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Last night at our midweek service at church we were studying Romans 10. It is a great chapter and makes how to be saved and how not to be saved very clear.
Paul had a strong heart's desire for his people, Israel, to be saved but their problem as he stated in verse 2 & 3 is still the problem of many people and churches today:
Romans 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
There are a great many people today very religious and in doing so believe they are earning salvation, but they are doing what those verses say - they are trying to establish their own righteousness and have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. In other words they haven't read and believed the directions.
The Jehovah Witnesses are full of zeal - going door to door with their pamplets but they believe they are earning eternal life. The Mormons like wise peddle miles and miles giving out their false doctrines thinking it will help them in the eternity, but it won't. Millions of Roman Catholics cling to the traditions of men that they have been taught and follow them faithfully, but they haven't believed the truth of God's Word - they are establishing their own righteousness rather than submitting themselves to the righteousness of God. I could go on and on with false religions who are full of zeal but not according to the the knowledge the Word of God gives. The Muslims, the Hindus etc.
But there are plenty of others, even in Baptist churches, who are going about trying to establish their own righteousness rather than repent and submit themselves to the righteousness of God. Some think if they belong to the church, tithe, are baptized, do good works they are good enough to go to Heaven. There are even many moral people in the world who think that because they are better people than church members they must be okay and going to heaven also. EVERYONE of these has one thing in common - they are believing a LIE!
Many have fallen into the trap that Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians 10:12, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
You see none of us can be good enough for Heaven on our own. It is not our righteousness that gets us into Heaven - it is the righteousness of Christ. Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, became our sin, took our punishment on the cross, died, was buried and arose again that we could have His righteousness. 2Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. The key there is IN HIM.
Apart from Jesus Christ we have no righteousness. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 64:6a, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" The very best we can do in God's sight is nothing more than filthy rags. Do you think that filthy rags will get you into Heaven? If so, you are destine for a horrible disappointment.
The only way that we can be saved, born again and have the righteousness of Christ, which is the only thing that will gain us entrance into Heaven is to believe God and receive it as the gift He is offering. We can NOT earn it or work to keep it, we must believe God and accept it as a gift. We receive it by believing on Jesus - Ro 4:24 "But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;" It will be imputed to us IF we believe on HIM. It is only received as a gift - Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Ephesians 2:8-9 is very plain about this : "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
The chapter we studied last night shows just how simple it is to be saved - Romans 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise,.....Romans 10:9 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.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
So we see from those verses the righteousness we need comes by faith. We are saved through the Lord Jesus Christ alone. When it says confess the Lord Jesus, we are confessing that He is our only way of salvation - that we believe He suffered and died on the cross for our sin, that His blood was shed to cleanse our sin, that He died, was buried and arose again for us personally to provide us individually salvation. It is not in the words you say, but what you believe. You must turn from your way (repent) and believe God - salvation can NOT be earned, Jesus bought it for you with His blood. He died and arose again, and will save you if you will believe Him, come to Him and trust Him to save you. If you will reach out in faith to Him to receive the gift of salvation that He bought you, He will save you and keep you forever HIS!
The choice is yours.