Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Romans 10:8 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. 

8 ἀλλὰ τί λέγει; ἐγγύς σου τὸ ῥῆμά ἐστιν ἐν τῷ στόματί σου καὶ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου, τοῦτ᾽ ἔστιν τὸ ῥῆμα τῆς πίστεως ὃ κηρύσσομεν. 9  ὅτι ἐὰν ὁμολογήσῃς ἐν τῷ στόματί σου κύριον Ἰησοῦν καὶ πιστεύσῃς ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου ὅτι ὁ θεὸς αὐτὸν ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν, σωθήσῃ·

Paul is making a case for the Jews here.  In this chapter he explains how they need Jesus just as much as the Gentiles.  Being the offspring of Abraham does not get them into heaven.  They need to acknowledge Messiah, who is Jesus.  The Jews believed neither of the conditions in verse 9.  The construct ἐὰν ὁμολογήσῃς is a third-class condition which means basically what we have in English.  Confessing Jesus as Lord and believing in His resurrection will lead to salvation.

Sadly, some have twisted this verse to propose a salvation with no change on the part of the hearer.  This can be seen in the kind of revivalist preaching of someone like a Charles Finney.  Let's just get people to make a confession of faith and then we'll move on.  But if we look at this more closely we see that this is a lot more than simply praying a prayer.  Fundamentally, it is true that a single prayer can lead to salvation.  But what must the prayer be?  It is confessing (not asking) Jesus as Lord.  That means that His commandments become binding on us.  This cannot be a true confession if we simply go on living as if nothing ever happened.

Where are you?  Have you made this confession of faith?  If so, how has it changed your life?  If you can't point to any difference at all then what does "Jesus as Lord" really mean to you?  Probably nothing.  If that is the case then I urge you to reexamine your heart today.

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