DAILY BIBLE READING:
2 Chronicles 17:1–18:34
BIBLE VERSE(S) FOR TODAY:
Romans 10:9-10 (CSB) “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. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
So many people misunderstand the truth found in our Verses for Today.
Let’s dig into the text and see what we discover.
When we read it, we realize that it is telling us how to be saved – how to receive the gift of eternal life.
How do we get saved?
“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.”
Believing that God raised him from the dead includes a lot of other beliefs. It includes the fact that He was who He said He was – the Son of God – completely God and completely man. It includes the fact that he was crucified on the cross for our sins. It includes the fact that His dead body was placed in a tomb and was there for 3 days. It includes the fact that anyone who trusts in Him (and not themselves) to make them right in God’s eyes will be saved.
So, we understand to a great extent the “belief” requirement. It goes along with what we read throughout the New Testament.
But, what about the part where it says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’…”?
Some contemporary American Christians may be tempted to think that they simply need to say, “Jesus is Lord,” out loud. They think there is something magical in that phrase.
But this flawed understanding misses the point entirely.
All we need to do is reflect on who the book of Romans was written to. It was written to … Romans. It was written to Christians who were living in Rome.
Ok. We’ve got that down. Now, what governmental power oversaw their growing world domination? Rome! Rome was essentially in control of the world.
And who was at the top of the food chain in the Roman government? Caesar! And where did Caesar rule from? Rome!
So, the Christians that the Apostle Paul was writing to were residing in the city where the government powerfully and jealously ruled the world.
If you were walking through Rome and proclaimed that someone other than Caesar was your king/lord, you would either be incredibly brave or incredibly stupid. Those words would be considered an act of insurrection – treason!
Pay very close attention to this point: Paul was telling the Roman Christians in our Verses for Today to say those treasonous words in the city where Caesar would most certainly hear them!
Let’s momentarily step back a little further in time to Jesus’ trial before His crucifixion. Just listen to the following words. The Jewish religious leaders fully understood that they could only have one king at a time – Jesus or the ruling power:
Pilate said to them, ‘Should I crucify your king?’
‘We have no king but Caesar!’ the chief priests answered.”
The religious leaders clearly understood that they could only have one King (Lord). For them, it was Caesar.
So, let’s go back to our Verses for Today. When it says that part of being saved is confessing with your mouth (out loud for everyone to hear) that Jesus is your Lord, it means that you are unashamedly and without reservation aligning yourself with Jesus regardless of what negative things may happen to you as a result even if it means you will be guilty of treason.
Confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord is not to simply say mindless, empty words. No! It’s so much more than that! They are powerful words that make it clear that we answer to King Jesus. That’s what it means to be saved.