Father, what a joy it is to come back together for this men’s Bible study. Your Word means so much to us and You have opened our eyes and our hearts, and You have really transformed our lives. In many ways through this study, You have deepened us, and we need to be deepened. And so, as we come now to this study, we ask for Your grace, the ministry of Your Holy Spirit to be actively at work in this room in our hearts. I pray for these men that You will bless them to the fullest extent, that it is Your desire to shower Your grace upon them. For those watching by live stream, just attend to their spiritual needs, to their hearts, as well as every other need that they would have. So, put Your hand strongly upon me, draw from my preparation, as well as just years of study. Help me to put this in a clear and simple way so that we can understand. We praise You for sending Your Son to be our Savior. We acknowledge He is Lord and ask now You would open the windows of heaven, pour out Your blessing on this study. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Okay, we are still in Romans, okay? Romans chapter 10, and this morning depending upon how quick I can talk and how fast you can listen, my goal is to look at verses 9 through 13. And I would love to be able to take that in if it is possible. So, Romans 10 verses 9 through 13. The title of this lesson is “Jesus is Lord.” And I don’t know that I can come up with a better title for any study than “Jesus is Lord.”
So, I want to begin reading in verse 9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Did I read the end of verse 9 or did I skip over that? Okay, I think I did. I don’t think I have ever asked that question. Verse 11, “For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.'” Verse 12, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for ‘Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”
The keyword in these verses is the word “Lord.” It is mentioned four times here; once in verse 9, twice in verse 12, and once in verse 13. So, that is the thread that runs. That is the steel girder that is holding up the superstructure of these verses. And it is this statement, “Jesus is Lord,” that you see in verse 9. The word “as” in my New American Standard, “Jesus as Lord,” “as” is not in the original. It is in italics to show it is not in the original. It is just “Jesus” and it is implied “is Lord.”
This is the cornerstone truth of all Christianity; Jesus is Lord. And it was the earliest creedal confession of the Christian faith to say, “Jesus is Lord.” When someone was baptized, they would say, “Jesus is Lord.” And when Christians would meet on the street, they would say, “Jesus is Lord.” It is the briefest confession of faith, and it was the most common confession of faith. Sometimes, they would say, “He is risen,” but more times than not, they would say, “Jesus is Lord.” And it really became the signature statement of the first-century church.
Now, this was in total contradistinction from the entire Roman Empire obviously, because the entire Roman Empire was built upon the foundation of countless gods (plural small ‘g’) and goddesses. And time really does not permit me to walk us through all of the gods and all of the goddesses. It began with the Greek gods and then it bled over with new names into Roman mythology. But just to give you a fly over and to give you some appreciation for this, there was Apollo who was the god of the sun, there was Bacchus who was the god of wine. There was Ceres who was the god of agriculture. Cupid, the god of love. Diana, the goddess of hunting. Flora, the goddess of flowers. Fauna, the goddess of animals, on and on and on and on. Jupiter, Juno. Jupiter was the king of the gods and was the god of weather, the god of thunder and lightning, and was really over all of the other gods. So, there are layers and superstructure within the gods. There is Mercury. There is Neptune. There is Pluto. There is Saturn. There is Venus. It is just on and on and on. And I don’t want to be pulled totally into all of this, but it helps us understand that when the early church said, “Jesus is Lord,” it flew in the face of the polytheism of the day, where there were countless gods. And when they said, “Jesus is Lord,” they were also saying, “He is the only Lord,” and “He is Lord over all of everything.”
See, they had a god for this and a god for that and a god for this and a god for this. They had a little god for everything, all imaginary gods. And when they said, “Jesus is Lord,” it just cleared the table of every other god and goddesses and said there is only one Lord over all, and it is Jesus Christ who has been sent by God the Father.
On top of that, Caesar was lord, and that began even before the birth of Christ, with Caesar Augustus. “Augustus” means “the august one,” and that was 27 BC, before Christ was even born. And with each decade, it just increased and increased the veneration of Caesar until it got to the point by the end of the first century every Roman citizen once a year had to appear before a Roman official and bring incense and worship Caesar and say, “Caesar es kurios,” “Caesar is Lord.” And the believers were put in the vice grip, “We cannot say, ‘Caesar is Lord.'” We can only say, “Christos es kurios,” Christ is Lord.
