Don't commit murder.
Jesus says, you know, if you get angry at somebody calling racha or fool, that you're in danger of the same judgment. You shall not steal. Jesus talks about giving stuff away. You shall not bear false witness. Jesus talks about not just not lying about people, but seeking to bless them. You shall not covet. Jesus says, hey, give, give, give. Love exceeds the law.
That's what it does. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. In our walk with Christ, we should always be motivated by love, not rule keeping. Find out more about this important truth as David McGee continues in Romans 13 with his teaching, Love Exceeds the Law.
Here's David McGee. So we're in Romans chapter 13, and we've been looking at Romans, obviously Romans chapter 12, and now we're in Romans chapter 13. And these chapters have a lot to do with practical Christian living. We ended up with a verse seven. So we're going to launch into Romans chapter 13, verse 8.
Owe no man anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. Now let's, let me remind you of something because when we're talking about drawing close to the Lord, there's three terms used in connection with our salvation. These terms are justification, sanctification, and glorification, and they're very simple terms. They're justification, I was saved, sanctification, I'm being saved, glorification, I will be saved. Justification is when you come to Jesus and you ask him to forgive you of your sins, you tell him you're sorry, and instantly it's just as if you never did anything wrong.
So that kind of will help you remember that justification. And then you point back and say, okay, I was saved. The Bible also points out a process that's called sanctification. In other words, you're continuing to put off the old and pick up the new, take off the old garments if you will, and that's what this chapter is going to be talking about today, and wrapping ourselves in the robe of Christ. Now Jesus saves us just like we are. We come to him just like we are.
We don't have to get cleaned up to come to God. But when we come to God, he begins to change us. He loves us enough to take us just as we are.
He loves us enough not to leave us that way. So he begins to change us and we begin to get others centered, and that's that process of sanctification. Now in the future at some point, either through you're taking your last breath here or through the rapture, what's called the rapture, rapturos in the Latin snatched away in the New King James or King James, is this glorification. In other words, at that point you put off your sinful body. You no longer will be struggling with sin. You will have your glorified body. You will no longer be struggling with illness, with fatigue, with tears, and those things. That's that point that is spoken of in Revelation 21 4. It says, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there'll be no more sorrow, no more death, no more suffering, no more sickness, no more pain.
Sounds like a good day, doesn't it? So we can look forward to this glorification. We can look back to this justification, and we're in the midst of this sanctification. So I wanted to be clear on that because, you know, if I'm talking about practical Christian steps, somebody can sit here and go, okay, well these are the things I need to do in order to be a Christian.
No, no, no, no, no. In order to become a Christian, you come to Jesus, you ask him to forgive you of your sins, and boom, instantly, your sins are forgiven, and you're a Christian. Now, again, that comes with following Jesus as well. I don't think you can separate, okay, I'm saved, now I can just go do whatever I want to and live however I want to and live the same way.
No, no, no. The Spirit of God now dwells in you. You can no longer ever be the same.
Even if you go back to the same things, they just don't hold the contentment that they once held. So verse eight is talking about, owe no one anything except to love one another. Now, I want to give you kind of both sides of this verse in a sense because I've heard there's some people that pretty strongly say, well, this means you should never have any debt at all. What you want to do when you see a verse that presents a notion that perhaps is not familiar in the rest of scripture is ask yourself a couple questions. First of all, what is the context of the verse?
In other words, that verse sits in the middle of a chapter that's talking about what, and what does the Bible have to say elsewhere about the subject? Now, the Bible does encourage us to be extremely careful with debt. It does encourage us, it says, you know, that the person who borrows is a slave to the lender, and there's some truth in that. You know, you spend a lot of your time working to pay stuff that you already owe, and you don't necessarily, you know, get your paycheck or whatever and decide what you're going to do with it. Most of it, you've probably already made a decision, or at least your creditors feel like you made a decision of what you were going to do with it. The Bible does say debt with a high interest is sinful for those who are lending at a high interest.
And again, it encourages you to be very careful, be very careful. And you can't enter into bondage through debt. You know, just, it tears my heart out when somebody says, well, you know, I would give to the church, but I just have so much debt.
