We have seen Paul lay the case for Jesus being the Messiah, and we have the foundation of belief that no other structure of belief can give.  So now he asks, “What should our response be?”  And we will see how others might incorrectly answer.  Some responded to Paul by saying they were born into a certain group of people, God’s chosen people in Israel, and salvation is promised without Jesus.  But Paul reminds them that faith in the coming Messiah is central to their salvation.  And they still need Jesus.  Alternatively, some might not have any connection through birth, but Paul also speaks to them as well saying that Jesus’ salvation is available to them as well.

Paul points out that in the Old Testament where some were trying to show that righteousness comes from their actions.  We can see in other religions where “righteous actions” leads people to some spiritual goal.  Two millennia ago there were many different religions that were different than what Jesus was proclaiming.  Many would even declare that Jesus was the god of the underworld because he rose from the dead.  They would even use the name of Jesus in curses on other people thinking that there was some power in his name.  Even within the confines of those Christian religions like Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses, many times they twist the message and wrongly add on to the simple action and message of who Jesus is.

Paul’s message is clear.  For anyone who declares with their life and mouth that Jesus is Lord, we will enter into life in Him and salvations is yours.  Period.  No works, no extra stuff, no pre-existing condition clause.  When you say Jesus is Lord, it is because you are going to an empty grave, and empty cross, and worshiping a living Lord.

The invocation to believe in your heart, it means that it is in your whole being that you believe.  So when you say you believe with your heart, God says you are right before Him.  And that is where we transition into our responsibility of our faith.  Our responsibility is to proclaim with our mouths the truth we believe in our hearts to others.  We profess, we proclaim, what God has done with us through Jesus.  To no profess with our mouths can be compared to someone who has the cure for cancer and keeps it to themselves.  If it really is a miracle that we know it to be, why would we hold it back from those around us, from our friends, from our families?

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  We don’t have to read a certain book first.  We don’t have to have a certain background first.  We don’t have to clean up first.  We just call on the name of Lord Jesus, and we are saved.  Stories out of the Middle East where Jesus showing up in the dreams of those who might even be killing Christians.  He turns them away from where they are toward a relationship with Him.  And when call on Jesus’ name, they are saved right then!

God has made the promise of Jesus since the beginning of time.  Jesus tells the story of the man who died and was sent to Hell.  The man asked to be raised so he can tell his brothers of the truth.  Jesus responses that they have Moses, the prophets, and God’s Word.  If they cannot believe based on that, what else would convince them?

There is a whole generation that has been taught to discount Jesus’ work in the world.  But Jesus is near to each one of them.  He is reaching out to them, and they have to reject him.  He is near to them, calling them to the salvation He provides.  Let us rejoice in that truth, and let us be his and proclaim with our mouths that truth.


For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on 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 abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); (ESV)

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (ESV)

11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (ESV)