Day 30 – Lent

Scripture

Psalms: [120], 121, 122, 123 & 124, 125, 126, [127]
OT: Jer. 25:8-17
NT: Rom. 10:1-13
Gospel: John 9:18-41

Reflection

“Are you saved?” That’s an important question. It’s one of those questions that people don’t necessarily like asking. It is also one that can be uncomfortable to answer. Yet, it is one that each of us must grapple with at some point in our lives.

When I worked with a large parachurch ministry we spent a lot of talking with people about having “assurance of salvation.” As I grew in my understanding of the Scriptures and following Jesus I began to discover that this was an unhelpful conversation at best. I thought that I was helping people uncover their faith. But, I think in some cases what I was doing was helping people short circuit the process to really wrestle with whether or not they trusted Christ.

Check out this little passage from Romans 10,

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on 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 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 that we proclaim); 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. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:5-13, ESV)

Don’t get bogged down in the first couple of lines. I want us to look at the middle and end. “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” This sentences is critical in being able to answer the question, “Are you saved?” To answer in the affirmative we must wrestle with our heart and speak with our mouth. At our heart level we must wrestle with whether or not we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This really is the core belief of our whole faith. Do you believe it, in your heart? When Paul was writing, the “heart”, was understood to be the core of your being, your identity, it was what defined who you were. That’s not all that different from today really, is it? Paul is asking, “At the core of your being do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead?” If you do then you are justified. You have been made right with God.

But it doesn’t end with belief. We must also confess or speak with our mouths. We have to say something. The idea here is that if we believe then we will speak. We will confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord. This is our confession. If you can’t speak that publicly then you most likely don’t believe that Jesus rose. Not really.

To believe drives us to speak, to confess. To confess results in the embracing of the promise that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Do you believe? Do you speak? If not, what’s holding you back?

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