The Misplaced Doctrine of Lostness (part 2)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes 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.”
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:10-17

Over and over again, throughout the Bible, we see that salvation is conditional. It is not our spiritual default mode. Indeed, if we are not lost apart from Christ, the cross makes no sense at all. His life, sufferings, death, and resurrection are inconsequential. Let’s break this verse down.

The Power of the Gospel
1. The Gospel is salvation through faith in Christ. (9-10)
Salvation comes through faith in what Christ has done for us on the Cross.
IF you… Notice that our salvation is conditional. Clearly then, not everyone is saved.
confess with your mouth… What Paul is not saying is that simply saying
something out loud will save you. We must understand our context here, he has said that the people of Israel, under Moses and the Law- had the word in their mouths- they knew the Law, they could say the Law, but it also had to be in their hearts. He’s continuing this parallel of thought and expression. In fact, he explains:
believe in your heart … Believe what? “That Jesus raised Him from the
dead”- this would involve His life, suffering, death, burial and resurrection- the Gospel is Christ’s death upon the cross and His subsequent burial and resurrection. Notice Paul says, it is with the heart that we believe and are justified.
you will be saved. What is the Gospel? In the end the Gospel is Jesus- His life, His sufferings, His death and Resurrection, and His life now in you. When we are saved, we get Him. The GOSPEL is not being a good person- it’s Christ’s righteousness covering my sin. I am superior to no one- I’m a Christian because of what Christ has done- not what I have done.
The English word “Gospel” comes from the Greek word “εύαγγέλιον”(pronounced “euangeleon”). It literally means good news. The Euangeleon was a proclamation of victory- a military announcement- the Gospel is never about something that we do, it is something that’s been done. Victory is ours, and it is ours because of Christ, not because of anything I’ve done.
2. The Gospel is for everyone. (vs. 11-13)
You have never locked eyes with someone form whom Jesus did not die.
3. The Gospel comes through a chain of events.
Faith Salvation requires faith.(vs. 14) And earlier in verse 9-10..
Gospel Faith in what ? Faith in the Message- What’s the Message? It is the Euangeleon, the Gospel – Our sin for Christ’s righteousness!
Messenger Who is the messenger? Anyone who has encountered Jesus.
Sent Hearing requires a messenger (vs. 15) Notice that we are “sent”- at the core of who we are as disciples of Jesus- we are a SENT people. The church has always been a centrifugal movement, always outward seeking. God SENT Jesus and the ONLY way to join Him on mission to be sent ourselves. Notice it is the “feet” that are beautiful of those bring Good News (not the hands, the head, the arms, etc.). Feet imply going, moving- it is not the mouth alone, not the hands or the mind, it is the feet- moving, walking, taking us to those in our world who are lost without Christ.
Our salvation is confirmed by the proclamation of it. (vs. 16-17) from the start we proclaim, “He is Lord”- through our confession, through our baptism. Why do we proclaim our faith? Because faith is a personal thing but it not a private thing. Nowhere in Scripture do we see that our faith in Christ is a private matter- (personal, in that it is an individual decision- not someone else’s decision)- but never private. Our inward conviction is confirmed through an outward expression. Baptism is an outward proclamation of an inward decision. When people come to join the fellowship by “profession of faith”- the profession of faith (biblically) is through baptism. Paul summarizes his points in vs. 17: Faith (our means toward for salvation) requires hearing the Message, the Message requires a messenger. The message is the “the word about Christ”- the Gospel. There is a chain of events that must take place for salvation to come.
We must rediscover the doctrine of lostness- in our preaching, our teaching, and our ministries across the board. The activities, programs, and calendared events- our mission work here in the city and around the world must be defined by the Gospel. Solid research (see previous post below) tells us that it’s possible that 50% of the people in our Protestant churches on Sunday are not Christians. Many have offered some kind of intellectual ascent, agreement with some doctrine, or simply “prayed a prayer” at some point- without truly giving our lives to Christ- abandoning any hope for salvation apart from Him. Let’s preach, teach, scrutinize, dialogue, study, and proclaim the gospel of free grace found in Christ alone.

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