Grace, you can't just talk about grace that you're freely saved, that you just believe and receive. You can't tell people that because they'll start to mess up more and more and more and more.
No, no, no. I don't believe that. I believe when you begin to understand God's love and God's grace and that He loves you so much, what happens is you start to live a consistently joyful, thankful, grateful Christian life.
Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. 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. Find out more about this as David Magee continues in Romans 11 with his teaching, God's People. Here's David. We're looking at Romans chapter 11 and it's speaking about Israel. Romans chapter 9 was speaking about Israel's past. Romans chapter 10 speaking about the present at the time Paul wrote the book of Romans and chapter 11 gives us a view into Israel's future.
Now this chapter is going to get really exciting prophetically towards the end and we'll talk about end times events and we always of course enjoy talking about those things. But we're looking at God's relationship with Israel. One of the reasons this is really, really important, if you're sitting here you go, well, I'm not Jewish, I'm not from Israel. And God's relationship with Israel helps to define the character and the nature and the personality of God himself. So as we understand more about that covenant relationship that God has, not had, has with Israel, it helps us to understand more about the character of God.
Romans chapter 11 verse 5 says, even so then at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And we talked about this a little bit so I'm going to kind of highlight it and then we're going to move on to verse 6. But remember we talked about some of the covenants and I would encourage you to be familiar with the covenants.
We'll bring them up here. There's the Adamic covenant, the Noahic covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, the Mosaic covenant, the Davidic covenant, and the New covenant. And one of the things that we noticed in going over those, that the first five, especially since we know and we read about Adam, we read about Noah and we read about Abraham and Moses and David, we know they weren't perfect.
We know they made mistakes. But even though they made mistakes, God never broke covenant with them. And actually their descendants enjoyed and were blessed through these covenants. And many times God in the scripture said, you know what, I'm going to bless you because of David.
I'm going to bless you because of Abraham. And so we understand these concepts of covenant spoke about how, you know, the barit is the Hebrew word. It means to cut literally, to have a covenant.
And that's mentioned 300 times in the Bible. So it's important for us to understand the concept of covenants. Remember the Acts chapter three, verse 25 says, you are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant, which God made with our fathers saying to Abraham and in your seat, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So you got Moses and Deuteronomy, you got David and Chronicles, and you got Peter in the book of Acts and the writer of Hebrews, which I think is Paul speaking about this covenant and acting as if the covenant still existed. So we need to understand that because a lot of people think, well, God ended up breaking his covenant with Israel because of Israel's misbehavior.
But friend, when you go to do that, you begin to redefine the character, personality, covenant nature of God himself. There's a lot of interesting places in Israel that we tour and one of the places that we visited was Masada. Masada has a lot of history and it's basically this chimney like rock formation that comes up. And what happened years ago is the nation of Israel was rebelling against Rome. Rome laid siege to them and the leaders decided instead of having their women violated and their children enslaved, they would prefer death over that.
And so to this day, and so they killed themselves over 900 people rather than be in bondage and slave to Rome. And to this day, what happens is IDF, the Israel Defense Force actually goes up on top of this mountain and at sunset they have a ceremony with torches and fire and they say Masada will never fall again. And in that place, interestingly enough, they found a synagogue that was over 2,000 years old. And as they dug around in this synagogue in 1952, they found a passage of scripture from Ezekiel 37, leading 36 into 37, speaking about God bringing Israel back to the land.
Here's what a portion of that says. Ezekiel 36, 24 says, For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols and I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.
I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and will give you a heart of flesh. So verse five speaks about this remnant according to what? The election of grace. Grace is an incredible thing. And I think far too often we do look at God like he's this big rule maker that the Bible is simply filled with a bunch of dos and don'ts.
The Bible is filled with many gracious stories of how merciful God is to people over and over and over and over again. And as we understand God, we have to come to grips with this concept of grace. Let's read verse six and it says, And if by grace, then it is no longer of works. Otherwise, grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace. Otherwise, work is no longer work.