And so, this statement that we see here in verse 9, it just rises to the highest level of first-century Christianity, and we need to understand just what a dramatic profession of faith this was. I mean, we have had religious freedom, and that just rolls off the tip of our tongues so easily, but for these early believers, they had to back it up with their own life. So, “Jesus is Lord.” So, as we walk through these verses, obviously I have an outline for you. I haven’t changed over the last several months.
So, the first thing I want you to note is “the verbal confession,” the verbal confession, and that is at the beginning of verse 9, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord.” I mean, let us just as Kent would say, “Tap the brakes right there,” and stop right there. I can’t tell you how many note cards I have thrown away just trying to open that up and realizing I will never finish the rest of this study.
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord.” It is absolutely necessary in order to be saved and to be right with God to confess out loud with your mouth the reality of what is in your heart, that Jesus is Lord. The word “confess” is a Greek word, it is a compound word, homolegeo. Homo, “homo-” means “the same.” Legeo means “to say.” Homolegeo means “to say the same as,” that we say the same about Jesus as God the Father says about Jesus. We say the same about Jesus as Jesus claimed for Himself. We say the same about Jesus as the entirety of Scripture says about Jesus. So, “to confess” means more than just the verbal words in the air; it means to embrace what God the Father says about His Son and what the Bible says about His Son, that if you confess with your mouth. And when he says, “with your mouth,” he means openly, publicly, unashamedly. There are no secret agents in God’s army. There are none of us camouflaged to blend in with the world. We are all outspoken with our mouth disciples of Jesus Christ. And we profess with our mouth to a listening and watching world, “Jesus is Lord.” Whatever that may cost us, “Jesus is Lord.”
Now, let me give you some cross-references here that I think would be important for you to hear me read, and you can jot these down. The first is Matthew 10:32 and 33. How important it is to confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord.” Jesus says, “Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will confess before My Father in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” You don’t want Him saying, “I don’t know him,” on the last day if we were to say, “I don’t know Christ,” before a watching world.
And then in Mark chapter 8 and verse 38, Jesus said, “He who is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And what this is saying is if you have true saving faith, there will come out of your mouth the profession that Jesus is Lord. Now, just the mere saying of those words does not open the door of paradise and you are in, because Matthew 7:21 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven.”
So, there is nothing magical about just saying, “Jesus is Lord,” as though that is the skeleton key that opens the door that is in heaven. As we will see at the end of verse 9, there must be a heart reality. “And believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.” But for us who have this heart reality, we see the non-negotiable, supreme importance of us making this public profession of faith, “Jesus is Lord.” And that was the significance of baptism in the first century, was that it was a public profession of faith often in front of vast multitudes of unbelievers, some of whom would be your boss, some of them would be your family who were still unbelieving. And it would cost you. You would be put out of the synagogue, all business relationships would be broken, your parents might have a funeral for you though you are still alive and you would have a mock funeral because in your family’s mind you do not exist anymore. “You are cut off from us because of this profession and confession you are making: Jesus is Lord.”
But we see from verse 9, it is not incidental; it is fundamental, because the end of the verse says, “You will be saved.” So, what does this mean, “Jesus is Lord”? Well, Jesus is His name, Lord is His title in reality. It is like saying, “President Donald Trump.” “Donald Trump” is his name. “President” is the title. The name is “Jesus.” It means, “Jehovah saves,” that He is God come in human flesh to save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Luke 19:10, “He has come to seek and to save that which is lost.” He came here on a mission of salvation and that is inherent in His name and it is revealed in His name Jesus.
Now, when you add “Lord” to this, I mean, you have upped the ante because “Lord” was a title for deity. And in fact, there are so many places even in the book of Romans where sometimes “Lord” refers to God the Father, sometimes “Lord” refers to God the Son. And it becomes almost an interchangeable title and it speaks to the co-equality of the Father and the Son, and of course we would add “and the Spirit as well.” The word “Lord” is the Greek word kurios, K-U-R-I-O-S. I spell it only because it is such an important word. It means “The Sovereign One.” It means “Master.” I am going to give you some synonyms just to feel the weight of this title. It means master, ruler, despot, governor, owner. It means “the Supreme One.” It means “the One who has supreme authority.” “All authority in heaven and earth has been given unto Me,” Matthew 28:18. It means the one who possesses sovereign power, that He is at the top of the organizational chart of the entire universe, co-equal with the Father and the Son, and everyone and everything is under His feet. That is what the title “Lord” means.
