8 “But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in our heart (this is, the word of faith which we preach);
9 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.
10 For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.” Romans 10:8-10
13 “For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13 (See also John 1:12)
These verses are very concrete if you call upon the name of the Lord you will be saved. It is not maybe saved, hopefully saved, possibly saved, if my good acts out weigh my bad acts I’ll be saved. NO! It says “will be saved.” Could anything be clearer?
The Word is (1) near you, (2) on your lips and (3) in your heart and what is this word? It is the word of faith that we preach. Ah! There’s the kicker—the word that we preach.
So what is the word that we preach? If we confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead we will be saved. And just in case we still don’t have it figured out Paul declares, “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Everyone takes in a great deal of people. Everyone includes you and me regardless of how far we have fallen in the past and how broken we continue to be. I’ve met Christians who believe Jesus died for them and on the third day was raised up, but still don’t believe that good news can be for them. They feel unworthy and too corrupted to be accepted. The truth is, we are unworthy and corrupted, but when we believe, in spite of ourselves, we enter into a relationship with God. He sees us through the lens of the Son.
The Gospel is not just for super Christians who pray ten hours a day and go to church twelve times a week. There is nothing wrong with doing these things unless we are doing them to earn merit with God or to prove to God how righteous we are. The Gospel is for us all.
I often sit at this computer and think about what I am going to write next. But, over and over the Holy Spirit drives me to the Gospel. I don’t seem to be able to write of anything else. The simplicity of it and the magnificence of it overwhelm me. How can it be that God should love a wretch like me?
I am so far removed from a perfect Christian that it isn’t even funny. I know what a sinful heart I have in spite of my best efforts, and yet—God loves me.
For many Christians it is difficult to share their faith (confess Jesus with their lips). But, there is more to verse 9 than witnessing. It also has the meaning to believe it yourself. To pray with an accepting heart that Jesus loves you unconditionally is powerful and freeing.
I can think of nothing that overcomes discouragement like accepting the reality that Jesus loves you unconditionally in spite of who you are. This is the confession that sets you free from the power of Satan, discouragement and self-defeat. When we accept the sacrifice at Calvary, the wonder of the cross, the humiliations Jesus endured, and realize that it was all for us broken, confused, defeated, indifferent human beings we can’t help confess with our lips.
And what is it we confess? Jesus was raised from the grave thus giving power to us, through the Spirit, to trust and accept His grace for us. Our confession is not just for our own edification, however.
Our confession is missionary in profession. “But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!”
Take every opportunity to share your faith with the people around you. You don’t need to be pushy or obnoxious about it. You simply need to have love in your heart for what God has done for you and you won’t be able to help but share it. God loves you and the people around you. The difference between them and you is simply you know He loves you—they don’t.
Yet another great song from Chris Tomlin – Jesus Loves Me
* 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…