Rom 10:9 The Resurrection 4/23/2000

#1. Every Sunday we are here to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. But today is the first Sunday after the Passover, which means that today is a special annual celebration that we call Easter. It is a memorial to that first Easter Sunday that the Lord Jesus Christ arose from the grave on that glorious Sunday morning, and God established the first of a new era of Sabbaths.

Most of you have heard the scenario of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ many, many times. And most of you have read this story also many, many times, how the Lord Jesus was falsely accused of blasphemy and delivered to the Roman authorities, and how He was nailed to a shameful Cross as a common criminal, and how He died and was buried in a new tomb, and after two days He arose from the grave. Then the women who wanted to anoint His body first saw him, and then the disciples also saw him. And so on, and so on.

How important is the bodily Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ? It is very important. It is so important that the Church throughout the centuries has considered Easter Sunday as the greatest feast of the Christian Church. Everything written concerning the first coming of Christ has come to completion on the day that Christ rose from the grave, just like Jesus told the disciples after He was raised from the grave. He said in Luke 24:44

Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

 

The Lord Jesus said that all things that were written concerning His first coming as the Messiah, in the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, were fulfilled and found their completion when He had risen from the grave. Can you see how Jesus covered all bases? The Hebrew Bible was arranged in three groups: the Law (referring to the five scrolls of Moses) and the Prophets (referring to the Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, and the Latter Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, and the Minor Prophets: from Joel to Malachi) and the Writings, which include the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, and all the other scrolls that we find in our King James O.T. The Lord Jesus covered the entire O.T. to show that it was necessary for Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day. That does not refer to the third day that He was in the grave, but the third day after He began to suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Now, this Church is not a Church where the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus might be in doubt. This Church is not a place where we find people who doubt the deity of Jesus Christ. In this Church there is no question whether the Bible is the Word of God. Therefore, I do not bore you with sermons that are answers to undisputable basics which all of us believe.

But every now and then there are questions like this:

#2. What Must I Do to Be Saved? And how can I be sure that I am saved?

Of course, this question comes right out of the Bible. This is what the Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas: What must I do to be saved? This question comes out of a heart that is eager to know the Lord Jesus Christ. And a question that is related to that is: How sure can I be that I am saved? Is it possible to know that I am saved? Please turn with me to the Epistle to the Romans 10:9

Romans 10:9 If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (There is the Resurrection again)

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

There you have it, black on white. This is what I must do to become saved: Here is the answer:

Romans 10:9 If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

 

1.      All I need to do is confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord. Yes, I can do that.

2.      I must believe in my heart that Jesus was raised from the dead. Yes, I can do that.

3.      Does this now mean that I am saved? Is this the formula how anyone can be saved?

Is this how the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ fits into God's plan of Salvation?

All I need to do is give a public Confession of Faith in the Church that I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead. Yes, I can do that. And then I am off the hook.

Can you see how the following verses agree with these conclusions?

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 

1.      Do I believe that Jesus was raised from the dead? Yes, I believe that. I have become righteous.

2.      And if I confess with my mouth that I believe that, I have become saved. Yes, I can do that.

Then God promises that if I believe what He has written here, He will not let me down.

Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

And then God repeats almost the same formula:

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

  1. With my mouth I need to call upon the name of the Lord. Yes, I can do that.
  2. Then you shall be saved, including your household. That is a promise.

Do you remember that Paul and Silas said almost the same thing to the Philippian jailor?

Acts 16:30 And (the jailor) brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

 

Here again Paul and Silas repeated almost the same formula:

1.      You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, of course the Resurrected Christ. I can do that.

2.      Then you shall be saved, including your household. That is a promise.

I can go to many other scriptural references and arrive at almost the same conclusions:

1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

 

1.      This verse says that I must publicly confess that Christ has come in bodily form. I can do that.

2.      I believe that with all my heart. Does that mean now that I am saved? Is that a promise?

Let's take another one. Mark 16:16.

Mark16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall b damned.

