See, once you come to Jesus, there's two words you can never actually use again, in terms of doing things for God. I can't. You should witness, I can't. Yes, you can.
You should live for Him, I can't. Yes, you can. You should spend time on the Word, I can't. Yes, you can. Now, you may choose not to do any of those things, but I can't. No, no, no, no.
It doesn't work anymore. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. While the Bible may give us some pretty challenging instructions, we have to understand that it's God's Spirit that works in us to do those very things. Find out why this is important today as Pastor David continues in Romans 15 with the source.
Here's David McGee. Turn with me to Romans chapter 15. Romans chapter 15, verse 13. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace and believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another and to teach one another to sometimes confront lovingly, humbly, gently one another. So Paul is saying, hey, you know what? Because of the power of the Holy Spirit, you can do these things because you're filled with Him.
Incidentally, filled with Him, not filled with it. When you refer to the Holy Spirit, don't use the word it. The Holy Spirit is a person, so use a personal pronoun. If somebody was talking about your kids, they wouldn't say, well, is it coming to eat with us?
I mean, that would just be weird. So when you're talking about the Holy Spirit, don't, and I was talking to somebody and they'd say, well, I got it. And I said, well, you got it. Got the Holy Spirit. You don't got it.
You got Him. So we're supposed to do these things. And because of the Holy Spirit, we can do these things. Okay. Now it uses admonish. And since that's not a word we use a lot in, in everyday language, in the Greek it's noua theto. It's, it's, uh, where we get our word for new aesthetic counseling in that we're supposed to lovingly, gently encourage, sometimes correct one another. And that's what we're supposed to be doing with one another. Okay.
People in your family, encouraging them and sometimes gently reproving them, if you will. Verse 15, nevertheless, brother and I have written more boldly to you on some points as reminding you because of the grace given to me by God. A couple of points on here.
Notice he says boldly and there's parts. If you've been with us through this whole book of Romans, there's parts of the book that are variable, very plain spoken, if you will. And you know, if you haven't been here and you can listen online or get the podcast or the DVDs or CDs or whatever, it's been an incredible adventure. And let me, let me, if you went all the way through the book of Romans, you have learned a lot about God, learned a lot about your faith, learned a lot about why we believe what we believe.
Why? Because you have been reminded perhaps of some things that you already know, sometimes boldly. I relate to that because sometimes I'm, you know, I'm up here and I'm saying some pretty bold things, some in your face things, and sometimes they're gentle. And, but again, a lot of what I do is I'm reminding you, you know, that's the way we learn. We're reminded of stuff.
We need to be reminded of stuff. That's the way kids learn. That's the way students learn. That's the way we learn. We get reminded. You may come in occasionally and you may hear something, wow, I never knew that.
That's, that's pretty cool. You know, but be careful about trying to find that in every service. Okay.
You know, I gotta, you gotta give me something like, you know, add every eighth letter and then it makes it backwards. If you'd get your dog to bark it out in a code, then that means, you know, be careful of that because friend, when you're coming here mainly and occasionally I may give you something new. You go, wow, I've never heard of that.
And you know what? Be careful with anything you've never heard of. You go, Hmm, I've never heard of that. Be sure there's a scripture reference in there somewhere.
And I gave you that little math thing about the middle of the Bible, the songs. That was kind of fun, but I'm here to remind you, remind you of what? Usually simple stuff, basic stuff. Like what? Well, stuff you forget.
Like what? God loves you. Sometimes you may be in here just for that. Just to hear that, just to be reminded, God loves you. Maybe you go through a hard week, you're getting beat up, beat down, come in here and I say, Oh man, God loves you. And you're just like, Oh, I just need to hear that. I can go home now. God loves me.
It going to be all right. Jesus died for you. These simple things. These are the things that we need to be reminded of. This doesn't just say that Paul's not telling us says, well, I'm going to remind you of these things. Peter says, second Peter 1 12 says, for this reason, I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things though you know, and are established in the present truth. Peter said, I'm going to remind you of these things.
You know why? Because we tend to do something. We tend to forget what's important.
Now that's very humbling to say, but there's a reality to it. I mean, somebody can say something basically about, well, you need to try and be a better husband. It's like, Oh yeah, I do. Forgot. Well, you need to be a better father. Yeah.
Yeah. I needed to hear that. A better wife, better mother. These simple things. We need to hear them.
