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Romans Chapter 15:1-3

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
May 6, 2023 1:00 am

Romans Chapter 15:1-3

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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Be concerned with one another, encouraging to one another.

This is so important. And again, what Paul's dealing with, he's saying, you know what, you guys have elevated these discussions over loving one another, and that's wrong. The life lesson here is we should be spiritually concerned and caring with one another. And think, friend, if we did that, how contagious we would be as a church and as believers.

Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. Whether we like it or not, the world is watching us, and as the church, we need to make sure we're caring for one another and setting up a great example. Stay tuned as David McGee continues with more of this from Romans chapter 15. For this teaching, care for one another.

Here's David McGee. Open with me your Bibles to Romans chapter 15. What we're doing is continuing our verse by verse, chapter by chapter study in the Bible. And so I don't pick a topic, we're just going straight through or read it and we'll talk about it and what it means and what it means to you.

This really is a supernatural book. And one of the things that's interesting is these last few chapters having a lot to do with practical Christian living have a lot to do with how we relate to one another. And it's kind of interesting because if you think of, you know, as you go through school, elementary school and different things, they teach you different things. But one thing they don't really spend a lot of time on is how to get along with people.

And that's something we need our entire lives. And that's a lot of what the Bible talks about is how to get along with one another, how to fellowship with one another, and also of course, how to be in fellowship with God. So with that, Romans chapter 15 reads, we then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak and not to please ourselves. Again, this is continuing the thought out of Romans 14. Romans 14 was talking about, hey, you know, what you should eat, what day you should worship, all these sorts of things that the church at Rome was arguing about. And apparently, you know, Paul had heard from outside Rome that they were spending a lot of time and energy arguing about these things that, you know, at the end of the day don't really matter. Paul basically was saying, hey, if you don't want to eat something, don't eat it.

If you're okay eating something, eat it, but don't stumble somebody else. So, you know, an application is if you're talking, you know, to somebody, a Jewish person about Jesus being the Messiah, then you don't want to, you know, invite them to a bacon and egg breakfast or something because they don't eat pork. They're going to be offended at that. We all have our personal preferences. Every one of us, we like different colors, different clothes, different radio stations, different TV stations, all that. We're just very different, each and every one of us. And that's okay.

That's a good thing. You know, having personal preferences, God created us as this kaleidoscope of people. But when we begin to say that everybody else has to live according to our personal preferences and worse yet, when we begin to spiritualize that, that's when we get in a great deal of danger.

And that's what Paul's talking about here. So look at this in the New Living Translation and also the Amplified. New Living Translation says, we may know that these things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who think these things are wrong. Or in the Amplified says, we who are strong in our convictions and of robust faith ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak. We ought to help carry the doubts and the qualms of others, not to please ourselves.

Again, what we're supposed to do in these items of personal preferences is not just prefer our preferences, if you will, but to prefer people over our preferences. Now we went through this list of items last week, hot buttons, if you will, and music and all these different things. And, uh, you know, I think I left, well, probably left more than one out, but you know, one I didn't talk about was dancing. It's not as big a deal now as it was 20 years ago, really, you know, used to be a big deal, you know, Christians, they can't dance, you know, and, and, and so, you know, but still occasionally people say, well, you know, can, can Christians dance?

And, you know, my answer is, well, some can, some can't, you know, some got rhythm, some ain't got it, you know? So again, you know, a lot of times what we do is we elevate these things to a point that's really, really unhealthy and leaves people that don't yet believe in Jesus going, man, that's weird that y'all would spend that much energy and time arguing over something that in the end matters so little. Galatians talking about the stronger and the weak, it says this, dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly and look at this, should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path and be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself gently and humbly, you know, occasionally as pastor, something will happen and I'll get kind of excited or worked up and I want to speak to somebody about an issue, you know, occasionally I have to wait because I get so excited and maybe somebody's got hurt or something weird's going on that I can't do it gently and humbly while I'm excited or angry or upset.

Friend, you may have to wait. You may be the person that's supposed to speak to somebody else that's struggling, but if you can't do it gently and humbly, you need to wait until you can. You need to pray, God, please give me this humility, please give me this gentle nature that I can see somebody restored. This leads into the second verse of Galatians which ties together with this pastor, share each other's troubles and problems and in this way obey the law of Christ. It's really a beautiful picture when you stop to think about because you are strong in some places, each person in here and you're also weak in some places.

