When I came to Jesus, the day I came to Jesus, I was like, okay, I'm going to do this. I'm going to pray this prayer. And I really thought God was going to, you know, God, will you forgive me?
No. I've got your life video up here, mister. We sit up here and laugh about it all the time.
You're crazy, dude. That's not what happened. He forgave me.
I was shocked. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. Many people think that Christianity is simply about cleaning up our lives so we're good enough for God. But the problem is that God doesn't expect us to clean up our lives.
He wants to do that. Stay tuned as David McGee continues in Romans chapter 10 with his teaching, We Can Be Forgiven. So we're in Romans chapter 10 and we're going to start out in verse 9. That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. When I was younger and people use such terms as saved and born again and things like that, I thought that they were coming up with this stuff.
I thought they were just making it up to be quite honest. But we need to understand when we talk about these terms, we talk about being saved. That's a biblical term. When we talk about being born again, that's a biblical term. So when we use these phrases, let's understand that we are leaning on the Bible and trying to understand what the Bible has to say about these things. Now, when it says confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, does it mean just uttering a few words?
No, it's more than that. And that's why the verse also has that believe in your heart. Now, confession is a very, very powerful thing along with belief. God is not looking for us to academically recognize His plan of salvation. He's not looking for us to say, okay, well, all right, I believe that Jesus was real and I believe that Jesus died on the cross and I believe He rose again from the dead and so I'm good.
I'm fine. No, no, no, no. It's more than that. It's much more than that. As a matter of fact, in that little thing we talk about often, asking somebody, you know, are you going to heaven, them going, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then saying, why do you think that? An answer I get frequently is well, because I believe in God. That's a great answer. Unfortunately, it's not a correct answer in the biblical sense. You need to understand that just believing in God or believing in Jesus is a great start, but it's not the finished fulfillment. Let me help you with this, because the book of James actually says that even the demons believe and tremble. So if you believe that all you have to do is have this belief in God, this belief in Jesus, and that's it, then by that definition, all demons are Christians and they'll be waiting to join us in heaven.
No, no. That's a deep theological problem you've created there. So obviously, it's more than just belief.
What is it? Well, understand the word belief here also can be spoken, trust in, leaning upon, believe in your heart. Notice too that it says, confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus. It's interesting to me sometimes talking to people, well, you know, Jesus never really said he was God. Yes, he did. Several times in many places, he accepted the worship of people around him, and only God is to be worshiped. He forgave sins, and only God can forgive sins. He was executed for claiming to be God.
The Pharisees understood that. One of the terms that he used, son of man. It's a very human term. We've talked about that, and I love the fact that he used that term more than any other term, son of man, 76 times in the New Testament. Now, if you sit there and go, okay, well, that just, he was saying he was a person, he was a son of a person.
No, no, no, no. You need to understand the fullness. Yes, it speaks of his humanity, but that phrase, son of man, actually comes from the book of Daniel, and in that passage where that phrase is placed, there is no doubt it is talking about not only the Messiah but God himself. So when Jesus used that phrase, son of man, he was claiming to be God. And the phrase, Lord, and let's understand the name of Jesus, because some people think, well, his first name was Jesus, his last name was Christ, and that's not the way. His name, his given name at birth was, we say Jesus, that's kind of an English, well, through the Latin form of his word, of his name. His actual name in the Hebrew would have been Yahshua.
The English version you've probably heard, Joshua. Joshua, that's the English version of the Hebrew word Yahshua. Now, that's a beautiful picture right there, because you notice that Moses, the lawgiver, didn't take the people into the Promised Land. He took them right up to the edge, and it was Joshua, or Yahshua, that took him into the Promised Land. See, the law can't take you into the Promised Land. It can't take you into heaven.
It can't take you into the promises of God or the righteousness of God. Only Yahshua, Jesus, can. So that given name, Yahshua, that name Christ is from the Greek word Christos, and that Greek word Christos is taken from the, it means anointed one, taken from the Hebrew word Mashiach, where we get our word Messiah. So that's why sometimes you might see or hear Jesus, the Christ, or Jesus Christ. But we need to understand Lord in the Bible is not a title given to people of certain society levels, like Lord Byron or Lord this or Lord that.