I want you now to get this. It is the predominant way that Jesus is identified in the New Testament. In the entire New Testament, Jesus is identified as “Savior” only ten times. He is identified as “Lord,” I haven’t added all this up, it is somewhere between five and seven hundred times. Some commentaries tell me seven hundred. I have looked it up in the Greek lexicon. I had it down to 653. I have noticed now some of these are for the Father. So, without me adding up every single one of these, it is between five and seven hundred times “Lord.” And, I made a couple of note cards I left at home because I had mercy on you, where I just took Matthew and just went through the Gospel of Matthew every time Jesus is called “Lord.” It is off the chart. So, ten times “Savior,” five to seven hundred times “Lord.” Hello? You don’t have to have a degree in statistical analysis to understand that the weight is being put on the lordship of Jesus Christ. It does not diminish His saviorhood; in fact, it elevates His saviorhood that the One who is Savior is Lord over all. And all that matters is what He did and what He says and it doesn’t matter a hill of beans what anybody else says about salvation. He is Lord.
Now, let me give you a couple of more statistics here. You take the book of Acts, the preaching of the book of Acts. In twenty-eight chapters, Jesus is identified as Savior two times. He is identified as Lord ninety-two times. It was the tip of the spear of the apostolic preaching of the gospel that Jesus Christ is Lord. And if we just take the book of Romans, “Lord,” kurios is used forty-four times, thirty of those is for Jesus, six of those is for the Father. And the other six, it could go either way, Father or Son. It is a little hard to tell what is the antecedent.
So, what I am wanting to impress upon you is the predominance in the New Testament of the emphasis on the lordship of Jesus Christ, that He is large and in charge of everything. And when you profess that Jesus Christ is Lord, you are saying, this is what you’re saying that, “I cease to be running my own life. I cease to be my own master, I cease to do my own thing and do my own will, that I am a bondservant of my Master, Jesus Christ, and I have become the slave of Christ. He is my Master.” Every slave has a master. And before we were converted, sin was our master; and now that we are converted, Jesus is our Master.
To confess “Jesus is Lord” means quite simply He is everything and I am nothing. To confess “Jesus is Lord” means for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. It means for me when I say, profess, “Jesus is Lord,” that I transfer my entire life into His nail-pierced hands. It means that I say as He said in the garden of Gethsemane, “Not My will but Your will be done,” that I live for Him and not for myself. And when I profess “Jesus is Lord,” everything that I am, everything that I own, and everything that I have is under His dominion and belongs to Him and I am simply a steward managing His possessions that He has temporarily put into my account and put into my hands. He is the sovereign Lord over every inch and every ounce of our entire being. That I don’t have a life. I exist to serve my Lord and my Master, Jesus Christ. My time is His time. My treasure is His treasure. My talent is His talent. It all belongs to Him.
And so, it means He is Lord over every square inch of my life. There is nothing outside the profile of my life. He is Lord over my time, He is Lord over my tongue, He is Lord over my work, He is Lord over my recreation. It means I am on a new path. I am heading in a new direction. I can’t ride the fence. I can’t have one foot in and one foot out. I can’t just talk it. I have got to walk it. It means that I am devoted to living a radically different lifestyle. That I have broken from the pack. I have broken from the world. That I am under new management. Jesus Christ is Lord, and I am His slave and His bond-servant. That is exactly what this means.
So, this is the verbal profession and it is not just words. It is the realization of the reality that comes with my life under the lordship of Christ. And if anything, I have understated this. I have not overstated anything. And this begins the moment of conversion. This doesn’t begin ten years down the road when you finally decide to kind of get on board with things. It begins the moment you come through the narrow gate you are saying, “Jesus is Lord.” You take your first step forward in the kingdom of God, “Jesus is Lord.” You walk into the waters of the baptistery, “Jesus is Lord.” You go to work, “Jesus is Lord.” You come home, “Jesus is Lord.” Jesus is Lord over all. So, let me ask you this question. “Is Jesus your Lord? Is this your confession with your mouth openly, publicly, ‘Jesus is Lord?'”