What's that saying? It's saying that grace, God's unmerited favor is mutually exclusive, if you will. Grace is mutually exclusive from works. You can't be saved by works and by grace. You're either saved by grace or you think you're saved by works. But the Bible says no person will be justified in God's eyes by their works. So that leaves us kind of desperate for this grace, doesn't it? Now, understand, being saved by works, by the good things you do is at odds with this concept of grace. Because if grace is unearned favor, what is works?
Earned favor. If you have a job, you know, every Friday or every second Friday or twice a month or however you get paid, you get a paycheck. Why do you get a paycheck? Well, hopefully you've earned that paycheck, right?
I don't know. Your boss may argue that. But you earn that paycheck and you're paid that. So you have earned that.
That's not unearned. But how dare we begin to look at God and say, God, I've been in my devotions this week. Here I am in church, got up early, got dressed. Now you owe me a blessing.
No, no, no, friend. It's all about grace. What happened with the Jewish people is when the temple, they kept having their sacrifices even after Jesus died. Jesus was the final sacrifice. He was the sacrifice for our sins.
But people that rejected Jesus as their Messiah, they thought, well, you know, what are we going to do? Well, we'll just continue the sacrifices. And the sacrifices that are in the Hebrew scriptures were kind of a picture of what Jesus would come to fulfill. But they kept these sacrifices up until 70 AD. What happened in 70 AD? 70 AD, the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem about the same time as Masada, and they laid siege to the city and they just wiped it out. And they fulfilled the prophecy that Jesus had said, when they looked at the temple, these stones won't be left on one another. Now the Romans intentioned to leave the temple as it was, but what happened is a fire spread. And as the fire spread, some of the gold in the temple melted.
So then the Roman soldiers, in order to get the gold, dismantled it completely stone by stone. And Roman soldiers that had no idea of biblical prophecy fulfilled it to the letter. Well now, if you have no temple, you have no place to sacrifice. But in that day, a rabbi ran through the streets and he declared in contradiction to the Hebrew scriptures, that they could now be forgiven through works.
Mitzvot in the Hebrew. That's not what the Bible says. And so to this day, understand Jewish people don't make sacrifices because there is no temple.
That's why Orthodox Jewish people dress in black. They're in mourning for the temple that's not there. It's kind of interesting because while we were over there, we went to this place called Temple Institute. You can visit the website templeinstitute.org, which is very interesting because you know what they're doing. They are building the tools for the next temple. And you say, well, what's the significance of that?
Oh man, a bunch. Right now up on the temple Mount is two mosque and a Islamic holy place. Now they're not going to build a temple up on that Mount while those things are up there. So they believe, and we're freely sharing that they believe those things will be gone in the future. And that new temple will be built so much that they're already making the tools and the different things they're going to be using up on the temple Mount. Now you can see this is kind of coming to a head because I'm just going to go out on a limb here and I don't think the local imam, the Islamic cleric or priest is going to say, Oh gee, we're so sorry. Take the temple Mount.
We'll leave. We'll return to David's teaching in just a moment. First, I want to tell you about a special booklet that would be the perfect gift for any man on your Christmas list this year. The booklet is entitled, A Father's Blessing. And within its pages, David McGee discusses the power and responsibility a father has in caring for his family.
This booklet can help men who have had poor relationships with their own fathers, as well as bless those who are just beginning their adventure into fatherhood. When you call today with a gift of any amount to cross the bridge, we'll send you A Father's Blessing as a thank you for your support of the ministry. Call today at 877-458-50508.
That's 877-458-50508. Or go online to crossthebridge.com. Experience the joy of biblical fatherhood with David McGee's A Father's Blessing.
Contact us today for your copy. 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 David McGee's verse by verse teaching in the book of Romans. I was talking to somebody earlier this week and they were asking, well, what's the difference between Judaism and evangelical Christianity? And I started to explain the differences and a lot of it having to do with what we're talking about here, works and grace. And as I begin to describe it and the person who had kind of had some experiences in churches and started asking questions, I realized that many Christians, many churches teach that you're saved by works. Oh, I don't mean that they say, you know, well, come on in and let's kill a dove or a bull or something or a sheep.
