Recently, pastors baptized six young people at our church. Each told their faith story of how they met Jesus and surrendered their lives to Him.
In this passage, Paul explains that the righteousness, based on faith, comes to us through two straightforward, but crucial steps. Two actions bring two realities into existence.
First, the heart must believe. Paul says we must believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. It’s not enough to believe that Jesus was a good man, a moral teacher or a prophet. We must believe Jesus died for our sins and God raised Him to life again.
This internal action takes place in our hearts, where we say belief resides. Believing in Jesus’ death and resurrection for salvation justifies us. Justification simply means “made right” with God. God declares us innocent of all repented sin, because Jesus paid the penalty required for sin.
The second step requires an external action. Our mouths must confess this fact to be true. Paul uses powerful and explicit language. We don’t simply ask Jesus “into our hearts” or merely admit that we are sinners. No, we must confess — in other words, proclaim — that Jesus is Lord.
Calling Jesus “Lord” means acknowledging that Jesus is Almighty God and has the authority to rule. Referring to Jesus as “Lord” means submitting ourselves to His will and His way. This action saves us from the consequences of sin, which is eternal separation from God.
Heavenly Father, Romans 10:13 declares that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Thank you that you’ve promised to save everyone who calls on your name. May I daily bow before you and declare, “You are Lord of my life.” Amen.
Go Deeper — If you’ve never been baptized, talk to your pastor. Baptism — an essential step for followers of Jesus — is an opportunity to proclaim what has already happened in your heart and publicly declare your desire to follow Jesus.
Read Further — If you wonder if your sins might be too big or bad to be forgiven, this article may help.
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