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

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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Romans 10:9-10 NIV

Salvation is a result of declaring with one’s mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in one’s heart.  Salvation is a gift from God and is to be received.  It is not based upon works and it is not earned.  But works are a result of true faith in Jesus Christ.  Because if we have come to truly place our faith and trust in Jesus the Holy Spirit has come to live within us.  It is the Holy Spirit who transforms us from the inside out.

As the Holy Spirit continually transforms our lives it impacts the way we live our lives.  We begin to see the world around us as God sees it and we see the brokenness of humanity.  We are surrounded daily by those who are broken and lost and as we have opportunity we must be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Through faith in Christ we are justified before God.  Our sin debt was paid by Jesus as the cross and He took our sin upon Himself.  The wrath and punishment that we deserved was poured out upon Jesus.  Today we are free because what Christ has done at Calvary.

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Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8 NIV

We are told time and time again in God’s word to love one another.  Jesus exemplified this in the way He lived His life and the way He laid down His life for us.  He didn’t have to go to the cross, but He chose to because of His love for us.  We are created in His image and the offer of salvation goes out to all people.  Those who receive what Jesus has done and placed their faith and trust in Him will spend all eternity in God’s kingdom.

The apostle Paul had to defend the gospel throughout his ministry.  Many tried to distort the grace of God; either treating it as a license to sin or falsely teaching that the gentiles had to keep the law.  The grace of God does not divorce us from walking in obedience to the Lord.  For before we come to Christ we are slaves of this world and the desires of the sinful nature.  But when we come to Christ we have been bought at a precious price and become slaves of the Lord and His righteousness.  Our lives no longer belong to us.  They belong to the Lord.

In loving others we fulfill the law.  When you examine the law it is God’s righteous standard and it is impossible for anyone except Jesus to keep the whole law.  But through the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to walk in love.  For when we come to Christ it is the Holy Spirit who comes to live in our hearts and transforms us from the inside out.  May everything we do on this earth be done in God’s love and done to glorify His name.  For we are called to love God with our whole heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23

Salvation is a free gift from God.  It is not earned but simply received.  It is received by placing our faith and trust in Jesus Christ and living for the Lord each day.  Placing our faith in Jesus is more than just simply believing in Jesus.  To place our faith in Jesus means that our life is built upon Jesus, we have turned from our sins and turned fully to the Lord.

The only result of living in sin is destruction and death.  Sin is deceptive and it would seem when we are living in sin and pursuing the desires of our sinful nature that we are truly living in freedom.  But we are simply bound by sin and we are enslaved to the devil.  But when our hearts are given to Christ we are set free from the bondage of sin and are no longer enslaved to the devil and this world.  Each day as we abide in the Lord He leads and guides us one step at a time.  It is the Holy Spirit who transforms us from the inside out.  As we study God’s word each day our minds are renewed and as our minds are renewed our lives are transformed.

So that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.  Romans 15:4

The scriptures were written long ago by those inspired by the Holy Spirit.  All that we have in the bible today is the inspired word of God.  Transformation takes place in our lives as we study the scriptures and meditate upon the scriptures.  We are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Some will claim that the bible is outdated or simply a book filled with fairy tales.  But it isn’t until we come into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ that we come to understand the power of God’s word.  The more we study God’s word the more we are encouraged.  This journey can be very difficult sometimes and it is easy to become discouraged.  But when our lives are spent daily in the study of God’s word our hearts and minds will be fixed upon Jesus Christ.

Understanding God’s word comes as we fellowship with the Holy Spirit.  As we seek the Lord in prayer and draw near it is the Holy Spirit who opens our hearts and minds to understand the word of God.  It doesn’t require a bible degree to understand the word of God.  It simply requires a heart that is hungry to know the heart of God.

Romans 15:12-13

12 And again, Isaiah says:

“There shall be a root of Jesse;
And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”[f]

13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:12-13

It is in the Lord that we hope.  Jesus is our hope.  He has come and fulfilled the Father’s plan and purpose.  It is through His death and resurrection that He has proved that He is indeed the Son of God.  All who place their hope and trust in Jesus Christ will be set free from the curse of sin and death.  All who trust in Jesus will spend all eternity in God’s kingdom.

No matter what we are facing on this earth we know that our hope is in Jesus.  He is fulfilling His plans and purposes in our lives on a daily basis by His power and His grace.  He has simply called us to abide in Him each and every day.  He has called us to fix our eyes upon Him.

As we draw near to the Lord each day His leading and His guidance become crystal clear.  We come to know and discern His voice and His leading.  It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that all things are accomplished.  It is not through our own strength or our own power.  May we surrender our hearts daily unto Him and keep our eyes and heart focused on the one where our hope is found.

Romans 8:28

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28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

God works all things together for our good.  But the key to this verse is that it is for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.  We must walk in deep intimacy with Christ in a close personal relationship.  As we follow the Lord we will face many challenges on a daily basis.  But through everything we face the Lord will work all things together for our good.  We have nothing to fear or worry about.  But we simply need to trust the Lord each day and seek Him in all things.

Romans 12:2

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2

We are called to not conform to the pattern of this world.  The world we live in is build upon the lies and deceptions of Satan.  The culture we live in today becomes more anti-God by the moment.  The spirit of the anti-Christ is continually working in the hearts and minds of people, hardening their hearts to the Lord and preparing them for the judgement and wrath of Almighty God.

But we who are in Christ are not called to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of the mind.  Our minds are renewed by the word of God.  As we spend time in God’s word each day reading and meditating upon His word, our lives are transformed by the power and might of the Holy Spirit.

