“The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in Him will be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows His riches upon all who call upon Him. For ‘every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13
Though Romans 8 is considered the heart of the New Testament I cannot but help believe that these verses in Romans 10 are some of the most beautiful, comforting and encouraging in the entire writings of Paul.
We live in a world where shame is an overwhelming and destructive force in the lives of so many people. Satan throws our past up as an insurmountable obstacle to our peace of mind and joy of life. We are bombarded daily with his lies that God is out to get us and looks down upon us as no more than filth under his foot. Satan drags our failures, downfalls, sins and bad decisions ever before us plaguing us with shameful memories of our past. Eventually we are overwhelmed with shame, disgust, self-loathing and total defeat.
Then come these words, “No one who believes in Him will be put to shame.” Imagine freedom from self-incrimination and constant nagging doubts of your self worth? Jesus offers us love, forgiveness, and removal of guilt and shame, and what do we have to do for such a precious gift. The answer, “believe in Him.” Believe He loves you unconditionally and holds you in His hand and will never let you go or give up on you or turn you away. Everyone else in life may fail us, but never Jesus.
Last evening, in one of our Bible study groups, we were talking about this text and how hard it is for us who have grown up with the notion that you have to work hard for everything you get to believe in free grace. It may be difficult to believe in it but it is still never the less true.
Well some of you are saying, “fine, believe in Him, but what does that mean?” The answer is found in verse 9. “confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved.” To believe on the Lord is to confess with your lips that Jesus saves you. It is to believe that you are saved, not maybe saved, possibly saved, someday saved, hope you’re saved—it means you are saved! If I could scream one thing from the rooftops of every house it would be your assurance of salvation.
There is no New Testament gospel if Jesus hasn’t risen from the grave. This is key to our being Christians and without our belief in this miracle we really have nothing to believe in. So, if you confess your salvation in Christ alone and it is based upon the reality of your conviction that Jesus rose from the grave and thus has the right to be your savior then you believe and your sins are forgiven and forgotten.
Just reflect upon these verses for a moment, “Therefore if any one is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has passed away behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
The great message of reconciliation that we are to preach into the world is that our sins are not held against us. Christ died for our sins and guilt and shame because Jesus died to remove that curse from us. You have freedom in Christ. (Romans 5:8)
“But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.” Romans 5:8-9
God loves us while we were sinners and since we are all sinners God’s love is not based on how good we are but instead upon how much we understand our need.
Moses killing a man, David committing adultery, Peter rejecting Jesus three times, Mary Magdalene was a hooker, Matthew a tax collector, all the disciples running away at the cross and the woman taken in adultery are not role models for our children. But, they were all loved and forgiven by Jesus.
Still not convinced, “In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:17-19
Is not this amazing? As Christians we do not live in fear of judgment because we are loved and God’s love cast out fear. If we picture God sitting in Heaven waiting to pronounce judgment on us for every little sin that we might have forgotten to confess we should shake in fear. But if we understand God loves us and is interceding for us and longing for the day we will all be together again then we have no fear.
Whenever I would go to visit my mother and father I knew the door was always open and I would be met by a big hug from mom and a grin a mile wide from dad. How they loved to see their family. There was never fear that they wouldn’t want any of us kids to come home. We knew that we were only going to be met by love. So it is with God.
Let’s end by looking at Romans 10:8-13 once again and see what Paul promises about salvation.
- If we confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the grace we will be saved.
- No one who believes in Jesus shall be put to shame.
- The Lord is Lord of all and “bestows His riches upon all who call upon Him”.
- Everyone who “calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved”.
No matter where you have been or what you are going through it is never too late to call on the name of the Lord. All that can happen is you will find salvation, freedom from the judgment and lose your fear.
“Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever, amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
If you’re struggling in a world of works and believing you will never be good enough regardless of how hard you try, it’s time to get off that merry-go-round and put your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee. It’s not about trying harder it is about trusting in the love of God.
May God bless you on your spiritual journey and keep you by the grace of Christ, forever and ever.
* Please take the time to read some of the stories of Christians who are experiencing persecution for their total commitment to Christ. They need our support and prayers.. http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…