Good morning my friends. Sitting in my kitchen right now, listening to the quiet of teh house and the singing of teh birds outside the window, I know that this is the quiet before the storm. In about four minutes my children will descend on the kitchen to prepare for school. I am sure that even teh birds outside will take to flight in great fear of their lives. So allow me to write as much as possible before that delightful storm hits.
Due to the empending storm I only have time to look at one portion of our passage this morning:
Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them." 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) "or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:5-13
There is so much about knowing Jesus and accepting Jesus that is dependant on the Spirit. As long as we brick up our own spirit in us we will not hear the testimony of our Father about himself. People can preach at us for years. Teachers can teach us for years. People can give us tonnes of literature to read. We can even read the Bible for ourselves. Yet, none of it will make any sense until we are willing to hear the Holy Spirit testifying to our Spirit that it is true.
The conviction of our separation from teh Father does not come from outside of us, it is the voice of his Spirit calling us to him. Preachers and teachers plant seeds but those seeds are dead in us until we are willing to hear teh Spirit speaking. This is the reason Paul says:
But the righteousness that is by faith says: ... "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart".
The Spirit brings the law to life in us so that we are compelled to desire the righteousness of God because we are convicted of the huge separation between us. This righteousness does not require any sort of works. It does not demand a price from us. There is only one requirement:
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Notice that it is a twofold requirement. Why isn't the confession of Jesus as Lord enough for salvation? Because everything to do with our Father is a heart matter. There must be a softening of the heart so that we believe what we are confessing. At the same time it is important that our faith comes alive as we give it life through our words. Later James will give us the understanding that there is a third element to this faith; action.
This faith really comes down to one other word:
"Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
Trust is really teh heart of the matter. Do you trust that Jesus is who he says he is? Do you trust that he will do what he says he will do? Jesus is a true historic figure as recorded by the historians of that time, but do you trust his claims? Do you trust he is the Son of God sent to become teh sacrifice for our sins and to be an instrument of restoration to the Father? The promise is that if we trust we will not be made to look like fools, we will never be put to shame because we trusted in false promises.
This is where the testimony of teh Spirit is vital. It is he who convicts us of teh truth of these promises. Without him we are believing due to book knowledge. We need teh Spirit to convict us of these things so in our heart we will believe and with our mouth we will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.