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Watch 2022 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Justified By Faith

Derek Prince - Justified By Faith

Derek Prince - Justified By Faith
TOPICS: Bible Study, Book of Romans, Justification, Righteousness

All right, what is the message? Verse 8 and following: The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart that is the word of faith which we are preaching So, this righteousness comes through a word, the word of the gospel. The message of the gospel is the only key that opens to you the door to the righteousness of faith. Think how important that makes it. Until this message is proclaimed, people even if they long to attain to righteousness, cannot. What an obligation we have to proclaim it to the whole of the human race. Not just sit in church on Sunday mornings and sing a few hymns. That doesn’t discharge our debt to humanity. What does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart that is, the word of faith which we are preaching.

Notice that in achieving righteousness by faith there are two parts of the human personality that must be involved. The mouth and the heart. And in these three verses, Paul uses each of them three times. The first two times it’s the mouth and then the heart, the last time it’s the heart and then the mouth. I think that’s very significant. It’s not exactly easy to know what’s in our heart. In fact, the only person who really knows the heart is the Lord. So if you want something in your heart, how do you get it there? By saying it with your mouth. By repeating it. It may seem as though nothing is happening, but after a while, it happens. It’s very interesting because when we say in English to learn by heart, Hebrew says to learn by mouth. How do you learn by heart? By repeating with your mouth the same phrase again and again until it’s got to where? Your heart. then you don’t have any more effort.

That’s why it’s so important to memorize Scripture, because when you’ve memorized it, there’s no more effort. Ruth and I have got probably 50 passages of Scripture we memorized. It’s no effort to us. I could call her up here and we could state them together. Because we have repeated them so often, they’re in our hearts. So, if you believe the Bible, if you receive the message, then the way to get it into your heart is by way of your mouth. Do you understand? This is a real important key. Let me just read those words, verse 9: that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. That’s the clearest single statement in one verse of how to be saved. You confess with your Mouth Jesus as Lord, you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.

Notice, if you don’t believe in His resurrection, you cannot be saved. I said that in the previous session. And then the third time Paul changes the order. For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. We need to know the meaning of the word confess. It's a, the English word is derived from a Latin word which means to say the same as, and that’s the meaning of the word in the Greek text. It means to say the same as. So, confession for us as Bible believing Christians means we say the same thing with our mouths as God has said in His word. Now, you’re not free to add to the word and you should not take away from it. You don’t immediately believe it. Like Jesus Himself took our infirmities, bore our sicknesses, with His wound we are healed.

You say, But I’m sick. Well, that’s true, it’s perfectly correct, you are sick. But it’s not what the word says. So you have to make a decision whether you’re going to side with the word or side with the symptoms. And this is not a quick, and easy decision. It’s something that has to be worked out. Do you see? As a matter of fact, my dear brother here has got a wonderful testimony of how he was healed of... what do you call that thing? Sugar diabetes. He was diagnosed, that’s Terry there, he was diagnosed as having diabetes in an acute stage. Of course, he should give this testimony but I see him there, it comes to mind. He simply said, "Doctor, I don’t receive that. With His wounds I’m healed".| And here he is totally free from diabetes. That’s just a rather dramatic example. Now, this is not a system, you can’t make it work; it has to come from the heart. Do you see?

You’ve got to believe in the heart. It’s one thing to believe in the mind, it’s another thing to believe in the heart. How do you get it to the heart? By way of the mouth. Do you see what I’m saying? You’ve got to do two things: confess Jesus with your mouth as Lord, believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. That’s the basic requirement of salvation. And if you’re not sure whether you believe it, but you’re sincere and you believe the Bible is God’s word, just keep saying it with your mouth. I’m looking at my wife here in front of us. We have been doing this for three years, and it’s taken a lot of guts, to use a rather vulgar word, but we’ve held onto it. We have not let go. And it’s working. It’s working. It’s not been easy. Nobody says it will be easy. But, that’s God’s way. We can’t substitute some other way.

Now I’m just talking about healing of sickness because the word salvation is the all inclusive Biblical word for everything that was accomplished by the death of Jesus on the cross. And if I were to start into that subject now I would not get back, so I have to redirect myself. All right. Let’s go on with Romans 10, Paul goes on to point out in verses 11 and following that this plan of salvation is open to everybody. It’s not restricted to Jews but it’s for whosoever. He says: For the scripture says, Whoever believes in Him, will not be disappointed That’s Isaiah 28:16. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. In this respect that we’re all sinners and God has provided the same remedy for all of us. For the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon him; and then verse 13: For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

So you believe in your heart, confess with your mouth, call upon the name of the Lord and it works for whoever. It’s marvelous when one has the privilege of dealing with people who have no religious background or no Christian background. And you simply explain it to them this simply and they do it, and it works. Do you know? They don’t have any idea about church or hymns or things like that, but they just lay hold of this one fact, you’ve got to believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved. Millions and millions have been saved that way, isn’t that wonderful? This is not some abstract theory, this is something that works. Like everything that God says, it works. Now I’ve come to one of my favorite Scriptures which is Romans 10:17. I’m skipping out 16 because I’m going back to it... All right?

So, faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ or the word of God. either is posssible. See. If you don’t have faith, you can get it. This is a word of encouragement. During my military service, I was one year on end, In a military hospital in Egypt, and Egypt is not the place to choose to be a hospital. With a condition that the doctors were not able to cure. I had just come to know the Lord, being baptized in the Spirit, but I had no kind of religious context. And As I lay down on the bed I said to myself day after day; I know if I have faith, God will heal me. But the next thing I always said was but I don't have faith. When I said that I was in a long dark valley of despair. But one day a glorious ray of light shone into that darkness. Do you know where it came from? Romans 10: 17 So, then faith comes by hearing hearing by the word of God.

If you don't have faith, you can get it. Listen, it comes, it comes, it comes. You don’t have to sit there in despair and say, I have no faith. There’s a way to get faith. And I want to explain the way because it’s important. Faith comes by hearing, hearing by rhema, the proclaimed word of God. The first stage is not faith, it’s hearing. But when the word produces hearing, out of hearing faith comes. I saw such a vivid illustration of this early in my ministry. Some of you might not picture me this way but I used to be a street preacher in the streets of London. For 8 years, I preached on the streets of London. I’m very used to open air preaching. In fact, it’s a good way to learn to preach because you don’t have any notes and you don’t have a concordance. And, you’ve probably got a lot of opposition, and you really come out with what you’ve got and that’s all you have!

Anyhow, I was preaching one evening and there was quite a crowd of maybe 100 people gathered around listening. It was a fine summer evening in London and a young man came walking past, sauntering past, he wasn’t really going anywhere, he was just wandering along. I saw a look of scorn on his face and he said to himself: What’s that idiot talking about? But, he stopped. And he began to listen. And all the time I spoke, for another 10 or 15 minutes, I was watching his face. And gradually the smirk disappeared and a look of real intense interest came in his eyes. So when I got to the end I did something I often did, I said, Now, if anybody here wants to be saved, I’m going to pray a prayer out loud in the middle of this ring, sentence by sentence. You can pray the same prayer after me in your heart. And if you really mean it, you’ll be saying it.

So I prayed a simple prayer asking for salvation, opened my eyes and looked at that young man, and his face was changed. So I walked straight up to him and said, You’ve just prayed that prayer, haven’t you? And he said, Yes, I did. And what a demonstration it was to me because he came past 20 minutes earlier as a complete unbeliever, but he stopped and he began to hear, Do you see? And out of hearing, faith developed and he could be saved. One problem with many of us as Christians is we don’t take time to hear. We open our Bible, read a chapter, close the Bible and go off to work or the kitchen or wherever. It takes time for faith to develop. You need to spend time in front of your Bible. It’s not my job to tell you how to make the time but let me tell you this, people find time for the things they consider really important. If you consider it important enough, you’ll find time for it. So, that’s it. Out of that faith you can fulfill the requirements for salvation, you can call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved.

Now Paul comes back to a thing which was a great problem for him, you can see him struggling with it. Why didn’t my Jewish people believe? And so we’re going to look at that for a moment. Going back to Romans 10 verse 16, going back one verse: However, they did not all heed the glad tidings Well, we should have looked at verse 15, because he’s quoting Isaiah that beautiful passage: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things! He said this is a picture of the people carrying the message of the gospel. Then he says: However they did not all heed the glad tidings; for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our report? Do you know where that quotation is taken from? It’s the first verse of Isaiah chapter 53, and Isaiah chapter 53 is the most complete prophetic unveiling of the atonement of Jesus Christ. But, there’s a warning: Not everybody is going to believe. Do you understand that? The problem is not that God hasn’t provided the solution, the problem is we don’t accept it with faith.

And so, Paul wrestling with this issue, Why didn’t my Jewish brothers believe? goes back to the Scripture and says, Isaiah warned us Who has believed our report? Not everybody. And then he goes on to say, and we’re going to verse 18, sorry! we’re missing out verse 17 because we’ve already dealt with it But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have. It’s not because they didn’t hear. And then he quotes Psalm 19 about the testimony of the sun and the moon and the stars, but he applies it to the message of the gospel. Their voice has gone out into all the earth and their words to the ends of the world. So he said it’s been proclaimed.