As our minds are transformed we will be able to test and approve what God’s will is.  As we abide in the Lord we come to know Him in a more intimate way.  We come to understand His heart and His plans and purposes.  The more we draw near the more we come to know Him.  But besides prayer, the word of God is the most powerful weapon we have on the earth today for advancing God’s kingdom.  When God’s word is preached without compromise under the anointing of the Holy Spirit it has the ability to change and transform the hearts and lives of people.

 

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love

romans 838-39

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.  The apostle Paul as he writes these words truly communicates that nothing can separate us from God’s love.  Many today have a false perception of the love of God because for most of their lives they have been hurt by people they thought were suppose to love and support them.

Many believe that God’s love is based upon our performance or our behavior.  But God’s love is eternal and unconditional.  He desires to lavish His love upon us and when we rightly understand God’s love we will grow in intimacy with Jesus.  The reason many struggle in their relationship with God is because they have a wrong understanding of God’s love.

Some because of legalism believe that God’s love has to be earned and that somehow God’s love changes based upon our obedience.  But if God’s love changed based upon our behavior it wouldn’t be love.  If our love was based upon our behavior then we would constantly live in fear of God believing that somehow He would take His love from us.

But the truth is that He has chosen to love us.  He understands our every weakness and He still chooses to love us.  He loves us because He is love.  Love is His very nature and when we have a right understanding of His love we will draw near daily, growing in His love.

As we grow in His love, we are filled with His love.  As we are filled with His love we will naturally desire to lavish His love upon others.  The world is filled with broken and lost people and the Lord is simply looking for those who will be vessels of His love.  The only way to be filled with His love is to draw near to Him and spend time alone with Him in His presence.  Day by day we are transformed into His nature and character by the power of the Holy Spirit.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 NLT

There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.  The love of God is relentless, it chases us down.  The Lord desires to lavish His love upon us.  He desires for us to walk in deep intimacy with Him and encounter His love in every area of our lives.  He desires that we would become aware of His presence where ever we find ourselves.

The Lord lavishes His love upon us so that we will in turn lavish His love upon others.  Jesus said that we would be known as His disciples because of the love that is at work within us.  The love of God cannot be counterfeited.  The love of God is unconditional and eternal.  The love of God is unchanging.  It is not based upon performance nor behavior.  But as we come to know Christ in greater ways we come to know the depths of His love.  As we come to know and encounter the love of Christ we will be changed for eternity.

Concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, [a]called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a [b]descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power [c]by the resurrection from the dead, according to the [d]Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship [e]to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as [f]saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 1:1-7

This is quite the introduction to the book of Romans.  The apostle Paul begins by listing himself and refers to himself as a bond servant.  The apostle Paul more than anyone understood that his salvation was simply a result of the grace of God.  Paul didn’t deserve salvation like all of us, but the Lord chose and set him a part for God’s plans and His purposes.  The apostle Paul was chosen by the Lord to establish the foundation and begin to take the gospel to the uttermost.

Throughout the old testament we are given prophecies that point to the messiah who is to come.  The nation of Israel thought their messiah would be a conquering king like king David and failed to understand that Jesus had to come and give His life so that they could be set free from the slavery of sin.  But when we examine many of the prophecies that speak about the coming Messiah and we look and examine the life of Jesus Christ we see that He fulfilled every prophecy that concerned His first coming and will one day finish the rest when He returns to establish His kingdom.

Through the linage established in Matthew and Luke we see that Jesus was indeed a descendant of King David.  God established a covenant with King David that he would always have a descendant to rule upon the throne and this was fulfilled through Jesus Christ.  For there is coming a day when Jesus shall return and established His kingdom upon the earth.  The linage of Jesus in Matthew follows the line through Joseph, while the linage in Luke follows the linage through Mary.  God so orchestrated all things to fulfill His sovereign will and His purposes.

It was the resurrection that once and for all truly proved that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.  Yes when Jesus walked the earth He did many miracles and John even writes that if everything Jesus did was written down there would be enough books to contain the accounts.  But through the resurrection Jesus demonstrated His Lordship and authority over death and the grave.  Because of the resurrection we know that Jesus lives forevermore and that because of the resurrection that nothing is impossible.  It is the resurrection and Calvary that is foundational and central to the truth of the gospel message.

Paul knew that it was only by grace that he was called to be an apostle.  He didn’t choose to be an apostle and he hadn’t done anything to earn it.  But because of God’s grace and mercy Paul was given the high calling of taking the gospel to the gentiles.  Before Paul every came to know Christ, he was a man driving to destroy Christianity.  But on that day on the Damascus road his life would be changed for an eternity and he would be used to write a majority of the New Testament and establish the foundation of Christianity.

We who are in Christ today and for every believer throughout history who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ are only saved by the grace and mercy of Almighty God.  None of us have done anything to earn our salvation.  No of us have been deserving of salvation.  We are simply saved by the grace of God and when we remember and understand this truth we will always walk in humility throughout our life on this earth.

Those who come to faith in Jesus Christ is the definition of a saint.  Being referred to as a saint is not something earned.  A saint is simply a sinner saved by grace.  Some have distorted this and made it seem the church determines who are saints and that some how it is by merit.  But this is simply a distortion of the truth.  Anyone who comes to Christ and receives Him as Lord and Savior are a saint.  Our righteousness is not established by our works or the way we live our lives, but it is simply found in the perfection of who Jesus is.  As we grow in Christ the nature and character of Christ is established within us and we develop and outward righteousness.