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 10 Commandments. And yet we can say, well, God, I'm going to come to you based upon my own righteousness.
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 verse 3. For they, being ignorant of God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 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, you know, we're tempted to go, oh, silly, silly Jewish people.
No, 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 heaven? 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. So you can't say, well, that's the way I'm made righteous.
No, no, no. That's not the way you're made righteous. Ignorant of God's righteousness, I understand too that we don't get to define righteousness. We don't get to define what's right and wrong.
That's already been done in this book. If we think that we can define right and wrong by what the culture says or what the government says, we're in trouble. Because at some point they're going to say, well, this is wrong.
And then another point they'll go, well, you know, we're okay with that now. There's people even now that say, well, you can't know right and wrong. Who can know right and wrong? Sometimes it's right. Sometimes it's wrong. It's called situational ethics.
They teach it there. That's baloney. And even worse is, well, you get to define your own personal right and wrong.
Excuse me? Well, yeah, I just get to decide what's right and wrong. And what's right for me may be wrong for you. So you have to define what's right and wrong. They teach this in colleges now. If they'd have been teaching that in school when I was in, I know what I would have done. Professors say, well, there's not really right and wrong. You know, I'd have walked up and started going through his desk.
I'm looking for the next desk. Well, you can't do that. Well, right and wrong. Who can know?
I'm just going through your desk and you know, after that I'm going to walk out and leave and I'll see you at test time because I've already got the exam right and wrong. It's also nebulous and blurry. So we have to understand what God's righteousness is and understand that we fall far short of that righteousness. Romans 3 10 says, as it is written, there's none righteous, no, not one. The New Living Translation puts that same verse as the scriptures say, no one is good, not even one. Romans 3 23, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Again, in the New Living Translation, for all have sinned, all fall short of God's glorious standard. The life lesson here, no one can ever truly be self-righteous. No one can ever truly be self-righteous. Now, I'm not saying they can't act self-righteous. I'm not saying they can't think they're self-righteous, but to truly be self-righteous, no, it'll never happen. You, within yourself, you cannot be declared righteous.
You cannot be self-righteous. The more you read this book, the more you understand, oh, it says not to do that and I've done that. It says not to do that. I did that last week. It says not to do that.
I did that last night. Man, I can't be made righteous by myself. And when you understand that, then you want to know about the grace of God. But to be self-righteous, to think you're self-righteous, to act self-righteous is to be guilty and condemned.
Anybody that ever walks around being self-righteous is guilty and condemned. Let me share a photo with you. That's my dog Spot. He's a mixed breed. You wonder why I call him Spot. You see that big spot on his side?
I mean, it was pretty, he adopted us. Some children in this neighborhood we were living at the time were throwing rocks at him and so we took him in and it was pretty obvious that I would come up with that extremely creative name, Spot. Spot does something very interesting. My youngest son, Benjamin, plays drums. Every time he starts to play drums, Spot begins barking at him to tell him to stop. You got to stop that.
Now, understand, Spot's kind of got this police nature to him. We have cats too and he polices the cats, which is probably needed because we have several cats and somebody says, oh, you must love cats. Well, you know, yeah, they taste a lot like chicken. No, I'm just kidding. I love cats.
I just can't eat a whole one. No, I love a woman who loves cats is what the deal. I'm more of a dog guy. I kind of appreciate Spot's policing action of the cats and he's real creative with his bone placement. If he doesn't want the cats in the bedroom, he'll place his bone right in the doorway. If a cat gets near a bone, that's legitimate that you bark and growl and chase a cat at that point.
Sometimes if he's in a kind of a foul mood, he'll sit his bone right at the steps so they're not even allowed upstairs. Ben plays drums. Spot begins to bark, tell him to stop that, you know, and sometimes Spot gets really worked up and matter of fact, one night, you know, Ben was finished playing drums, but there was a storm outside. The thunder rattled and Spot started growling, stop that. Now, after a little while, Ben stops. Sometimes Spot will bark at him the whole time. Spot is convinced that Ben quits playing drums because Spot's barking at him.
Ben just doesn't want to play drums anymore. Some of you see where I'm going with this. See, a lot of times we're convinced people change their behavior because we bark at them. No, that's not it. As we grow closer in our relationship with the Lord, we end up not wanting to do certain things and engage in certain behaviors. And a lot of times we bark at people and go, well, the reason they change that behavior is because we kept barking at them, just like Spot and the drums.
No, that's not it. See, our goal here, teach people the Bible, teach them how to follow Jesus, take their hand and put it in the hand of Jesus, not necessarily go around and sin-sniff and point out what's wrong with everybody. I think if you jump into the Bible, you see that very quickly, that there's something wrong with all of us.
Jeremiah 23 says this, In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell safely. Now this is his name by what you will be called the Lord our righteousness. See, you don't have any righteousness.
