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. Romans 10:9
We’ve all heard that verse, quoted it even to those we were telling the plan way of salvation. And it is that simple…. believe it in your heart and confess it with your mouth. But there is a little more to it than just repeating a Bible verse.
First of all, God must call you. John 6: 44 says that we can’t come to Jesus unless the Father draws us. Usually, if one makes the effort to follow through with the motions of going to an altar and praying, or going up to their church to share the news if they accepted elsewhere, following through with the obedience of baptism, you would think it’s probably real. But it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes we make that decision with our heads based on knowing we’re supposed to or with our emotions when we see loved ones make that decision.
Second of all, you must really believe in your heart not just your head. Many people I know have a cerebral understanding and acceptance of who Jesus is and the Bible. But if they haven’t got that “heart” understanding, that relationship, they’re hell bound no matter how many times they recited Romans 10:9.
My grandmother, my sister, two of my sons, and myself all thought we were saved only to really make that decision at the prompting of the Holy Spirit later in life. Some of us even followed through with baptism a second time once we “finally got it right”. The Bible says that not all who call Him are His. So we do know that there are people who think they are okay but are not.
I don’t want to be misleading. Salvation is as simple as Romans 10: 9, IF we’ve been called and we mean it with our hearts, not just our heads. My daughter accepted Jesus at five years old and maybe I’ll share that experience with you another time. But trust me, it is that simple.
And if it is a true confession, there will be a difference. No one will be perfect. You are still just a sinner saved by grace. And you will stumble and fall. But there will be a difference. Not just in your lifestyle. Not everyone was living an obvious life of sin before salvation. But your desires, thought processes, and concerns will be different. You will want to be in the Word, you will have more forgiveness, you will worry about others who are still lost. You may not feel that way 100% all day everyday, just like you will still struggle with sin sometimes. But if there is no difference– in lifestyle, desires, anything–after your confession, then your confession wasn’t real.
I can’t tell anyone what their state of the soul is. That’s what you need to know. I”m just telling you if no one can tell a difference in you pre- salvation and post salvation, and YOU can’t tell a difference either, then please give that some serious thought.
If you know you are saved because there is something different inside you but you know you aren’t living in a way that it shows on the outside, give that some serious thought as well. You can be saved and be outside of the will of God. I lived that way a few years. And if that’s where you are, trust me, you are miserable. But not only are you miserable, but you are being a bad witness. Do you want the blood of your loved ones on your hands because you didn’t tell them about Jesus? Or more importantly, you didn’t show them Jesus?
I realize this has rambled a bit so let me just sum up my thoughts here:
- Salvation is as simple as Romans 10:9, IF you have been called at that time (we are all called at least once, but when can only accept when we are called, not just when we decide. And since we are only promised one opportunity, don’t turn it down)
- Saved people are still imperfect people with daily struggles. But they are different people. Make sure your confession was real.
- Saved people can something “backslide”. But a truly saved person will not be at peace until that relationship is restored. So if you have made a confession of salvation and know you have drifted from where you need to be, but you aren’t bothered, make sure your confession is real.
- And if your confession is real, the longer you stay out of the will of God, not only are you delaying your own blessings and peace, you are leading the ones you love in the wrong direction.