Posted by: Terry | June 23, 2009

Confess and believe what?

That 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. (Romans 10:9 NIV)

Some reject him, some acknowledge him with uncertainty, some believe resolutely, yet the question is quite simple, “What do you believe about Jesus?” This is a straightforward question with eternal implications.

The early followers of Jesus believed and proclaimed one message, “That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5 NIV)

This is the gospel, the good news. This simple message tripped up the religious leaders of the day as well as those who knew nothing of Jesus or the Jewish tradition. They expected, as we do, that faith has to be harder, there needs to be trumpets, bells and whistles. There must be something I have to endure, some penance to perform, some quest, some ritual. There must be some list of rules to keep, or neutralizing our intelligence. For this reason some reject while others amalgamate faith and religion producing a product that insults the death of Jesus.

When the followers of Jesus proclaimed his death and resurrection it moved those listening to ask, “What must I do to be saved?” The truth of Christ stirred them to regret their failure to acknowledge that Jesus was exactly who he claimed to be, Lord God and the promised Messiah. And if he was all he said he was then they rightly concluded that they were guilty before him as God and they were guilty of rejecting Jesus to the point of participating in his crucifixion, his death.

When they confessed that he was actually Lord and believed that God raised him from the dead, they were saved; their convictions about Jesus were radically altered. As a result they were added to the believers, adopted into the family of God, given a new life that is eternal, indwelt with the Spirit, and reconciled with God.

It seems easy but everything in our mind and emotions, as well as the pressure from the society around us argues against taking such a logical and simple step. Why? Because committing to the conviction that Jesus is all he said he is demands a complete change in how we live and think; a person will never be the same.

The simplicity of the cross has confused and offended people for 2000 years. Yet the invitation is still open to, “confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” If your faith is settled, thank God for all you have. If you are avoiding, or ignoring perhaps now is the time to settle the issue once and for all.

 

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