The Simplicity of the Gospel
"The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" Romans 10:8 ESV
God could have made salvation difficult, but he didn’t. It’s as easy as speaking: Just say the word and you’ll be saved. Just whisper to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” And heaven shall respond: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
This is Paul’s point in Romans 10. You don’t have to climb up into heaven in order to persuade a Savior to come. Christ has already come down to meet you in your need (Rom 10:6). Nor do you have do dig down into hell to pull a Savior out of hell’s deep (Rom 10:7). Christ has already burst the bonds of death on your behalf. He is alive with the power of everlasting life.
Salvation is as near as a word on your tongue (Rom 10:8). Rest your heart upon Jesus:If you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved. This is more than just faith in the fact of the resurrection, but in its significance.
Paul made this point in Romans 4: Why did Jesus die? He was delivered over (to death) because of our transgressions— because God considered us transgressors of His law (Romans 4:25a). And He was raised from the dead because of our justification— because God no longer regarded us as transgressors worthy of death. Evidently, in between His death and resurrection our sin problem has been completely eradicated.
So sin can no longer condemn us because it no longer condemns Him. Death will no longer kill us (in an ultimate sense), because it can no longer kill Him. When it comes to condemnation and death, the believer is as free as Jesus. This is wonderful news. As Ray Ortlund Jr. put it: “The resurrection is the prosperity you will want when your health utterly fails you, as it will, and very soon.”
Now all that remains for the Christian is to put his confession where His mouth is and to speak as if Jesus is Savior and Lord. As Paul puts it, “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.” (Rom10:9-10).
This, of course, does not make our salvation contingent upon our willingness to witness and confess Jesus publicly. We do not earn salvation through witnessing. That’s not what Paul is saying. But what he is saying is this: If you have been saved by faith alone through Christ alone, you will surely want to share this faith. If you don’t have this desire, it sooner or later begins to call into question whether or not you have a faith to share in the first place.
In Paul’s mind the link is undeniable: having faith and sharing that faith go together like water and wet. So, I dare you this week: Ask God to grant to you opportunities to share your faith, to speak a word for Jesus, or about Jesus, and His great love for the lost.