This leads now, second, to “The Internal Commitment.” First was “The Verbal Confession.” Now, Paul digs beneath the surface, and it is the internal commitment because he goes on to say in verse 9 after he writes, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord,” and now it is like he lifts up the hood and looks into the engine. He pulls up the plant and looks at the roots, and he says, “and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.” That is really the heads and tails of the same coin. It is not a one-two punch. It is the heads and tails of the same coin. There is the outward profession and there is the inward possession. And so, down in the heart, it is more than just words that you are saying, “Jesus is Lord.” Down in your heart, you believe that God raised Him from the dead.
The word “and” is very important. It shows how inseparably bound these two are. It is a package deal. They are fused and welded together. It is not a multiple choice. Either you could just profess it, say the magic words but not believe it, or even the possibility you could believe it but never say it or never tell anybody. The New Testament doesn’t recognize any such person. It is a package deal. If you truly believe it in your heart, you will profess it with your mouth. It would be impossible. “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” And so, this goes now beneath the surface, and he says, “and believe in your heart.” The word “believe” here does not just mean you sign off on a doctrinal statement or a confession of faith. The word “believe” here means “to entrust your life to.” It means to commit your life to. It is like when I stood at the front of the church and my wife, Anne, came down the aisle. I am saying “no” to everyone and everything else. I am saying “yes” to this one person, and it is a total commitment of my life to this person. Well, times a trillion to the Lord Jesus Christ. I mean, it would be idolatry to have this kind of a commitment to our wife but not to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is supreme over all. And so, whatever is represented in the wedding ceremony, pure and wholesome as that is, it is times ten thousand times ten thousand to the Lord Jesus Christ. I am saying no to everyone and everything else, and I have an exclusive loyalty to Jesus Christ. I have an exclusive fidelity to Jesus Christ.
So, the word, “believe” is the Greek word pisteuo. And the word “faith” and “believe” just come from the same word. “Faith” is the noun, “believe” is the verb. Now, true saving faith has three elements, and we have talked about this before, but give me one more opportunity to state what you already know. Mind, heart, and will. Mind, emotions, and will. Mind, affections, and will. All three of those are a part of true saving faith. With the mind you must first, and it is in this order by the way, you must first know the truth of the gospel, basically that you are a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior who offers salvation to you as a free prepaid gift. And then with the emotions, you must be persuaded of the truthfulness of this and be convicted of your need of this. The Holy Spirit has come into the world to convict men of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and that is a part of true saving faith, the inward persuasion of the Holy Spirit. It goes far deeper than just my words as I teach this. It is the Holy Spirit tugging strong on the heart, “You need this.” And then with the will, there has to be the act of the will where you take the deliberate decisive step of faith to leave the kingdom of darkness and enter into the kingdom of light. You take the decisive step of faith to step through the narrow gate, and it takes place in a moment.
He says, “In your heart.” “And believe in your heart.” That goes deeper than the mouth, the first part. And what we see here is the inseparable connection in true saving faith between the mouth and the heart. What is down in the well comes up in the bucket. What is down in the heart comes up out of the mouth. And the “heart” here just represents the depth of your soul, your innermost being. You peel back all the layers and it is the real you.
Now, Kent gave me this illustration a couple of days ago of a sinking ship. And the captain comes on the loudspeaker and says, “We have hit an iceberg. The ship is going down.” Number one, saving faith by this analogy, you have to know that you are in a dangerous, precarious situation. But then second, when you hear him say, “Everyone, get in lifeboats,” you need to be persuaded that this is really true. If you are just still sitting in your room, don’t tell me you are persuaded of the truthfulness of this. You are not really convinced. It is not until there is an alarm that goes off inside of you, you are convinced this is the truth. But then as an act of your will, you need to get up out of your stateroom and go on deck and get into a lifeboat and be lowered down in order to be saved. So, it is not enough just to know that we struck an iceberg, and it is not enough to just even be persuaded. You have got to actually take the step of faith and get into that lifeboat. And that is a good analogy for true saving faith. It involves the mind, the affections, and the will.
