Confessing Jesus Christ
Now, our next segment, Understanding the Scriptures, we continue our exploration of the doctrine of salvation, with our attention specifically focused on the subject, What Does It Mean to Confess Jesus Christ?
Here again with Dave Hunt is T. A. McMahon.
Tom: Dave, we’re going to jump right into Romans:10:9-15, but I want to go over it kind of verse by verse. As you know, and for some of our new listeners, we've been addressing the gospel. What have we got? The gospel. What could be…what’s more incredible?
Dave: We're told to preach the gospel.
Tom: Yeah, and we've been looking at it for a number of weeks from every which-way that you can through the scriptures.
Dave: That’s very important, because “the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe it.” So, if you believe a false gospel, you're not saved.
Tom: Romans 10, starting with verse 9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Confession here. Believing. How do the two go together, Dave?
Dave: Well, on the one hand, Tom, it seems awfully simple. “Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus.” What does that mean? Well, just saying there’s somebody named the Lord Jesus who existed back there? No, I think that includes everything that He is—who He is. What did He accomplish?
And, the fact that He is Lord, that means that He is God—because if He's not God, who became a man, never ceased to be God and will never cease to be man, the one and only God-man, then He couldn't save us. So I think that it means I believe in Him, and I confess with my mouth—in other words, it's not some secret faith.
People often say that to me: “Well, I have my own private belief, my own private faith,” and I say, Really! What does God have to say about it? You've got your own private ideas, your own private religion. What does God have to say about it?”
So it's not a secret thing that we have. Furthermore, if we really know the Lord and we're saved, we want to tell others. So, this demonstrates the reality of what we believe, but it's a belief in Christ and who He is: “He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life” and then…
Tom: Well, it’s not a formula, either. It’s not mantra or something that we put together.
Dave: Exactly. You don't just get someone to repeat the words.
Dave: Has to come from the heart…
Tom: Well, wait...add verse 10 to that, and then you can…
Dave. […unintelligible] is believing that He rose from the dead. He’s alive.
Tom: “For with the heart, man believeth unto unrighteousness and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.” You know, as you started to say—or, as we were sort of discussing—if you love Jesus, if Jesus is the center of your life, this confession of Him is going be an everyday thing. It's like telling somebody about the one you love the most, and the one who does—has done so much for you, sometimes you can't hardly understand it, God is so good.
Dave: You ever see a young lady who just got engaged, and she has the ring and she's hiding the ring and she doesn't wanna tell anybody? No, she can't help but tell everyone! And so, if we really know the Lord, we're not ashamed. We’re not Secret Service Christians, going around trying to keep people from knowing. On the other hand, some people are shy and some people are uncertain; they may be afraid because someone might ask them a question that they can't answer. But the Lord will give that boldness. But we confess our mouth! We love the Lord, and we want to let people know! If we hav a pill, and the whole world is dying, and we have a pill that would cure them, wouldn’t we want to tell everyone?
On the other hand, there are people who will criticize you, say you're pushing your beliefs on others, you know—so you have to remember that that could happen as well.
Dave: But out of the sincerity of our hearts, our love for the Lord, and our love for the loss, we confess Him with word of mouth.
Tom: Well, as we mentioned last week, it's a matter of sharing, but we want people to know what we have. And sometimes we can push it too far. There are some who just reject it. I think you have to be led of the Spirit, how you move into situations like that and do it God's way. The way that He would have you do it.
Verse 11: “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.”
Dave: Well, if I really believe in the Lord, I'm not going to be ashamed of Him. If I’m ashamed of Him why would I believe in something, or in someone, of whom I would be ashamed? Why would I cast my lot with someone that I would be ashamed of?
So if we really trust Him, we love Him, we believe in Him, we're not ashamed of Him. And if we're ashamed of Him, that's not a good indication as to the reality of our faith.
Tom: Mm-hmm. I’ll keep going: verse 12: "For there is no difference between Jew and Greek and the Greek or Gentile, for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. Jesus said, “I've come that you might have life and a bit more abundantly.”
I mean, there's a richness that sometimes we—we talked earlier about greed. This is not a richness like that. It's far and away better.
Dave: And God is no respecter of persons. Salvation is to the Jew first, also to the Greek (meaning the Gentile). It's “whosoever will” may come. This is not some exclusive club. This is not just for the initiated few, but the Gospel is to every creature, and Jesus said, “Go out to all the world, preach the gospel to every creature.” So God is not willing that any should perish. He, from the abundance of His grace, wants to provide salvation for all! Now, that's good news! You can have a kind of a fear as you share the gospel, and I meet so many people on airplanes and taxis and so forth, but that's the wrong attitude to have. Wondering whether they're going to reject or they're going to think that I'm a fanatic or that I wear my faith on my sleeve or whatever.
No, if you just approach it as someone who is sincere, you really love the Lord, you know that you have eternal life, you will never perish—you want others to have this assurance as well; you want them to be forgiven of God, so that they have eternal life. It's the greatest thing you can offer anyone! And if we just approach it from that standpoint, I think it will deliver a lot of people from their fear and embarrassment and so forth. And the Lord will bless us, He had leads us to those who would be open to hear His Word.
Tom: Yeah, now, again, I’m reading the Scriptures These are God's words to us, inspired of the Holy Spirit:
Verse 13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
As you said, “Whosoever.” God's gospel is for everyone…
Tom: …not that all will come, but it is for everyone.
Dave: That's wonderful, Tom, that God—I mean, I think of this often: He is so great. He created this universe, and we don't even know how far this universe goes. We don't know what it is made of—made out of nothing! We don't know what energy, gravity, an electron [are]. We don't know anything, and to think that God created it all out of nothing! But God has had no beginning, and no end. He’s infinite in power and wisdom; He knows where every subatomic particle that ever was is or ever will be. He knows every thought that every person has ever thought, or ever will think, before they think it... And that this great God loves me, loves the world so much, He gave His Son!
It's not some cosmic force. It’s not an impersonal power. But this is a very personal God who has a personal interest and love in me. I mean, that’s mind-boggling, Tom! It overwhelms me. And I don't think you could have a greater message of joy and hope and blessing to rejoice your own heart and to share with others. It's just wonderful.
Well, these verses, picking up with Verse 14: "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Verse 15: “And how shall they preach except they be sent? It is written. ‘How beautiful are the feet of them, that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.’” That's what God wants—that's what He wants for us to do: to go out and share this wonderful gift, this free gift of salvation and eternal life, and spending eternity with Him, with others.
Dave: And preaching is not just for so-called preachers.
Tom: No, not at all.
Dave: It’s for every one of us. We are all to go and proclaim this good news. Wow! What a privilege! It's a responsibility. What a privilege. How wonderful is the God who has redeemed us!