It's almost like we got two signs on us, if you will. The back one on our backs is sin, and that's the one the enemy sees. The enemy sees our sin. When God looks at us, once we've asked Jesus to forgive us of our sins, we've been born again, God sees his son. Sin? Son.
Which do you see when you look at people? Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. You know, the Bible tells us that Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Now fortunately, because of Christ, we've been forgiven, and those are no longer held against us. Find out the incredible joy that comes with knowing this fact, and the life that we can live because of it. Stay tuned as David McGee continues in Romans 8 with We Are Chosen.
Here's David McGee. Verse 33. Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? Now, whenever Paul asks a question, Paul's incredible, incredible Bible teacher.
Obviously, this is the Word of God. He's being anointed and empowered to give us. Who shall bring a charge against God's elect?
You ask yourself that question. And the reality is sometimes, you know, who shall bring a charge against God's elect? And some people go, oh, me, me, me, I will, I will, I will, I will.
Man, I want to do this. I want to, I want to be, I want to accuse everybody of all sorts of stuff. I want to be a fault-finding, sin-sniffing Christian.
Plenty of those in the world in there. Let's understand something. There's a title given the enemy of our souls, the devil, the accuser of the brethren. The accuser of the brethren. Now understand, this is saying God can't accuse you. If you've come to Jesus, you are wrapped in his robe of righteousness. So as you come before him in the robe of righteousness, God's not going to look at you and go accuse you.
Why? Because you're wrapped in his son. God can't pardon your sins and forgive your sins and at the same time accuse you of your sins. God will convict you of your sins.
Please understand the difference. Conviction is when you are led to be sorry for your sins. Accusing is more of a condemnation. So the enemy accuses us. God forgives us.
Let me ask you a question. Who are you more like? Are you more forgiving like God? Are you more accusing like the enemy? You know, when you first become a Christian, or at least this was true for me, you know, I thought it was my ministry to find out what was wrong with people.
I did. You know, so God so loved the world, he gave us one begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world. I read that and I thought I found my ministry. There's a loophole in his plan. God didn't send his son in the world to condemn the world.
I'll do it for him. I've got the ministry of condemnation. Hallelujah.
There's not a ministry of condemnation and accusing somebody aligns us more with our enemy than with God. That's something we have to grow into. I didn't understand that as a young Christian. I just I was always looking around to see what was wrong with everybody else. And you know what I discovered? You don't have to look very long and very hard to figure out what's wrong with somebody.
That's not a gift from God. I figured out what's wrong with the world today. Well that took, what did that take?
Like 90 seconds on the evening news? No, no, I really understand what's wrong with my neighbor and my spouse and my children. I've got the gift of discourment. Loving people, loving God, forgiving people makes us more like Jesus. It's almost like we got two signs on us, if you will. The back one on our back says sin, and that's the one the enemy sees. The enemy sees our sin. When God looks at us, once we've asked Jesus to forgive us of our sins, we've been born again, God sees his son. Sin?
Son. Which do you see when you look at people? Do you see the Jesus in them? See, whenever you discover somebody's messed up, or they've got this, or that, or they're struggling with it, there's not a moment, hopefully, unless you're really twisted and sick.
There's not, oh, I found a sin in them. But friend, when you see Jesus in somebody, that's such an awesome moment. Even that song we sang this morning, everywhere I look, I see your face. You know, every time we sing, I'll let you in on a little personal secret. Every time we sing that, I look around here. As I sing, everywhere I look, I see your face. Because I see Jesus in your faces. As you're out there, you're smiling, you're worshiping God, and I see Jesus in you. And that's such an awesome thing to see in the lives of other believers.
It sometimes takes a little looking, but it's worth the effort. Look at verse 34. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and forevermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who is he who condemns? Jesus has the authority, has the right to condemn us.
And if we reject his offer of forgiveness and reject his offer of salvation, he will do that one day. He'll say, depart from me. Not, not, you didn't do good enough. You didn't do well enough.
He'll say, depart from me. I didn't know you. You rejected my offer of forgiveness.
You rejected a relationship with me. Sometimes we think, well, we think of God like Santa Claus. God is not Santa. If you're taking notes, you may want to jot that one down. But here's what I mean by that. He's making a list and checking it twice. He's going to find out who's naughty and nice. That God is up there. He's like taking attendance. You miss church. Ain't tiling.
And you're getting a thing of coal. God's not like that, but how often we kind of appropriate that same, we think of God in the same terms that we think of Santa, that he's up there keeping a list and checking it twice. And every time we go before him, he's remembering the list.
It's not what the Bible says. The Bible says he takes our sins. And as far as the East is to the West, the North has a pole that ends.
The South has a pole that ends East and West gone forever. And he separates us from our iniquities. He remembers them no more. He's the very one that can condemn us. And he's the very one that is willing to forgive us. John chapter eight, speaking of the forgiven woman, not the adulterous woman. That's what she did before.
Don't refer to as adulterous woman. She's a forgiven one. John eight, seven says this. So when they continued asking him, he raised himself up and said to them, he who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first. They had thrown her for committing an act of adultery into their presence. And apparently she was committing adultery by herself because the man was not there. And they were trying to trap Jesus.
