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Romans 10:8-13. “It’s very simple. Ask God.”. “Doctor, how should I pray?”. Many want to make God’s truth very complex. They did even in the days of the Apostles.

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slide3

Many want to make God’s truth very complex.

  • They did even in the days of the Apostles.
    • While Paul & Barnabas were preaching in Antioch, “some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved’” (Acts 15:1, ESV).
    • Some claimed you had to have a secret “knowledge” to be a true Christian.
      • It seems some in Colossae had fallen into such a “faith.”
      • “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col 2:8, ESV).
slide4

But, the will of God is not complicated.

    • It’s “As Simple as A B C.”
    • Rom 10:8-13.
  • The simplicity of the Gospel does not mean it is easy.
    • “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt 7:13-14, ESV).
    • If the Gospel were easy, wouldn’t many more be following Jesus?
slide5

The simplicity of the Gospel means that God’s truth is easy to understand.

  • How is the Gospel “As Simple as A B C”?
    • ANYONE can come;
    • Anyone can BELIEVE;
    • Anyone can CONFESS
slide7

“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’” (Rom 10:12-13, ESV).

slide8

The church in Rome was composed of both Jewish & Gentile believers.

    • The Jewish Christians thought they were better than the Gentile believers, for they were the seed of Abraham.
    • The Gentile believers considered themselves much better than the Jewish believers, for they kept the church together when Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome.
slide9

Paul spends much time in Romans showing there isn’t any difference between Jew & Gentile.

    • In opening the Book, Paul says that the Gentiles are under sin.
    • Then, Paul says circumcision doesn’t matter if you don’t keep the whole Law.
    • Paul then declares that Jew & Gentile alike are under the condemnation of sin.
      • “None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom 3:10, ESV).
      • “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23, ESV).
slide11

All have the same Lord.

    • Jesus’ sovereignty means that he is over all.
    • God “raised [Jesus] from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet” (Eph 1:20-22, ESV).
    • Everyone must acknowledge Jesus’ sovereignty – either in this world or the one to come.
slide12

God bestows his riches on all who call upon him.

    • The only requirement for receiving God’s great blessings is to call upon him.
    • “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34-35, ESV).
slide13

We must understand that anyone can come to Jesus.

    • One’s skin color, education, etc., do not matter.
    • The sin in one’s live does not matter.
      • “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:9-11, ESV).
      • The Corinthians had lived in many sins that will keep one from heaven, but they were cleansed in Jesus’ blood.
slide16

“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” (vv 9-10, ESV).

slide17

If one is to be saved, he/she must believe that God raised Jesus from the dead.

    • It’s not enough to believe that there is a God or that Jesus is his Son.
      • We must believe in God’s existence (Heb 11:6) & Jesus’ Sonship (Jn 8:24).
      • Yet, this text goes further & declares that we must believe God raised Jesus from death.
slide18

Why is a belief in Jesus’ resurrection so important?

    • One answer is found at verse 9.
      • Jesus Christ was not raised by his own power.
      • “God raised him from the dead” (ESV).
      • Therefore, believing in Jesus’ resurrection affirms my faith in God.
    • Another answer is found in Romans 1:4.
      • Jesus “was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead” (ESV).
      • Therefore, in believing in Jesus’ resurrection, I’m affirming that Jesus is the Son of God.
slide19

“Faith” has been greatly misconstrued by the religious world.

    • Many hold that if one simply believes Jesus is the Son of God, he will have the forgiveness of sins.
      • That is a historical doctrine developed by Martin Luther & Satan.
      • Many groups continue to hold Luther’s damnable heresy.
      • Bruce Ware, in a publication of the Southern Baptist Convention: “God, then, is just to justify sinners as they believe in Christ alone for their salvation, forsaking any pretense to works righteousness and turning from their sin as they flee gladly to Christ.”
    • I’m not willing to give up biblical teaching because some have taught it erroneously.
slide21

James uses “faith” in the sense of simply believing in God’s existence.

    • “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (Js 2:19, ESV).
    • The doctrine of “faith only” IS taught in the Bible!
      • But, not quite in the same way it’s commonly taught today.
      • “A person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (Js 2:24, ESV). KJV = “faith only.”
    • “Faith only” is biblical, if you understand that “faith only” is insufficient for justification.
slide22

Paul commonly uses “faith” in a deeper sense of “trust.”

    • “No distrust made [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness’” (Rom 4:20-22, ESV).
    • Abraham did not simply “believe” there was a God in heaven, but he knew God would keep his every promise.
slide23

The author of Hebrews combines both of this ideas of “faith.”

    • “Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6, ESV).
    • Thus, believing God raised Jesus from the dead means two things.
      • One: There is a God who brought Jesus back from the dead.
      • Two: That same God has the power to raise my mortal body.
what does this have to do with us
If I have Abraham’s faith – convinced that God will keep his promises – will I not obey him in order to have his promises?What does this have to do with us?
slide26

“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” (vv 9-10, ESV).

slide27

Confession is so important, for one publicly pledges his allegiance to Jesus.

    • “Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 10:32, ESV).
    • “Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Tim 6:12, ESV).
slide28

We do a great disservice when we make confession something we only do before baptism.

    • I’m not denying that’s important.
    • But, we have so many opportunities to confess our faith in Jesus.
  • The early Christians were often called upon to confess their faith in Jesus at the risk of loosing life & limb.
    • Polycarp made such a confession.
    • He was arrested for his faith.
      • The proconsul gave him a chance to recant: “Swear, and I will release thee; -- reproach Christ.”
      • Polycarp: “Eighty and six years have I served him, and he never once wronged me; how then shall I blaspheme my King, Who hath saved me?”
slide30

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (v 13, ESV).

    • How do we call on the name of the Lord?
    • “Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16, ESV).
      • In Greek, one calls on the name of the Lord by arising, being baptized, & washing away his sins.
      • “Calling on the name of the Lord” is, therefore, action.