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Romans Chapter 10:1-3

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
December 18, 2022 12:00 am

Romans Chapter 10:1-3

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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December 18, 2022 12:00 am

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If you've not loved your neighbor as yourself, which we're told about in the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the New Testament, you are guilty of breaking all the Ten Commandments. And yet we can say, well, God, I'm going to come to you based upon my own righteousness.

Friend, if that's your plan, you're in trouble. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. In the book of James, it says that if we break the law in one place, we've broken it in every place. So what are we supposed to do?

What is the answer to our dilemma? Find out more today as Pastor David continues in Romans 10 with his teaching, His Righteousness, Not Ours. Here's David Magee. Turn with me to Romans chapter 10. Romans 9 was kind of dealing with Israel's past. Chapter 10 is dealing with Israel's present. And chapter 11 is going to be dealing with Israel's future.

It's an interesting chapter. Romans chapter 10 verse 1 reads, Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. That's a powerful statement because let's remember that Paul at this point had been beaten by his Jewish brothers. He had been thrown in jail. He'd been persecuted, prosecuted. And yet he says here that his heart's desire is that they may be saved. That's awesome.

It's interesting. He paints the picture in Romans 9, 10, and 11 that he really has a heart for Israel. And yet it ends up his main ministry was not really to Israel, was it? I mean, he reached out. He went to the synagogue because he shared. But what God blew open the doors for was him reaching the Gentile world in Athens and Corinth and all these places that were not Jewish. And it's interesting because I think Paul's heart would have, you know, I want to do this.

And God said, well, that's great. You want to do this. And that's a good godly desire, but I'm going to use you to do something else to reach the Gentiles. We need to understand a lot of times we have good godly desires. Maybe we want to do this and maybe we want to do that. But those things need to be brought before the Lord and say, Lord, what do you want me to do? And almost as importantly, when do you want me to do it? Because there's that issue of time and be open. God may say, well, no, no, I don't want you to do this. This is what I have you to do.

Now he says it is his heart's desire. Do you have a desire for people that don't know Jesus? Do you have a desire for Israeli people that they would come to the Lord? People in general, does it matter to you if people are dying every moment of every day without knowing God? Let me ask you a question. Was Jesus passionate about lost and hurting people?

Well, absolutely no doubt about it. So if you're following Jesus, friend, guess what should be beginning to occur in your life? You should become passionate about lost and hurting people.

When you see here, heart's desire and prayer. Do you pray for people that don't know Jesus? I mean, not just in general, God saved the lost, amen. No, I mean, are there people in your life that you're praying for? Do you have names written down that you're constantly bringing before the Lord asking God to save them?

You know what? Let's just take a couple of minutes. If you've got a pen, piece of paper, you can even write in your Bible. Everybody realize you can write in your Bible. It's okay.

All right. Write down some names even right now of some people that don't know Jesus that aren't in church and maybe right now, man, they were out partying. Maybe they're in jail and prison, doesn't matter. Jot down some names even right now, a couple of names and begin to pray for them on a daily basis that they'll come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. See, if we're following Jesus, we need to be passionate about the lost and we're passionate about the lost.

It can't just be this old general feeling of oh, I hope God does something. No, go before the throne of his glory and grace and call them out by name and watch what the Lord does. A life lesson here, we should desire that others follow Jesus and find love and forgiveness. We should desire that others follow Jesus and find love and forgiveness. Part of what Paul's dealing with here is the fact that there's this thing of well, well, these people, these people of Israel, a lot of them were very religious and people were going, okay, well, they're very religious, but they're not saved. I don't understand.

I think let's make a present day application. There's a lot of people in the world today that are very religious, but they're still rejecting the grace and the mercy of Jesus Christ. Many people who attend church, you need to understand this, many people who attend church are not going to heaven. There's that moment in time that Jesus tells a story about when people come in and he's saying, no, no, you're not going into heaven.

And then they run through this list of things they have done. Well, we've done this and we've done that and we've cast out demons and we've proclaimed your name and we've done this. And Jesus says, no, no, no, no, no.

You never knew me. Pretty incredible to think about, isn't it? That there's people that maybe have been in church for years, but they are not asking Jesus to forgive them of their sins simply based on grace.