And Jesus says, Hey, he, any of you is without sin. Why don't you throw the first rock? It's interesting. It says the older people walked away quicker.
Why is that? Because they knew the younger ones, maybe for a couple of seconds were like, friend, there was one person on that day who could have thrown a stone. And that was Jesus. And he decided not to.
There's one person that can condemn you. He wants to forgive you. He wants to declare you innocent.
He wants to see you set free from all that would hold you down and hold you back. Now, the amazing thing is God says, okay, I can either condemn your sin and condemn you with it, or I can forgive your sin and forgive you with it. And then he looks to us and says, which will you choose? Will you choose to defend yourself? Will you choose to defend your sin, explain it, justify it?
Or will you choose to ask me to forgive you? This thing he says, who also makes intercession for us. Man, Jesus is praying for you.
That's what intercession means. Jesus is standing in the gap. Jesus is praying for you. John 1720, he speaks and he says, I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word. And we explain what that verse is talking about. This is really the Lord's prayer in John 17 is Jesus, his heart. You see him praying for the people, but he says, you know, he's not just praying for the disciples, but those who will believe in Jesus through the word of the disciples. Who's he talking about?
He's talking about us. He's saying, I also pray for you who believe in me through the word. Jesus told Peter, he was praying for him. Luke 22 31, verse 31 32. And 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 have returned to me, strengthen your brother, prayed for you that your face should not fail. And then look at, and when you have returned, strengthen your brother, Jesus knew he was going to have a serious crisis of faith.
Jesus said, I'm going to be praying for you. Later on, when an angel was revealing the resurrection of Jesus, the end of the gospel of Mark, the angel said, go tell the disciples and Peter that he's risen. Peter's the only one named. Why is that Peter?
Peter was beat up. Peter denied Jesus three times. And then in his moment of failure, we're told in one passage that Jesus looked right at him. And friend, if you've ever seen Jesus look at you like that, not physically, but spiritually in your moment of failure, it's a hard thing, but go tell the disciples and Peter, friend, just the way that Jesus dealt with Peter should change the way we think about God. Because I want you to think that through. Jesus kept Peter around the night Jesus was betrayed. Peter denied him. I think most of us in here can in some form or fashion identify with that because we've denied the Lord either through something we've said, something we haven't said, something we've done or something that we haven't done.
And a lot of us think, well, this is it. God's going to kick me to the curb. Maybe you've been in a relationship, maybe in a marriage where things went wrong and you think God's going to abandon you.
No, no, God is not like people. When he says, I love you, I'm going to always be with you. He means he loves you and he's always going to be with you. Jeremiah 2911 says, for I know the thoughts that I think towards you. So the Lord thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope.
Interceding. It's an interesting thing when you look at the model of the tabernacle and when we were looking at it, we went through it and looked at each object and what it meant. But you know, when you think of the tabernacle, there's actually something, if you will, for a place of worship, there's something that's missing.
What is it? It's the thing you're sitting on. There's no chairs in the tabernacle. There's not a place to sit in the tabernacle. You know why? Because the priest's work was never done. He was always having to sacrifice. He was always having to make offerings.
It was an endless thing. And that was just for a covering. Hebrew word kofar for your sins.
Not really a cleansing, a washing away or forgiveness of your sins. But we're told when Jesus was dying on the cross, he said, what? It is finished. To tell us die in the Greek. Paid in full. And then what did he do?
He sat down at the right hand of the Father. It's done. It's finished. You know, each day comes with its share of stresses. So what better way to wake up than with an encouraging word from the Lord? Log on to CrossTheBridge.com and sign up now for David McGee's email devotionals. Each devotion includes scripture and a message from the heart of David McGee.
It's easy and it's free. Simply go online and click on email devotional to begin receiving biblical insight in your inbox. Sign up today at CrossTheBridge.com. Friend, do you have a heart for the lost? I invite you to send us the first names of your lost loved ones and we will have hundreds of people praying for them. Just go to CrossTheBridge.com and click on the prayer button and you'll enter their name. And if you put your name and email address in there, I'll send you free resources to equip you to pray and teach you how to reach your lost loved ones. Please don't wait.
This is so important. So please, again, go to CrossTheBridge.com and click on the prayer button and send us the first names of lost loved ones. We'll send you some free information and together we can partner to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole world, the whole book for the whole world. Now let's return to our study. Verse 35, who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? What can separate us?
Not these things. God's already told us in verse 28 that the bad things that can happen in life can be used for our good. They'll end up working for us, not against us. That they'll strengthen you. And that all heaven and the Holy Spirit is offering you His power to be a victor.
Not a victim, to be a victor. And look at verse 36, as it is written, for your sake we are killed all day long, we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. The Bible talks about us being sheep. And you know when you when you first hear that you go, oh that's that's in that cute sheep or so, they're just so lovable, so fluffy. What you think that's a warm fuzzy till you meet a sheep and you get to know a sheep. They're really difficult animals.