Why? Because we forget what's important. Live life lesson here is we often forget what we should remember and we remember what we should forget. We often forget what we should remember and remember what we should forget. Now dealt with the first part, forgetting what we should remember, talking about being reminded, but we often, we often remember stuff we should forget. Like what? Well, pain problems, your past, every person in here has something painful in their past. And some people would say, well, what you need to do is you need to go to that little trash pile of your painful past and sort through it because the answers are really in there somewhere.
They're not in there. As a matter of fact, the Bible says, forgetting those things, which are behind us, pressing forward to the high calling of Christ Jesus. Verse 16 says that might be a minister of Christ, of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. That's a very Jewish statement in ministering. He says in the offering of the Gentiles, it might be acceptable because when you offer the sacrifice in the temple, you had to make sure that it was acceptable.
There are certain things that you had to do. So the statement is about the Gentiles are literally out of worshipers of those who don't know God. And yet it's a very Jewish statement that Paul makes. I'll give it to you in a new living translation. It says a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the good news and offer you up as a fragrant sacrifice to God so that you might be pure and pleasing to him by the Holy Spirit.
Let me explain. In the temple there was also fragrant sacrifices in that there would be incenses that they would burn that would not only you could smell them in the temple, but you could smell them all around the temple and you could know that they were offering things and worshiping God and it was designed to attract people and to draw people. See when you smell things, you're drawn to them.
Now some of them are good, some of them are bad. I don't know what it is about us, but you know sometimes I pull into a parking lot and I smell fried food. I know it's bad for me, but when I smell it's like, oh baby, there's some french fries in there somewhere, man.
I'm going to find them, you know. Now I know, you know, there's not necessarily good for you, but something about that smell draws me in. You're built that way.
Everybody's built that way. And we're told that Jesus is a fragrant offering and that we can, as strange as it sounds, smell like Jesus. Now check it out. There's a verse going back, John chapter 12 verse 3. It says, then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair and the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. When this woman dumped the spikenard on him and incidentally, this was probably her dowry. This was a gift that she was waiting to give her husband that she poured out on Jesus Christ.
And it was very costly. And you remember, Judas says, well, you shouldn't have done that. We could have given it to the poor, which sounds really, it sounds religious, right? But then somebody, one of the authors points out that Judas only said that because they wanted to rip the money off. And it says the fragrance of the oil, which was on Jesus filled the room. Now 2 Corinthians 2 14 says, now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ and through us diffuses the fragrance of his knowledge in every place. For we are to God, the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing to the one, we are the room of death leading to death and to the other, the aroma of life leading to life and who is sufficient for all these things. This fragrance of Christ, we are to be a fragrant offering. Now that doesn't mean, I'm not saying, you know, let's all quit bathing, you know, so we can be a fragrant offering and you go to the office or workplace and school and people are, what's that? It's a fragrance of Christ, baby. I'm not saying that, but there's certain things that you can do and not do that get the attention of people. It's like pulling into a parking lot and smelling that fried food.
What are some of those things? I don't know. Maybe you're in a workplace, boss comes in five minutes before everybody's supposed to get off and says, Hey, I need you guys to do this stuff and you got to do it before you leave, please. And he walks out and four out of the five people go, Oh, I can't believe that guy. What a jerk. I can't believe he came here five minutes before he's supposed to leave and you go, Oh, okay, well let's get started. Those people are going to notice that or say, what'd you say? Let's get started. Got stuff to do. Well, we want to stand around and grumble about it.
We think that'd be pretty effective. And why don't you want to grumble about it? Well, see, I'm a Christian. I'm a following Jesus and yeah, I'm not really supposed to complain about stuff. So I'm trying not to complain. I think it's a blessing and privilege to have a job.
So let's just knock it out. Well, you're different. That fragrance, they're going to notice that when you do things that the world doesn't do.
And when you don't do things that the world does, people are going to say, that's different. They're going to be drawn to that. So this fragrance of Christ is we need to keep this in mind.
Why? Because it tells you something I know as a pastor, one of the things we take for granted is time and life. And those are things we shouldn't take for granted.
There's a lot of promises in this book. Tomorrow is not one of them. You don't know if you have tomorrow. You don't know if your loved ones or your friends or your family, some of which don't know Jesus will be here next week.
You don't know. And eternity, just a heartbeat away. We owe it to people to share the good news. I want you to think it's a divine responsibility. That's the way we need to look at it. Paul said that he was a debtor, that he owed it to people to share the good news with them.
