Summary: Christ is the Word whom only God can send and apply
Christ is the Word whom only God can send and apply (6-8)
Read Deuteronomy 30:1-14 (focusing on last four verses), the passage Paul is citing. The point of both passages is that the word of God is not difficult to grasp, or arcane or obscure in some mystical way. God has graciously made it ‘near’ to us.
Complete this table, which compares and contrasts the OT & NT emphases.
Old Testament (Deut.30:1-14) New Testament (Rom.10:6-8)
Grace…- God circumcises hearts, so that those hearts may love Him (6) Faith…- believers are given God’s righteousness by faith (6)
To keep the word of commandment-
To trust the Word-made-flesh-
And be prosperous and numerous-
And preach the Gospel-
Christ is the Saviour of all who confess and believe (9-13)
Verse 9 is one of the classic gospel-formula texts in the Bible, which means it is both helpful and open to abuse or becoming over-worn (cf. John 3:16). Dear dear Johnny Stott describes it as “the earliest and simplest of all Christian creeds.” It is worth learning off by heart, and important to understand, because it shows you how to be saved!
1. Confess with your mouth (9, 10, 13)- some people find it hard to speak aloud about what they believe. A man called John I was speaking to at the open air on Saturday said that all his beliefs were private and that I shouldn’t speak about mine either. I said that his beliefs weren’t worth having if he didn’t want to share them, and asked him how many people he invited to his wedding. The point is this, if we have found Christ, we will want to share that good news by confessing it with our mouths, just as a man confesses with his mouth that he loves his bride and seeks to be joined with her throughout this earthly life. I have never met anyone who is not prepared to speak on their wedding day, which is infinitely less significant than the day of conversion. If we believe, we will speak. This ties in with the previous verse which shows that if you have a word of faith in your heart, you will also preach that word in some way. RC Sproul rather amusingly says, “A Christian is to publicly reveal that he has been saved. One way to do this is to say, ‘Yes, Jesus is Lord.’” Notice that verses 12 and 13 say, “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” Think about the man born blind as we heard in Philip’s sermon (John 9:38).
Read Luke 12:8,9 and 23:39-43. Write down as many things as you can about the thief on the cross’ confession.
2. Jesus is Lord (9,13)
Read Matthew 7:21-23. It is possible to call Jesus ‘Lord’ and do amazing things, and still not be saved. Why is this?
Read Luke 6:46-49. What must flow from calling Jesus ‘Lord’?
Back to our passage. Read verse 13, which is a quotation about YHWH (God) from Joel 2:32. See also Acts 2:21. So calling Jesus ’Lord’ must entail recognising what about His character?
3. Believe in your heart (9,10,11)- verse 10 reiterates verse 5 and 6 that righteousness is received through faith. When we believe in our heart, like Abraham in chapter 4, God credits His own righteousness to our account.