There are three different verses that I want to zero in on today, and they really encapsulate the Gospel, or the Good News. Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:3 when he said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
In all the complexity of Romans, these three verses are so simple that even a child can understand.
The first is the last part of verse 8 and continuing through verse 9: This is the message of faith that we proclaim: 9If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
That’s it. Boom. Dead simple. Nothing needs to be added, no works for you to do. You cannot add anything to what Jesus already did to bring salvation. It’s done. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
And then verse 13 shows us who this Good News is for: For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Everyone. Not those who are “good”. Everyone is included, no one is excluded. There is nothing that can keep you from the salvation that Jesus made available to you, except your own unbelief. Nothing in your past, nothing in your present. “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Verse 14 addresses the thought that if we just live as Jesus followers, people will come to know him. It addresses the thought that, “Well, I don’t want to offend people by telling them about Jesus” and other similar thoughts that seem to be popular these days: But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher?
My friend, living life as Jesus wants us to is good. It lends credibility to the fact that He has made a difference in our life, but that is not enough. One of the reasons we are here on planet Earth is to help usher others into eternal life. How can our friends, our family, our neighbors, the world be saved from an eternity without God if we do not tell them about this person, this Savior, this God named Jesus?
When Paul said “how can they hear without a preacher?”, he wasn’t talking about the guy who stands at a pulpit on Sunday. Paul was saying “how can they hear about Jesus unless someone tells them about Him?”
If you have had your life changed by Jesus Christ, you are qualified, and even called, to carry and proclaim the message. You are the best person that can tell the story of how Jesus changed your life.
You might be the only preacher that some people will listen to and connect with.
It’s a simple message. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”