Out of Context II

Many people in America are making the following two verses their doctrine of salvation out of context of the whole of the teachings on salvation in the book of Romans, as well as out of context of the whole of the New Testament teachings on the subject of salvation. And that is a dangerous practice, because it ends up teaching half-truths which are lies. And if you are following lies instead of the whole counsel of God, then your destiny is not heaven, but it is hell. Now, here are those two verses I mentioned:

Romans 10:9-10 ESV

“Because, 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. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

So, what would this mean to a Jew of that day who was still living by the Old Covenant? For a Jew of that day to profess that Jesus Christ is Lord (God, Messiah), and to confess that they believe in his bodily resurrection, was the kiss of death for them. Surely they would now be hated and rejected and persecuted and even put to death for their profession of faith in Jesus Christ. So this was not a light matter. And this was not saying to them that this profession was all that was required. For if Christ is Lord of our lives, we are now walking in obedience to his commands, or he isn’t Lord.

But there are many people in the gatherings of the church in America claiming Romans 10:9-10 as their gospel of salvation. They are believing that they are now saved for eternity, and that all their sins are forgiven (past, present, and future), and that heaven is now secured them, regardless of how they live or of how many times they sin. And so many of them end up living self-indulgent and selfish lives, continuing in deliberate and habitual sin, while claiming Jesus as Lord and as Savior, and while claiming heaven as their eternal home. But is that all there is to it? No!

What does it teach us in Romans 6? “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2). And then it goes on to describe what takes place in the life a true believer in Jesus Christ. We are crucified and buried with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin, but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness (Romans 6:3-23).

So, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For if sin is what we obey, it leads to death, not to life eternal. But if obedience to God is what we obey, then it leads to righteousness. For when we are slaves to sin, we are free in regard to righteousness, and the end of those things is death, not life. But if we are now living lives free from slavery to sin and as slaves of God, the fruit we get leads to sanctification and its end is eternal life with God (Romans 6:1-23).

And what does it teach in Romans 8? “By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:3b-4). So, it is not enough to just confess with our mouths Jesus is Lord and to believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead. We also must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh.

And then it goes on and it tells us that if we walk according to the flesh, it means that our minds are set on the flesh, and to set the mind on the flesh is death, not life eternal. “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8). So, we can’t just confess Jesus is Lord and say we believe in his bodily resurrection and then continue in deliberate and habitual sin and expect to go to heaven when we die.

“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:12-14).

And then let’s look at Jesus’ words. He said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to (save) our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin and live to his righteousness), we have eternal life in him. For if we are ashamed of Jesus and his words, when he returns he will be ashamed of us (he will deny us) (see Luke 9:23-26).

And then Jesus said this (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV):

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

And then Paul and the other New Testament apostles taught us that if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness, godliness, holiness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we will die in our sins, and we will not have eternal life with God, and heaven will not be our eternal resting place. But if by God-given faith in Jesus Christ we die with him to sin, not just once, but daily, and if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in obedience to our Lord, and in righteousness and holiness, then we have eternal life.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

So, please take this seriously. Don’t reject this just because it doesn’t fit in with your Romans 10:9-10 theology. Read all of Romans, and read all of the New Testament, IN CONTEXT, and let the Holy Spirit of God lead you to all truth. For our salvation is not a one-time deal and we are in, regardless of how we live. Our salvation is progressive and it won’t be complete until Jesus returns, and only on the condition that we walk not in sin but in holiness and in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord forevermore.

My Jesus, I Love Thee

Hymn lyrics by William R. Featherstone, 1864
Music by Adoniram J. Gordon, 1876

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
For thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love thee because thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say, when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight;
I’ll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

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