Good morning. Today we come to one of those passages that seems familiar, even by the address: Romans 10:9-10. Many of us memorized those verses long ago in Awana or Sunday School, etc. But it’s possible even after memorizing something to still not fully grasp what it’s talking about–ask any student cramming for an exam! For example, I memorized all the answers for the Ham Radio test and got a perfect score, earning me my call sign KC0ODH, but I can’t to this day tell you the cause of amplitude modulation–nor even what it’s referring to! (Sorry to disappoint you Rockwellians, and no, please don’t try to explain it to me!)
So although we may have memorized Romans 10:9-10, we have to ask what is its meaning? From first glance, i appears there are two things required for salvation: 1. believing in your heart and 2. confessing with your mouth. As Pastor Bob aptly pointed out in his sermon Sunday, we need to read this verse in light of the whole of scripture, which clearly, unmistakably declares salvation to be based on belief alone (John 3:16 for example.) One thing, not two. But why did Paul write it that way?
Three reflections on why.
1. Bob mentioned how the heart and mouth are so interrelated, like in Luke 6:45, where Jesus says “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
2. In the preceding verse 8, Paul has quoted Dueteronomy 30:14, which refers to “mouth” and “heart” in that order. Paul continues that same word order in verse 9. Then he switches the order to “heart” and “mouth” in verse 10, showing again how interchangeable the terms are.
3. The definition of confess: it means literally to “agree with.” It has nothing to do with issuing a public statement.
Thanks for those who shared your Lenten aspirations with me yesterday! It’s a joy to be on this journey together.
Off to read my Prayer book now!