Romans 10 is a summary of all the Bible holds true, a simple statement of faith. Sometimes we want to know what God wants us to do. It’s like when we see a book and wonder what it’s about. We examine the book jacket cover and get an idea of what this book is about. This passage is like the book jacket cover for the Bible.
God is near.
Paul is writing to the Romans and he wants people to know God is near. In Deuteronomy 30:12 Moses is also reminding people God is near.
12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?
Moses is speaking to a large group of people. You don’t have to cross the sea, climb a mountain or take a pilgrimage to find God. Moses had climbed a mountain and brought a message to the people.
8 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)
Paul wants the people to know God is near. God is here in this city. The Word is near you. This is an unusual word that’s used here in verse 8. It can have two meanings and both apply here, in your mouth and heart. The first part is a word that calls for a response. For example, when you walk past someone who says, “Hello.” This situation calls for a response. People will say, “hello” back to you. The Gospel also calls for a response. The second meaning of this is a word that moves us and affects us deeply. In your mouth and heart, this has a double impact.
In Luke after Jesus was raised from the dead some disciples are found walking on the road to Emmaus. Did our hearts not burn within us? It disrupts our heart. It’s difficult to explain. You’re drawn to it. Maybe you’ve believed for years but Scripture tugs at your heart. God is the one who is doing this work in our hearts. The Holy Spirit shows us we can be the people God has called us to be. This is how we know God is near. Maybe you can sense this today? God moves us. In any context we see this happening. We just heard an example this morning of how God tugs at the hearts of the students in MHMA. When we send out mission teams we arrive and find that God is already tugging at people’s hearts. Think about the people in your workplace. God is there. God is tugging at their hearts even before we say a word to them. God does this in our families too. These are works of God.
How do we respond to God?
You can trust Jesus.
9because, 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.
- We believe what God has done.
- We believe Jesus is Lord.
Maybe this doesn’t stand out to you. We don’t call anyone, “Lord” today but we do have someone we belong to. Jesus Christ is the Lord of our lives. He sets us free, out of spiritual bondage. He is Lord of all.
“Jesus is Lord” is one of the most ancient statements. We join together with believers who, for thousands of years have proclaimed this. Some have even given their lives for saying this. Paul was a Jew. Think about what it meant for a believer in Jerusalem to stand and say, “I believe we killed Jesus but he rose from the dead.” We join with these believers when we say this today. This ripples across time and culture. We believe Jesus is the Savior of the world. This is a profound statement. When a child declares in one of our classes today, they join with us in this. What we say in the present about the past changes the future. We believe we will be with Him.
We become His.
13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Paul connects the Old Testament and the New Testament. This is how we become family. This is a public profession to but it has a promise as well. When Moses was speaking to the Israelites he called them to follow God. Later he stood at the Jordan River and asked if people will follow God. God wants to make a covenant with everyone who would ever read Romans! God wants you to be His forever. This is our time, when it’s our turn to make this statement of faith. This is how we become a new man and take on a new name.
In Joel 2:32, calling on the name of the Lord is to call yourself by His name. For example, the more expensive clay pots, a family would have their name impressed into the clay. When baked it would harden. You want it to be nice. God, we want You to put Your name on us! We want to be known by God. When others see us they know we belong to God. God, put Your name on me. It’s a simple response. God is here with us and He will transform us. When we sense nudges in our hearts our response is to say, “God, I believe you sent Jesus for me. God, forgive my sin. Raise me to new life. I believe in You oh, Lord.” God helps us understand that draw we feel down in our hearts. Lord, help us make this simple, but profound statement today. Help us follow You.
Sermon Notes are taken and posted by Jeni Martin Johnson.