I'm strong in some places and weak in some places and what happens as we come together is our strengths can protect our weaknesses. Let me put it another way. Every person has a blind spot. Humans do not have 360 degree perception. In other words, when you're looking this way, you cannot see behind you. Now, I know when we were little kids it seemed like mom could see behind her, but literally she couldn't, but what happens as we join together, guess what? You get two people and they're back to back. They can see almost 360 because of the peripheral vision.

You get four people together back to back, they can see 360. There's a strength when we're caring for one another that simply does not exist when you're on your own. Now, I've heard the arguments, well, I don't have to go to church, but there's a strength that happens because your weakness is somebody, another loving brother, another loving sister could say, hey, this seems like it could be an issue with you and I want you to know I'm praying for you and lifting you up and standing with you and through that we're made strong. We're made strong. Good verse two.

It says, let each of us please his neighbor for his good leading to edification. You know, in this fellowship, there's some people that are more, I would say, legalistic, have more do's and don'ts than some other people and some people are more gracious and have less do's and don'ts and again, what we need to do is kind of is get along and be more concerned with each other than being right. See, sometimes we can get so concerned with being right. Well, I got to win this argument. Be careful, friend, because sometimes you can win the argument and lose the relationship.

Well, how do you tell the difference? You know what, I wish there was a rule book, don't you? For every situation, you know, when your daughter says this, you say that, when your son says this, when your wife says that. There's not, but the spirit of God will speak to you, you know, and you've probably been in that situation where you were getting ready to say something and the Holy Spirit said, no, don't you do it. We all wish we could say yes and we said, yes, Lord, I won't say anything, but sometimes the hardest thing in the world is keep your mouth closed, isn't it? And sometimes God says, don't say it. And we say it anyway.

The whole thing blows it up, you know, it's a disaster. We go, God, what'd you do? God says, I told you to be quiet.

Here it is in the amplified version, kind of in the amplified version in these passages because they're, they show some stuff. Let each one of us make it a practice to please make happy his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare to edify him, to strengthen him and build him up spiritually. Be concerned with one another, encouraging one another, building one another up.

This is so important. And again, what Paul's dealing with, he's saying, you know what? You guys have elevated these discussions over loving one another and that's wrong. The life lesson here is we should be spiritually concerned and caring with one another. We should be spiritually concerned and caring with one another. And think, friend, if, if we did that, how contagious we would be as a church and as believers. The guy there in the baptism, he said, when my wife came home and I saw the look on her face, it made me feel like I was missing something.

Do you understand God designed it like that? That when people see Christians walk and enjoy and faith, that they're drawn to that. When you come in the middle of the room and people are worshiping God and you don't know God, man, there is a wistful thing that happens. You go, well, wow, they, I don't know what they're doing.

I don't know how they're doing it. I don't, I don't have this connection they have. And it begins to work something in you that you want something you don't have. See, as we all love one another, the world looks on that and goes, wow, I don't have that. That doesn't exist in my life. And I really need it. I hadn't been able to find it in the workplace.

I hadn't been able to find it in these quasi fellowship, little things that I go to. I'm looking for it. They have it. I want it.

I'm going to go get it. But the flip side is true as well. When they look at us bickering and infighting and gossiping about one another, that doesn't appeal to them.

They look at that and go, well, I get that at work. Why should I give away part of the Sunday to get what I'm already getting five days a week? So we should be concerned and caring about one another.

And this is interesting. Paul, incredible guy, incredible teacher, incredible man of God. Listen to what he says in First Corinthians. It says, this means I am not bound to obey people just because they pay me. Paul did receive compensation for his teaching.

Some people say he didn't. This obviously contradicts that. Yet I've become a servant of everyone so that I can bring them to Christ. When I am with the Jews, I become one of them so I can bring them to Christ. When I'm with those who follow the Jewish laws, I do the same, even though I'm not subject to the law so that I can bring them to Christ. When I'm with the Gentiles who do not have the Jewish law, I fit in with them as much as I can. In this way, I gain their confidence and bring them to Christ. But I do not discard the law of God.

I obey the law of Christ. So Paul would try to meet people where they are. Now, of course, let's go ahead and admit there's a line in the sand because occasionally, you know, somebody will come to me and go, hey, you know, hey, you know, I've got this new evangelism plan.

And, you know, what I do is I go out to the bar with my buddies and get drunk with them so I can witness to them. Well, at that point, what is it that they're witnessing? Because let me let me tell you, you know, a believer who wants to engage and indulge says, well, I'm doing these things so that I can minister to the unbeliever. Here's what the unbeliever sees. You're no different than I am.

