With the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness
Romans 9:25-10:13 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
As He says also in Hosea,
“I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’ And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’” 26 “And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”
27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; 28 for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly.” 29 And just as Isaiah foretold,
“Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a posterity,
We would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.”
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written,
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
10 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8 But 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, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
John 3:16 says: God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. In today’s text it says: if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved… “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” These verses, while true, cause some people to mistakenly believe in a easy; guarenteed salvation. 2 Peter 3:9 says: The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. Since God’s desire is that none would perish, they believe and teach that most people will be saved; that perhaps because of God’s grace and compassion only the most vile would not be saved. Yet, in Matthew 7:13-14;21-23, Jesus Himself says: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it… “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Jesus seems to turn the numbers around. He says few will find the way and many, even those who called Him Lord, will be told to depart. What is it then? Do we have a sure and guarenteed salvation, or are we left to wonder and hope that we will be among the few who find the narrow way?
Today’s text says: There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all. So it is not by our birthright, by our heritage, our national origin, our race or ethnicity that we are saved. In Genesis 3:20 it says: Now the man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. It is important to note that this was after the fall, after sin had entered the world through disobedience. So that there is no distinction, is in part that everyone was born into sin. In Genesis 22:18, God’s promise to Abraham was: In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice. So the curse of sin entered the world and everyone through disobedience, but the promise and blessing of God was given through obedience. Philippians 2:5-11 says: Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Salvation came through the obedience of Christ; that He died for our sins. So, when in John 3:16 it says whoever believes will be saved, the believing is not just that Jesus lived and died, but that He died for our sins and as it says: if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. The believing then includes that Jesus was raised from the dead. In Matthew 16:24, as well as in Mark and Luke, Jesus says: "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” We are to follow Jesus in putting sin to death, and also then to living in the power of the resurrection.
In John 14:15 Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Our love of Christ is displayed through our obedience to Him. We cannot claim the promises of obedience if we live in disobedience. Ephesians 2:8-10 says: By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. We are not saved as a result of our good works but rather as a result of the finished work of the cross and the obedience of Christ. Yet, because we are saved, in obedience to Christ, we live, in the power of the resurrection, walking in and doing the good works that God has prepared for us and prepared us for. If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit for the free gift of salvation given through the obedience of Christ. I confess that Jesus is Lord and in obedience to His Lordship I choose to live in the power of the resurrection. Thank You for the righteousness that comes as a result of believing. I desire to follow Jesus; to be recreated in Him and do the good works that You prepared for me. Amen.