Calling on Jesus Christ
Romans 10:12-13 ESV
“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
One thing we must all learn when reading the Scriptures is to read them in their full context. There are some verses that do stand on their own, but many do not. Remember that these books in the New Testament, at least from Romans forward, were mostly written as letters, and like with any letter, we need to read the whole thing to get the true context.
Therefore, we can’t read “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” and think if we just call out Jesus’ name that we will be saved from our sins and have eternal life with him. Just like we can’t just confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and say we have believed in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, and therefore we are saved (see v. 9).
For, in Psalms 145:18 we read: “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” In 2 Timothy 2:22 we read: “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
And in 1 Peter 1:17-18 we read: “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers.”
So, this isn’t speaking of just mouthing words. This calling on the Lord is serious business. It implies that we call on him in truth, with pure hearts, with an honest desire to forsake our lives of sin to follow him in obedience to his will and to his ways. We call on him with humble and repentant hearts with a desire to have him change our hearts to make us more like Him.
For, in Romans 6 it teaches that those who believe in Jesus, in truth, are crucified with him in death to sin in order that we might walk in newness of life in Christ. And we read that our old self was crucified with him in order that that body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but so we would be enslaved to righteousness.
And in Romans 8 we read that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk (in conduct) not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit and that those who live according to the flesh will die in their sins. They will not inherit eternal life with God. But if we, by the Spirit, are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will have eternal life.
Therefore, calling on the name of the Lord is not a casual thing or just something we do as mouth service to God, which is no service to God at all, in reality. For, it is calling Jesus to deliver us from our slavery to sin so that we can now walk in holiness and righteousness, by his grace, in his power and strength, and for the glory and praise of God.
How Beautiful the Feet
Romans 10:14-15 ESV
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be taking this good news to the people of this world, and what better way to do it in our generation other than through the internet where the messages can go out to people all across the earth, to people of many nations? Right now, at least in America, the internet is still open wide for us to share this good news.
So, what is this “good news” that we are to be spreading? It is not just that Jesus died on that cross to forgive us our sins or so that we can go to heaven when we die, and escape hell. The good news is that Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness and that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; 1 Co 6:19-20).
The good news is that by God-given faith in Jesus Christ we can be delivered out of our slavery to sin and we can walk in holiness and righteousness in the power of God now living within us. We no longer have to be under the control of sin, but we can now live in freedom from addiction to sin, and we can live holy lives pleasing to God, in his power and strength.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Tit 2:11-14]
Not All Have Obeyed
Romans 10:16-21 ESV
“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?’ So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for
‘Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”
But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,
‘I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a foolish nation I will make you angry.’
Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,
‘I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.’
But of Israel he says, ‘All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.’”
The gospel of Jesus Christ is not just something to be believed or to be received, but it is to be obeyed. And a great summary of the gospel is found in Ephesians 4:17-24 which basically says that we are to no longer live like the ungodly, in sensuality, greed, and impurity. For, the way we should have learned Christ, as the truth that is in him is this:
“To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:22-24).
For, this is why Jesus gave his life up for us on that cross, not just so we could be forgiven our sins and so we could go to heaven when we die, but so that we would be delivered from our addiction to sin and walk in freedom from the control of sin in purity of devotion to our Lord and in obedience to his commands (New Covenant).
The Lord has been sending forth his gospel, his good news, through his servants and witnesses. But many people are not receiving it for the truth that it is, but they are following after the lies of Satan, instead, and they are following after their own stubborn hearts. And they are refusing to obey the Lord. And that is a sad reality of where many people are today who profess faith in Jesus Christ.
So, the encouragement here is to call on the Lord Jesus, but in truth, and with purity of heart. Forsake your lives of living for sin and self, humble yourselves, walk in obedience to the Lord and to his commands (New Covenant) and submit to him as Lord (owner-master). Surrender your lives to him and follow him wherever he leads you for the rest of your days.
Songwriter: Andrew Lloyd-Webber
Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Give them rest, grant them rest
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Lamb of God
Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Grant them eternal rest
Dona eis requiem