So why should I follow what you say? Now, again, you know, I remember years ago, I was engineering on a on a project, country rock band and went to see him live. And at the end of the live show was talking to him and they had noticed that I wasn't drinking. Everybody else around the hotel rooms and stuff was drinking. I wasn't drinking.

One of the guys noticed that one of them asked, they said, well, you know, why are you mixing our stuff? And I and I said, well, you know, I'm not on the road. I'm not touring anymore because I became a Christian and that just wasn't helpful to me as a Christian for a season.

And so I've backed off of it. And he was and one of them went, that's why you're not drinking. Said, yeah, that's why I'm not drinking. They said, well, do you do music now? I said, yeah, I do contemporary Christian music.

And I'll never forget one of the guys in the band. His his eyes got really wet. And he said, I used to play in a contemporary Christian band. And I knew I prayed for the guy and, you know, I thought, man, his his time is running out doing what he's doing. And I ministered to him, but I didn't partake of the same things.

And they noticed the difference. So be careful when you grow out, you know, drink with him. So I'm one of them smoked dope with him. So I'm one of the guys that I can witness to him. Now, what they're going to see is there's not a difference in your life. So be careful with these.

But within that warning and becoming white people, speaking to them where they are. You've been listening to Cross the Bridge. We'll return to David's study in Romans in just a moment. But first, I would like to let you know about a new product that we're excited about here at Cross the Bridge. Each year, David McGee spends countless hours combing through the Bible in preparation to teach God's Word. This is clearly seen every week as he proclaims the amazing truths found in the Bible to his home church and through the radio ministry. That's why this month we want you to be blessed by some of our favorite teachings from this year with the Cross the Bridge Best of 2013.

These three powerful teachings will help you to live victoriously in Christ through a better understanding of who Jesus really is. The Best of 2013 is our gift to you this month when you give to Cross the Bridge. Your gift will be used to reach countless people with the gospel, while also encouraging other believers to stand firm in the faith. To help us take God's Word to the world, please contact us at 877-458-5508 or visit us online at Friend, do you have a heart for the lost? I invite you to send us the first names of your lost loved ones and we will have hundreds of people praying for them. Just go to and click on the prayer button and you'll enter their name. And if you put your name and email address in there, I'll send you free resources to equip you to pray and teach you how to reach your lost loved ones.

Please don't wait. This is so important. So please again, go to and click on the prayer button and send us the first names of lost loved ones. We'll send you some free information and together we can partner to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole world.

The whole book for the whole world. Now let's return to David McGee's verse by verse teaching in the book of Romans. Gandhi said something interesting. He said, you know, I like your Jesus. I don't like your Christians because he saw a difference between those two. And so we have to keep coming back to Jesus because you know, when I was young in the faith, people talk about how messed up the church was.

I used to disagree with that. Oh no, church is not messed up. Then I got more and more in the history and reading more and more about church history. And now when somebody says, oh yeah, the church man church is messed up.

I go, yeah, church definitely messed up. We need a savior. Jesus is not messed up. Jesus loves you so much. He died for you and he wants you to follow him and holding Jesus up as the model.

This verse does that. It says, Hey, even Christ did not please himself. Even Christ. Why even Christ?

Why does it put it like that? Because Christ was the son of God. He was God himself incarnate or in the flesh.

A hundred percent God, a hundred percent man. If anybody ever walked this earth, there's only one that walked this earth that deserved to be worshiped. That was Jesus. Yet did he show up and go, Hey, you guys need to worship me.

I'm God. It's not what he did. Even in the way he came to the earth was in humility. He came to the earth through a teenage girl who was not yet married. What a weird way to make his entrance. I'm sure the angels were confused as he described the plan. They went, what?

No, no, no, no. We need to do it in Jerusalem, in the temple, lots of trumpets, lots of fanfare. We'll get CNN there and you know, different, you know, and Jesus said, no, it's not the plan. Little manger in Bethlehem.

I'm sure they said, God, why, why are you doing it like this? And I'm sure Jesus, his answer was, I want to be one of them. All the terms Jesus uses to describe himself. You know, the one he uses the most son of man, 76 times in the gospels.

I'm one of you guys. And he came to serve even in that moment in the garden of Gethsemane when he was getting ready to go through. We cannot imagine what Jesus went through.

I've tried. I spoke before that, you know, this, uh, the cup, we get to drink the cup of blessing. Jesus was drinking a cup of every sin of every person that will ever exist on the face of this planet.