And what is it that we are supposed to believe? Well, he tells us in verse 10 that God raised Him from the dead. “God” here refers to God the Father “raised Him from the dead.” This is significant for three reasons. Number one, it tells us Jesus became a man because God cannot die. Jesus had to become a man and take on true humanity in order to die upon the cross for our sins. And upon the cross, it was the humanity of Christ that died, not His deity, because deity cannot die. Deity is immortal. Deity is eternal in both directions, from eternity past to eternity future. So, that is the first thing, is implied in this.
Second, in His death, He bore our sins in His body on the tree. He died as our substitute. He died a vicarious death upon Calvary’s cross for us. And then third, He was raised from the dead, and that tells us that His atonement was an all-sufficient atonement for all those for whom He died. And the Father was so pleased with the death of Christ that the Father raised Him from the dead. It is the ultimate apologetic. It is the ultimate validation. It is the ultimate authentication that Jesus Christ upon the cross paid in full the sin-debt of His people, that He actually saved us from our sins upon that tree. And if Jesus had remained in the grave, you and I would know that it was a faulty atonement with many holes in it, insufficient to save us if Jesus is still in the grave. The Father raised Him as the ultimate accreditation of the triumph of His death at the cross. So, that is why that is so important.
So, what Paul wants us to see in verse 9 is that there must be the verbal confession and the internal commitment, which then leads to number three, “The eternal consequence.” And that is at the end of verse 9. And we are just slicing verse 9 literally almost word by word here, but it is so rich we want everything that verse 9 has to tell us. The eternal consequence is the last four words of verse 9: “You will be saved.” “You,” individually, personally, not a group, you personally will be saved. Now, you need to know this is a future tense verb and it is looking forward to the end of time. It certainly speaks of the certainty that you will be saved, but it is also the futuristic looking to the end of the age that you will be saved from divine wrath in eternal hell. You will be saved from everlasting punishment, which we all so justly deserve. And this word “saved” is very prevalent in this context. At the end of verse 10, “salvation” in noun form. At the end of verse 9, it is in verb form. And then at the end of verse 13, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” And then earlier in chapter 9, the last word of verse 27 was “saved.” This is a section here all about being saved. That is just a good Bible word.
Sometimes, I have had a couple of people say, “Is that a Baptist word?” Well, it is even better than it being a Baptist word; it is a Bible word. And everyone in this room needs to be saved, and everyone listening by way of live stream needs to be saved, and everyone not listening needs to be saved. And we would ask, “Saved from what?” R.C. Sproul wrote a book called Saved from What? And he goes through what you don’t need to be saved from. You don’t need to be saved from loneliness, a bad job, a bad boss, you know, whatever, whatever. You need to be saved from God. You need to be saved from the wrath of God.
And just to give you a chapter and verse, Romans 5 verse 9. “What more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” That is what salvation is. It is ultimately being saved from the wrath of God in eternal hell. Now, we don’t hear much about that, and it is just almost like it is impolite conversation in mixed company to say the word “hell.” You know what you call a hellfire brimstone preacher? You call him a Bible preacher, okay? And Jesus had more to say about hell than anyone in the Bible. Jesus had more to say about hell than He did about heaven. So, that should tell us something.
And when we read this, “You need to be saved,” and the word “saved” means to be rescued from peril. It means to be delivered from imminent destruction. And Romans 1 verse 18 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” And so, this is the great eternal consequence, is that you will not go to hell. Hell is more real than Dallas, Texas. Hell is more real than Arlington, Orlando, Tampa, wherever it is you live. Hell is a real place on God’s map. And it is a real place that He has prepared for the devil and His fallen angels, and it is a real place for everyone who dies without confessing that Jesus is Lord, and it is a real place where everyone goes who does not believe that God the Father raised His Son from the dead as a verification of the sufficient atonement of Christ upon the cross.
