God has done everything needed for us to be at peace with Him. There's not one more step He needs to take in this negotiation of peace with Him. When you were weak, when you were ungodly, when you didn't care anything about Him, He did everything He needed to do for you to be at peace with Him.
There's one step remaining, and that step is yours. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. The amazing truth of the Gospel is that God has done everything needed for us to be at peace with Him. Find out how you can have this peace today as Pastor David continues in Romans 5 with his teaching, Peace.
Here's David Magee. We're going to open up with Romans chapter 5 verse 5, and it says, Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given us. Now, the Holy Spirit seems to be kind of popping up in a lot of teachings here lately. And let me first clarify, when we talk about the Holy Spirit, we're not talking about an it, we're talking about a Him. Whenever somebody starts talking about the Holy Spirit and they say, well, I got it, it makes me wonder what they got because the Holy Spirit is a Him.
It's a person. It's a member of the Trinity of God. Now, I understand when we start talking about the Holy Spirit, people start getting a little nervous. But here's what I can assure you, that everything that we're going to talk about, teach, do is in this book. If it's not in this book, we don't want to do it. Understand, we need to look at our doctrine of the Holy Spirit and we need to get our doctrine only from the Bible because all of us at this point have probably seen things that we were told were the Holy Spirit that had nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, if you're a guest here and maybe your first, second time here and now I'm up here talking about the Holy Spirit, you're probably going, oh, no, this is one of those churches. Well, we believe what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit. And the Bible indicates many things about the Holy Spirit and we want to adhere again to the theology of the Bible.
We don't want to try to torture the Bible to adhere to our personal view of theology. And the Bible indicates in a strong fashion, and I don't want to bore you with all the details. There's basically three Greek words that describe our relationship with the Holy Spirit.
One is para. That is P-A-R-A. That's when the Holy Spirit is walking alongside of us. Before you became a believer, the Holy Spirit was walking along beside of you, convicting you or convincing you of your sins.
Okay? Now, when you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and you were brought into the family of God, then the Holy Spirit was in you. The Greek word there is E-N, much like our word I-N. Then we believe there's a subsequent act of the Holy Spirit where you ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and then you're filled to what's called epi, E-P-I, or overflowing. Now, the Bible points this out. We see this in the life of the disciples. Jesus breathed on the disciples in John and they received the Holy Spirit.
It tells us that. Then we get to Acts chapter 1, verse 8, and they're told to wait in Jerusalem to wait for the power, to become witnesses. And then we see in Acts 2 what happens. Now, there's some people that say, well, God doesn't act like that anymore. And I say, okay, show me which chapter and verse you get that from. And I've discussed this with people, you know, masters and Ph.D. in theology. And they've not been able to convince me that God doesn't act like that anymore. As a matter of fact, the Bible says this power is still available to us today. Now, if you're sitting there going, why, you know, Pastor Damon, I've never heard that we're supposed to ask for God to fill us with the Holy Spirit or ask for the Holy Spirit. Is that just your personal opinion or is that actually in the Bible?
I'm glad you asked. It's actually in the Bible. Luke chapter 11, verse 13 says this.
If you then be an evil, know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? I want you to notice there's an exclamation point at the end of that verse. What that means in the Greek, which was the language the New Testament was written in, is that's like an imperative.
That's what you need to do this. You need to ask him to fill you with the Holy Spirit. And it's interesting because in this passage, Jesus is saying, look, if you ask your heavenly Father for a piece of bread, he's not going to give you a stone or a serpent or a snake. I've actually heard some people say, well, if you ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit, you'll get a demon.
And that's just nonsense to ask God for something and expect he's going to, you know, send a demon to torment you or something. And let's understand we talk about being filled with the Spirit. And here it says because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by what?
By the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Galatians 5 22 says this, but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control against such there is no law. These things are the fruit of the Spirit. You could argue since it says the fruit of the Spirit is love that love, the rest is just the list of love because it was plural and say the fruit of the Spirit are fruits of the Spirit are love and would give the list. So love is the predominant one. Certainly in Corinthians, it talks about that. We have all this, we have this power, we do this, but we don't have love.
We don't have anything, but look at that list. Love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Now, is there anybody in here that needs more of those things in your life? I know I do. And so if I ask the Lord to fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit, God fills me with his love.
