Summary: Calling on the Lord has never saved anybody, but calling on the name of the Lord, always saves. How can you do that? How can you have that kind of faith? I’ve noticed there are at least three different types of faith I think everybody possesses.
We have come now to what I believe to be the clearest instructions in all the Bible that tell a person how they can be saved. How they can get from Texas to heaven. You may see in the bulletin there a little outline, you might want to follow along and fill it in. I’m convinced people in our church like to do that because it lets them know when I am almost finished. Instead of saying, “Well, there’s ten more minutes”, they say, “Well, there’s only two more blanks to fill in.” If you don’t believe me, just listen to what happens when the last blank gets filled in. You may be like the lady who said to me one time. She meant well, but it didn’t come out right. She said, “Oh, brother David, you’ll never know how much your sermons mean to my husband since he lost his mind.” Another lady said to me, “Oh, pastor, every sermon you preach is better than the next one.” Some of you will get that a little bit later.
Have you ever been lost and you stop and ask someone for directions? You always appreciate it– if they give you some clear, simple directions. Well, here, as I said, in Romans, chapter 10, we have the clearest, simplest directions anywhere in the Bible about how a person can be saved. I would like to ask all of you a question this morning. I really wish I had the time to just sit down one on one and look into the eyes of every single one of you and ask you this question personally. Have you ever come to a place in your life that you know for certain you have eternal life and you will go to heaven when you die? Now the answers you may give are, “Yes.” or “I’m not sure,” or “No.” Well, in this passage of scripture we are going to find out how you can be sure that you can go to heaven when you die.
We’ll begin reading in verse 8 of Romans 10. We pick up here because we have been talking about what the Old Testament says about faith. I’d like you to see how many times the word faith and also, the recurrence of the words heart and mouth are found. Romans 10:8, “But what does it say? [meaning the Old Testament] 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, [not your mind] 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” Now, verse 13 is a great verse, but I want to intentionally misread it, and if I didn’t point it out, most of you wouldn’t catch it: “for everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.” You say, “Well, you left out the phrase, “the name of the Lord,” is that important?” Well, it is tremendously important! It is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. I mean it is of tremendous importance! There are some people who say, “All you have to do is just believe in the good Lord somewhere” and they have sort of thought about some mysterious, ethereal, ambiguous God somewhere...and said, “Lord, help me.” The Bible says the Lord has a name. Calling on the Lord has never saved anybody, but calling on the name of the Lord, who is Jesus, always saves. How can you do that? How can you have that kind of faith?” I’ve noticed there are at least three different types of faith (probably more) I think everybody possesses one of three types of faith. Of course, the first two are defective, inferior faith, and they don’t save anybody. The third one does.
TYPE A: COUNTERFEIT FAITH
1. Heart: No real change (conversion)
Let’s talk about type A. I call this “counterfeit faith”. It looks like faith. It sounds like faith. It even smells like faith, but it’s not real faith. You’re going to see that there are some people who possess this false facsimile of faith that we could call “counterfeit faith.” In each one of these cases there is a characteristic of the heart and a characteristic of the mouth. What’s the characteristic of the heart in this kind of faith? There is no real change in the heart. A person who has “counterfeit faith” has really never had their inner person transformed or changed. There has been no conversion.