5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
I can hear Paul’s passion – and frustration. It’s like he is pleading with the Jewish Leaders in the church in Rome “Guys, you are made right with God only by faith – not by keeping the law. You’re saved by faith, not by works. It’s always been by faith”. He even quotes some Old Testament scriptures to bring his point home. For some reason they weren’t getting it. They wanted to do something to earn their place in God’s heaven.
Fast forward to 2021…are we doing the same thing? Am I truly believing and trusting God that his acceptance of me, his gift of forgiveness and a clean slate, is given purely as a gift when I call out to Jesus- by faith? V13. Have I truly grasped the reality that this is for everyone? The wonder of the message about Jesus is that if anyone calls out to God and says “please help me. I can’t get myself into heaven. I need Jesus to do it for me”, He will do it.
Jesus, thanks for paying for my eternity with you on the cross – where you died in my place. Please help me accept that this is all the payment that is required. I can’t add anything to it – I don’t need to. My faith is no longer on myself to save me – I see now that I can’t. My faith is completely on you.
Written by Boudy Van Noppen