ROMANS 10:9-10: (9) If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (10)For one believes with his heart and is justified, and declares with his mouth and is saved.” (ISV)
OBSERVATION: What does it mean to be “Saved”? Does it mean that when you die you will go to heaven, or does it mean something much more? The word “salvation”, like so many other words in our English language, has lost so much of its original meaning. And when we look into the original languages of the Biblical text, we realize just how far we have moved in our understanding from the writer’s original intent.
I am not usually prone to make such distinctions in my devotions. However, when I read these verses again, the distinction between believing and declaring jumped out at me. And as I focused on these two words, I realized they have everything to do with the original question – “What does it mean to be “Saved”? Today we use the term “salvation” to usually define the moment we placed our faith in Jesus Christ. While this is not an improper use of the term, it is certainly an insufficient use of it. Let’s look at the word itself in the Greek language, and then in its context in these two verses.
The word that is translated “saved” in verse 10 is the Greek word – soteria (sow-ter-ia). In verse 10 it is a noun, in the singular, accusative sense. This means it defines the effect that takes place on the one who “declares with his mouth”. In other words, it is only the one who – “declares with his mouth” – that is defined as one who has been “soterian” (sow-ter-ian) – SAVED! And the Greek word, as defined, has nothing to do with membership in a church, the assurance of heaven after one dies, or one’s standing before God (this is our justification, and this takes place when we believe).
No – to be “Saved” is to be delivered, set free, rescued, brought into safety.
What do we need to be “saved” from? Paul tells us clearly in Colossians,
- “God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of the Son whom he loves, through whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” Colossians 1:13-14
With this understanding, as we look at verse 10 we see that,
- When we believe that Jesus is the Messiah, that He lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again from the dead – we are pardoned from our sin and justified – restored into relationship with God the Father, and declared righteous through Jesus Christ (just as if we had never sinned).
- When we declare (confess) with our mouth that – Jesus is Lord – we are rescued from the power of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of the Son of God!
Salvation is the proclamation of our deliverance and the declaration of our inheritance. It is the call to live our lives daily under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is our call to walk in the power of His life. It is the call to be an overcomer who reigns in life through the power of His life working mightily within. Paul, in the verses prior to Colossians 1:13, earnestly prays that the believers in Colossi (and all believers) will fully understand this important truth!
- “For this reason, since the day we heard about this, we have not stopped praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the full knowledge of God’s will with respect to all spiritual wisdom and understanding, (10) so that you might live in a manner worthy of the Lord and be fully pleasing to him as you bear fruit while doing all kinds of good things and growing in the full knowledge of God. (11) You are being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, so that you might patiently endure everything with joy (12) and might thank the Father, who has enabled us to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.” (Colossians 1:9-12)
As I think upon this truth, I must ask myself – “Am I walking in the power of my salvation?” Am I living as one who has been truly delivered from the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of Jesus Christ? Salvation is not simply about going to heaven. Eternal life does not become a reality when we die. Eternal life is to live a victorious, joy filled, abundant life – while we live!
And this “Eternal Life” is only possible if we are walking in the full assurance and understanding of our “Salvation”.
Lord, open my eyes to see all that You have done for me when I believed that Jesus was the Messiah, and when I proclaimed – Jesus is Lord, my Lord! Grant me the spiritual wisdom and understanding, and the grace needed, to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, bearing fruit in my daily life, and giving thanks for all You have done, are doing, and will continue to do as I work out my salvation in fear and trembling, according to Your power that is working mightily in me!
- “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:9-13 NKJV)
In Jesus Name!