Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3* BOOK 24
We will pick up where we left off in our last lesson and that will be in Romans Chapter 10, and verse 9. Remember when we closed the last program we were talking about the word is nigh thee, it’s right in front of us, it’s even in our mouth. Not the word of Law, not the word of legalism, not any word of what you have to do, do, do, but the word of faith Paul says which we preach. And recently I came across a better definition of the word preach. You know I always like to disclaim that I’m a preacher, but I like the word this fellow used when he said, “When you preach something you’re proclaiming it.” I’ve got no problem with that definition, and I hope that I am proclaiming what the Word says. Here it is in verse 9:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,…”
And a better way to translate that is if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. See we can’t lose sight of that. Now I do not agree with Lordship salvation, I feel that’s an act of works. But when we enter in by faith, we experience the new birth, and we become a child of God, and we experience all these things that we saw back in Chapter 1 that is connected with the word `Salvation.’ That we’re forgiven, sanctified, glorified, baptized into the Body, and we’re indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and on and on I could go. Then one of the other things that happened is Christ becomes Lord of our life. I think that follows as naturally as daylight follows darkness. And that’s what Paul is saying now, that if we confess with our mouth the fact that Jesus is Lord.
Now I used to be associated with a situation where we thought that before anybody could be recognized as a believer or a candidate for Church membership they had to go in front of the whole congregation, and tell their testimony. And this is the verse that those people and I would use. But now I do not feel that this is what this verse is saying. This verse is not saying that if you want to be proclaimed as a believer you have to get up in front of a congregation and give your testimony. That’s not what The Book says, but I do think that it says,“That when you have entered into a Salvation experience you’re not going to keep it to yourself, its something that means something to us, and we’re going to share it.”
I hope that our class people, and many of them do, can get to the place that they can talk about the things of the Lord as easily as you can talk about the weather, because it becomes that big a part of us. And this is what the Apostle Paul is saying here, that if we come to the place where Jesus is Lord we should be ready to share with anybody that will listen. I never ascribe to forcing anything on people, by grabbing them by the nape of the neck and shoving this down their throat, because it won’t work. But when the Lord gives you an opportunity or opening with just a word or two, then be ready to share. Now continuing on with verse 9.
“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.”
Now that’s the Gospel isn’t it? That means that you’ve believed the Gospel for your salvation. And the Gospel is that Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again. And if you believe that God has raised Him from the dead, what’s the promise? “Thou shalt be saved!” It doesn’t say that you can try to be saved. It doesn’t say now you’re working the best you can to be saved, it says that when you believe the Gospel, the promise from God is “Thou shalt be saved!” How can you water that down? How dare people change that, because this is what The Book says, and this is what we try to help you understand. Now verse 10, and Paul is going to qualify it a little more. It isn’t head knowledge that saves you . A lot of people will have the head knowledge that, “Yeah, Jesus lived I know, evidently there was a crucifixion, and Rome did kill people that way, and maybe I could believe that He was raised from the dead,” but you see that’s head knowledge.”
But for us who truly believe, this is isn’t something that we associated with history necessarily, although it was certainly an act in history. Yet we know that when Christ died, He died for us. We know that when He was buried, we were buried with Him. We know that when He arose from the dead we also were resurrected to a newness of life. And again this is what Paul is rehearsing for our benefit.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;…”
I was reading a good man the other day, and he had a thought that I had really never considered before. He said, “Really, instead of using the word saved, we should say that we have been imputed righteousness.” That’s not a bad idea, because that’s exactly what God has done. Way back when we were in Romans Chapter 3, I took you back to Genesis Chapter 3 when God provided the animal sacrifices for Adam and Eve, which took care of the blood aspect. Then what did He do with the skins of those animals? He clothed their nakedness. But what does the rest of the verse say?
“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” So He clothed them, and then, remember I took you to Isaiah Chapter 61, and verse 10:
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,…” And then Romans 3:22 says the same thing.