  1. I must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, the risen Lord. I can do that.
  2. And I must let myself be baptized in water. I can do that.
  3. Then I have become a child of God. I am saved. That is a promise.

The reason why I have taken you through all these verses is, that all these verses have been used, or I should say abused by many pastors in very reputable denominations, to comfort the souls of those who come to make a Profession of Faith in their churches, and they assure them:

"It is well with your soul", when in fact they should have said: "It is not well with your soul, because you are under the hearing of a gospel that cannot bring salvation."

Let's see what Matt 24:13 says.

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Now it gets a little more difficult. This verse says: If I endure to the end, to the end of my life, then I will be saved. But then I am dead, and I still don't know if I am saved because I am dead.

Why have I run into problems now? Well you can already see that I have violated some basic principles of interpretation. I have taken some verses out of context, and I have chosen those verses that say what I want the Bible to say. That is not difficult. You can take the same Bible and prove almost any false doctrine you want to bring, by just taking verses out of context. For example, do you know that the Mormons use exactly the same KJV that we use? And they arrive at a different gospel.

Most denominations do not want to admit that God made the Bible very difficult to understand. The disciples had the same problem. And the Lord Jesus answered them in Matt 13:11,

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

 

To the disciples It was given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. They were given to know and to hear the Gospel, but to others it was not given. It is God's prerogative to give to some and not to others. And those others, to whom salvation has not been given, concoct their own gospels, they create their own concept of God, a god acceptable to their own terms.

Now, let's see, where have we gone off the track in the previous verses. Back to Rom 10:9

Romans 10:9 If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (There is the Resurrection again)

 

Is it enough to verbally confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus? Is this what I must do to become saved? The answer is: NO ! That is not good enough! Besides:

This verse does not give us the formula for salvation. It gives us the evidence of salvation.

The word "confess" means: "to speak the same thing". To confess the Lord Jesus means: "To declare publicly that you agree with everything the Lord Jesus has said, and that He is your Lord and Master, and you want to be identified with Him in thought and in action". This is an action of the heart. This is exactly what the Lord Jesus meant when He said in Matt 10:32

Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (Who is the "Whosoever"?)

 

Before we were saved, how could we get our heart to agree that Christ is the Lord of our life? How could we get our heart to agree with everything the Bible has said? We know that this is God's command to the whole human race, but the Bible says that we all came into the world in rebellion against God. How can we agree with Christ, if we are in rebellion against what Christ said? We cannot agree with Christ! He is not our Master. We were spiritually dead, dead as a doornail.

Ephesians 2:1 And you (hath he quickened), who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation (= conduct) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

 

  1. Before we were saved we were dead in trespasses and sins. God comes to us and says:
  2. "You must confess Me before men. You must agree with the Word of God."
  3. But we could not do that. We were spiritually dead. We were in rebellion against God.
  4. God gave us a command that we were unable to obey. It was a command totally against our own nature; it was a command that was totally disgusting to our heart; it was a command from another Master, it was not from the master whom we obeyed. An impossible command!

The second thing that God says in Rom10:9 is:

You must believe in your heart that God hath raised Christ from the dead.

Before we were saved, could we do that? Could we be convicted of our sinful state, even if someone would rise from the dead? The Bible says: NO ! The Rich man in Hell asked if Lazarus could go back to earth to warn his brothers. And what did God say? That is a good idea? NO ! What did God say?

Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

 

Can we be persuaded even if someone would rise from the dead?

Are miracles leading anyone to salvation? The soldiers at the tomb were witnesses of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. They saw it with their own eyes. But that is not good enough. The soldiers reported it to the Sanhedrin, but all this evidence was not able to lead them to salvation.

Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Matthew 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

Matthew 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

 

Now drop down to verse 11,

Matthew 28:11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

Matthew 28:12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,

Matthew 28:13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.

Matthew 28:14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.

Matthew 28:15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

 

So is it enough to believe in our heart that God has raised Christ from the dead?

Is it enough to believe in our hearts the historical facts of Christ's Resurrection?