They're still trying to earn it. And what a miserable way to live a life, not understanding the grace and the mercy of God, of this religious thing of rejecting Jesus. And I've had the experience of trying to talk to people about the Lord and some of them say, no, no, I'm good. I'm okay. I go to church. I said, well, pardon me. I didn't ask if you went to church yet.

I was getting to that, but because that's not really the question, is it? It's do you know Jesus as your personal savior? Now, how do you know about Jesus? Because they were religious.

Guess what? They didn't think they needed Satan. That may describe some people here. Certainly describes people in churches all across the triad and all across the world today. Verse two says, for I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. And one thing I want to point out is these next four verses, F-O-U-R, start out with the word for, F-O-R. So let's understand that Paul is building a statement or proclamation and that's important because a lot of times what Bible teachers will do is they'll grab a verse and they'll kind of twist it out of its context and we'll say, well, this is what that means.

Be very careful. And that's one of the protections as we go verse by verse chapter by chapter is you're always going to get the passage that we're teaching in in its proper context. As a matter of fact, if you're a student of the Bible, there's this saying of making sure you've got 20-20. And what that is is reading 20 verses before the verse and 20 verses after the verse to make sure that you're not tearing it out of its context.

And so Paul's building this argument here or this discussion here. He says, I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God and not according to knowledge. Zeal is a good thing. We use the word zealous like it's a bad word.

There's zealous this and it's the zeal it's that. Understand, another translation for zeal or zealous is passionate. Passionate. Now do you want somebody that says they're a follower of Jesus to have passion about following Jesus?

I absolutely do. I would describe myself not as zealous because we're all really kind of afraid of that word, aren't we? But passionate. Passionate about my relationship with the Lord. You, friend, should be passionate about your relationship with the Lord.

But it says, you know, got passion, which is good, but I don't have knowledge. And obviously Paul had some personal experience in this because he was persecuting those who had accepted Jesus as the Messiah in a zealous fashion. And he did not have a knowledge of what? Now, certainly you could say knowledge of the Bible, knowledge of scripture, knowledge of prophecy. And that's important, especially in this day and age where we're probably in the most scripturally illiterate generation of Christians that we've ever had. Why do you believe this?

I don't know. He just told me to believe it. And that leads to all kinds of trouble. So we need to know the Bible. And I'm going to encourage you guys to stay in the Bible. We teach the Bible.

Here we talk about it. But is that what he's talking about, not according to knowledge? It's going back, I believe, to a knowledge of Jesus.

Is this a head knowledge, an academic knowledge? Is God, is Jesus looking for this academic acquiescence of, oh, yes, yeah, I believe you're the Son of God. Yeah, I believe you're the Messiah. Or is he looking for something more personal and heartfelt?

I believe he's looking for something personal and heartfelt. Say again, the difference, and I love what Spurgeon said, the difference between knowing God and knowing about God in your head and knowing God personally in your heart, while it's only 18 inches, it is the difference between heaven and hell. There's a lot of people in this world that know about Jesus, but are they really following Jesus and do they know him personally?

Well, you have to say no to that one. So knowledge helps with zeal. And it's interesting because you get young believers and they get saved and it's awesome because they're really zealous and passionate and that's cool, but you really, you got to sit down and teach them the Bible or, you know, a young brother here, you know, got saved and was following the Lord on fire telling people. But he shared with me the story and I had to help him because he, you know, he saw a lady that was hitchhiking on the highway late one night and he stopped to pick her up and we wanted to get her. Anyway, so he gets this lady in the car and he's thinking, okay, okay, I'm going to tell her about Jesus and go witness to her. I got to, you know, talk to her about, you know, eternal life and stuff. And he turns to her and this is his opening line. He turns to her and said, what if I wrecked this car right now, what would happen to you?

People's eyes got real big and she said, I'd jump out. So that may have been zealous without knowledge, you know, cause that was not a, you know, a good opening salvo when he's the one driving down the highway. So knowledge and zeal, zeal and knowledge. See, because what had happened to, and let's understand this is they had started adding, the Jewish people had started to add traditions to their times of worship, traditions to their times of fellowship.