And it makes me sad because then, you know, it's like a double whammy. They've been irresponsible with debt, and now they're being irresponsible with remembering the Lord and what he's blessed them with. And, you know, we've gotten into the habit as a society and a culture to, uh, well, you can't afford it, then charge it, you know, and pay it later. Problem is they keep track of that stuff. I don't know if you've noticed. And then they, they, they bill you every month and, you know, and, and it's amazing, you know, when you use that card, sometimes you really don't feel like you're spending money.
You ever noticed that? I mean, you'll use the card, but if you had to dole out a bunch of twenties for what you were buying, you probably wouldn't buy it. I know, I know one couple that, um, and this is kind of extreme, but at the same time, it's kind of cool. Their credit cards are actually frozen in ice in their freezer. And if they would want to take them out to use them for something, they have to sit them out and allow them to thaw while they think through whether they should be purchasing with the credit card. That's pretty cool. Isn't it?
Of course, you know what my mind thought when they said that I pop that puppy in the microwave, man. Sorry, just being honest. So, but you know, if you can't afford something, then, then don't buy something. And then of course, sometimes we get in debt and then what do we do? We tend to blame everybody that's around us for our debt.
Be careful, friend, be careful on doing that because usually nobody's twisting our arm to make purchases and to do the things that we do. Let me throw a couple of verses at you. Matthew 25, 27 says, this is Jesus speaking and he's apparently he's okay with bankers and interest and stuff because he tells in two different places. He says, so you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers and at my coming, I would have received back my own with interest.
And then Luke 19, 23, why then did you not put my money in the bank that at my coming, I might've collected it with interest. And he's talking about talents and gifts and things the Lord gives us and being responsible stewards with those things. But the context, if we go back to verse seven is let's read verse seven, render therefore to all their due taxes, whom taxes are due customs to whom customs fear to whom fear honor to whom honor. Oh, no one, anything except to love one another for he who loves one another is fulfilled the law.
So I think in context sake is probably saying, pay your taxes and don't, you know, don't take out loans to pay your taxes or that sort of thing and be careful with that and pay the government what you owe them. But I tell you people who dwell on the debt aspect of this verse are neglecting the weightier matter of this verse because the weightier matter is in the second part. Oh, no one, anything except to love one another for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. So the thing that we should take out of this verse, not as whether we should ever have a mortgage or anything like that.
And again, certainly we should be careful with debt, but the thing we should take out of this verse is a life lesson. We should love one another. We should love one another. And Paul seems to say here in the book of Romans, he's the author. He says that we should love one another. And when we've done that, we fulfilled the law.
And he noticed the way he phrases this. Don't owe anyone anything except to love them. Paul is plainly speaking here that we are to owe one another love. He says in another place that he owes, he is a debtor to go tell people about Jesus. What a cool way to look at it and what a healthy biblical way to look at it and that you owe somebody love.
Because oftentimes we look at relationships where, you know, they don't love me, I don't love them, but no, no, no, no. The Bible says we owe all the people we get along with love. No, no, it's not what Jesus says. And then it says here that you have fulfilled the law. This tied in with verse nine is kind of interesting because it speaks of the law and we'll kind of get into that. But the law basically in a massive summarization, basically is a lot of don't do anything bad. And that's good advice, you know, to try not to do anything bad. But love says do something good.
Give love to people who sometimes don't deserve it. Now be careful about saying, well, he fulfilled the law. We're not under the law. Let me remind you, we are in the New Testament. We are in the book of Romans and Paul is talking about fulfilling the law.
Now I'll help you to understand that we're not under law. We're under grace, but that doesn't mean we get to disregard two thirds of the Bible. Now, 1 John 4 19 says, we love him because we love him because we love him because he first loved us. Why is that verse in there? Because, friend, we need to remember that Jesus loved us when we were in rebellion to him, when we were at odds with him, when we were running from him, when we were his enemy, he still loved us. Why should we remember that? Because Jesus says as he's loved us, we should love others. So as others do these same things to us, we should love them. Now, does that make us vulnerable? Yeah, it does. Does that mean that we're sometimes going to feel emotionally pain because we've put ourselves on the line?
Absolutely. But keep it in perspective, folks. I had a hard day the other day and when somebody was talking to me and go, wow, you're dealing with a lot of stuff right now. And I said, well, yeah, but if I really want to see what a bad day is, I'll go get, I'll have these spikes, like the Roman spikes that Jesus was crucified.