And in agony for the first time in his relationship with his father, his father had to turn away from him. For the first time, Jesus was alone and cried out, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Jesus did these things for us. So if we're following Jesus, friend, the last thing we should be is elevating our personal preferences to where they offend and hurt other people. Sometimes we're sharing the truth.

People will get offended, but they should never get offended at the way we present the truth. Now, life lesson here is we should be others centered instead of self-centered. We should give our life away. We should be others centered instead of self-centered.

We should give our life away. Now let's go ahead and admit that this is diametrically opposed and in fierce opposition, opposite direction to what the world says. The world says, look out for number one. It's a dog-eat-dog world. A lot of us believe that.

It's not what the Bible says. As a matter of fact, sometimes we get consumed with this look out for number one thing. We begin to miss out on life. Because life is much more than just looking out for number one. That is never spiritually fulfilling to anybody to look out for number one. You know, I've read recently some biographical sketches of some business leaders, and it's amazing to me how many of them at the end of their life had alienated everybody in their life. They gained the whole world and lost what was really important. And Jesus tells us this, that we're supposed to be doing this, that we're supposed to be, you know, giving ourselves away.

It's not like it's some big secret. In the Amplified Version, this is what this verse says. For Christ did not please himself, gave no thought to his own interests, but as it is written, the reproaches and abuses of those who reproach and abused you fell on me. A few years ago, you know, Christian had borrowed something from secular psychiatry and psychology and decided that a lot of our problems are rooted in a lack of self-esteem. Since then, many have recanted and said, well, that's not actually the problem. And now secular psychiatrists and psychologists have said, well, no, that's not actually the answer. The problem is most people think too highly of themselves.

It was interesting because when I was reading different studies and stuff by these guys, and I happened to be traveling up in the Chicago area, speaking and doing music and was on the highway during rush hour, and I was on the highway and I was on the highway during rush hour, you know, and you know, it's pretty interesting traffic, you know, jerk, start, stop, barely, you know, 60 slam on the brakes kind of thing and people cutting each other off. And I was thinking, you know, out here on this highway, self-esteem is not the problem. You know, everybody's cutting each other off. The problem is we're not considerate enough of each other, giving our lives away. That's the way we give our lives away.

Maybe you've heard, well, yeah, okay. I've heard that you're supposed to give your life away. How do I give my life away?

Prefer somebody else over yourself in a very practical way. Jesus says, give your life away. He says this many, many times in the Bible.

I'll go through them. Matthew 20, 28 says, just as the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many. So Jesus said, Hey, I didn't come to be served deacon in the Greek actually is what he's saying. I basically came, there's actually a word picture there of waiting tables.

I came to wait tables. Jesus shows us that in the last supper, he's up there. He washes the feet of the disciples, which was generally the thing that the new person or the person lowest on the household servant totem pole did. That's why the disciples said, no, no, no, Jesus, don't do this. But that's what he did. He's given us a role model, a picture, if you will.

And then he gives warnings. Matthew 10, 39 says, if you cling to your life, you will lose it. But if you give it up for me, you will find it.

That's not an oversimplification. You can't read that verse and go, well, that's yeah, that's not really, that's kind of true, but no, no, no, no. This is the secret to life gang. And Jesus has given it to us. That if we cling to our life, if we try to do everything for ourselves in ourself, you're going to be miserable. But if you begin in small steps at first to give your life away, you're going to find what life is all about. You're going to find this, this meaning, this purpose that Jesus is talking about. But if you try to cling to it, it's going to be like picking up a big handful of sand.

It's going to slip through your fingers and you'll be shocked at the end of all that, how little is left in your hand. But if you give your life away, your life here will be more abundant. Your life there will be filled with rewards because Jesus says, Hey, when you do something secretly, I'm going to end up rewarding you openly for that. 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. And friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. Jesus said He would not turn anybody away who comes to Him.

And He came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. 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 Christ. Also, if you contact us this month, we will send you the Cross the Bridge Best of 2013 for your gift of any amount. If you've ever wondered how we can walk in the full power of God's Spirit, then this new product is just for you, and we'll send it to you as a way of saying thanks for your donation. You can give any time by calling us toll free at 877-458-5508.

That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to While there, make sure to sign up for the free email devotional. That's just one more way we can bless you in your walk with Christ. Again, that website is Thank you for listening, and I pray you'll join us next time as we Cross the Bridge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-06 00:19:46 / 2023-05-06 00:30:43 / 11

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