That 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.
Ro 10:9

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 Thou Shalt Be Saved

How shalt thou be saved?  This is a great question of the scriptures.  And the answer is given to us in Romans 10:9 which states, "That 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."  This verse of scripture answers many of the questions that arise over the question of how can one know if a person is born again, saved, and going to heaven when they die.

According to the Apostle Paul, only those who believe, not with a head knowledge, not with a historic knowledge, but with a heart knowledge of Christ shall be saved.  Contrast this with James 2:19 which states, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."  Many people in the world today believe there is one God.  Among them are Muslims and Jews to name a few.  Yet, we are told the devils also believe there is one God.  No one would ever say that the devils are saved because of their belief in one God.  Thus, the point of this scripture is it takes more than a mere acknowledgement of belief in God or Jesus' existence to qualify as saving belief.

The heart belief that Paul speaks of in Romans 10:9 is that which only comes with the new birth.  John 3:3 Jesus tells Nicodemus, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  The reason a man must be born again is he must be given a spiritual nature that can see by faith the spiritual but physically invisible kingdom of God.  And then in Romans 2:29 Paul states, "But he is a Jew (i.e. spiritual Jew - JT), which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart , in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."  The spiritual circumcision of the heart is a spiritual circumcision performed by God and God alone.  If it were in letter, as with ordinary circumcision the praise would be of men.  But this circumcision cannot be performed by any man.  Only God can touch the heart.

Furthermore, this passage cannot be construed to teach that this salvation is the result of any action on the part of the believer.  Many people read Romans 10:9 and make the mistake of thinking that a person can appropriate the salvation by his own efforts.   Whether one believes this salvation to be eternal salvation or time salvation it is not one a person can get.  Paul says that if thou shalt believe in thine heart, thou shalt be saved not get saved.  Thou-shalt-be-saved is translated from sodzo which is in the future tense, passive voice, indicative mood; Online Bible Greek Lexicon.

Because sodzo is in the future tense the salvation under consideration is a future salvation indicating it is referring to eternal salvation.  This does not mean salvation does not take place until we enter into glory nor does it deny the antiquity of our salvation before the world began, 1 Tim 1:9.  But rather one can not be said to posses it until he believes in Christ, and then he is declared to be saved in both this life and in eternal life.

The passive voice means the action (salvation) happens to the person.  In other words, he is not active in gaining or achieving salvation.  He believes because he is saved.  He does not believe to get saved which would be the case if it was in the active voice.  To put it another way, if sodzo was in the active voice, meaning the person must secure it, then the correct translation would be thou-shalt-get-saved.  But this would contradict the scriptures which tell us salvation is by grace and not by works.  Eph 2:8, Rom 11:6  Therefore, salvation is a state of being and belief is the evidence of salvation.

Finally, it is in the indicative mood.  The indicative mood means that it is a statement of fact.  Many who read statements such as Rom 10:9 think they see it in the imperative mood which would give a command (believe) in order to achieve a condition (salvation).  If it was in the imperative mood, then one must-believe-in-order-to-get-saved would be a correct translation.  However, the indicative mood tells us that if one believes, one is saved; a statement of fact.

How is one saved?  By Jesus Christ and Him alone.  How does one know if he or anyone else is saved?  If one believes on Jesus Christ and Him alone.  What kind of belief in Christ qualifies as saving belief?  Belief from the heart.  What does one believe about Christ that qualifies as saving belief?  Belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  How does one know if one is saved?  If one confesses with his mouth the Lord Jesus, and believes in his heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, "thou shalt be saved."

Elder James Taylor

 
 

2/7/2008

 

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