And I said, if I really want to see what a bad day is, I'll take one of those and jab it through the nerve that's in my wrist. So it's a good day because nobody has physically put me on the cross as they did my savior. And while my savior was completely innocent, there's some of the problems that we cause for ourselves, we cause. So remember God is initiator. God loves us. And we should be not argument starters, not strive seekers.
We should be love starters. 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 877-458-5508. That's 877-458-5508 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. Verse 9. For the commandments you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet, and if there's any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The 10 commandments, the first four have to do with our relationship with God. You know, remember the sabbaths, no idols, these things.
The second section, if you will, the second six, have to do with our relationship with one another. Now some people go, well, yeah, but we're not under the 10 commandments. Well, Paul is teaching them here.
Let me explain. We're under grace, not under law. And Paul, in another place, says the 10 commandments are used as a schoolmaster in order for us to look at them and understand that we need salvation. So when you read through the 10 commandments, as the Holy Spirit gives you insight, you look at them and go, well, I haven't done this. If you can, seriously, if you can read the 10 commandments and think you're innocent, there's a problem. Call us or email us and we'll kind of go through them with you just to clarify.
But if we're being honest, we read them and go, well, I haven't done these things. And if this is the requirements that God's laying down, then I don't meet these requirements. What's, if I can't do it, solution one, what's solution two? Well, solution two, obviously, is Jesus died on a cross that we can be forgiven of all our sins. Okay. So does this mean that all the stuff in the Hebrew scriptures, what we call the Old Testament sometimes is totally disregarded?
Absolutely not. Jesus said, I came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it. Now there's some stuff in the Hebrew scriptures. Let's, let's break it into two things, ceremonial law and moral law. Ceremonial law would be the sacrificing of animals, the seven feast I would include in that. And then you have the moral law, which is basically the 10 commandments with the exception of that Shabbat of the Sabbath. That would probably be considered a ceremonial law.
In other words, that commandment is the only commandment that we do not find referred to in the New Testament to keep the Sabbath. Now, is it a good idea? I personally think it is. I think if somebody, and I've done this before, you know, I tried to work seven days a week and you just, and some days in ministry, that's just what happens, but you, you'll fry yourself long term doing that.
So you need that day. So I think it's good advice, but I would classify that as ceremonial law. But again, we don't, we're not out from under the, if you will, these commandments in the sense that we no longer have to be bothered with them. And it disturbs me when some Christians present that as so. Well, I'm under grace.
I don't have to do that. Let's, let's read through this verse again, folks. Verse nine. Don't commit adultery. Don't commit murder. Don't steal. Don't lie. Don't covet.
It sounds like pretty good advice. This is God's moral law and understand again, we're under grace. I'm not putting you under the law, but I'm not going to, as a Bible teacher, I'm not going to stand up here and say, so you don't, you don't have any responsibility to try to do anything in verse nine.
That's called an antinomianism. And basically that's okay. I got the grace of God. Now I can do whatever I want to when I want to in the way I want to technically Paul says, that's true, but that is not going to be to your benefit or your blessing. And what we see when you start to look at the law and grace, or let's put it another way law and love. Cause this verse is talking about, if you do these things, you're going to love your neighbor.
I'll be honest with you. The law would be more easily fulfilled than love and grace would nowhere in the Bible. Do you see Jesus lowering the standards compared to the law?
Au contraire what he does is raise the standard in the 10 commandments. It says, you shall not commit adultery. Jesus comes along and says, don't even think about it. Because if you think about it, if you lust in your heart, you've done it now, is that raising the bar or what? Cause most of us think, well, I haven't physically committed adultery, but perhaps some of you have thought about it somewhere along the path. And Jesus says, you're guilty.
Don't commit murder. Jesus says, you know what? If you get angry at somebody calling or fool that you're in danger of the same judgment, you shall not steal. Jesus talks about giving stuff away. You shall not bear false witness.
Jesus talks about not just not lying about people, but seeking to bless them. You shall not covet. Jesus says, Hey, give, give, give. Love exceeds the law.
That's what it does. Occasionally I run across somebody and say, well, I'm not sure about tithing. I believe in giving. I personally, I do believe in tithing, but you know what I've noticed? I've never met a person who said, I don't believe in tithing and I give 15%. And I just cannot imagine somebody doing less under grace than they would have done under the law. Now, please, if you don't believe in the New Testament concept of tithing and you give more than 10%, please email me because I would love to have the discussion with you.
