Our confession of saving faith is this:
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. Romans 10:9
It is not Revelation 3:20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
There is a good reason for this. Firstly Romans specifically says that this is how one is saved. Secondly, Revelation is speaking to believers, not non~believers. Therefore simply inviting Jesus into one’s heart does not guarantee salvation.
So what exactly is Romans 10 saying?
What is meant by the term *Lord* & what are the implications for us?
The Greek word is Kyrios: which denotes authority.
In Classical Athens, the word kyrios referred to the head of the household, who was responsible for his wife, children, and any unmarried female relatives. Biblically it was the term that identified Christ as God, replacing the Hebrew term Adonai, which was used for YHWY. Adonai is the plural of Adon, Lord or Father, with connotations of master or owner but also of a strong base or foundation. The ai at the end of the root word adon intensifies the meaning of the word stressing God’s sovereignty as Supreme ruler, Lord of all.
It is an important distinction because, as we have seen from our study of the Hebrew word Shema, there is a close connection in Hebraic thinking between hearing & obeying.
So the first thing I would point out is that by using the term Lord you come into agreement that you have been rescued … from the kingdom of darkness and transferred … into the Kingdom of his dear Son… Colossians 1:13
You have changed allegiances & this brings certain privileges & responsibilities. Firstly we have the right to now call God, abba, father, which, as we have seen, is part of the meaning of the word Adonai. As our father God is now particularly responsible for us. All the promises are ours but some promises are conditional; others are not but He is our firm foundation.
Jesus Himself taught this in Matthew 7:24 & 25~
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
When we confess with our mouth we confirm the scriptures: for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see ~ such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16
1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we exist. And there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we exist.
Romans 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.
This is in direct contrast to worldly thinking which says things like: everything was created from nothing; you are your own god; you are master of your own destiny; man is just another animal.
You cannot confess Jesus is Lord if you still believe mankind controls his own fate. God is sovereign & we were made for his good pleasure, not for our own pleasure.
What’s more Jesus gives a warning about calling Him Lord, but not obeying his commands.
Then he said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23
"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" Luke 6:46
On judgment day many will say to me, 'Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name. But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws. Matthew 7:22~23
Following Jesus has always been about more than just the outward appearance. It is about the state of our hearts. If all we do is read our bibles & give lip service we are like Israel of whom Isaiah said: And so the Lord says, "These people say they are mine. They honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote. Matthew & Mark both reissue Isaiah’s warning.
So there is an obligation on us, if we claim to be the Lord’s, to follow His commands. Do you know what Jesus’ commands are? Have you studied for yourself to see how He requires you to live as His witness? As His follower?
We know :
“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” Luke 10:27~28
Agapaō kyrios ·ho sy theos….love the Lord thy God…
Agapaō ~ God love. Kyrios ~ Lord, Father, master, owner.
We know from John 15:13 That There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. He says we are His friends if we obey Him. Thus we are called:
· To lay down the life of our own feelings, impulses, desires, affections. [kardia, heart]
· To lay down our physical life [psyche]
· To lay down our ischus ~ whatever power, strength, influence we have in this world.
· To lay down our own intellect & understanding for Proverbs 3:5 says Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
This is what it means to die to self, to pick up our cross & follow Him, for we are to take on the life of Christ, the mind of Christ, the authority of Christ. It is neither an easy thing nor a light thing. In fact it is completely impossible unless we have God’s Holy Spirit to show us how it is done.
1 John 4:9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
In contrast Jesus says of the world: and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. John 5:40
1 Corinthians 2:16 says We have the mind of Christ…that is the Holy Spirit enables us to understand the spiritual matters of the Kingdom For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. 1 Corinthians 3:19
When we spoke of repentance we explained it was a turning away from the world & turning completely to follow hard after God. That is what repent means. That means we bring ourselves under the command of the Holy Spirit. We listen to His voice & we obey Him. His voice will teach us how to obey the commands of Jesus. His voice will enlighten our understanding of scripture. His Spirit will teach us to hate what God hates & to love what God loves. As our understanding grows so will our obedience.
We cannot have our cake & eat it too. We have to let our sin go ~ all of it; whatever it is. We have to be brave because Christ requires courage of us & say with the psalmist:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23~24
The second part of Romans 10:9 speaks about what we believe in our heats. The Greek word is pisteuō ~ which is the word for faith, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
2nd Corinthians 13:5 exhorts us to: Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
The reason for this is found in Hebrews 10:26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins…The writer to the Hebrews goes on to explain that deliberate sin tramples the blood of Christ underfoot & outrages the Spirit of Grace. Such behaviour shows no evidence of appreciating the sacrifice of Christ. No reverence. No appreciation. No love.
There is a very simple, very telling test we can apply to see if our faith is genuine.
1 John 5:4
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world ~our faith.
When we are genuinely born again we will reverence the blood of Christ. We will not willing act in such a way as to leave the way open for Him to be openly mocked & shamed. Rather our lives will give evidence of the New Creation & the resurrected Christ because He is indeed Lord.