I think we honestly need to recognize we do the same thing. And pretty soon the traditions were on a par with what God had spoken in his word, which leads to all kinds of trouble. Are you struggling to live a godly life? Do you continue to feel defeated by anger, depression and lust? Well now it's time to unlock God's power in your life with the key to a fruitful life. In his latest teaching series, Abiding in Christ, Pastor David McGee explains the key truth to our victorious life in Christ.

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That's 877-458-5508. Or visit us online at 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 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 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. When we talk about the law and I'll sometimes use phrases, I'll say Levitical law. What I mean by that is that's what God said. God spoke in the Scriptures and that was something He said to do. And then there's rabbinical law, which is stuff they added and said, well this and well that. And it got into all sorts of silliness, especially about the Sabbath, the Shabbat. On the Shabbat, which is Saturday, you know, sundown Friday to sundown on Saturday, you have to be careful, I learned this the hard way, which elevator you get in. Because they have what's called Shabbat elevators. And because their interpretation is that you can't do any work and if you were to push an elevator button, that would be work.

Then the Shabbat elevator, and this is really important if you're in a high-rise hotel, stops at every floor and opens the door whether anybody's in the elevator or not. Now we look at that and we go, well that's kind of silly, isn't it? Oh and they did things like, well you can only travel so far, about 1500 feet, that was a Sabbath day journey, you see that phrase. And once you went past that, you were working and you were in sin. As a matter of fact, there was a debate about whether putting your dentures in, you know, was work because you were carrying your dentures.

It got into all sorts of silliness. If you had a kerchief in your pocket, that was bad because you were carrying your kerchief. But if you pinned it to your clothes, then you were okay.

As a matter of fact, if you had a rope, then you could tie this rope at 1500 feet and you could walk further than that rope because actually you were still tied to the house and you weren't in sin. Now we look at that and go, well that's just crazy. Well, you know, I'd agree with you.

Probably is a case of a lot of heat without light, but have we done the same thing? Oh, absolutely. I mean, there are different traditions. And while we sit there and smile and go, oh, silly Jewish people. If we start to look at our own traditions of how we do things and when we do things, our midweek is on Thursday. We've had people that called and said, why is your midweek on Thursday?

Being suspicious. Everybody knows midweek at church is on Wednesday. Something's wrong with you folks.

Well, we know something's wrong with us, but we have church on Thursday. You know, the, the whole dress thing. You've got to meet a certain profile and you've got to have a suit and a tie on. I've got, I like suit and ties.

I've got nothing against them. Some people here wear suit and ties. I think that's awesome. But to think everybody has to wear a suit and a tie to come to God is ridiculous. I've seen, you know, I've seen people come in with t-shirt and shorts and flip flops and I didn't look at them and think, you really should have a suit on. Of course, I guess that'd be fairly hypocritical of me and that doesn't stop me sometimes. But, but you know, I look at him and I'll say, oh man, I'm so glad that guy's here.

That's the heart of God. Oh, I'm so glad that person's here. No, I can't believe he's in here with flip flops.

No, January I might look at somebody and go, can't believe he's in here with flip flops. But that's a whole different, that's a whole different thing. So we bring our traditions in and then often you realize that we're willing to argue over our traditions and put them on a par with the word of God, which is ridiculous. Time and time again, when we started this church, I kept saying, you know what?

If we see it in the Bible, we want to do it. If it's not in there, let's don't do it. Let's not start inventing stuff and doing this and doing that.

Cause that book, there's plenty to do in that book. We don't have to start inventing stuff to do, do we? And we've tried to stick to that. And because a lot of times what happens is we get into these traditions and we're willing to argue about them. And then we, we, when we're talking to somebody, we're all about winning the argument and sometimes you can win the argument and lose the soul. Sometimes friend, you may need to lose the argument to win the soul. I'll tell you when I used to, when somebody would say early on and I would be sharing my faith and somebody would say, well, you know, the church is, the church historically is really messed up. And I would start explaining how it really wasn't that messed up.

And now I started studying and reading. And that when somebody says the church is really messed up, I agree with them. It is, it's really messed up isn't it? Bunch of people acting like they need a savior.