In this book of Romans, Romans chapter one, verse 14, it says, I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So as much as in me, as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. This is what we're supposed to be doing. I mean, on a minute's notice. And sometimes it's, you know, it can just pop up and you know, I'm from the South. It's a common thing to say, Hey, how are you doing? And down here in this area, people go, you know, they'll answer you. And I usually ask back. One thing that I say a lot, I say, how are you doing? Oh, fine. Thanks for asking.
How are you doing? Oh man, I am a sinner saved by grace and it doesn't get any better than that. I just shared the gospel in a simple little statement that I think every person in here is capable of making.
And then when you walk off in the center, say by grace, so it's not, you don't have to be goody two shoes and hope you're good outweighs your bad ways. Wow. It's a sacred obligation. This, this mindset, this is what we need to grab a hold of this sacred obligation thing of telling people about the Lord, talking to him about God.
Is it scary? Oh yeah, it is. But it's something that's so important. And gang, that's why, you know, every Sunday morning, you're going to hear the gospel in this place. If you're inviting somebody, you don't have to go, well, I hope it's one of the Sundays he shares the gospel. Well, it's Easter or it's Christmas. We know he's going to share it this time.
No, every Sunday morning. And if you know, Jesus says, you're savior and you attend church here and we get to that moment in time, just bear with me. Don't sit there and think, Oh, here he goes with that gospel thing.
Probably going to tell you who knows how long with this time, five minutes or 10 minutes or 15 minutes. My goodness. He spent a lot of time with this. If you've ever thought that or worse, said it, ask God to soften your hard heart. Let me ask you a question.
If it was your unsaved spouse, daughter, son, father, mother, sister, brother that was sitting in here at that moment, would you want me to take the time to explain the gospel or just kind of gloss over it? See, this is something that we do here. That's very important. And in a few minutes, I'll begin to talk about that.
And you know what? If you're safe, praise God, there's a couple of things you could do. The best thing, start praying, start praying. Maybe at that moment, somebody around you needs prayer.
Start praying for them. Maybe you bring somebody that you're not sure they're safe tonight. You get to that moment and say, Hey man, you won't go. I'll go forward with you. You need to go forward. You want to go forward?
I'll go with you. It's a precious thing. And I want you to notice something too. When I invite people to come forward, I say a prayer that's pretty much the same every week. And why do I do that? Well, because it's the only formula to get into heaven.
No, that's not it. It's because I want to be consistent in my prayer so that it's modeled for you. So that if you ever have the opportunity to share your faith with somebody else and they say, okay, well I want to be forgiven. I want to ask Jesus, forgive me.
How do I do that? I don't know this part. No, you'll say, Oh, okay, I got this. He says, Jesus, I believe in you. I believe you died for me so I could be forgiven. I believe you were raised from the dead so I could live a new life. You've got it. Because if you're here on Sunday, I assure you, you're going to hear it.
This is so important, so important gang. 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 coming 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 crossthebridge.com. Now let's return to our verse by verse study of Romans. Verse 17 says, Therefore I have reasoned the glory in Christ Jesus and the things which pertain to God, and I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me in word and deed to make the Gentiles obedient. Now it's a very interesting couple verses and I'll tell you why. Let me give it to you in the New Living translation. So it is right for me to be enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus has done through me in my service to God. I give it to you in a couple more versions because this is a mind blowing verse. Romans 15, 17, In union with Christ Jesus, then I can be proud of my service for God. The Living Bible. So it is right for me to be a little proud of all Christ Jesus has done through me. Literally in the Greek that word means to glory, to take pride in, to even boast. Now some of you have been going, no, no, no, no, you never take pride, you never glory, you never boast in what God is doing through your life.
Not according to this verse. Paul says you should be excited. You should be talking about it. You should be encouraged.
You should be sharing about that. There's people here in this church and I've actually had people come up and say, you know, it's a little weird how people are so excited about the church. I don't think it's weird. I think it's awesome. People being excited about me as their pastor, this is their church. I think that's kicking.
I think that's normal and I think that's healthy that you should have that. Now understand, I'm not the one that died for you. I'm not the one that died on the cross for you. That is Jesus and him alone.
It is God working through us, but you better believe some. Let me share something. I was in my house with a home Bible study. The first six months, if you hadn't heard this story, I'm not going to go all the way through.
First six months, I started the home Bible study. There was nobody propping it up. There was nobody supporting it financially. It was not a career decision. I wasn't getting paid.
There was no prospect of me getting paid. I just had on my heart to share the gospel and share the word of God. So I started in the house. Nobody came.