They're not, was my granddaddy would say, they're not the sharpest tool in the shit. They need somebody to lead them to where to eat, to where to drink, because they will starve to death. They will stay in a place where the grass has been eaten down and they will starve to death unless the shepherd leads them to where to green pastures. Sheep will walk the fence line in order to try to get out to expose themselves to their enemies and harm. Can I be a Christian and where's the hole in the fence? If a sheep goes into a place where there's moving water, the wool can absorb so much of the water that the sheep will literally drown.
He leads me beside the still waters. I guess the bad news is we're sheep. The good news is we got a great shepherd.
We got a shepherd who wants to look after us, who will lead us, who will comfort us, who will walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death. And these difficulties in life, we're already told that we can grow through them. Life lesson here, bumps are what you climb on. Bumps are what you climb on. If you're going up a hill, if you're going up a mountain, the bump is the very thing you grab a hold to go higher.
That's the way life is, friend. When you hit these bumps, there is an opportunity for your faith to grow. There's an opportunity for you to be more like Jesus than you were before. We talked last week, you pray about patience, you pray about love. God's going to give you an opportunity to be patient.
He's going to give you an opportunity to have love for people. When we have a problem as a person and we work through it, we grow. When we have a problem as a church and we work through it, we grow. When you have a problem at work and you work through it, you grow.
That's what happens. Hold on. Don't just turn and run and definitely don't turn back. Heaven is before you. I don't care what's behind me.
Looking forward to the high calling. What was that? There's an old movie.
A gumball rally or something. I don't remember what all is in the movie. I'm not endorsing the movie, but there was a moment in the thing.
I think it's great for Christians. They're driving and the one race car driver takes his rear view mirror and tears it down and throws it away and says, what's behind me is not important. What's behind you is not important. It's what's in front of you. What's in front of you. Heaven, Jesus, God.
Press towards the high mark. Glory, God and heaven await. Verse 37 says, yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Wow. More than conquerors. That's what, you know, and I was thinking that verse 36 says we're sheep for the slaughter and verse 37 says we're more than conquerors. Which is it? It's both.
It's both. We mean sheep to slaughter more than a conqueror. The lamb who was slain is now the lion who reigns. And as we follow the lion, as we follow our shepherd, we are more than conquerors. Now what's a conqueror? Somebody goes into battle and wins, right? So how can we be more than a conqueror? Because we don't go into battle to win. We go into battle having already won. Jesus has won the ultimate battle and when we affiliate, associate, become his friend, follow him, name him as my Savior, ask him to forgive me of my sins.
Guess what? We've already won. Oh, now we may have some skirmishes and some close calls and we may have some battles and inflict some pain, some wounds and scars, but you know what?
We're going to win. We are more than conquerors. Jesus will never leave us. He loves us. He gives us that resurrection power to live a new life. What does your sin want to do?
Kill you, rip you off, to steal, to kill, and to destroy. I wonder why we cling to it when we should be clinging to Jesus. Verse 38 and 39. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Man, soft pillow for a tired heart right there, isn't it, friend? And I want you to think about something too. Who's writing this? Paul is. Let me ask you a question.
Did Paul read a book about tribulation or persecution or principalities or anything? He lived it. This is a man that went through more hardships than probably you and I will ever endure.
And he says, you know what? All this doesn't matter. It can't separate me. Death can't beat me.
Life can't beat me. The past, the present, the future, no distance is going to separate me from my God. What an incredible chapter. It starts out saying there's no condemnation. Now it finishes up saying there's no separation. And in the end, it says everything's going to work together for our benefit.
Christian, it is such a depressing religion. You know what? I've read the paper about every day this week. I've watched news about every day this week.
I've not read anything that comes close to what I've just read in here. This isn't the news. This is the good news. You know, it's like a high holy moment. You read verses like this. I mean, this is one of those moments where I'm like, what do I say? I mean, it happens occasionally, not very often, but occasionally I'm left speechless at verses and go, man, this is it.
It's going to be okay. We've been set free. We follow him. He gave us Jesus. He loves us. Friend, why would you not choose Jesus? Why would you not choose God? Your sin, your past, your present struggles want to hurt you, want to destroy you, want to kill you, want to tie you up, put you down. God in this chapter has said that he loves you. He wants to bless you, but he leaves a choice to us.
He lays it out. Nobody can get to the end of this. Nobody in this room right now can get to the end of life and say, I had no idea.
I didn't know. No, you do. If you didn't, when you came in here, you do now. That Jesus wants to forgive you of your sins. You cannot forgive yourself. It's not enough for just other people to forgive you. God alone can forgive you of your sins. You have messed up.
Everybody's messed up. All have fallen short of the glory of God. All have sinned. There's none righteous, no, not one.
And Jesus says, I want to forgive you. God offers you blessings, love, restoration, joy, forgiveness, hope, peace, meaning, purpose, all these things. What does sin offer you? What does the world have to offer you?
Much, much less. Yes. Which will you choose? Jesus says, I'll give you my life. I'll give you forgiveness.
That's why he came. You've heard about the goodness of God. You've heard about the love of God. You've heard about the forgiveness of God. How could you hear about that and turn away? 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. So congratulations, friend.
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