Jesus is called Lord 119 times, referring to his title, Lord Jesus. So when we see confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, a proclamation that Jesus was and is the Messiah and was and is God. Let's look at verse 10. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Man, these verses are just, they're awesome. The heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. We do something here that maybe they didn't do in your church growing up.
I don't know. But we, at the end of the services on Sunday, I give an invitation. And if somebody is doesn't know the Lord and they want to ask him to forgive them of their sins, I invite you to come forward.
And many people do. Or maybe somebody came to the Lord at a younger age and they've wandered off and they're coming back. Or maybe they've just had a hard week and need a fresh batch of mercy and grace and all those are legitimate reasons to come forward at the end of the service. And then what I do is I lead people in a prayer so that they confess about this Lord Jesus and believe in their heart. And so, and some people go, well, now, is that really a good thing to just lead them in the prayer and repeat after you? Well, you know, what I'm basically doing is boiling down the truths of the gospel and having them pray with me. And, and certainly if they're just, if you're just up here and you're just mouthing it and you don't mean it and you don't believe in Jesus and you're really rejecting it, you're just going through the motions. Does that mean anything? Probably not.
Probably not. But I lead people in that prayer to inform them of how to pray and what to pray. Now, I'm not saying that you have to come to God with a pure heart and you have to come to God with no doubts whatsoever.
If anybody has ever told you that, at best they were ignorant, at worst they were a liar. And here's why I say that, because everybody who's ever come to Jesus came with doubt, came with fear, came with uncertainties if they were honest. I know I certainly did. When I came to Jesus, the day I came to Jesus, I was like, okay, I'm going to do this. I'm going to pray this prayer. And I really thought God was going to, you know, God, will you forgive me?
No. I've got your life video up here, mister. We sit up here and laugh about it all the time.
You're crazy, dude. That's not what happened. He forgave me.
I was shocked. And then later in life when I wandered off as a prodigal and I came back to the Lord, you know what? Once again, I was thinking I was going to ask him to forgive me.
He was going, nuh-uh, nope, nope. So I cannot say I came with a pure heart. I can't say that I came with no doubts. But, friend, I came. I came and Jesus received me.
Thank you for joining us for Cross the Bridge. We'll continue with our study in Romans in just a moment. Do you know how Satan can get a grip on you?
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Now let's return to David Magee's verse-by-verse teaching in the Book of Romans. There's such power in your words. Do you understand that?
Sometimes it's interesting. We see like a big guy and you're a big muscular, and you're like, wow, he could really hurt somebody. And our mouths can hurt people more. That little thing, that little poem, you know, that they teach you as a kid, and I don't know why they teach you as the stupidest poem I ever heard in my life, but that little, I'm trying to be nice, but it says, you know, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What?
Yahoo came up with that. Because as a little kid, you know, you say that, and then somebody says something that hurts your feelings. You're like, well, it's not really true, is it?
No, it's not. Your words can hurt people, or they can build them up. You know, I got, last, this past Thursday, I was walking around before the service started, and out there watching the greeters and people coming in, and it was just really cool to see people come in. They were like, you know, and then one of the greeters, and they do such a wonderful job with, you know, hey, you know, how you doing?
And, oh, hey, hey, how are you? And just speaking to somebody and asking how they are can lift their countenance. That's how powerful your words are, but it goes even beyond that. Your words are the way you gain access into heaven. Now, they're just words again.
It doesn't count, but words tied to the heart make all the difference in the world. Keep your finger right here on the Romans chapter 10, and we're going to turn towards the back. We're coming back to Romans, but go with me to James.
It's about halfway back. You'll pass Hebrews. Stop. The next one's James. If you're getting to Peter, you've gone too far.
Turn left. So we're going to look at James chapter 3, because we're talking about words. We're talking about confession. We're talking about the tongue. You need to understand how strong your words are and what we're dealing with with the tongue.
