When I became a follower of Christ, a very simple Scripture found in Romans 10:9-11 helped me to understand what must be done in order to be saved. It says, “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.” That seems so simple doesn’t it? And there is a part of us that wonders if that’s really all there is to it.
Paul declares that those who want to belong to God must first of all be willing to confess that Jesus Christ is their Lord, and actually that is no small thing! The Greek word that Paul used here for Lord is “KURIOS” and it was filled with great significance! It was not only used of one who was master over another – it was actually the title given to all Roman Emperors of that time. Additionally, the Greeks placed this word KURIOS or “Lord” before each of their gods’ names; so, to give this title of “Lord” to Christ, meant that Jesus was not only above all other gods that mankind had chosen to worship, He was also above Caesar himself! And that’s a powerful statement. seeing as Paul was writing to the church of Rome who lived directly under the Emperor’s authority!
Perhaps even more importantly, when the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures had been translated into Greek, the word KURIOS, or Lord, was used instead of the divine name of God that was so Holy it could not even be spoken. Thus, when we confess Jesus as KURIOS (Lord), we are in fact acknowledging that Christ is the eternal, all-holy God Himself and we are taking our place under Him as one who belongs to Him. He is our Master, our ruler and He is superior to every other ruler known to man! The prophet Isaiah prophesied about this in Isaiah 9:6 when he spoke of some of the names that Jesus would be known by: “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Another vital element in being saved is that we must believe in our hearts that Jesus has risen from the dead and that He is alive forevermore. Christ’s resurrection is essential to our faith because it not only proves that sin and death have been conquered, but it makes it possible for us to know Him in a living relationship! We do not merely know about Christ, as an historical figure who lived in the past. As His followers, we are able to have a relationship with Him in the present because He is alive! He lives in us and we live in Him.
Paul points out a third element — that though we believe with our hearts, our spoken confession is important. The world around us needs to know whose side we’re on – we must be willing to proclaim that we are His – and that will certainly take courage! It was not easy for believers living in Rome in those days. It required real trust in God for them to openly align themselves with Jesus. It is often difficult for many of us today, too; but God’s Word encourages us, affirming that “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” When Christ returns, our faith will be vindicated and we will share in His glory!
May God bless you