The Treasure

Jesus is Lord.

Romans 10:9 (ESV)

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Look up the word “Christian” in the dictionary, and you’ll discover something wonderful. Skip past the definitions of Christian as a noun to the definitions of it as an adjective. There you’ll find one like, “Commendably decent or charitable.”

Wow. That definition is one of the most precious, glorious things in the whole universe. The dictionary says Christians are the good guys. What a treasure.

And this treasure wasn’t just given to us; it was earned. Through incredible sacrifice, the first Christians established themselves as people who were commendably decent or charitable. The dictionary doesn’t invent definitions—it reports them—and decency and charity are what people thought of when they thought of a Christian.

But nowadays many Christians aren’t living up to the standards of our forebears. People often say, “Christians aren’t very Christian.” Something’s wrong. We’ve become a nation of “pew potatoes.”

Our Christianity is weak because our faith is weak. Many, if not most, American Christians do not conform to Romans 10:9. Many never even confessed Christ as their Lord in the first place; they only confessed him as savior. That’s like accepting a job offer by announcing that you “accept” the retirement benefits. What about the job?

We’re weak on the other half of Romans 10:9 too, and this part is trickier—at least conceptually. The first Christians knew, absolutely knew, that Jesus rose from the dead because they either saw it, or talked to someone who did, or talked to someone who talked to someone who did. They weren’t that many degrees of separation away from an eyewitness.

But now it’s a hundred generations later, and the evidence isn’t that fresh. It’s not easy to gain a first-century level of confidence in the truth of the resurrection.

But it is possible.

For the next few weeks, we’re going to be walking through the basics of the Christian faith, based on Romans 10:9.

This DEEP series, titled “Faith in What?” will a lay a solid foundation for belief. That involves establishing a correct view of Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives, along with a thorough understanding of crucifixion, how it kills people, and how we can be certain that the resurrection really happened.

Faith built on a solid foundation leads to a full life in Christ—the kind of life that gets glorious definitions into the dictionary.

The weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

The Job book is published! Here's the link:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.