Six months. My wife and three kids. And again, I knew three of them were there because I'd spank them if they didn't show up. So I mean, you know, and yet I kept doing it.
I never looked at them on a Sunday morning and go, well, it's just y'all. I kept doing it. Why? God told me to do it.
I was going to do it until he told me to stop or do something else. Later on in the sec, after about six months, people started kind of drifting in and they would watch the windows. It's a new car. Somebody's here that hadn't been here before. Hallelujah. That's awesome. And to watch what God has done and what he's doing today, you better believe I'm encouraged and enthusiastic. Amen. That's a good thing. That's a healthy thing.
Here's the life lesson. You should be excited about what the Lord is doing in your church. You should be excited about what the Lord is doing in your church. Now, now notice I said what the Lord is doing in your church, not what you're doing, what the Lord is doing through you, what God is accomplishing through you. That's healthy. That's not weird to be excited about.
You know what? If you're not excited about your church, you might be in the wrong church. One more verse, verse 19 says, in mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and roundabout to Elikrium, I have fully preached what? The gospel of Christ. This Elikrium place is, and it says from Jerusalem to this place, this place is near Italy, 1400 miles. It's 2000 years ago, folks, 1400 miles. Paul didn't hop on a plane. A lot of this was walking, maybe occasionally a horse or a donkey, maybe occasionally a sailboat.
No jet planes, no diesel buses, and he covered 1400 miles to do what? To share the gospel. What is the gospel? Well, literally the gospel, the Greek word is angelizo, which means to tell the good news.
Good news. I think we always need to make the gospel good news because some people go, share the gospel with me. Well, you know what?
Here, I'll give you a little something to do next 24 hours, email, phone call, face to face. Ask somebody that's not a Christian what it is they think it would take to become a Christian. See what they say and listen closely to their answer because you're going to get some interesting things. The predominant one you're probably going to get, well, what do you got to do to be a Christian? We got to be a pretty good person. Pretty good person. That's what it takes to become a Christian.
Well, yeah. Well, how do you get to heaven? We got to be a pretty good person. That is not what this book says. This book says in Romans chapter 3 verse 10 verse 23 says there's none righteous, no, not one.
All have fallen short of the glory of God. Now, where would they get the idea that in order to be a Christian, you had to be a pretty good person? We told them. We told them that.
Why? Because we wanted them to think that we were pretty good people. I understand that, but that is a misrepresentation of the gospel, of the good news.
Think about it. We're asking them really what the good news is and they're saying, well, you got to be a good person. Is that good news?
If somebody walked up to me as a sinner and engaged in my sin doing all that stuff and said, hey, there's good news. You need to act better and fly right and try harder. Well, thanks for that encouragement.
I'll be sure to do that next week. That's not good news. We need to jump higher, make more promises. That's not good news. What is the good news? The good news is that while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us.
And that by his grace, unearned, unmerited favor, we can be forgiven. How? What do we got to do?
Join some club, give so much, do so much? Ask him. Ask him. Well, pastor, there's, there's gotta be more to that. No, no, no. You ask him, tell him you're sorry for the stuff you've done.
Ask him to forgive you. Boom. And it's done. There's something about that. We think, well, no, no, no. I mean, it's, it's gotta be more complicated than that. No, God knows us. And he said, I'm going to make this real simple, real straightforward. Friend, anything you've ever done can be forgiven in the next few minutes. Anything. God's willing to forgive you.
That's, that's without question. He wants to forgive you so much that he died for you. Jesus Christ saw each and every one of us suffering under our shame and our guilt and our sin. And it killed him because he said, you know what?
I'd rather die for them than to go to heaven without them. And a friend of you've walked in here with shame and guilt and you're sitting there and you're not sure you've been forgiven or maybe you've wandered off, today's the day to come home. Friend, he's ready to forgive you. Is he able to forgive you? He's able to forgive you. Does he want to forgive you? He died to forgive you.
None of that's in question. The only question is, will you ask him? Will you ask him today to forgive you of your sins, either for the first time or coming back to him?
Maybe you're here today. Maybe you're listening through the live stream or the radio or the television, wherever you are, you can be forgiven of all your sins. When you say, Jesus, forgive me, he's not going to go through the list and go, I can forgive the first 15, those last few, anything. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Now, God wants you to pray this prayer so much that he died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask him to forgive you.
Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven and I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned and I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus name.
Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again.
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 crossthebridge.com. 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 crossthebridge.com. Thank you for listening, and I pray you'll join us next time as we Cross the Bridge.
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