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:…”
Now Paul is following that up, he’s still carrying on that same theme, that once we become a believer we are covered with God’s righteousness. Oh, not to the world around us, they can’t look at us and see God’s righteousness, but we don’t have to worry about them. Who sees the righteousness of Christ? God does. God looks on us and He doesn’t see Les Feldick, He doesn’t see you by name, but He sees Christ in His righteousness, and that’s the beauty of it. I would never dare stand in God’s presence on my own merit nor would you, but I could stand in His presence covered with the righteousness of Christ. And here is what Paul is now admonishing again. So we believe unto righteousness. That is the true aspect of our salvation, we are now made what God has proclaimed us to be. So looking at verse 10 again:
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Well we pretty much have covered all that. If you’re excited about what God has done for you, then you’re going to tell people.
“For the scripture saith, (See how Paul is always resting on the Word of God, even as he writes the Word of God) `Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.'”
Now I know that some people think that I make too much of the Apostle Paul, and I leave Peter in the shadows, but now let’s go back and see what Peter says, after the revelations of Paul have been around for a long, long time. Peter can write in I Peter Chapter 2 (and remember that these little epistles are written just shortly before Peter and Paul were both martyred, which means that Paul’s epistles and doctrines have been out there a long time already, so of course Peter can come to this kind of a conclusion), and here in verse 2 he’s comparing new born infants to new Christians.
I Peter 2:2-6
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, (There’s that analogy of the stone again that Christ was the Stone that was cast aside, and became a Stone of stumbling, especially to Israel.) but chosen of God, and precious. Ye also, as lively stones, (And remember Peter is writing to living Jews of the dispersion, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t apply to us.) are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (Now here it comes in verse 6.) Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, `Behold, I lay in Sion(Zion is Jerusalem,) a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.'” (or disappointed.)
How many people today, even in the midst of churches on every corner are slipping out into eternity, thinking they’re going the right direction. But I have to wonder, what must it be like when all of a sudden they wake up in eternity, and they are not where they thought they were going? Do you know what they are? They’re disappointed, and that’s what Peter is saying. Put your faith in the Rock of offence, The Stone of stumbling, and let Him be precious to you. And isn’t it amazing that Peter, coming out of Acts 2:38, doesn’t repeat `repent and be baptized for the remission of sins?’ No, he doesn’t mention that anymore. Why? Because that’s even in Peter’s past. And now Peter says, How do we obtain to this position of not being disappointed? By believing! Verse 7:
I Peter 2:7a
“Unto you therefore which believe…”
Oh that’s what I want people to see. This is all we see now anymore, we are to believe, not just a head knowledge, but to really with all our heart believe that Christ was Who He said He was. He’s The Son of God, He was The Messiah of Israel, but it doesn’t stop there. He went to that Cross, He died in our place, He shed the atoning Blood, He was buried, and He arose in power and glory from the grave. Verse 7 again.
I Peter 2:7
“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious, but unto them which be disobedient, (unbelievers) the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,”
Israel cast Him aside, and He became a Stone of stumbling for them, but He’s still coming back to take His place as the Chief Corner Stone of God dealing with the Nation of Israel, as well as the world as a whole. Now coming back to Romans Chapter 10, and let’s read verse 11 once more.
“For the scripture saith, `Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'”
When were teaching in the Old Testament I used to put my timeline on the board showing the river of humanity, and with the call of Abraham, how with him and the little nation he started, God pulled out of that river of humanity a little stream that was Jew only, with a few exceptions. So that was primarily God dealing with the Nation of Israel all the way up from 2000 B.C. until we get well into the Book of Acts. But there were a few Gentiles. He sent Jonah to Nineveh, then there was the Syrian general Naaman, Ruth the Moabite, Rahab at Jericho, and maybe a sprinkling of others, but it was primarily God dealing with His Covenant people Israel.
You see all that has just flip-flopped. Now in this Age of Grace God is primarily calling out Gentiles, but there are a few Jews, not many, but it’s open to them. God hasn’t closed the door on the Jew, but it’s just that most of them are so blinded they cannot see that the One that their forefathers crucified is the One to Whom they have to come for Salvation even today. So there is now in this Age of Grace, no difference.
