“But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, in your mouth and in your heart" -that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:8-10 NAS
Throughout Scripture the heart is given a place of prominence; much more than the seat of emotions as it is often presented in today’s western culture, the heart is clearly where we make our decisions. We think intellectually with our minds, sorting out information based on our education and understanding, but as I have explained in previous articles and videos, we make decisions with our heart. The heart is the place we attach and commit; decide and abide. Perhaps you have heard someone reply, “My heart wasn’t in it,” when asked why they lost a game, a business deal, or seem to lack zeal or excellence.
Our righteousness in Christ Jesus happens when a heart believes and receives Him as their Lord and Savior. It is our new condition, once set apart from God in our sin and now fully accepted in Christ. It is a personal relationship; not a family tradition or an extension of another person’s faith but an essential, individual life decision that must be made for oneself, never received by default or passively. It is a gift from God you must choose to receive. God gave you the gift of life, you did not choose to be born; He gave you life and then gave you free will to make choices of how you want to live your life. You get to decide what your priorities are, who you will live for, who you will serve and worship, what you believe, and the all-in heart, soul, mind, and strength love you want to live out based on your belief.
These verses in Romans tell us, “with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” This is not a silent secret we keep to ourselves; we must declare and share it. We also know from Scripture that whatever is in our hearts is revealed in our words. We talk about the things we love, our priorities, pursuits, and passions. It is why a grandparent cannot help but talk about their grandchildren. So how much more would a person talk about Jesus when they now believe that Jesus has fully forgiven them of all their sins, loves and saved them in His great grace and mercy. They are now blessed with abundant life that will unfold before them like a path as they pray, study His Word, worship Him, being equipped by His Spirit, and when their time is finished on earth they will graduate to the glory of heaven. Who could resist talking about all this?
The believing is the action that brings about the virtue of God’s right thinking, feeling, speaking, and acting as well as the condition of being acceptable to God. Salvation is the victory; the deliverance out of the fiery eternal torture of hell as we decided to release the chains of captivity that held us to sin and step into the sum of the blessings and benefits from the Author of our lives and the Redeemer of our souls.
It is this Christ-given condition of righteousness that assures us that God hears and answers our prayers. That as we live as children of God our prayers are answered in astounding and abounding ways that our earthly eyes and minds will never fully comprehend. It is a promise found at the end of James 5:16, that fashioned the theme of the 2023 National Day of Prayer, “Pray Fervently in Righteousness and Avail Much!”
Lord Jesus thank you for Your gift of righteousness and salvation. You became sin, though You knew no sin, that we could become Your righteousness. Thank You! Please continue to remind us that our righteousness is a license to love, serve, and grow, not a seat on a special row, not a crown we receive on earth. This great gift draws us to a daily closer walk with You; learning and leaning on Your love and grace that carries us through the trials and triumphs. Thank You for Your patience as You sanctify us, growing our faith and conforming us each day in Your character, ways, and will. Thank You that You promise to hear our prayers, change lives, and write future history books with Your availing answers. In the wonderful name of Jesus we pray, Amen!
Serving Him with Gladness,