Because, you know, certainly we regret some of the actions, but I tell you what, more than our actions, I think we probably regret more words. James chapter 3 verse 1 says, My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. It's a warning for people who want to teach the Bible, and it certainly keeps me on my knees in prayer. Verse 2, For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn the whole body. Look also at ships.
Although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. And even so, the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles. Verse 6, And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire by hell.
Strong words. Verse 7, For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil full of deadly poison, and with it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men who have been made in the similitude or the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?
Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. So go back with me to Romans 10. So that is the power of our words, the power of the tongue. And we need to understand the power that's attached to that. And see, that's why when we give our tongue over and we pray and we confess these things, these scriptures are talking about, incredible, powerful things happen.
We're blessed to see it happen almost every week here. Somebody comes forward. They pray that prayer with me, and their life begins to change. Now notice it doesn't say, well, you know, get your life together and then you can pray this prayer.
No, no, no. That's not what it says. Confess, believe. See, we're always trying to limit and put rules on the grace of God. Believe, confess. God's done a lot of things in order that we would be forgiven.
Our part is to believe and confess. That's very simple. Some of you may be saying, no, that's too simple.
You got to go ahead and add some of the dos and don'ts. No, no, no. I'm not going to. They're not in there right there. Believe and confess. Very simple. Of course, we take believe and confess and what do we do?
Well, now wait a minute. Let's start adding some rules here. You got look a certain way and act a certain way, belong to a certain church. We baptize a certain way and this and that. We start, no, no, no, believe and confess. That's what it says. That's what it means. It's an amazing thing.
God in His wisdom put the system, if you will, if I can use that word, that is so beautiful in its simplicity. You don't have to, okay, we want to be forgiven. We'll go climb the Himalayas and after you do that, come back and we'll see about forgiving you. Well, if you want to be forgiven or go to paradise, you got to go kill some people and then we'll see if you get in or no, no, no.
You don't have to do any of that. You can be forgiven right here, right now. You can be forgiven. Well, how many times can you be forgiven? There's a scripture.
I love it. It says that God's mercies are new every morning. You know why you get a fresh batch of mercy this morning? Because you used yesterday's all up.
So, but that's cool because you know, this morning when you woke up, it was like, well, you know, I messed up. Is there any mercy left in the jar? God, oh no, all out of mercy, hate it for you?
No, but every day, fresh mercy, fresh batch of mercy. We try to limit the grace of God in a lot of different ways. Peter came to Jesus and asking Jesus, how many times should we forgive somebody? And understand that at that time in that day, there was the belief that you only had to forgive somebody three times.
After that, you could basically write off the relationship and your relationship with that person. So I don't know how anybody stayed married, but anyway, so when Peter came to Jesus and he said, Jesus, how many times do we have to forgive somebody? Seven times.
Peter was trying to be spiritual. You know, he knew that it was supposed to be three, but he comes, Jesus, how many times should we forgive? And you can just sense seven times.
You know, he's kind of waiting for an attaboy from Jesus or, you know, the father has revealed it to you or something, you know, it's not what you just did or said, was it? Jesus said, Peter, 70 times seven. You're quick at math. That's 490 times in it. Now was Jesus saying, what you need to do is get a piece of paper, get a pen. And every time somebody messes up, you make a list and you number what they've done and when they've done it.
And man, when you get to 491, you're out of there. That's not what he meant. There's numbers seven are symbolic of eternity. Fresh forgiveness.
Now, when I talk about forgiveness, I think, and we read these and go, okay, me, believe, confess. Yeah. Okay.
I'm good with that. Let me share this. When Jesus died upon the cross, something interesting happened in the temple. There was the holy place and then there was the holy of holies and dividing the two, it was a veil. Okay. And it wasn't a veil like your curtains at home. It was, you know, because you could, you know, you could tear your curtains at home, you know, really, you know, I'm not telling you to tell your curtains or I'm saying you could if you wanted to, but don't. Okay. So, cause I don't want to take phone calls. He told me tear curtains.
