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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Romans, Day 28: Romans 10:5-13 - Who Will Be Saved? How?

Today's Reading:  Romans 10:5-13

Who Will Be Saved? How?

. . . 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. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 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.” - Romans 10:9-13

I've been teaching in classrooms for 20 years now, having begun in China in the summer of 1997 and then at a Christian school in Maryland in the fall of 1997. In 20 years of teaching, I have learned a few things, among which are these two important keys:

1. Good questions show that a student is paying attention to what is being presented.
2. Good teachers will anticipate the good questions that their lessons will stimulate and are prepared to answer them well.

Paul's writing in Romans shows that he is a good, experienced teacher. For a lengthy letter, Romans is filled with the kind of interactivity characteristic of good teaching. Paul anticipates the kinds of questions his Gospel teaching will prompt in the minds of the readers and then he answers them. Sometimes, he explicitly states the anticipated questions or objections, but at other times they are more hidden.

From Romans 8:29 through chapter 9, Paul has been addressing the issues of predestination and election. He is explicit in pointing us to the freely sovereign grace of God as the source and support of our salvation. Whenever anyone begins to teach on election and predestination, very common objections and questions arise:

Objection: That's not fair! Paul deals with this in 9:14-33.
Question: What kind of people does God pick? Here Paul makes clear that God is not discriminatory, as we would understand that. He speaks of "everyone . . . no distinction between Jew and Greek . . . everyone."
Question: Well, how do I know if I'm elect? How can I know if I'm predestined?

Paul answers this last question by reviewing some Gospel basics and emphasizing the truth of justification by faith. He has already taught justification by faith, in chapter 4 especially. Here he doesn't use that term, but He speaks of being saved by believing, confessing and calling on the name of the Lord.

How can you know if you are elect? Well, are you saved? How can you know if you are saved? Well, have you believed in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead? Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord? Have you called on the name of the Lord? Have you put your trust in Him?

Without exception and without distinction, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” The Gospel is as simple and as wonderful as that! Believe in Him and you'll not be put to shame. Call of Him and you'll be saved!




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