is the path to understanding.

Romans 10:10–13 (NKJV)

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

This passage teaches a curious doctrine. It’s not enough just to believe; you have to tell somebody.

And just to be sure, it’s in there twice — “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” and, “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Don’t worry; this doesn’t contradict salvation by faith alone. It’s just saying that there’s a step you have to take to complete the process. It’s standard church doctrine that a new believer must make a public confession of faith. But why?

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. — 1 Corinthians 12:3 (NKJV)

OK, it’s a litmus test. That explains why we want to hear a public confession of faith from new believers, but why does God require one?

We don’t know. Sure, it’s easy to think up reasonable explanations for why God requires a public confession of faith. “A public confession of faith begins the process of acting on your faith.” “It teaches boldness and practices not being ashamed of the gospel.”

These are fine, but none of them is the official answer. The truth is that we aren’t given an undisputed answer as to why God designed a public confession into the plan of salvation. Still, these “reasonable explanations” can be comforting. They help resolve nagging doubts. We see that this requirement makes sense; we just don’t know all the details behind it.

That’s an important part of being a Christian. Our understanding of all things theological is going to be pretty shallow (this side of eternity anyway). We need an occasional reminder to knock us off our high horse and remind us that we’re not experts.

We should always strive to understand the things of God. Thus will our failures remind us of our limitations and keep us humble.

That humility is the path to real understanding.

God’s ways, which include things like hurricanes, are higher than our ways and we aren’t going to understand all of them. He is LORD. We are not.

God could have created any universe He wanted to. He chose to create this one. Praise Him for that.

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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.