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?…”
Now as we come through these succeeding verses I want you to realize something. God has ordained from the beginning of the human race that He will use human beings to promote His salvation, whether it was in the Old Testament or New Testament. Very seldom have I run across someone who found salvation all by themselves without benefit of some other human being. God has always arranged that the Word of God be promoted by you and I as humans. He didn’t leave it in the hands of angels. Oh He could of, but He didn’t, He left it in the hands of fellow human beings, and that’s why Paul tells us in II Corinthians 5:
II Corinthians 5:18
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” So we’re suppose to be ministers of reconciliation, we are expected to be ambassadors for Christ.
II Corinthians 5:20
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,…”
God expects us to share what we know with those who have never heard or understood. And that’s exactly what Paul is bringing out here. Looking at verse 14 again:
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (or proclaimer). How can these people understand unless someone explains it to them. Now verse 15.
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent?…”
Again we have to be used of God. The verse I like to use for this is in Acts Chapter 16. I can do nothing, and you can do nothing unless God goes ahead of us. And remember here in this verse we have Paul and Silas coming down from northern Greece into the city of Philippi. Lets begin with verse 13.
“And on the sabbath (The Jewish sabbath the seventh day) we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.” Just a few ladies that had come together, I suppose Jewish, to have some kind of devotional. And now verse 14 is the verse I want to show you.
“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, (This lady was in the upper echelons of society) which worshipped God, (She was religious, but lost.)heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”
Even the great Apostle Paul, with the power that he had, could he open the hearts of those people with his preaching? No, it took the work of the Holy Spirit to open the heart of Lydia, and then the words of Paul took root, and it’s no different today. You and I can never get across to people any of these truths unless the Holy Spirit opens the heart and spiritual eyes of those to whom we’re speaking. I don’t think anybody realizes that better than I do. I can do nothing, my words are nothing more than a tinkling cymbal unless God Himself opens hearts. I’ve got people sitting here that know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve had so many ask me, “Why didn’t I catch this 15 – 20 years ago?” Well it just wasn’t God’s time, but in His own time, He’s going to open our heart and spiritual understanding. Back to Romans 10:15:
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach (or proclaim) the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel, (Israel especially) For Esaias (Isaiah) saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?”
Even the great prophet Isaiah, what kind of ears did most of his words fall on? Deaf! Most of Israel didn’t pay any attention to the prophets, and would have rather had them thrown into the dungeons or put to death than hear them. So Isaiah in his frustration, and yet inspired by the Spirit says, “Lord who hath believed us? It just falls on deaf ears.”
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Remember we can’t hear until God speaks. How many times have I stressed, “Mankind is never expected to believe anything until God speaks it.” There’s a verse in Deuteronomy 29, that we’ll keep using until you know it from memory.
“The secret things (Things that God had not spoken) belong unto the LORD our God:…”
Why? He’s Sovereign, He doesn’t tell us everything that we’d like to know. He tells us every thing that we need to know, but He’ll tell it in His own time. And that’s why I rebel at the fact that Adam and Eve understood the Gospel (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4), and I’ve had people try to tell me that. Or that Abraham understood the Gospel. No, because God hadn’t revealed it yet. It wasn’t to be revealed until much, much, later. Why? Because it was kept secret, it was held in the mind of God. So they weren’t expected to believe that Christ would die, and be raised again even though the Old Testament was full of it by innuendo at least. Why? Because you don’t believe something until God says it. Verse 29 again.
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever,…”
Now of course that verse was spoken by Moses to Israel, but that part hasn’t changed. When God revealed the Gospel of the Grace of God, and all we have to do is believe that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, when God said that’s all that’s necessary for salvation, believe it, and what does He expect us to do? Believe it! Because now He has revealed it, and here is where we are whether we like it or not. We have to understand that God has now said, “We will be saved by faith + nothing in that which He has now proclaimed. Back to Romans 10:17 once more.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” You don’t put your faith in something that some denomination says, but in what God says. God tells us things in His own time.