He fills me with his power and all these things. So if you're wondering about that, we'd love to talk to you more about that at the end of the service. There'll be people up here would love to pray for you. And if you're new here, you know, all my goodness and the service area circus is going to break loose. People are going to fall over and start quivering and all kinds of running around the room like a chicken with a head cut off. No, they're not because I am not afraid to be a pastor.
Okay. And in first Corinthians 14 talks about that of all sorts of nonsense and craziness and non scriptural things start to happen. Then unbelievers are going to come in and think we're crazy.
I've been in those services, you know, and you can't really invite anybody to come to church with you when you're in the middle of one of those churches because they will think you're crazy and you can't really point to a verse and go, well, see right here, it says, and you shall run around the room like a chicken with his head cut off, screaming and fall on the floor, shaking. It doesn't say that. So we don't do that. We do believe since God says we should ask for the Holy Spirit, that we should ask for the Holy Spirit.
Chapter five, verses one through five. We're talking about trials a little bit. We've learned some things about that, but we also want to look at a couple of other things. Reason we have trials.
Okay. One of the things is a trial can keep us from sin. Second Corinthians 12 seven says this. Even though I've received wonderful revelations from God, but to keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from saying to torment me and to keep me from getting proud. So Paul says, you know, he's been given this revelation used incredibly by God and he says, you know, in order to avoid being prideful, this trial came upon my life.
And so that trial kept him from sin. And sometimes trials can keep us from sin. Also we learn things through trials that we couldn't learn any other way.
I wish sometimes there was a quick way of learning, but oftentimes we take the hard way, don't we? And, and God is, he puts us in a fix in order to fix us. And if we just are after fixing the fix and we don't understand God's trying to fix us, we're going to miss the point. Hebrews chapter five verse eight says though he was a son, speaking of Jesus, yet he learned obedience by the things, what you suffered. Another thing that it does is it tests our commitment to God and to other people. I'm going back a little bit because it talks in verse three, it's talking about tribulations and tribulations produces these things. You need to understand that trials are actually good for you.
I know they don't feel like they're good for you when you're in the middle of them, but they produce good results. And if you understand that you can understand there's a purpose behind them, testing our commitment, uh, revelation chapter two, verse 10 says this, don't be afraid of what you're about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you in the prison and put you to the test. You will be persecuted for 10 days, remain faithful, even when facing death.
And I will give you the crown of life. Several times in the Bible that God places somebody in the midst of a trial and he does it for their benefit and for their good and for their blessing. Probably one of them classic examples was the trial that Peter found himself in. And Jesus told him it was coming. Jesus told him Luke 22 said this, but the Lord said, Simon, Simon, indeed, Satan has asked for you that he may sift you as wheat, but I've prayed for you that your faith should not fail. And when you've returned to me, strengthen your brethren. I've done this before, but you place yourself in that position and imagine Jesus coming to you and saying, Hey, guess what? Satan's asked for you. He wants to sift you like wheat. Imagine hearing that from Jesus.
I know what my response would have been in the middle of the night. Well, you told him no, right? I mean, you said absolutely no sifting today for Peter.
Didn't know what you told him, but Jesus didn't tell him no. Jesus said, when this happens, pray for your faith that you stand strong. And we look at that.
None of us would want that sifting. But when you look at the life of Peter before that sifting, I see something in that Peter, that Peter had a lot of faith in Peter, but after that sifting, I see a man that's very different. I see a man that has a lot of faith in God. So he went through that trial in order to take his faith from being in himself to placing it in God. And that's another benefit of trials is that it can cause you to have less faith in yourself and more faith in God.
And if a trial can accomplish that in your life, then we need these things. The Bible talks about giving praise in all things, whether we understand them or not. First five verses we got faith, hope, and love.
It talks about the love of God has been poured out, poured out, not dripped out, not measured out, poured out. And yet sometimes it's like the love of God is coming upon us through others or something. And it's like we pull out an umbrella. I don't want to, you don't want to just love of God pouring out on me.
Put the umbrella down friend. You ever get to pet a dog and it starts snarling at you? I wonder how many snarling dogs we've gotten here. Cause every time God tries to touch you, you try to run away as quickly as you can. And yet God is so patient. God is so kind.