See, when Jesus said to His disciples in Mark 16:15, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to every creature, from that time it was proclaimed. Jesus had released the word into all the world. That still means you and I have got to take the word, but it has been released. Until Jesus spoke those words there was no authority for anybody to go and do it. So, Paul says now the word has been released. And then he says in verse 19: But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? And then he answers his own question. On the contrary, Moses the great authority warned us. And he quotes from Deuteronomy chapter 30. Is it? 30 yes. No sorry. Deuteronomy 32. Thank you. I’m not going to turn to Deuteronomy 32, I’m just going to read the quotation here: Moses says to Israel, I will make you jelous by that which is not a nation, By a nation without understanding, I will anger you.

Now, it’s a good question, what is the foolish nation? You and me. The Gentiles, DO you see? We are a foolish nation by comparison with Israel. Because, Israel had had 15 centuries of God’s instruction, they were set apart. But God is going to and He has done anger the Jews by accepting a people whom they despise. I mean, we have to face that fact. Even today in the Hebrew language, to a lot of people the word goy is a term of contempt. Goy is the Hebrew word for Gentile nation. So God took the silly Gentiles to provoke the religious and clever Jews. And He warned them that He was going to do it.

In Deuteronomy 32, Moses said, They provoked me to jealousy by that which is not a God, by their idols. I’ll provoke them to jealousy by that which is not a people. You have to understand there are two words in Hebrew, one is am, the other is goy. Am is people, goy is nation. Am is a nation that has a covenant relationship with God. There was only one am in the world until the gospel, that was Israel. Now we also are a people that have a covenant relationship with God. Not the Americans, the British, but the church of Jesus Christ. We are a people. And that was designed by God to provoke the Jews to jealousy. One thing that’s tragic to me is really over the centuries the church has done so little to make the Jews jealous.

I have a friend, Larry Tomczak, known to many of you. I was with him in ministry just a week ago. And in his book that tells his life story he tells: how he was working for a very intelligent and influential Jew who was a head of the AFL-CIO in Washington. And Larry, a new believer with enthusiasm, was witnessing to this man with wisdom and tact, and the man didn’t reject his witness but he said, When I find something in Christianity that’s better than what I have as a Jew, I’ll accept it. And that is the attitude of many Jewish people. And honestly, if you were a Jew and you looked at the church from the outside as presented in the media and as in the lives of some people, why would you want to change? Basically, the Jewish people take much better care of their own than the church does.

I have to know that because of the experience of my wife Ruth. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to go into this, but she converted to Judaism, was a practicing Jewess for more than 20 years. And when her marriage broke up and her family fell apart, the whole synagogue rallied around her. They didn’t leave her. How many times does that happen in Christian congregations? See, there’s a real challenge. We’re supposed to be making the Jews jealous. And you know, I’m not Jewish. But you know, Jewish people, when they see something that works, they want it. They say, Show me if it works, I’ll buy it. Well, they can’t buy this but they’ll get it. All right. Then, we’re still in this theme of how come that Israel didn’t believe, and Paul always goes for an answer to the Bible, he doesn’t go anywhere else, to the prophets. And so he quotes in verse 20 something that’s found in Isaiah chapter 55. The Lord says: I was found by those who sought me not, I became manifest to those who did not ask for me.

Who were those who did not ask seek, did not ask? The Gentiles, that’s right. But as for Israel He says, All the day long I’ve stretched out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people. So, Paul says and I mean, he’s really got his Jewish brothers in mind he says, We were warned. We couldn’t say that it would never happen to us because our own prophets told us, our own Moses said God’s going to make us jealous by a people that really aren’t the people, by people that are on a different level from us spiritually and even intellectually. And then through Isaiah the Lord said, I’ve stretched out my hands to you all day long and you’ve not obeyed me, but I’ve been found by a people who weren’t even looking for me. So you see, to sum it up, the difference between the righteousness of faith and the righteousness of law: the righteousness of law says: I do this, I do that, I keep this, I keep that, therefore I am righteous.

And Paul says earlier in Romans, and we looked at it, boasting is excluded by the law of faith. What does that imply? That if you’re righteous by keeping a law, you’ve got something to boast about. And what is the motive that makes you want to boast in one simple word? Pride. you see, the root problem is pride. Let me ask you this question. In the history of the universe, what was the first sin? Pride, that’s right. And when the devil comes to tempt you and me, he can’t do anything more than what brought about his own disaster. That’s where he always aims. And what is the greatest single factor that creates pride in human beings?

