If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
I say this all the time (because I’m so happy about it!): There are NO hoops to jump through to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In sports, one has to be athletic enough to make the team. In high school, one has to be popular enough to be on student council. In life, one has to be rich enough to go to college, buy a car, a house, a boat... In this world we’re required to do something in order to get what we want. And that’s bad news for the un-athletic, unpopular, and poor!
But God doesn’t want anything from me, yet wants to give me EVERYTHING! Isn’t that amazing! He decided that all I need to do is believe to be made right with him. He surely knows how un-athletic, unpopular, and un-rich I am! I’m also too undisciplined, rash, and impatient to rack up enough good deeds to please him as well. So he doesn’t intend on saving me after I try and save myself first. He just saves me by telling me that he’s not holding my sins against me if I would believe in his Son, Jesus (Romans 3:22). That is a marvelous exchange for me!
Since I know God is perfectly aware of what I lack in ability, willpower, and self-control (and he doesn’t count on any of those things for me to be right with him), God must also be willing to use this believing and confessing system in other areas of my life as well.
When we hear Christians say they are trying not to do things in their “own strength” anymore, what exactly is the alternative? If I’m not “good” enough to make up for my sins, how can I live to please God now that I am saved? I believe it’s back to the believing and confessing system for us.
Believe. Instead of relying on my own ability to have willpower and self-control, I believe that God is finishing the good work he started in my heart (Philippians 1:6), and he is working all things together for my good because I love and trust him (Romans 828).
Confess. Instead of explaining and defending myself, I will use my mouth and tell (confess) Jesus that I love him. That’s it. Not, “I’ll try harder, Lord.” But, “I love you, Jesus, I love you, I love you, I love you!” And let the joy of the Lord be my strength (Psalm 28:7)- not my strength be my strength. Remember, if I had enough strengths God wouldn’t have implemented the believing and confessing system in the first place.
It is by believing and confessing that I am saved, and it is by believing and confessing that I obtain God’s strength to live that way!
Thank you for making it possible not only for me to be saved, but also for me to please you because know I lack the capabilities to do that too. You are great and greatly to be praised and I am so grateful for the believing and confessing system that has saved me in every single possible way. I love you so much and pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.