It works by golly, but my wife won't stalk to him. So, so this was curtains that were about six inches thick. Josephus, a Jewish historian recorded, they put a team of horses on each side. Couldn't tear it apart. It was probably about 30 feet tall and was recorded that when the veil was torn, it was torn from top to bottom. Now if you were going to tear a veil as a person, you would tear it from the bottom to the top, wouldn't you? So we know that it was something that God did and tearing that veil so that everybody had access to the presence of God because that holy of holies was a place where you experienced the presence of God.
Not anybody could do it. Only the high priest once a year, Yom Kippur, day of atonement. When he went in there, friend, what it would do is he had bells on his, on his robe and they would listen for the bells and tradition says they would actually tie a rope around his leg because if he went in there and his heart wasn't right to make atonement on behalf of the nation, he would fall over dead. So people would stand outside listening for the bells and period of time went by and they didn't hear the bells and they would pull the rope out with the high priest with it. So now everybody has access. So what was the response when this veil was torn into and everybody had access to God? You know what they did?
Sewed it up. Can't have just riffraff coming here in the temple thinking they can have access to God. And we hear that and we go, whoa, silly, silly people.
Why would they do something like that? Well, I don't know. Why do you do it? Oh, we don't do it for ourselves. We do it for others that don't know any better because you can't have any riffraff coming to God. And we do this in a lot of different ways and you know, and it's people come to the Lord and they ask Jesus to forgive them.
And maybe let's just say, let's say somebody prays, ask Jesus to forgive them. They go outside and they, and they light a cigarette, you know, and I don't smoke. So don't think he's telling the story because he smokes. He's trying to make it okay to be smoking.
That's not the point of the story. You go outside and that person that just prayed is smoking a cigarette. What's your, what do you think?
What's your reaction? Are you looking at going, you must have not got saved. I'm going to sew the veil up for you because you over there look at you won't make you go to hell, but it'll sure make you smell like you've been there.
What are you doing? Sewing the veil up for him. We don't have to climb the Himalayas or be a martyr or do any of this other stuff. Life lesson here, we can be forgiven. We can be forgiven.
Friend, think about that for a couple seconds. Everything you've ever done can be forgiven. I'm not talking about just the stuff people know about.
I'm talking about the things that only you and God are aware of. You can be forgiven. What's in between you and being forgiven? Basically your mouth. If you'll confess the Lord is what it's saying and you'll believe in your heart. You can be forgiven, but it amazes me the number of people that hear that truth and go, no, not going to do it. It's an amazing thing.
Heart and the mouth. Look at verse 11. For the scripture says whoever believes on him will not be put to shame. You never have to wonder about the gospel.
It works every time. There's a guarantee that Jesus is made. So when people come forward on Sunday morning, they ask Jesus to forgive them of their sins.
I'm not looking at a guy going well, gee, I hope it works for him or I hope it works for her. No, I know it works. There's a promise in the word of God that if we do these things, we'll be forgiven. God never breaks his word. So as you're sharing with somebody, you don't have to, well, I'm going to share it with them. And if they pray, I hope it works.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. This is the word of God. You can doubt a lot of things, but don't doubt the word of God.
The gospel, the word of God, it does what it promises to do. Now you may not do what you always promised to do. I may not always do what I promised to do. I may intend to, you may intend to, but we just don't live up to everything. But the word of God is true and will fulfill every promise and prophecy that's in here.
Whoever believes on him will not be put to shame. And people that have studied the mind and the brain and chemical body stuff, they cannot answer this question. But friend, when you do something wrong, you feel bad about it. You regret it maybe a little or a lot, but there's a regret leads to guilt leads to shame. You can walk around with that shame all your life. Some of you brought it in here with you today, but you don't have to carry it out. 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 this was your first time praying that prayer with Pastor David, we would love to hear from you. You can call toll free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Jesus. Also, if you've been blessed by the ministry of Cross the Bridge and David McGee, would you consider supporting us with a financial gift? With your donation this month, we'll send you battle strategies as our way of saying thank you. This powerful teaching will equip you for the spiritual battles we face every day. To give to Cross the Bridge and receive your copy of Battle Strategies, simply call 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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