So, this leads to number four, “The doctrinal clarification.” Or really we could call it “The scriptural clarification,” the scriptural clarification, because verse 11 and verse 13 are both quotations from Scripture out of the Old Testament. So, Paul is a master teacher, and even as he is writing Scripture, he is weaving Scripture into Scripture. So, this is a two-edged sword. This is a double authority. He is writing not only with apostolic authority, but he is citing scriptural authority. So, as we come to verse 10, he now clarifies what he says, and he actually reverses the order. And in verse 10, he actually starts with the heart and then proceeds to the mouth. In verse 9, he started with the mouth and proceeded to the heart. And he reverses the order just to show us how inseparable the two are in true saving faith that whatever you believe in your heart concerning Christ, you will profess with your mouth.
And also, let me bring this to your attention. This is just a great observation. The next four verses all start with the word “For,” F-O-R. Excuse me, it started with verse 10. Now, in verse 11, “For the Scripture says.” Verse 12, “For there is no distinction.” Verse 13, “For whoever will call on the name of the Lord.” And in the middle of verse 12 is another “for,” right in the middle. So, there are the four consecutive “for(s)” in the next three verses. The word “for” simply introduces an explanation. So, Paul doesn’t just put it out there on the table. He now backs it up with deeper substantiation of what he has just said. So, he is a master teacher in this regard. So, the board is in the nail, and he just drives the nail into the board deeper and deeper and deeper. That is what he is doing in verses 11 through 13.
So, he begins verse 10, “For with the heart.” So, that is the internal commitment, “with the heart,” with all that you are on the inside. “Heart” here is kardia. We get like cardiac arrest, you know, heart failure. That is the word here, and it just means all that a person is on the inside. “With the heart, a person believes.” And so, he is restating what he just said in verse 9.
Now, here’s what he adds that is new: “resulting in righteousness.” And this is justification by faith. This is the imputed righteousness of Christ by the Father to the one who believes that Jesus is Lord and has been raised from the dead. And this righteousness is credited to the account of the one who believes. I mean, you have never lived righteous a day in your life, not perfectly righteous. You have never met the standard, but the very moment that you believe Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead and you commit your life to Him, in that split second the result is righteousness.
God transfers the righteousness of Christ into your account, and it is what verse 12 calls “abounding riches.” It is just grace upon grace, forgiveness upon forgiveness. Righteousness stacked up from here to the heights of heaven have been transferred to your account. It results in righteousness. And then he adds: “and with the mouth.” And the word “and” is very important. “And with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” So, salvation and righteousness are used as parallel terms here. And this salvation that enables us to escape the wrath of God is because of the forensic declaration, which means the judicial legal declaration, the gavel of God comes down and in the courts of heaven you are pronounced to be righteous.
So, he follows that up in verse 11 with another “for.” “For the Scripture says,” and he now quotes Isaiah 28 verse 16. And just a little small nugget here, “says” is in the present tense. This Scripture is still speaking. It was written hundreds of years before Paul included this. It was speaking in Paul’s day, present tense. It still speaks in the twenty-first century, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
I have never met anyone who said, “I am so sorry I committed my life to Jesus Christ.” I have never met anyone who said, “Well, Jesus over-promised and under-delivered.” I have never met anyone who said, “I am just disappointed in what Christ has brought to the table for me,” and I never will. In fact, I will stop preaching the day I hear anyone say that. And if someone does say that, I will say, “You are a false convert, and you don’t know the Lord of heaven and earth and His Son, Jesus Christ.” “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” Your only disappointment will be that you didn’t commit your life to Christ earlier. Your only disappointment will be you played the role of a fool all those years and lived for the world and lived for fool’s gold when you could have had the riches of heaven transferred to your account and the guilt of sin removed from your shoulders and you could have been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. Your only disappointment is that you didn’t do it sooner, that you didn’t run to the cross earlier. But once you have committed your life to Him, you will never be disappointed. And that is what the Scripture says.
And then in verse 12, he follows up to give us clarification of the word “whoever.” One thing about Paul that I like, and Peter does it as well, when he quotes a verse there is usually a follow-up verse that explains or comments on the previous verse before he goes to the next cross-reference. So, for those of you who are teachers, learn this pedagogical tool. When you go to a cross-reference, you need to explain the cross-reference. So, that is what Paul is doing now in verse 12. He is going to explain the word “whoever.” And so he says, “There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him.”
