Notes from our most recent sermon are posted below each week.
Salvation for Everyone
January 26, 2020
Salvation for Everyone
I. Christ makes available a righteousness attained through faith; 10:5-10
5 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: “The man who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Paul cites Leviticus 18:5 to describe righteousness by obeying the Old Testament law. The problem lies in the fact that no one can live up to the requirements of the law. Although its moral demands point us in the right direction, it was never meant to earn God’s approval. Its role was to reflect the character of God in terms of ethics. The Jews had made it into a way to gain God’s favor based on personal accomplishments.
In contrast is the righteousness that is by faith. Through Christ’s being brought down to earth and His being brought up from the dead, God has made righteousness available. All one needs to do to attain righteousness is to respond in faith to the gospel. Salvation is available to everyone who will believe and confess that Jesus is Lord.
The implications of this are mind-boggling. Those who come to Christ by faith are acknowledging that they have placed themselves entirely and without reservation under His authority to carry out without hesitation whatever He may choose for them to do.
The confession that Jesus is Lord is a basic distinguishing mark of being a Christian. With the heart/mind one believes that God raised Jesus from the dead. This brings salvation from the consequences of sin.
To believe with one’s heart means to commit oneself at the deepest level to the truth as revealed in the Bible and experienced. Confession is giving expression in words to that conviction. Outward confession stems from a profound inward conviction.
II. This righteousness is available to anyone and everyone who believes; 10:11-13
11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The quotation is from Isaiah 28:16. “So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.'” Jesus is the “stone.”
The faith that leads to vindication in judgment is open to “anyone.” The gospel opens the doors to salvation to all people on the same basis. The confession Jesus is Lord unites both in the same faith and the same hope, for Jesus is Lord of all and blesses all who call on Him.
Turning to the prophet Joel, Paul reminded his readers that salvation is for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (Joel 2:32). Nowhere in Scripture is the universal scope of salvation presented with greater clarity. Though salvation is available to everyone, it is not automatic. All will not be saved, only those who respond in faith to Jesus.
III. How will everyone know of this righteousness offered? 10:14-15
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
What is required for any person to be saved? The steps are in reverse order: the sending of preachers, preaching, hearing the message about Christ, believing in Christ, and calling on “the name of the Lord.”
If everyone who calls upon the Lord will be saved, it is important that everyone have the opportunity to hear. Therefore, it is necessary that a messenger be sent. The quotation from Isaiah 52:7 confirms that preaching the good news is needed if people are to hear and be saved. Telling others about the hope and salvation offered through Jesus is a beautiful thing.