think it's a political conspiracy, you're wrong. It was the plan of God created before time began for you and for me, because there's no other way. It's not your righteousness.
It's his. Well, how was Abraham saved? Well, Abraham, he was saved. He was saved through works. No, if you've ever thought that anybody in the Old Testament, the Hebrew scriptures are saved through works, but that's bad theology. That's wrong because the Bible tells us Romans chapter three, verse 20 says, therefore, by the deeds of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight for by the law is the knowledge of sin. It's not going to happen through the deeds of the law.
And Romans three 28 says, therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. So how was Abraham saved or forgiven? It wasn't through the deeds of the law. It was through sacrifices, through, you know, those offers.
No, it wasn't. Again, we're told no word of God. Hebrews chapter 10, verse four says, this is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. How was Abraham then saved? By faith and by faith alone. Same way you're saved. Same way that each one of us can be saved and forgiven. Not through works, not through offerings or sacrifices, but by grace and grace alone. 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. But 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 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.
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That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to crossthebridge.com. 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 crossthebridge.com. Thank you for listening and we hope you'll join us again next time as we continue to Cross the Bridge.
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