Now, we have many possible answers but I’ll tell you want I believe, religion. Religion is the single greatest source of pride. I never believed that Communism would hold a grip on the Russian people for very long because I know the soul of the Russian people. But believe me, brothers and sisters, there’s a much more dangerous alternative coming which is religion, religiosity. I personally believe we just got a short interval between the demise of Communism and the rise of a religious system which will be much more enslaving than atheistic Communism. I mean, the devil will use anything. He’ll use Communism but it’s not his number one weapon. His number one weapon is religion because it appeals to human pride. Do you see that? And I’ll also say this, which is just a little extra. If you ever fall into deception or erroneous teaching, your root problem will be pride. The only thing that opens the way to deception in a believer is pride. And you’ll find almost all errors appeal to pride. If you join this group you’ll be more spiritual. This is the group of overcomers. We’re the ones who’ve got the answers. Join us and you’ll be right. My comment is if you join them you can be sure of one thing, you’re wrong.

Now this is the motive behind almost every cult, We’re the right people. We are better than others, we have more knowledge than others, we have a higher revelation than others. But the same thing permeates the church. I’ve got this doctrine, therefore I am more righteous than the people who don’t have this doctrine. And the only solution is humility, we have to humble ourselves. Humility and faith go together. Pride and unbelief go together. See, God’s method of salvation through faith undercuts all human pride. It leaves us nothing to boast about except as Paul said, the cross. Well let’s move on into Romans chapter 11 which we will not be able to go very far. But then Paul raises this crucial question which keeps coming up and is one of the primary questions in the church today, Romans 11 verse 1 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? They have in Greek a form of a question that expects the answer no.

And Paul uses that. God has not rejected His people, has He, expecting the answer no. May it never be! Halilah in Hebrew. When we were going through the first part of Romans, Do you remember what I suggested? Perish the thought. How can we entertain such a thought. God has not rejected His people, has He? Perish the thought. For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. So Paul says, I am proof that God has not rejected the entire Jewish people. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Do you understand? We come back again and again to that decisive factor, those whom God has chosen and foreknown are His people. I don’t believe there are going to be any surprises for God in eternity. There may be a lot of surprises for us. Well, brother, I never expected to see you here! You didn’t have the right doctrine and you didn’t belong to the right group. I don’t know how you made it! But the most shocking surprise of all would be if we didn’t get there.

So, God has numbered the elect, that’s my personal conviction. He knows exactly how many seats to put around the table for the banquet for the marriage supper of the Lamb. And there will be a place card in each place. All you have to do is walk around until you find your place, it’s already appointed. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. And then we come back to this period in the history of Israel when Elijah was the main prophet. Do you not know what the scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? The old King James says, He makes intercession against Israel. That’s always gripped me. Here’s a prophet of God making intercession against God’s people. I believe it was a weakness in Elijah, I don’t believe we should ever make intercession against the people of God. I can understand, I’ve often felt like doing it myself but I think it’s a weakness, we should not yield to it. What did Elijah say? He said, Lord they have killed thy prophets, they have torn down thine alters, And I alone am left, and they are seeking my life And he had to go all the way to Mount Sinai and get back to where the law was given and have a personal interview with the Lord.

You remember, it was a dramatic interview, he was there on the mountain And the wind passed by and tore the rocks, but the Lord wasn't in the wind. And then there was an earthquake but the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. And then there was fire but the Lord wasn’t in the fire. And then there was what used to be called a still, small voice. The modern translations say a sound of gentle blowing. And that was more impressive and more authoritative than the wind, the earthquake and the fire. It was just the voice of God. You see, when you hear God’s voice, He doesn’t have to shout. He can shout but when you hear God’s voice, in a way, the most precious experience, it’s just to have that quiet, authoritative voice that tells you just how things are.

And so, the Lord corrected Elijah and said you’ve got your figures wrong. What was the divine response to him? I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Notice again the emphasis on God’s grace. I have kept for myself. They didn’t keep themselves, I have kept them. They are my reserved remnant. And then Paul goes on to say: In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. That’s the translation here. but the literal translation is according to the choice of grace. So we come back to this theme, it’s grace that makes God’s sovereign choice, and God’s choice is what settles who His people are to be. And God has a remnant both in Israel and in the church. Can you accept that? I believe the same principles apply, that’s why it’s so important we study the facts about Israel, because they apply in principle to us. So, God helping us, in the next session we will complete Romans chapter 11, with help from God.
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