When in Rome (a Look at Romans) – Part 5

Today I take a look at Romans 5, and I am glad that I am doing so. Since I wrote about faith last week, I have been under some fairly heavy attack from the enemy. The words of the people who said that faith does not matter, and that God will do what He has planned to do, regardless of our response, have been ringing through my head. Not in an encouraging way, but to try and bring me down, to try and make me give up. Romans 5 once again states the importance of faith, and what Jesus has already done for us. Let’s take a look.

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. Now please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that it is all up to us, we would have nothing to have faith in if Jesus hadn’t first died for us. Also, this faith is talking about accepting Jesus as our Saviour, but it doesn’t end there. It says that we are now in a place of undeserved privilege. Is that privilege only the fact that we will go to heaven, or is there more to it than that? We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. This is talking about more than just being saved, it talks about life. This piece of scripture says that we can rejoice when we run into problems and trials, but I need to clarify here, as this is widely misunderstood. We are not accepting the problems, we are rejoicing because God will use the problems to make us stronger. I don’t believe that God sends the problems, He merely uses them to our advantage. Please don’t think that you’re in a mess because ‘God wants you there’. I don’t believe that He does. When we go through trials and problems, we develop endurance, which develops strength of character, which builds faith. This faith does not lead to disappointment, because God is faithful to complete what He has started in us. The big question is, do we believe this, do we act like we believe it? This is why I believe that faith is so important.

If you’re getting a bit big-headed by now, thinking that it is all up to us and that God is merely a ‘puppet’ in our story, let me set the record straight. God loved us first, without Jesus, we wouldn’t have a choice. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. God is the one that makes this all possible, our response to Him is not showing how wonderful we are, but how wonderful He is. Us accepting His gift is the least that we can do in response to what He has already done for us.

The chapter then goes on to show us how Jesus fixed the issue that Adam (humans) caused. This is a rather interesting passage as, once again, it shows us that the law was only there to show us what sin was, and to show us what Jesus has offered us salvation from. Why then do we go on trying to obey the law? Yes, we want to root sin out of our lives, but what is your motive? If you’re rooting it out because you don’t want to give the devil a foothold, then great. If you’re doing it to try and earn salvation, then you’re wasting your time. God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We’ll look at this some more next week, I just want to encourage everyone to keep on having faith. Keep stepping out in faith and trusting in God. I know that it is not easy, especially when you don’t see the results that you are believing for as quickly as you would like, but we serve a faithful God.

Until next week.

Richard

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