But a lot of times our minds try to find the way around things like this. It ends with you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said that before it's spoken of in the Hebrew scriptures. Jesus says that. And you know what the guy said, well, who's my neighbor. If your concept is your neighbor is the guy who lives to the left and the guy who lives to the right. That's wrong. I used to think that.
And I used to, I was on the road like 10 and a half months of the year. So I thought this is easy, man. I only see these guys at six weeks.
I'm good on this. Jesus tells the story when they ask who's his neighbor is with the story of the good Samaritan. The Jewish people hated the Samaritan people and the Samaritans hated the Jews. If you'll notice, he told that story in part to kind of inflame them, if you will, and to remind them to love beyond their little circle. Luke 10 27 says this. So he answered and said, you shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself. And he said to him, you have answered rightly, do this and you will live. But he wanting to justify himself said to Jesus, and who is my neighbor? Now, Jesus said this.
A lot of people say, well, that's good advice. Yeah. Love God, love your neighbor. Are you aware that Jesus was quoting the Hebrew scriptures? So he said, we won't go, well, that's going to put us under the law. No, Jesus told us in the new Testament to do this.
So I think a lot of times when we think, well, the law has nothing to do with us. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. It does.
It does. Now we start from the finish line. Here's what I mean by that. Jesus fulfilled the law. Nobody else could do that ever.
Nobody else has ever done that. Jesus fulfilled the law said, I will forgive you. Now here's a new way to live. So we have to be careful when we talk about the grace of God, of not arrogantly assuming on the grace of God and say, okay, well, I've prayed that prayer.
Now I can go out and do whatever I want to in any way I want to. Charles Spurgeon, a preacher from 150 or so years ago, said this, he said, the grace of God that does not change your heart cannot save your soul. That's a profound statement, but I agree with it because when you come to that recognition that your sins put Jesus on the cross, friend, you no longer want to cling to your sins.
You want to let go of them and you want to embrace this newness of life that Jesus is talking about in here. Let's read verse 10. It says, love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.
Again, to me, it's interesting. Verse eight, verse 10, Paul's talking about fulfilling the law. Jesus fulfilled the law, but is he saying we are called to fulfill the law?
Not in a salvation by grace sense, but in the sense that God has given a moral law and how we should love God and how we should love one another. And I agree with that. It's challenging. And here's another thing. Let me mention this because we're talking about fulfilling the law. So are we going through this just okay?
So now here's a list of rules. Absolutely not because if we get into that, then we're going to wind up like Pharisees. And if you think there's not a danger of you or I or this church or church down the road becoming Pharisees, chances are you got one foot in already. Every one of us can become pharisaical and getting into the rule keeping and forget that we should be motivated by love. Motivated by love. When we serve God, we should be motivated by love. Not by rule keeping, not by getting noticed, not by, you know, gaining popularity or prestige or power, but being motivated by love. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. Man, and isn't that challenging?
Because you know, you can look at the rules and think, okay, well, I can keep most of the rules. You start looking at love and you go, man, God, I need your help. You read, here's a little thing. You go through first Corinthians 13. That's the chapter talks about love.
Go through that and read it next time. Go back through it and put your name where love is and see how convicted you get. It falls apart on me. I don't know if it, you know, David is never rude, always kind, but crash and burn, baby.
Crash and burn, baby. Now go back through and put the name of Jesus where love occurs and it fits perfectly. So that love that that's, man, that's a serious challenge. Loving your neighbor, not coveting of stuff. The Bible, when Samuel was going to pick out the next king, it's an incredible verse there. I think it's Samuel 16. It says, God sees the heart.
Man looks on the outside. So we are all kind of in our relationship with God, have to make sure that we're being motivated by love because God sees what our true motivation is. 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.
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've been blessed by the ministry of Cross the Bridge and David McGee, would you consider supporting us with a financial gift? 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. Did you know one of the keys to spiritual growth is to daily be in the Word of God? I want to help you to do that. You see, I send out an email every day with a scripture passage, a life lesson, a directed prayer, and some encouraging thoughts. All you need to do is go to crossthebridge.com and sign up for our absolutely free devotional. And also, you'll receive prayer support. You let us know if you have a prayer need, and you'll get specially discounted offers. God and His Word promises that His Word always produces fruit.
Always. So let's get started. Go to crossthebridge.com and sign up for our devotional. You'll be glad you did. Thanks for listening today. We pray you will join us next time as we cross the bridge.
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