Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Say the words and seal your faith

The Crucifixion - Alexandre Bida
The Crucifixion - Alexandre Bida
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Romans 9-10; Psalm 137

TO CHEW ON: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

In this passage, which gets at the nub of the good news—that we can be saved from our default sinful state—Paul makes several points.

1. Christ is the end of the law. He fulfilled it.
My Bible's notes explain: "Thus Paul emphasizes the sufficiency of faith in receiving the righteousness of God because in fulfilling the law's demands, Christ terminated its claim" - Wayne Grudem, notes on Romans, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1565.
We no longer have to be concerned about keeping the law perfectly to earn salvation—something we could never do in any case. Jesus did it for us.

2. Accepting this good news and having it apply to our lives is not hard or complicated. It involves two steps:
- Confessing our belief with our mouth—aloud, to ourselves, to others.
- Believing in our hearts that Jesus' death and resurrection (not keeping the rules of the law, not our good works) are the basis of our being saved from the death penalty our sins deserve.

I find the order of Paul's words here interesting. Wouldn't you think the sensible order would be to believe first and then confess? But he says confess, then believe.

I submit this order is no mistake. For though the germ of belief exists in thoughts (before they are uttered as words) there is something about saying the words that nails down the belief. As my Bible commenter puts it: "Oral confession declares, confirms and seals the belief in the heart" - Ibid.

If you're a believer who never expresses your faith aloud, complete the process. Say the words to yourself and to others. Say something like this (or put it in your own words): "I believe Jesus' death was not for His sins but for the sins of the world—mine included. I believe that God raised Him from the dead. Because I trust in His death and resurrection (not my own efforts), I am saved."

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for making this way for me to be saved from my sinful condition and sinful acts. Help me to express my beliefs out loud and often. Amen. 

PSALM TO PRAY: Psalm 137

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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