TWO PARTS REQUIRED

Sunday: November 29, 2020

In one molecule, water is composed of two elements: hydrogen and oxygen combined in a ratio of 2:1. Without these exact elements and proportion, one does not have water. Those two parts combined are absolutely necessary because in existence independently, neither of the two can do the things water does.

While the text we read today from Paul’s letter to the Romans is a popular one, we often just gloss over the content of the verse without diving deeper. But in this verse, we are faced with another absolutely necessary combination, neither of which can stand independently.

If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9)

Many seem to find confession pretty easy ‘I am the righteousness of God, I am the head and not the tail, I can do all things, I am saved or blessed’; all the above are heavy declarations that
elevate us to certain pedestals. However, there is another part to them hence the use of the “AND” in Paul’s letter: if you confess, then you have to believe in your heart.

Without the latter, all we utter is ordinary lipservice, to God and even to ourselves. Confession is straightforward – say what you have to say. So even when the possessed man in the land of the Gadarenes met Jesus, there was a confession ‘we know you are the son of God’ (Matthew 8:29). However, that  confession did not bring with it any fruit or evidence of salvation because the heart was dissociated from the words uttered. That is why Paul was explicit:

without believing in the heart, confessing with the lips produces no fruit”, even in prayer.

#sly

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