When we're talking about righteousness, we're talking about holy, perfect. You don't have that. You don't possess that. If you think you do, just ask your wife. She'll tell you, I'm perfect. She'll say, no, you're not, honey.
If you're young, ask your mama. Mama, am I perfect? No, honey, I love you. You're awesome, but you're not perfect. The Lord is our righteousness. Isaiah 64 says we are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall and our sins like the wind sweep us away. I'm going to tell you that that reference there of filthy rags, and this is not pleasant, but that reference in the Hebrews, the word literally means used menstrual cloth. That's our righteousness.
Not very impressive, is it? Now, it leaves us in a place of being desperate to be declared righteous, but if we don't have it, we need it and God has this plan. And we don't seek our own way, we seek His way.
Look at verse 4. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. The end of the law. Now understand, when it says the end of the law, does that mean the law is abolished? Absolutely not.
It's not. The law is not abolished. In Matthew 5.17, Jesus said this, Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill. But the goal of the law, understand, is that when you look at the law, when you look at God's word, you begin to understand you can't save yourself, that you stand guilty before the law.
The Greek word for end is the Greek word telos. It's the goal, the outcome. Christ is the goal of the law. Galatians 3.24 says, Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. When you look at the law and you take an honest look at the law, you take an honest look at your life, you go, Well, those two aren't exactly the same.
What do I do? And in that moment of really despondency, that depression of your will, you look in and go, Man, what am I going to do? And in that dark moment is when hope can walk in, in the form of Jesus Christ. But while you're clinging to your righteousness, you're never going to desire His righteousness. Because you're going to think, No, I'm okay. I'm good.
I'm good. The life lesson here, we will never be declared innocent through good works. We will never be declared innocent through good works.
Gang, it's only through belief. Notice what it says, To everyone who goes to church, verse four, For Christ is the end of the law, for righteousness to everyone who goes to church. Is that what your version says? For everyone who dresses right, is that what your version says?
For everyone that doesn't have whatever, tattoos, piercing, weird hair. Is that what it says? No. What does it say? To everyone who believes. Everyone who believes.
What an amazing statement. How can anybody that's ever looked at Christianity, ever looked at the Bible, seen a statement like this and decide that Christianity is extremely exclusive? Extremely exclusive.
Every one who believes. How do you get exclusive from that? That's like saying, I don't know. Walmart is an exclusive store. It's not, right? I mean, there's exclusive stores that are out there that you got to take, you know, got to have a lot of money to walk into.
Some of them, you even got to make an appointment to go into them, but I don't think you need an appointment to go to Walmart. It's not exclusive in that sense. How can you say Christianity is exclusive when this says, and the Bible teaches not only here, but in lots of places, any one who believes. Now again, let's understand, let's define belief. Is that just an academic, okay, I agree. No, no, no, no, no. It's more than just, okay, well, I agree with God that Jesus was the son of God.
I agree. He died for my sins. Belief, rest, trust in is part of the way this is defined. 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 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.
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Now let's return to our study. Look at verse 5. For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, the man who does these things shall live by them. So, Romans 10 and 5 in the New Living Translation says, For Moses wrote that the law's way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands.
All of its commands. There may be people that argue the Ten Commandments. I love talking to those folks because when you take an honest look, nobody's done that. But let's even say hypothetically, you run into somebody that has never hated anybody, never gotten mad at anybody, murder, never lusted after anybody, adultery, never done all these things.
And still there's the rest of the law they have to live up to. There's the thing of loving God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul. Has anybody ever kept that one?
Loving your neighbor as yourself. Has anybody ever kept that one? Anybody that's honest will say, No, I'm not. Maybe I've done that occasionally.
But no, not on a regular basis. Well, guess what? If one link of the chain is broken, the chain's broken. You know, if I'm trying to sell you a five-foot length of chain and I'm sitting there holding two pieces and you go, Well, that's not really a five-foot length of chain. I'll say, Well, it's only broken in one place. You're going to say, No, no, no, no.
It's broken is the point. Right. So James chapter 2 verse 10 says, For whoever shall keep the whole law and yet stumble in one point, he's guilty of all.
Of all. 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, you're in trouble.
If that's your plan, you're in trouble. If your righteousness is based upon your works, your good deeds, it's the finished work of the cross. And we need to understand that. And we need to understand that we can't love God fully and reject what He says in His Word. And when we receive what He says in His Word about being forgiven through the cross, asking Jesus to forgive us, then we can be empowered to begin really loving God and loving people. We're six, but the righteousness of faith speaks in this way. Do not say in your heart who will ascend in the heaven that is to bring Christ down from above or who will descend into the abyss that is to bring Christ up from the dead. Verse eight.
But what does it say? The word is near you in your mouth and in your heart. That is the word of faith, which we preach. So Paul here is discussing why the Jewish people rejected a Jewish Messiah.
And that's not to me. That's really not the question, because some of them did accept him. Some of them reject him. A bigger, more general question is why do people reject Jesus as their personal Messiah? It doesn't say there's something wrong with God.