NO ! That is not good enough. We must believe it in our heart, with our whole being.

But God commands us to believe. Before we were saved we would not believe, because we were spiritually dead, and we certainly were not going to obey a command from God.

Again, Rom 10:9 turns out to be not a formula for salvation, but it is an evidence of salvation. Those who believe with their heart believe unto righteousness. What kind of a FAITH is that?

How shall I call on Him whom I do not believe? How are we going to believe in our heart what God said? To believe God means that we must have FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Can we generate such a faith in Christ?

1.      Can we believe that we were conceived and born in sin, enemies of God from birth?

2.      Can we believe that God's justice requires payment for sin, which is an eternity in Hell?

3.      Can we believe that in order to save us God had to reach down and snatch us out of Sat. kingdom

4.      Can we believe that God, who controls everything and who knows the end from the beginning, chose before the foundation of the world on whom He was going to have mercy?

5.      Can we believe that God the Son, the second Person of the Trinity, came down to earth, took on a human body, and took upon Himself the sins of all those whom the Father had chosen to salvation

6.      Can we believe that God the Holy Spirit moves in the hearts and lives of every chosen one so that these persons come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ?

7.      Can we believe that, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, we have become a new creation, with new desires, so that we can know if we have eternal life?

Can we generate such a faith in Christ? No, not at all. God says in Eph 2:8-9

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

 

What work can we do to be saved? NONE. God does all the work. Anything we do, or think, or decide is a work, and therefore it cannot be a condition or a contribution to our salvation, because God says: "Not of works, lest any man should boast." Our salvation is entirely by grace, and in the process of growing in grace God gives us faith. This faith does not come out of ourselves; it is entirely a gift from God. If we try to generate this faith out of ourselves, it is of no value, because God says that FAITH is also a work:

1 Thess 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

 

2 Thess 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

 

Therefore, our own faith is of no value to God, because God says: "Not of works, lest any man should boast."

This faith is a gift from God, and it is given to His children in whom God the Holy Spirit creates a new heart, so that they cry out to God for mercy. Let's read that again in Rom 10:13

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

Literally the Greek text says:

Faith (comes) out of hearing, and hearing through the Word of God.

This is the economy by which God gives faith: By arranging circumstances so that God's elect come under the hearing of the Word of God, and out of this situation God changes the hearts of those He intends to save and gives them faith.

This is also the economy by which God makes us grow in grace and increases our faith: By hearing and reading more and more of the Word of God.

#3. So then, what is the character of that true faith?

Some of us have great faith, others have just a little faith, but none of us have enough faith to move mountains. All of us seem to have just a sliver of the Faith of Christ. There are at least nine places in the Bible where God speaks of "The Faith of Christ". Let's just look at one of these places. Galatians 2:16

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by (through) the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

 

Let me just take a sliver out of this monumental verse: It is through the faith of Jesus Christ that we have believed in Jesus Christ. Our salvation is a result of the faithfulness of Christ in going through the Atonement on the Cross for our sins. His faithfulness rested on His faith that His Father would not leave His soul in Hell, but that there would be an end to His suffering. We are now able to believe in Jesus Christ, because He finished paying for our sins. He already said it on the Cross, but God created for us a gigantic clue that Christ's payment for our sins was complete by raising Him from the dead.

What then is our faith? Our faith is just a faint reflection of Christ's faith. My faith may not be much, but it is God's gift to me. It is God's gift as a gigantic evidence that God has saved me. It is not the instrument through which God saves me, rather it is the evidence that He already saved me.

It is not only a sure knowledge that everything that God says in His Word is true, but it is also a deep-rooted assurance, created in me by the Holy Spirit that, out of sheer grace earned for me by Christ, not only others, but I too have had my sins forgiven, and have been made right with God and have been granted salvation forever.

I am no longer under condemnation. My yoke is taken away and now I am bearing Christ's yoke. He said: My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

 

 

#4. Is there anything I can do?

 

 

 

 

 

Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.