I don't, you know, people probably wouldn't go for that and tolerate that, but, but they're like, oh, well you got to do this. And when you come to Jesus, you know what, here's our list of rules. And as long as you keep these rules, you're forgiven. But if you break these rules, oh God hates you.
He's going to hit you with a lightning bolt. You got to, you've probably seen the list. You've got to cut your hair and not do this and not do that. And don't dance and don't spit and don't chew and don't go with girls that do and et cetera, et cetera. You know, I mean, just this, this list, but here's the problem.
Once you come up with that list, guess what? It's no longer grace. Now it's works. Now please understand. I'm not saying once you get saved, you're free to do whatever you want to. Once you get saved, you're free to do what's right. And so there is a progression as you let go of some things and you begin to follow the Lord. But I think too often we, we turn God into this rule maker and we miss this concept of grace.
And once we do that, once we start saying, well, God, my favor is dependent upon my works. What kind of Christian life are you going to live? You're going to be miserable. Oh, oh, you'll have up days when you do everything right, which will probably happen about once every four years.
But the rest of the time you're going to be depressed. You're going to be angry. You're going to live in anguish. Why? Because you know that you can't earn it.
And that's what happens, friends. When you run into a Christian and I'll run into them and they just are so angry. That anger, I think comes from a lack of knowledge of the grace of God. See, because if I know that God has been gracious to me, how am I going to treat you? I'm going to treat you with grace as well. So when Paul, the writer of the book of Romans begins talking about this grace, it's a very personal thing.
Why? Let's remember Paul was a rabbi. Paul had been a Pharisee of the tribe of Benjamin, he tells us. And yet he was in this frustrating place of knowing that he was doomed if he chose to try to be justified through works.
Anyway, he had his conversion experience, Acts chapter nine verse three says, and he journeyed, as he journeyed, he came near Damascus and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. And then he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? And he said, who are you, Lord? Then the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you're persecuting.
It is hard for you to kick against the goads. So he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what do you want me to do? Then the Lord said to him, arise and go into the city and you will be told what you must do. When I was thinking about the experiences of Paul and thinking about the experiences of the nation of Israel, the people of Israel, it was kind of interesting because I saw some parallels.
And as we get into this chapter, prophetically, it's going to speak to this, but Paul's experiences were parallel to what Israel itself will go through. First of all, persecuting the church, rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. Then we have the appearance of Jesus, the acceptance of Jesus and others being blessed through that. See, Paul was persecuting the church, rejecting Jesus. Jesus appeared to him, he accepted Jesus. And then so many people were blessed because Paul went around the world telling about Jesus. Now understand this is an exact parallel of what we're going to see in this chapter that Israel goes through.
Persecuting the church, rejecting Jesus. Jesus is going to show up, they're going to talk about, and I'll share a verse in a second, then they're going to accept Jesus. And then what's that going to usher in? According to the book of Revelation, it's going to usher in the millennial reign.
We'll talk about that more in the coming weeks. Zechariah chapter 12 says this, it says, I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication. Then they will look on me whom they've pierced. Yes, they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn. That term house of David is speaking about the Israeli people, speaking about the Jewish people. Inhabitants of Jerusalem will submit to the righteousness of Christ. Now again, we can sit here and say, well, silly Jewish people trying to be saved by works. Silly Christian people trying to be saved by works. Gang, if you can grab a hold of this concept of grace, let me assure you it'll change your life.
It will change your life because when you're trying to be saved through works, first of all, that cannot happen. God's standard is perfection and all of us fall short of that. Life lesson here is you can either be saved or forgiven through grace or works, you get to choose. Now in essence, that's kind of a trap. I'll be honest with you.
Why? Because the Bible says you can't be saved through works. And that's confusing to a lot of us, so much so that at the end of time, some people are going to come to Jesus and say, Jesus, you got to let us into heaven because we did this and we did that and we did this and we did that and we did all these wonderful things and Jesus is going to turn to them. He's not going to say you didn't do enough. He's going to say, I never knew you. I never knew you. You went through the motions.
Sounds like these people went to church probably every Sunday. They did things, good things. But friend, when it comes to works, it's never enough. So you have to decide. Am I going to approach God on my merit? On God's merit.
