But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.(Romans 10:8-11)
Israel is currently exiled from her high calling as the Holy Nation of Priests and Evangelists of the New Covenant. Why?
According to the apostle Paul, it is due to Israel’s ignorance of the true nature of Righteousness (Right Standing) with God, and because of her stubborn insistence that she could construct a Righteousness of her own, earning God’s favor through the performance of ‘Mitzvot’, i.e. good works.
She has rejected the Righteousness that God has provided, which is simple faith in the Messiah Jesus, who came and died for our sins upon a Roman cross, but who was proven to be the Son of God, when God raised Him from the dead on the third day.
True Right Standing with God can only be entered into by the one who is willing to “Confess with His mouth the LORD Jesus, and Believe in His heart that God has raised him from the dead.”
This ‘Righteousness’ through a substitution sacrifice, is contemptible to the proud do-gooder religionists. There is nothing in it that is glorifying to man, in fact it is deeply humbling because it presupposes the total spiritual bankruptcy of mankind, and brings glory to the mercy of the Holy God.
We have examined how the ongoing belief that Jesus is the LORD, that is God in the flesh, transforms the sinner into a saint. The most determinate aspect of any person is what he believes, rightly or wrongly, about God.
When a rebellious sinner’s heart is broken by the gospel which tells him that the eternal God humbled himself and became a man, in order to save him, this belief wrests the control of sin and rebellion from the heart, and restores the sinner into what He was intended to be, a worshipper of the only true God!
Now Paul tells us that “Confession (of the Lord Jesus) is made unto salvation”.
What is it about the confession of Jesus that saves us?
There are many terms for salvation, because it is a multi-faceted experience, which we will admire for eternity, never plumbing the depths of the mystery of it. We speak of being “born Again”, and becoming a “New Creation”, being “crucified with Christ”, “reconciled to the Father”, “Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb”, and “Justified”, “Washed”, renewed”.
Each of these expressions and many more, focus on one aspect of the mystery of salvation, and each address different aspects of that out of which we are being saved.
When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, we are told he exhorted his hearers, to
“… Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” (Acts 2:40)
What did He mean by this terminology? The Apostle was telling his hearers that one of things they need to be rescued from is their own generation, the age they were living in. They urgently needed to turn to Christ and to be willing to be identified in and with Him, that they not perish with their own (perishing) generation.
When we confess openly, with our mouth that “Jesus is Lord”, we are ‘saved’, i.e. separated out from among this “Wicked generation”. Confession is a very powerful way of identification. Identification with Jesus in the midst of the Messiah rejecting world, glorifies God.
Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.(Luke 12:8-9)
The perishing, hell bound world confesses that ‘man is LORD’ or that ‘SELF is Lord’ or even that ‘Caesar is LORD’, or ‘Allah is LORD’, but the Christian subscribes to a different confession, and that confession separates him from all others.
What are we saying when we say Jesus is LORD? We are proclaiming that God became a man and dwelt among us. As Paul tells us, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…”. We cannot truly say “Jesus is LORD’ but by the Holy Spirit.
The confession of Jesus is ongoing, it is not a one time experience. We take up the good confession, bearing it as Jesus bore the cross in his time. By our adherence to it, we are “Crucified to the world, and the world is crucified unto us…” for the confession that Jesus is LORD upends every worldly supposition about both God and man.
The Righteousness of God that the Jews have thus far refused to ‘submit to’, is attained by simple faith in Jesus, His death, resurrection and Deity.
Forme it was in the simplicity of a prayer something like this, that I found God, and peace with God;
“Jesus I believe that you died for my sins, and that God has raised you from the dead. I admit that you are LORD, Jesus you are my God. Come into my life, and wash away my sins and save my soul.”