Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?


For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, “‘who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:5-13)

Rather than living by faith in God, the Jews established customs and traditions (in addition to God’s law) to try to make themselves acceptable in God’s sight. But human effort, no matter how sincere, can never substitute for the righteousness God offers us by faith. The only way to earn salvation is to be perfect – and that is impossible. We can only hold out our empty hands and receive salvation as a gift.

Christ is the “end of the law” in two ways. He fulfills the purpose and goal of the law (Matthew 5:17) in that He perfectly exemplified God’s desires on earth. But He is also the termination of the law because in comparison to Christ, the law is powerless to save. There are two kinds of righteousness, by works or by faith. One is inaccessible, the other is very accessible. Paul uses the words of Deut. 30:11–14 to demonstrate that righteousness by faith is not far off and inaccessible, but is as near as a person’s mouth and heart. All one has to do is repent, believe in Jesus, and confess that belief.

In order to be saved by the law, a person would have to live a perfect life, not sinning once. Why did God give the law when He knew people couldn’t keep it? According to Paul, one reason the law was given was to show people how guilty they are (Galatians 3:19). The law was a shadow of Christ – that is, the sacrificial system educated the people so that when the true sacrifice came, they would be able to understand His work (Hebrews 10:1-4). The system of ceremonial laws was to last until the coming of Christ. The law points to Christ, the reason for all those animal sacrifices.

Paul adapts Moses’ farewell challenge from Deuteronomy 30:11-14 to apply to Christ. Christ has provided our salvation through His incarnation (coming to earth) and resurrection (coming back from the dead), God’s salvation is right in front of us. He will come to us wherever we are. All we need to do is to respond and accept His free gift of salvation. The abyss (Romans 10:7) as used here refers to the grave or Hades, the place of the dead.

In Romans 10:10. “For” indicates that this verse explains Romans 10:9. The condition for righteousness, that is for being justified, is internal faith. The condition of salvation, meaning deliverance from wrath and from the power of sin, is external confession (see Romans 10: 1; 5:9, 10), which is calling on the Lord for help (see Romans 10:12, 13).

In Romans 10:11, Paul is not saying Christians will never be put to shame or be disappointed. There will be times when people will let us down and when circumstances will take a turn for the worse. Paul is saying that God will keep His side of the bargain – those who call on Him will be saved. God will never fail to provide righteousness to those who believe. Paul emphasizes the universal offer of salvation. Whoever in Romans 10:11 means “all.” Paul explains in Romans 10:12 that this includes Jew and Greek (Gentile). These verses must be read in context.

Have you ever been asked, “How do I become a Christian?” These verses Romans 10:9, 13, give you the beautiful answer – salvation is as close as your own mouth and heart. People think it must be a complicated process, but it is not. If we believe in our hearts and say with our mouths that Christ is the risen Lord, we will be saved. Confess comes before believe in this verse because “mouth” precedes “heart” in Deuteronomy (see Romans 10:8). The order is reversed in the next verse. One has to confess with the mouth to be saved.

Father God, it is my prayer today that whoever reads this post will humble themselves before you and repent of their sins and accept your Son Christ Jesus into their lives as their Savior and Lord. I also pray that the Spirit of Truth that now dwells in their hearts will convict them to be obedient to our Lord Jesus by being baptized and joining a local church of believers. I pray this all in Jesus' name. Amen.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), the Nelson Study Bible

8 comments:

rcubes said...

Amen...May God protect you and your family as you continue to share the Good News. May many come by here and may the Lord open their hearts and minds to understand His precious gift. Blessings to you.

Clint said...

I appreciate your blog and your ministry. I am now following you. You are invited to follow my blog. God bless.

B. Niles said...

I praise the Lord for you Lloyd and your special ministry. I enjoy your unabashed message of truth both to the saved and to the lost.
May the Lord use you mightily to advance His kingdom.

God's continued blessings.

Sheila Deeth said...

I love your combination of New and Old Testament references. Thanks.

Yuri Richardson said...

Shalom-From what I understand from your post; the point is being made that "the Law" is done away with. If this is your position; and your understanding of Jesus (fulfilling) the law than I wish to offer another view.

The Psalmist says "the law of YHWH is perfect converting the soul". While I agree with you, and Paul, who wrote Romans; that the righteousness of works, can NEVER be acceptable to God (because all have sinned); Paul who was a reader and lover of Torah and the Tanakh understood that the converting power that the Psalmist wrote about and experience in his own life came from none other than Yahshua (the living Word).

By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be saved. However, faith without works is dead. And the works that every follower of Yahshau (Jesus) is empowered to do (works of faith) are in harmony with the law of YHWH (God); for Yahshua says in John...If ye love me, keep my commandments. By virtue of His perfect sacrifice, death and resurrection, and His righteous life, we are called upon to purify ourselves....even as He is pure. (1Jn.3:3)This purity, which are we called upon to posses is found; (not in dead works of the law) but in the purity and power of an endless life...Yahshua haMashiach. (Jesus the Messiah)

Lloyd said...

rcubes - I want to thank you for your visit and encouraging comments. It is my prayer that those who have not found the joy and peace with our Lord will come to know Him. Blessings my sister in Christ.

Clint - Thank you for your visit and comments. I really enjoyed reading over some of the posts on your blog. May our Lord continue to bless you. Lloyd

B. Niles - Thank you for such encouragement. I pray daily that the Lord will us this blog for His purpose and will. There are so many lost souls out there in the world reaching out to God. The goal of this blog is to make sure that these folks are reaching out to the only TRUE God. Blessings.

Sheila - As always I enjoy your visits and kind comments. I always like to us both the OT and NT if possible being both are God Breathed and reflects His will in our lives. Blessings to you my friend.

Yuri Richardson - Thank you so much for your comments and visit my friend. I find in writing any post regarding the truths of God's Word, there are so many things that can be over-looked by a sinner such as I. Our Lord Jesus fulfilled the "Law" but it was never done away with. Both the OT and NT is the Word of God that will live on for eternity and shall never return void when spoken.

Isn't it a blessing that we no longer have to live by the 613 OT laws? There would be no way I could handle that. I pray daily for my free gift of salvation and the blood of Jesus that covers my sins. I agree with you that faith without works is dead... but we must not get this confused with our salvation. A true believer, after accepting Jesus as their Savior and Lord, will want to go out and do "good works" because that is what Jesus commanded.

How can the unsaved world know that we are truly a Christian without a change in our lifestyle, speech and actions? Jesus told us that the first commandment was to love God with all of our heart, mind and soul. The second commandment was to love our neighbors as ourselves. The first commandment summarizes the first four of the Ten Commandments. The second is the essence of commandments five through ten, which relate to the treatment of other people (Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:29-31, John 13:34-35). Blessings my friend.

Carmen said...

Lloyd, thank you for inviting me to your blog. I love the way you've summarized this with old and new testament scriptures, and I wholeheartedly agree. I will come back and look around some more soon. Blessings!

Jill said...

Hi Lloyd,

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog and for becoming a follower. So nice to meet you. I've enjoyed reading through your posts and look forward to reading more.
Have a wonderful day.
Blessings,
Jill