Am I going to approach Him on the good things I've done or the good things that Jesus did? Galatians chapter 2 verse 16 tells us, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. Even we believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law. For by the works of the law, no flesh shall be justified.
Now that is so vague. That's just really unclear at the end of that verse that for by the works of the law, no flesh shall be justified. You know what that word no means in the Greek? Means no.
Doesn't mean some. It means no, no flesh shall be justified. So when somebody says, well, what you got to do is you got to, you come to Jesus, you ask Him to forgive you of your sins, check.
Bible says, believe, receive. But if anything is added to that list friend, something's going wrong in a hurry. I know a lot of evangelical Christians that add things to the list. You know what happens once you start that list? You keep adding to that list and the list grows. And pretty soon anybody that knows themselves at all, when they see that list, they go, I can't do that. From the perception in the world today is that Christians are justified by works.
How sad is that? If you don't believe that, please ask your family, ask your friends, ask your coworkers. What does it take to be a Christian? They'll say something like this. Well, you gotta be a pretty good person.
Really? Because the Bible in Romans chapter three verse 10 says there's none righteous. No, not one. Doesn't say except those who go to church.
No, not one. Romans three 23, all have fallen short of the glory of God. All fall short of that glorious standard of perfection. Now, how did the world get such a concept that you can earn salvation? Maybe we told them that. Maybe we presented Christianity as well.
If you're good enough for long enough, you can join our little league club. As long as you don't have any problems, you're free to come to church and worship with us. What happens when we do that? Anybody that's honest with themselves will look at that list and say, well, I've got one of two choices. Either I can be honest and say I can't do everything that's on that list or I can become a hypocrite and I can smile a fake smile and say, check, doing them all.
Legalism breeds hypocrites. Now it's interesting when we go, well, grace, you can't just talk about grace that you're freely saved that you just believe and receive in Romans 10 13 whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. You can't tell people that because they'll start to mess up more and more and more and more.
No, no, no. I don't believe that. I believe when you begin to understand God's love and God's grace and that he loves you so much, what happens is you start to live a consistently joyful, thankful, grateful Christian life and things begin to drop off that once held you back. Ephesians two, eight through 10 says, for by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast for we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them for we are his workmanship.
It's actually the word workmanship there in the Greek is the Greek word poema it's where we get our word for poem. God says you're saved by grace and I'm going to present you as a poem to the world that they might read of my grace and mercy that you would be a trophy of my grace and mercy. Matthew chapter seven, these people show up on judgment day and look at what it says.
Matthew chapter seven, verse 22. It says on judgment day many will tell me, this is Jesus speaking, not just a couple of isolated people. Jesus says many will tell me, Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name, but I will reply I never knew you go away the things you did were unauthorized.
I never knew you. Christianity it's not what you know it really is who you know. And I don't mean you know about Jesus. Most people in this country know about Jesus.
That's not even a question. The question is, do you personally know Jesus? Another version, the same passage. Well, we'll move back to verse Matthew 7 21. Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, done many wonders in your name, and then I will declare to them, I never knew you depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.
So with this knowledge of Jesus, of knowing Jesus, you begin to let go of things. Saved by grace, called the good works. A lot of times we think, okay, well, I'm okay with me being saved by grace, but as I look around, I'm not sure some of these people here really are saved.
No, no, we're all saved by grace. 1 Corinthians 4 7 says this, what makes you better than anyone else? What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as those of you who have accomplished something on your own? Man, that's a potent verse, isn't it?
I'm not saying impotent, I'm saying it's potent, but what makes you better than anyone else? This is in the Bible. This is what Christians should be reading whenever they start to feel superior to somebody else. 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 us 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 have been blessed by the ministry of Cross the Bridge and David McGee, would you consider supporting us with a financial benefit? This month, when you give to Cross the Bridge, we will send David's powerful booklet on biblical fatherhood, entitled, A Father's Blessing. The number to call is 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to crossthebridge.com. While you're there, make sure to sign up for David's email devotional and begin receiving daily inspiration in your inbox. That website again is crossthebridge.com. Thanks for listening today. We pray you will join us next time as we cross the bridge.
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