There's something wrong with us. Paul here is, it's kind of a running commentary on Deuteronomy, these verses, chapter 30. But understand, and when we think of Deuteronomy, well, that's the law.
No, you know what? Deuteronomy, and actually Leviticus, I refer to Leviticus as actually the gospel of Leviticus, because it points out that, in Deuteronomy, it points out it's more than just an outward obedience to a bunch of rules. It's a heartfelt thing. And that was the trouble that the Pharisees had run into. They thought it was all about this outward obedience to law. And Jesus says no. The law, the Bible says love God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul.
That has nothing to do with rules and regulations, gang. As a matter of fact, Deuteronomy contains, in chapter 6, what we refer to as the Shema. And the Jewish people write that. They get a rabbi to write that, and they put that on their doorpost of the home.
And I've actually got masseuses at my house. And the masseuse, Hebrew for doorpost, and it reminds you that as you go through your day to speak the Word of God out of your mouth. And oftentimes I'll touch it and touch my mouth, meaning may the Word of God proceed out of my mouth today. Not just in rules and regulations, but the heart of God. May I love God with all my heart and all my mind and all my soul. May I love my neighbor as myself. Challenging.
Absolutely. But it's much more than changing our behavior. God wants to change our heart.
Friend, you can change your behavior a little bit, modify it a little bit. Hard to change your heart, isn't it? But once God has your heart, your life changes. But somehow we think, well, no, no, God wants to change our life and then he gets our heart.
No, it doesn't work like that. God gets our heart and then our life changes. But we still stumble over this. People go, well, you got to do this, you got to do that, got to look right, got to act the part, got to hold your mouth right or whatever in order to be a Christian.
No, no, no, no, no. You give God your heart. Watch what happens. And these verses here are saying, well, what do we got to do? What do we got to do to do all this? Romans 10, six and seven in the New Living Translation says, but the way of getting right with God through faith says you don't need to go to heaven to find Christ and bring him down to help you. And it says you don't need to go to the place of the dead to bring Christ back to life again.
So this whole thing, well, I got to work my way up to heaven and I got to go through hell in order to be forgiven. I mean, literally the place. What does verse eight say? No. It's near you.
It's here right now. This word of faith. Stepping out. Say, wow, this is true. God wants to forgive me, not because I've earned it, not because I deserve it, but simply because I believe and I ask.
That's absolutely the truth. Well, don't you have to do some good works before you can be forgiven? No. No, we'll talk next week about how once you give him your heart, your life begins to change and you don't do the same things. But a lot of times we go, well, you know, I need to not do the same thing so that I can come to him and give him my heart. That's backwards.
That's backwards. And what happens is Christ is that stumbling block. A lot of people think that, and that's the reason not to come to him.
If you don't believe this, ask your friends, ask family members, go online and send emails or when you go out to lunch today, ask people, what keeps you from becoming a Christian? You know what most people say? Well, I have to do everything right and I have to quit doing all the wrong things.
In other words, I got to clean up my life before I come to God. Do you? I don't fish like I used to. I used to fish some. You don't clean a fish before you catch it. Do you? No. Somebody goes, ooh, fish. Let me use another analogy. You get cleaned up to take a shower.
Please say no. You don't get cleaned up to take a shower. Why? Because taking a shower cleans you up. You don't get cleaned up to become a Christian. Why? Because when you become a Christian, your life begins to change.
But so often we think, well, I got to get cleaned up to take a shower. No, no, no. God wants you just the way you are. Now, he loves you so much, he's not going to leave you that way.
He's going to begin to change you in your life and in your heart. But how often, and this is such a great message for us today, this place, such a great message for you, friend, that if you think you can earn his salvation, you are far from it. If you think you can be righteous within yourself, you're far from being declared righteous. That's not how you earn righteousness. It's by grace and grace alone. You come to the Lord, you don't deserve it. And if you're sitting here going, well, I'd ask him to forgive me, but I really don't deserve it, friend, bingo.
You're close. That word is in your mouth, that word of faith that I'm talking about. Because when you understand you don't deserve it, then you're able to ask for it. But if you think somehow you've earned it, that somehow through going to church or obeying some of the Ten Commandments or sometimes loving God and sometimes loving your neighbor, you've achieved righteousness, you're far from it, friend. Let's pray. Lord, thank you for this time.
Thank you for each and every person that's here. Lord, I know that in this room and people listening through television or the radio or the Internet think that they've been righteous by their own acts and their own deeds. Lord, that was the stumbling block with the Jewish people, and it's a stumbling block for some now. It's all about grace. Lord, we don't deserve to be forgiven.
We don't deserve to have a relationship with you. But because of your death on the cross, because you tell us whoever calls on you can be saved, Lord, we rest in that promise. We rest in that you tell us if any comes to you, you will not turn them away. Lord, we thank you for that in Jesus' name. 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.
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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