Following is an English transcript of the message I shared this morning.
We are coming back to chapter ten in our study of the Book of Romans. Both chapters nine and eleven speak of Israel as God’s chosen people and of their consequent rejection of Jesus. We looked at this in the last message.
Chapter ten opens and closes with a similar thought because it lies between the two. This time I do not want to look at that aspect of the chapter. Rather, what I want to notice is the main part in the middle of the chapter.
Perhaps what Christianity is most well-known for today is the concept of being saved. But what does it mean to be saved? And how does one become saved? And then how does one stay saved? These are all questions we want to find answers for in today’s message.
Let’s read Romans 10:1-7.
“Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God. For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).””
Romans 10:1-7 NLT
We will not consider this section long. As I said before, Paul is continuing with the thought of the nation of Israel’s relationship to God. But one thing I want to point out in verse four is important. There he points out that Jesus is the end of the Law. That is to say that Jesus completed the purpose of the Law. The Law is no longer necessary or effective.
This truth Jesus made very plain in those teachings of His we have recorded. Further, the Apostles taught the same. No longer do we look to the Old Law to establish righteousness with God. We cannot through the works of the Law find His favor. The Law always pointed forward to the work of Christ, which we now have complete in Jesus.
Verses six and seven ask us how we can by our own righteousness bring Christ into effect. Can we somehow go into heaven to demand a savior? Can we then after he is sacrificed, descend into the grave to resurrect him? These questions were to stir the hearts of the Jewish people who still today look for another Messiah to come and save them.
Let’s read Romans 10:8-13.
“In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.””
Romans 10:8-13 NLT
Paul presents us with a most precious truth: The Word of Truth is very near us. In fact, it is in our mouth and in our hearts; it is the Word of Faith that I preach this very morning. What a blessing to know that God and His truth is so very near us. We have access to the greatest treasure of all.
If we declare with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead to live forever, we shall be saved.
Sounds simple, right? In many ways it is simple. Starting our relationship with the Lord is a simple step of faith in Him. There isn’t anything we need to do ahead of time. We cannot earn this gift of salvation through Jesus; we must simply accept it. Then we begin our walk with Him.
When we believe with all our heart in who Jesus is and confess with our mouth that He is Lord and Savior, we are born again and made new. Born again–that is an apt description. For when we begin our relationship with the Lord, we are just like a baby. We have much to learn, and we need much help. The Holy Spirit will help us, and other believers can teach us and strengthen us.
Yes, this is a simple truth, but it is profound, as well. Consider the meaning behind these words. If we are declaring with our mouth, we are making a public statement about the choice and allegiance we are making. While that is simple, it is often an extremely difficult thing for people to do because they fear man more than they fear God.
And what is the public statement we are making? We say that Jesus is Lord of our life. Again, a simple declaration, but consider the impact. If Jesus is our Lord, if He is our Master, we are declaring that we will follow and obey Him completely. We are denouncing our old master the devil and his system found in the fallen, sinful world. We are turning away from that old life of sin and self and taking on the new life of obedience and sacrifice. That’s what it means to say that Jesus is Lord.
And believing that God resurrected Him sounds easy, but it has greater implications. Jesus’ Resurrection is key to our faith because it establishes that Jesus is alive today and forevermore. We are not merely serving the memory of a hero who died for us. No, we are choosing to devote our lives to a living King and Savior who stands at the right hand of God to intercede for us.
There is so much packed into that thought. Paul says in another place that if we were without the Resurrection, we would be of all men the most miserable. Because Jesus lives today, we can live new life today. Because Jesus lives forever, we have the hope of eternal life in Him.
And verse eleven says if we believe in Him, we will not be ashamed or disappointed. We have the history leading up to Jesus’ life on earth. We have the record of Jesus life where He proved Himself with signs and wonders and by fulfilling all prophecy. We have the further record of the beginning of the church, again established through signs and wonders and by fulfilling prophecy. And beyond this, we have the proof of the Holy Spirit who comes to live within each believer and who enables and empowers and encourages us. All of these things serve to strengthen our faith.
Verses twelve and thirteen are special. They tell us that we do not have to be special to be saved. We don’t have to be descended from Abraham or David to be counted as God’s people. And even if we are completely heathen and sinful, we have access to the same Lord Jesus who will richly give us all things.
I always feel so blessed and unworthy when I consider that truth. How much He has loved us! Even when we were dead in sins, He died to make a way for us to have new life and freedom from sin and death. How precious!
Let’s read Romans 10:14-21.
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “ Lord, who has believed our message?” So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have: “The message has gone throughout the earth, and the words to all the world.” But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said, “I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation. I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles.” And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying, “I was found by people who were not looking for me. I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.” But regarding Israel, God said, “All day long I opened my arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious.””
Romans 10:14-21 NLT
Paul speaks here of the message of the gospel going forth. People cannot call on Jesus if they don’t believe in Him. And they won’t believe in Him if they’ve never heard of Him. So it is important to share the truth of Jesus with others.
That’s why we came to Peru. That’s why we are working so hard to learn this language. We have others still in the States who can share the truth there, but we want others here to learn to know Jesus like we do. My life is changed because of the Lord Jesus. I live every day to love and obey Him and to become more like Him. This is my life’s goal.
And it is such a beautiful life. Yes, we still have earthly troubles like anyone might, but we have something most don’t. We have eternal life in our hearts and a love and peace that passes the world’s understanding. I want others to have what I’ve found in Jesus.
But Isaiah said, and Paul quoted, that many will hear and not believe. Everyone did not believe in Jesus when He was alive and constantly performing miracles in His years of ministry. Many did not believe His Apostles later as they went throughout the world, preaching the truth and telling the story of Jesus. And many since have rejected the gospel.
As God said, He continually holds out His hand to a stubborn people. Because of His great love, He continues to offer the way of salvation. But time will not last forever. We will someday die, and after death comes the judgment. What do we have to show for ourselves?
If you are living in sin today, why do you wait a moment more? Can you not picture an eternity forever separated from God, lost in darkness and torment? Would you not rather wish to be in the sunshine of His love? But there’s more than the promise for the future. We can have new life and peace and joy today. Jesus didn’t save us only for after death, He came to give us new life now.
Why wait any longer? Accept Jesus as Lord of your life. Confess Him to be your Master. Make a public, visible allegiance with Him. Leave the old life of sin and shame and follow Him in love and obedience.
For if you choose to make Him your King and believe He lives forever, you will be saved.