Transcript of Midweek Meditations podcast episode aired on Wednesday, 10th August 2020.
Let’s do a spiritual health check. How are you doing during this pandemic? I wonder if you echo the many sentiments I hear people saying, “I feel far from God,” or rather, “I’ve never felt closer to God.” As I look around, I see this pandemic revealing the strengths and weaknesses of people’s faith and trust in God.
But this isn’t the time for self-criticism or guilt, but an opportunity to return to the heart of the gospel. To find encouragement in the words of God. So let’s do that as we meditate on the words of Paul to the Romans:
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)
Paul raises the question, how do you know if you’re saved? To answer the question, he gives us two diagnostic questions to complete our spiritual health check: what do you believe in your hearts? And, what do you declare and profess with your mouths?
Do you believe?
The first diagnostic question is, “Do you believe God raised Jesus from the dead?” The answer to this question is the foundation of our faith and salvation. You see, it’s not enough to just believe in God. James says:
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.James 2:19 (NIV)
It’s not enough to believe in God, do you believe what God did for you? Do you believe God raised Jesus from the dead? Do you believe you needed Jesus to die for you? Do you believe Jesus needed to pay the price for your sin and offence towards God? If you can answer, “Yes,” to these questions, then you’re justified, made right with God.
Will you declare and profess?
The second diagnostic question is, “Do you declare and profess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’?” The answer to this question is a reflection of the heart. As Jesus says:
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.Luke 6:45 (NIV)
The genuineness of your faith in Jesus’ death for you will be found in your words. Notice this declaration isn’t, “Jesus is my saviour,” but “Jesus is Lord.” What’s the difference?
Well, it comes back to the question of the heart, “Do you believe God raised Jesus from the dead?” That is, do you recognise Jesus needed to die for your sins?
Is Jesus Lord?
To recognise the necessity of Jesus’ death is to recognise our sin and rejection of God. To receive the gift of salvation is to declare and profess Jesus as Lord. You can’t believe Jesus died for your sins, then downplay or ignore his status as Lord.
So, the question comes back to this, “Can you declare and profess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’?” If you’re not sure, that’s okay, but consider revisiting the gospel to fully understand why Jesus died for your sins.
If you do declare and profess, “Jesus is Lord,” then consider taking the further step of evaluating if there are any parts of your life where this isn’t true. What part of your life haven’t you given to Jesus?
Jesus is Lord
Ask yourself these two questions: Do I believe God rose Jesus from the dead? Can I confess, “Jesus is Lord,” with my mouth? The answers to these two questions will you give you a quick spiritual health check.
If you’re not sure about these questions, that’s okay. But maybe you need to re-examine Jesus and who he says he is. If you can confidently affirm the death of Jesus and confess him as Lord, you’re in good spiritual health. Be encouraged. Keep growing in your assurance and confidence in Jesus.
Heavenly Father, we live in challenging and disorienting times, yet we thank you that you will never change. You’re an unshakable rock on which we can stand, help us to come to you in all things.
Thank you for demonstrating your love to us by sending Jesus, your one and only Son, to die for our sins. Not only did he die, but you rose him up from the dead. He now sits on the throne at your right hand, he is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Jesus, that is what you are, you are Lord. Help us to submit ourselves to you, work in us so that we might be living confessions and testimonies of your faithfulness and goodness in our lives. Do this by the work of your Holy Spirit who is present with us through out days.
We pray these things in Jesus’ name, amen.