That's what that is. That doesn't negate that we need a savior. That affirms that even the people who are saying they follow Jesus still need grace and mercy. So I agree with churches messed up. Absolutely it is. But that's not really the discussion. That's not the question is it?

It's what are you doing with the information I'm giving you now? The fact that we all need Jesus as our Messiah. I think sometimes we forget too that this issue of forgiveness, talking about being religious, this issue of forgiveness, do you understand being forgiven is not a one-time event? Now come into him that first time at that experience that Jesus describes as born again. And I believe there's something that eternally changes at that moment. But friend, if you come to Jesus and say, Jesus forgive me. You think, okay, I'm good. I'm done. Got my get out of hell free card.

And I'm on coast for the rest of my life. There's a problem. Why? Because we have to come to him every day.

I do. And ask him to forgive me. Now, as I've grown in the Lord, you know, the items, they, I don't know, they've gone, they, it's really gone deeper, I guess, because at first I was all of, you know, well, God changed my behavior and God said, okay, change your behavior a little bit.

Now I'm after your heart. And I want to change your attitude towards people and teach you how to love people, which is a far deeper word. Verse three, for they being ignorant of God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own righteousness have not submitted to the righteousness of God. Now, at first glance, we go, well, the ignorant of God's righteous, but friend, think, think through this. Were they ignorant of God's righteousness in the sense that they didn't know about God? No, they knew about God. Were they ignorant of his righteousness in the sense that they didn't understand God?

No, no, no. They understood God. Well, how were they ignorant of his righteousness? They were ignorant of the righteousness in the way that God was seeking to establish our righteousness. See, friend, it's not up to us to devise a way, a better way, a different way that we can be forgiven.

That way he's already been told to us in the Bible that through the cross, through the death of Jesus, his atoning death on the cross, we can be forgiven if we believe that and ask him and tell him we're sorry. But people keep trying to discover a better way. Well, I think you can go multiple ways and, well, I think this way and I think, you know, and people always lead to God. Oh, you know what?

I believe that. Always do lead to God. But what happens when you get there is a different story, isn't it? Everybody's going to meet Jesus. You will meet Jesus, friend.

The only question is when. And if your first meeting is after you take your last breath here, it's not going to be good. But after you take your last breath here, if it's a reunion, awesome. Now, when we look at this, we imagine, if you will, that you're, the doctor comes in, you're having problems, you go into the doctor and the doctor comes in, well, got some bad news.

What is it? Well, you're actually ill with a terminal disease and it's going to end up taking your life from you. And you say, well, doctor, is there any hope? Is there any good news?

And he goes, yes, there is. We actually have a cure that will cure you totally and completely instantly. At that moment, would you look at the doctor and go, wait, you only got one?

It's kind of narrow-minded, isn't it? Don't you have some other ways? You wouldn't say that unless you were having problems with your brain. You'd say, I am so glad that there's a way I can be cured instantly. Well, that's the way we should approach salvation. I don't sit here and go, well, there's only one way, God, that we can be forgiven.

No, no, no. Thank you, God, that there's a way that I can be forgiven that's not based on my faithfulness or my works. So they were tripping up over this righteousness thing, a new living translation in this verse says, for they don't understand God's way of making people right with himself. Instead, they're clinging to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. They won't go along with God's ways. Now, again, as we look at this passage, we're tempted to go, oh, silly, silly Jewish people.

No, no, no. Apply that to the church in America. Clinging to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. We've talked about this before, but you ask people how they think, you know, are you going to have a lot of people say, yeah, how, why do you think that?

And a lot of people go, well, I've kept most of the 10 commandments. And we went over that last week. No, you haven't. You haven't. You've broken the majority of them.

If you're sitting in here and thinking you haven't, all you got to do is go to the podcast online or listen online, or we got the CD or DVD. I will walk you through how you busted five or six of them. I did it last week. So you can't say, well, that's the way I'm made righteous.

No, no, no, no. That's not the way you're made righteous. 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.

You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you've prayed this prayer with Pastor David, receiving Jesus Christ for the first time or rededicating your life to the Lord, please call and let us know. We want to send you our exclusive First Steps package for free. This package will help you grow in your new life. Receive your First Steps package by calling 877-458-5508.

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