Somebody can snarl at Him their whole entire life. They reject God's love. They reject His offer for forgiveness. And God keeps pursuing. He keeps offering them His love and His forgiveness until their last moment, until their last dying breath.
And sad in that moment, sadly enough, some still don't receive. Thank you for listening to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. 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 Magee'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. Verse 6, For when we were still without strength in due time, Christ died for the ungodly. We were without strength. So do you have to be strong to come to God?
Well, evidently not. Actually, you need to recognize how weak you really are before you understand that you really need God in your life. You need His power. You need His forgiveness.
As long as you think you can earn it, then you're going to continue to try to do that. Christ died for the ungodly. Ungodly simply means, you know, not like God. Being godly means like God.
Let me ask you a friend, let me ask you a question. How many of us can actually claim that we're godly, that we're like God in all we do and all we say? And what's more is if somebody declares themselves in their own strength and their own power to be godly and Christ died for the ungodly, then you're making the statement that Jesus did not die for you.
Because you've got it all scoped out and you've got it figured out. Mark chapter 2, verse 17, when Jesus heard this, He told him, Healthy people don't need a doctor, sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough. See, if you think you're good enough to get into heaven, then you're missing the point. It's interesting, I often take people in a simple way to figure out where they are spiritually.
Two-question test. Are you going to heaven? Oh, yeah, yeah. Most people you ask this, though, yeah, I'm going to heaven. But then you say, well, why do you think you're going to heaven? That's where the conversation begins to get interesting.
Because people will give you a bunch of answers. They'll say, well, because I'm basically a good person, because I go to church, because I believe in God, and yet, friend, I understand. The Bible says none of those things will get you into heaven. Now, let's go through the list, because I go to church. Going to church is great. I'm all for going to church.
It's a good thing. It encourages you spiritually. It helps you learn the Bible. But that alone won't get you into heaven. I'm basically a good person. Well, the Bible says you're not. The Bible says all have fallen short of the glory of God, all have sinned. So you're not a good person. That thing about I believe in God, maybe I threw a couple of you on that. But the book of James says that even the demons believe in tremble. So just this belief, mental acquiescence into, yeah, you're God, and you're there, I'm sorry, does not allow you entrance into heaven.
And while you're thinking you can earn it, you're going to continue to try to earn it. It was interesting, Friday night, God sent out an email to all the righteous people telling them exactly what to do this Sunday. Oh, you didn't get one? Right. See, none of us are righteous. None of us are righteous. We're all sinners that are weak in and of our own strength.
Second Corinthians five 21 says where God made Christ who never sinned to be the offering for our sin so that we could be made right with God through Christ. Jesus never said he never messed up. He did not know sin until he knew ours when ours was dumped on him at the cross.
I don't even think we can get a sense of what that was like. Here's Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life. And then everything that he ever did, everything that we ever did dumped on him in a moment. God's nature will not allow sin in his presence. It's not a decision. He's a holy God.
It simply won't stay in his presence. It's two natures. God nature is holy. Sin is bad. It's evil.
It's corrupt. And think of it like this. If you, if you're, if you have a fireplace and there's a fire in it burning and there's a dry leaf in there, the fire doesn't make the decision to consume the leaf.
It's because of the properties of the two parties. Simply the leaf is consumed. God cannot abide sin in his presence. He either consumes it or he turns from it. In that moment on upon the cross, Jesus knew something he had never known before. A separation from his father. Because as the sins of the world were placed on his son, he had to turn away. And it was the first time Jesus had ever sensed this. And he said, father, why have you forsaken me?
Many times in the gospels, Jesus referred to God as God, but in that moment he referred to him as father. Why did he do that? He died for us.
I heard a story that kind of describes the transaction, if you will. There was a man who operated a bridge that went over a river and a canyon. And one day his son went with him to work, seven-year-old son and his son was playing with him and he got busy and then he heard a whistle as the train began approaching and he looked around to see where his son was and he saw that his son was playing in the gears of the bridge. And he looked at the train that was quickly approaching. And he knew he had to engage the gear. Because if he didn't, if his son lived, all these people on the train were going to die. So painfully he engaged the gear and he allowed his son to die so that others could live. And as the train went by, people smiled and people waved, unknowing of the sacrifice that had just been made. It's a great story in describing the gospel, but really the gospel even goes one step further.
