Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Christians can get saved

Romans 10:9 – 10

How Christians can get saved

“Jesus is Lord”

1. Jews understood “Lord” to mean “God.” (The Jews substituted the word “Lord” for the sacred name of God, in an effort to not use the name in vain, break the 3rd commandment.)

2. Romans understood “Lord” as referring to Caesar (proclaiming him to be a god)... this formula became a test of loyalty when Caesar issued “license” to be Christian. To obtain a license one had to swear an oath to the Roman “gods” and offer a sacrifice OR declares “Caesar is Lord.”

3. Political understanding: Declaring “Jesus is Lord” meant to make Jesus your ruler (King). As a counter measure against the Jewish leaders’ declaration “We have no king but Caesar.”

4. Ethical understanding: “Jesus is Lord” meant that Jesus controls your life... daily.

“Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit.” [1 Corinthians 12:3]

“So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” [Philippians 2:10 – 11]

“[Confess] denotes a public declaration or assent.” (Barnes)

The Greek word translated “confess” emphasizes saying the exact words: “Jesus is Lord.”

1. Not magic... instead it is a test.

2. Saying something publicly, “going on the record” is important.

CNN (the guy that took over the “Larry King Show”) asked Joel Osteen if he thought homosexuality was a sin. Rev. Osteen said “yes” because “that’s what the Bible said.” The questioner then noted this was the first time Osteen had taken a public stand on “sin.”

The prediction is this will dramatically change Osteen’s image of being “soft” on “hard” issues and his reputation for avoiding answering theological questions and concerns.

“Believe in your heart” (Heart = thoughts and feelings... the place choices are made)

1. Specifically the resurrection... why?

“(Jesus) was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” [Romans 1:4]

a. Jesus’ life and death are implied in His resurrection.

b. “Christ” meant “anointed one.” This was the Greek word for “Messiah.”

c. Nothing of what Jesus said and did is significant without the resurrection!

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, ... [12] Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? [13] But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. [14] And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” [1 Corinthians 15:3 – 4, 12 – 14]

2. Believe means to place confidence in... or “trust”... or “depend.”

a. Different ways to believe (something that doesn’t make a difference, something that effects us, or something that changes everything)

b. (Ill. of transferring our weight from our feet to the pew...) EXCLUSIVE!

It is with belief... in the heart... that we are “justified” (“made right” which is a legal term)

Why is this important?

1. The Jews worked out their own religious practices based on their traditions and religious teachers.

“For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.” [Romans 10:3]

3. They depended on “the merit of their works, and by their observance of the ceremonial law.” [Matthew Henry]

4. “The moral law was but for the searching of the wound, the ceremonial law for the shadowing forth of the remedy but Christ is the end of both.” {Matthew Henry)

5. The Jewish system of the Law said, “do and live.” Sacraments replaced truth, enthusiasm replaced knowledge, membership replaced salvation.

6. The Christian system of Grace makes the same error... it creates opposite and equal imbalances. Truth replaces obedience, holiness replaces truth, and enthusiasm replaces responsibility.

7. Both leave out the confession (and outward expression of an inward reality) with the mouth... “Jesus is Lord.”

Notice there are TWO different words for “saved” in the Greek text... They are distinguished by the verb tenses in the English translations.

[v 9] “you will be saved” (sozo – save, as in to deliver/heal)

[v 10] “is saved” (soteria – rescue)

The first is a promise that will one day be fulfilled the second is the present benefit of that promise. In other words we say “Jesus is Lord” to acquire salvation, not as a result of salvation.

“The moment a sinner believes, therefore, he is justified; his sins are pardoned; and he is introduced into the favor of God.” (Barnes)

“Confession or profession is so made as to obtain salvation.” (Barnes)

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