So, the point of verse 12 is whether you are a Jew or whether you are a Greek, if you are breathing, you need to call on the name of the Lord and He is Lord over all. There is not one Lord for the Jew and another Lord for the Gentile. There is not one Lord for a male and another Lord for a female. There is not one Lord for a white man and another Lord for a black man. There is not one Lord for this or that or this or that. There is only one Lord, Ephesians 4:5, and He is, “Lord over all.” And so, the “whoever” in verse 11 is explained in verse 12. There is no distinction. Jew and Greek have the same problem, sin. Jew and Greek have the same and only solution, Jesus. And Jew and Greek must have the same response, which is a heart commitment and a verbal confession of Jesus Christ.
And so, just to wrap this up, we come to verse 13. And just so you will know, this is the fifth consecutive “for,” F-O-R. And so, Paul now quotes Joel 2 verse 32. It is what Peter read on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. I think it is verse 21, “Whoever.” And so, it is really a followup to verse 11 and 12, this idea of whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are. Whether you are a Jew or a Greek, young or old, male, female, “Whoever will call,” and that repeats verse 12 at the end of verse 12, “will call on Him.” “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord,” name represents all that Jesus is, “will be saved.”
Now, I want you to see here how important it is that you name Jesus as Lord at the moment of conversion. And there is some bogus teaching going on that says you can have Christ as Savior, but you don’t have to commit to Him as Lord. So, it is like going through a buffet line, “I’ll take a little dessert first and I’ll hold off on the steak until ten years later.” No. I have used this illustration with you before. If I knock on your door, and you say, “Who’s there?” I say, “Steve Lawson.” You say, “Steve, come in. Lawson, stay out.” I can’t come in. It is all of me or none of me. Same with Jesus. You either get Jesus Christ the Lord or you get none of Him, and He must be Lord of your life in order for you to be saved. You may not understand the full ramifications. You probably won’t understand the full ramifications, but you have presented your life as a living sacrifice on the altar. You have entrusted your soul, every inch and every ounce. You didn’t just put one foot across the line. You put both feet into the boat and committed your life to Jesus Christ. And we see that so very clear.
Now, I am looking at the clock. I just need to give you this. So, what are the marks of such true saving faith that you would really call upon the name of the Lord? Because, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” I mean, you talk about easy words. Let me just give you four words.
Number one: submission. When you say, “Jesus is Lord,” you are saying, “I am in submission to the Master, to the Ruler, to the Sovereign Jesus Christ. I have submitted my life to Christ.” Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you.” And so, you are like an ox now who has a yoke around your neck and the Master is in the wagon. And when He pulls to the left, you go left. When He pulls back on the reins, you stop. When He cracks the whip, you go forward. You are an ox pulling a wagon and Jesus is the Owner, the Ruler, and the Master of your life.
Second word is “priority.” To say, “Jesus is Lord” means that He is the most important Person and the number one pursuit in your life, and everything else and everyone else is a far distant second. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added unto you.” Jesus said in Matthew 10:37, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
Submission. Priority. Number three, obedience. When our Master speaks, we listen and we obey. Jesus said in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” That would be a total inconsistency, impossibility, incredulity. If Jesus is Lord, it is your heart’s desire to do what He says. Do we always do it perfectly? No. But when we don’t, we feel convicted and we feel bad about it, and we confess it to the Lord and get back with the program. Romans 1:5 talks about the obedience of faith. Saving faith is inseparably bound with obedience.
And the last word I have already used, number four is commitment. To say, “Jesus is Lord,” means that you are saying, “I am willing to go anywhere, to do anything, with anyone, to pay any price, at any time. That you are all in, that you are committed to the Lord, that you say as Isaiah did in Isaiah 6:8, “Here am I. Send me!”
So, that is what it means to say, “Jesus is Lord.” I am submitted, He is my priority, I obey, and I am committed. That is what that means. Do we ever waiver from that? Not fundamentally, only at times practically. But then we confess, we read our Bible. We go, “You know, I’ve got to move forward with this.”