Summary: Expository teaching on Romans chapter 5
Book of Romans
Lesson # 12
By Rev. James May
Over the past several weeks we have learned through Paul’s letter to the saints at Rome, that we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord; that his love is the same for each of us, whether Jew or Gentile; and that the new covenant of salvation through the blood of Jesus means that all we need to do is to repent of sin, call upon the name of Jesus and trust in the power of his blood as our sacrifice for sin and then we are justified through faith in what Jesus has done for us.
Paul has labored long and hard, proving that the Law no longer has power over those who have accepted Jesus, for Jesus has fulfilled that Law for us, paying the price of our Redemption. It’s all about Jesus! He alone is our hope of salvation and deliverance. He alone has made a way for all men to return to God. Jesus opened the door. All we have to do in walk into the throne room of Heaven through the door of the cross of Christ and we know we will be welcomed as God’s own children.
Now we continue with our study of Romans and begin with chapter 5.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
One thing that we must realize is that “faith” alone is not what justifies us. (Does it sound as though I have contradicted what Paul says?)
What I mean by that is that there are people who are convinced that faith in their faith is all it takes. Faith is necessary, but faith alone isn’t the answer. It’s where that faith is placed, or should I say, In whom that faith is placed that matters. Only faith in Jesus will bring justification.
I speak to some folks who will say, I have faith and my faith will save me. But when you ask them what they believe in, they can’t answer. All they know is that they have faith.
Even Satan has faith, even though it is placed in his own deceitful lies. He believes that he can still somehow overcome God. He has deceived himself. I believe that there are a lot of “good church people” who have deceived themselves as well. They have been convinced that having faith to believe for anything is all it takes.
Most of this kind of wrong teaching about faith comes from within the church itself. There is a large part of the church that has latched onto something that we call “The Word of Faith Movement”. Now not everyone who is involved in this movement believes what they try to teach, but I fear that more and more Christians are being deceived into believing what the Apostle Paul calls, “another gospel”.
Let me give you an example of how those who are immersed in this Word of Faith Movement believe.
In 1980 Harvest House published a book by Larry Parker entitled “We Let Our Son Die”. The book tells the tragic story of how Larry and his wife, after being influenced by one of America's numerous "word of faith" teachers, withheld insulin from their diabetic son, Wesley. As a result, Wesley went into a diabetic coma. The Parkers were warned about the danger of making a "negative confession”, continued to "positively confess" Wesley's healing until the time of his death.
Even after Wesley's death, the Parkers, still believing in the power of their "faith", conducted a resurrection service instead of a funeral. For more than a year following their son's death, they refused to abandon the "revelation knowledge" they had received through the "word-faith" movement. They kept “having faith, and positively confessing” that Wesley wasn’t dead and that he would rise from the grave.
Of course, Wesley never came back, didn’t rise from the grave, and their faith, and their lives were destroyed as a result. Eventually, they were tried and convicted of manslaughter and child abuse and went to prison.
Sometimes you can do all the positive confessing you want to, but if what you’re confessing is not according to the will of God, or in this case, you are tempting God, and trying to force God to move by the power of positive confession alone, and faith in your “word of faith”, then you are on the wrong track and destined to absolute failure.
Faith in faith is not “saving faith”; its “manipulating faith” and can only be used to manipulate the hearts of foolish men, but never the mind and purpose of Almighty God!
We all believe in divine healing. We all pray for miracles and we believe God is able and that he will do great things. And we praise the Lord when the answer comes, but we also know that God is sovereign, and his ways are above our ways, and there are times when God’s answer to your prayer will be “No!” Even in those times when our “faith” doesn’t produce the answer we hoped for, true faith will believe in God in spite of things not going our way, and we will continue to trust God, in faith, believing that in the end, everything will be for our good if we continue to serve the Lord.