Because imagine if the little boy was aware of everything that was going on and looked to his dad and said, dad, I know what has to happen. Engage the gear. I'll give you my life. That's what happened, friend. And while you were doing great, going to church, studying your Bible, no, that's not what it says.
When you were weak, when you were ungodly. The life lesson here, God has done everything needed for us to be at peace with him. God has done everything needed for us to be at peace with him.
There's not one more step he needs to take in this negotiation of peace with him. This is one of the things that makes Christianity distinctively different. There's several things that make Christianity distinctively different from all other world religions. And I enjoy looking at world religions and understanding a little bit about them. It's a hobby.
I don't spend a lot of time because I'd rather study the real thing than study the counterfeit. But it's interesting because most other world religions are like, well, you got to do this and you got to do that. And then when, once you do this and that, and then God will respond to you, you have to do this. You have to, you know, you have to kill yourself or kill others and then you'll get paradise and the, you know, whatever. So, but in Christianity, God is the initiator. When you were weak, when you were ungodly, when you didn't care anything about him, he did everything he needed to do for you to be at peace with him.
There's one step remaining and that step is yours. It's interesting. Jesus tells us he came for the sick people or another way. Another word he uses is Luke, 1910. He says for the son of man has come to seek and to say that which was lost, that which was lost. We use that word. Sometimes we, I jokingly refer to that.
We, we begin to speak our own language. Once you go to church long enough, I call it Christian ease, but this word loss, we use sometimes lost center, lost world, that sort of thing. But, but really Jesus said that which was lost, he didn't say that what was mean, that which was spiteful, evil, ugly, stupid, lost, lost friend. There's people in this world that are lost. What we use the phrase, what does lost mean? Lost as being unable or not knowing how to find the way home. Lost as being unable or not knowing how to find the way home. Friend, may I suggest that you remember this next time you're talking to somebody that doesn't yet know Jesus, but they're lost. They're either unable or they don't know how to find their way home.
And may God grant you compassion in that moment, the way that God had compassion upon you before you knew him. You know, there's one thing about being lost to just, it just, it's a feeling of being vulnerable in it when you don't know where you are and you feel so helpless and, and you know, and, and then at least half the population won't stop for directions, right guys. I mean, there's just something about us.
We don't want to stop. I don't need to stop for directions. I know where I am. I've meant to go around in circles seven times. I'm something spiritual you wouldn't understand, and you just praise God for GPS. I feel a little less vulnerable, but you got to be careful with GPS. I was down in Florida, pastor's conference, you know, and there's this intercoastal waterway down there and, and, and I was trying to find a way to a restaurant and, and so, you know, went on the beach side and then came around and I was sitting there, you know, it's big intercoastal waterway, had the car sitting there right at the edge of the intercoastal waterway and the GPS goes, drive forward 200 feet. It's trying to kill me, man.
It's good. It's like how or something in 2001, you know, let me ask you a question too. If you're out on the street corner working, whatever, and somebody comes up to you and says, you know what, I don't, I don't know. I don't know how to get where I'm going.
I'm trying to find this one location. Can, is there any way you can help me? What do you say in that moment? Do you know you're going to hell? No, you'd say, Hey, well, here's how, here's how you, you find your way as followers of Jesus and say, Hey, this is the way you need to go. God has made it so simple and so plain and he's offered it to us. And if you've accepted that, you get to tell other people in verse seven for scarcely for a righteous man will one die yet perhaps for a good man, someone would even dare to die.
This is an amazing part of it. I know sometimes we're like, well, God saw that innate spark of human goodness in me and decided to save me. No, he just loves you. He doesn't need anything from you.
He's got, he's self-contained self-sufficient if you will, and yet he still loves you. So this isn't a matter of Jesus dying for some good people, not for a righteous person, not for a good person, but for an ungodly person. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Now God wants you to pray this prayer so much that he died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask him to forgive you. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven and I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life and I've done wrong things. I have sinned and I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.
Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. Jesus said he would not turn anybody away who comes to him 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 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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