Romans 10:9 - 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.
To be saved, however, you must not only confess Christ with your mouth, but as our text emphasizes, you must also "believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead." Our faith must be far more than lip worship. Jesus Himself, referring to Isaiah, had to say of the crowds which came to Him, "This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me" (Matthew 15:8).
Since that day there have always been too many Christians in name only, people who rely for their salvation on church membership, church attendance, denominational belief, or family tradition, without a deep, personal conviction of their own sin and living assurance of the Savior's grace. If some of you fear that your religion has been in your head but not in your heart, on your lips but not in your soul, then pray God to bless with the same Spirit which brought William Cowper all the way to Christ!
That celebrated English poet wrote: "I thought myself a Christian, when I had no faith in Christ, when I saw no beauty in Him, that I should desire Him, in short, when I had neither faith nor love, nor any Christian grace whatever, but a thousand seeds of rebellion instead, ever more springing up in enmity against Him. But blessed be God, even the God who is become my salvation! ... It pleased the Almighty in great mercy to set all my misdeeds before me. At length the storm being past, a quiet and peaceful serenity of soul succeeded, such as ever attends the gift of living faith in the all-sufficient atonement, and the sweet sense of mercy and pardon purchased by the blood of Christ."
May the Holy Spirit today similarly touch with His renewing power all of you who may have been Christ's only in name, but not in truth! May you contritely pray, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10). And from that divine Englightener receive the true, inner, sincere trust without which no man can see God!
Don't think that this question of salvation can remain unanswered until your old age, when, after living long years without the Lord, you, with one foot almost in the grave, can decide for the Savior! To have Christ's joy and peace in your heart, to overcome temptations, to lead cleaner lives, to triumph over your sorrows, to be able to say with confidence, "Heaven is my home," confess the Lord Jesus with your mouth, believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead!
In the resurrected Redeemer's Name I beg you: stand in spirit beneath His cross; grasp your Bible, the Word, "which is able to build you up": look steadfastly to the Crucified; and as the foes of faith encircle you, repeat the clarion cry of the Great Reformer: "Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me!" Then, you are saved, now and forever. The Holy Spirit grant you this greatest of blessings for the Savior's sake! Amen.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please give us the gift of faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Amen.
From "You Can Be Saved, If—," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, the first Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Are there people in your life who feel they are fine just as they are before God? Do you believe they are?
2. Why is it important to seek God now and not wait until later in life to do so?
3. How can our sense of pride in what we do get in the way of trusting Jesus?
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