To start at the beginning of this study on Romans Chapter 10, please click here
English Standard Version
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
As we discussed in the last post, the Jews were using the sacrificial system in those days before Jesus died. As a means of inference, I would like for you to consider the difference socially between that culture and ours. If you show up every Sunday, nice clothes on, smiles and handshakes all around, we want people to think or perceive that we have it all together. However, what can you say about the Jews on the day of worship? Well, I conclude that the church would be a very different place. There would be animals everywhere, waiting to be sacrificed, with all of their associated smells and sounds. Why would they be there? Because of the sins of the people who are bringing them to be sacrificed. So as you show up to kill the animal as atonement for your sin, your neighbor sees you, what you’ve brought, and you see your neighbor and what they have brought. And in this, you see others as sinners. Not just sinners, but sinners who seek to reconnect with their Creator by killing these innocent animals. And by doing this amongst their neighbors, and alongside their neighbors, I believe that they feel a deeper connection to one another. And so, it would be easy to see both sinner and sacrifice each week. It would not be hard to see the need for a savior, an ultimate sacrifice.
So, let’s look back at Romans 10 again. This is the key passage of the entire chapter. Paul writes this, as well as Ephesians 2:8-10
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not 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, that we should walk in them.”
To make it known that faith is not about jumping through hoops to achieve eternal life. It’s not about keeping 100’s of laws. Its not about sacrificing 100’s of animals. It’s not about putting up fences around sins so as to prevent anyone from getting too close and therefore prevent them from falling into sin (like that really worked anyways). The law did nothing but point to our fallen sinful condition. Salvation is, however, pure and unadulterated grace, which starts from God and ends with Jesus’ resurrection and the arrival of the Holy Spirit. You will also note that Paul says its not enough for someone to just acknowledge Jesus as a person who existed. It’s not enough to claim him as someone who just died. The demons acknowledge Jesus as the son of God, but that doesn’t mean they are saved. But rather that he resurrected and overcame death. By also proclaiming Him as the Lord of your life, you have handed over the keys, you have stepped out from behind the wheel, you have allowed Him to take over as the driver of your life. Simply put, in Jesus we have a hope, whereas the law showed us our blackness, Jesus showed us his light and in that light our darkness can be chased away. One more note. If you really believe something, don’t you have to act on it? If you love your spouse or family or friends, do you keep that to yourself? Never, that would never be true love.
How does the simplicity of the gospel affect your life?
Why do we try and make it harder than it has to be?
We know that narrow is the path that leads to heaven, but why do we not seek to bring more people with us?
How can the revelation of this good news help you be a better person? What things should you stop doing? What things should you do as a result of your salvation, not to earn it?
To start at the beginning of this series, click here
To continue with this study, click here