SO SIMPLE, REALLY
“Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: ‘The person who does these things will live by them.’ But the righteousness that is by faith says: ‘Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down) or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? ‘The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,’ that is, message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:5-9.
Why do we humans make complicated what God has made so simple that even a child can understand?
Righteousness which is achieved by keeping God’s law, takes hard work, is uncertain, and in the end is unattainable. No matter how hard anyone tries, he has already blotted his copybook because he was born with a sinful nature. He is not a sinner because he sins; he sins because he is a sinner.
Where does that leave us? Judged, condemned and sentenced to death! But God threw us a lifeline – Jesus. And Paul says, “You don’t have to try to find Him in heaven or in the grave. All you have to do is speak His name – Jesus, Lord – because He is alive and as near to you as your breath.”
“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess faith and are saved. As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'” Romans 10:10-13.
Can it be any simpler? For the Jew and for the Gentile it is exactly the same. It takes no more than the conviction of the heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confession of the mouth that God made Him “both Lord and Messiah” (Acts 2:36) to catapult us into the blessings and benefits of a new life in Christ Jesus.
God is not asking for an emotional “meltdown” before we can experience His salvation. The realisation that Jesus is alive and that He is the Son of God, is all that is needed to change the direction of our lives and secure our destiny as sons and daughters of God. Repentance may or may not be the result of an emotional storm, but it does require a change of mind. All God asks of us is that we understand what He has done for us, and receive it by believing it in our hearts and confessing it with our mouths.
In that one simple act of faith and confession, God sets us on the path to recovery; He begins the process of restoring us to whom He designed us to be in the beginning, sons and daughters created in His image to be one with him; and what He made us to do – to manage the earth in partnership with Him as His vice-regents.
He is doing what the Hebrews called tekkun olam – fixing everything that was broken, to the horizon, i.e., into eternity. What a hope! And He does this through His representative -Jesus. This is salvation – it is not a free ticket to heaven when we die; that is only one of the benefits and the end result of the process which begins when we believe and receive Jesus as Lord. Salvation is the journey to wholeness, back to where the human race began before sin intruded and interrupted God’s plan.
God has already determined, from before the foundation of the world, what we shall be and what we shall do as members of His forever family. He has an inheritance for us – our allotted possession which is ours by right as His sons and daughters. What is our inheritance and how do we possess it? According to Peter, our inheritance is His divine nature which we possess through His very great and precious promises.
“His divine power had given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises so that, through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:3, 4.
And all this by simply believing and receiving Jesus Christ as Lord!
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