Sunday, April 05, 2015

[Matt's Messages] "God Raised Him From the Dead"

“God Raised Him from the Dead”
All Roads Lead to Romans
Resurrection Sunday
April 5, 2015 :: Romans 10:9-10

For those of you who are guests today, our church has been studying the book of Romans together since September, and just last week, we made it to chapter 10. We’re also been memorizing selected verses from Romans as we go, and today we began committing Romans 10:9 to memory. So, this one is an important one that should stick with us.

We actually looked at it briefly last week, but we just flew by it in the interest of time. And I knew that I was going to come back and camp on it with you today.

Have you found it? Romans 10:9&10?

In this section of Romans, the apostle Paul has been talking about how the nation of Israel stumbled over Christ, they rejected Jesus and didn’t believe in Him. Instead, they tried to establish their own righteousness through the law as if salvation were by works. But Paul has said instead that salvation is by faith in Christ alone.

And he says that this is the message of faith that we proclaim. Ready? Romans 10:9&10.

“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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

There is a lot in those two verses, isn’t there?

Do you see how Paul says one thing in verse 9 and then explains it while switching the order in verse 10?

He says Confess and Believe in verse 9. And then he explains that by saying Believe and Confess in verse 10.

Scholars call that kind of inversion in wording a “chiasm” which is a literary device to show how important the relationship is between certain concepts and ideas.

In other words, Paul very badly wants us to understand these concepts and how they relate to each other.

There are three big words in these two verses that I want us to think about this morning.

#1. Believe.
#2. Confess.
#3. Saved.

Let’s think about them one at a time.


Now, Paul doesn’t start with “believe.” He starts with “confess.” But when he explains verse 9 in verse 10, he starts with believe.

And that’s because everything starts in the heart.

V.10 says, “It is with your heart that you believe and are justified.”

That word “justified” has been very important to us in our study of Romans. It’s that Greek word “dikaiosunai” or “righteousness.”

It is with your heart that you believe into righteousness. Or into justification.

In other words, justification is by faith. It is with your heart that you trust Jesus and get righteousness as a gift.

Righteousness has been the problem all along in the book of Romans. We don’t have righteousness. We have unrighteousness.

And the wrath of God is coming on the unrighteous.

And people have tried to solve the problem through self-righteousness. Being good. Obeying the law. Keeping your nose clean.

But that does not work because we cannot regain the righteousness we need on our own.

We need a righteousness to be given to us.

A righteousness reckoned to our account.

And the good news is that God has supplied that righteousness through the death of Jesus Christ in our place.

That’s what Good Friday was all about.  How many were here on Good Friday to see our Last Supper Drama?

Wasn’t that good?

I loved how it all pointed to Jesus and focused on Him and who He was and what He did.

Romans 3 said it this way:

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:21-25).


It’s more than just believe that He died, isn’t it?

What did verse 9 say that we must believe?

“Believe in your heart that God raised [Jesus] from the dead.”

That’s Resurrection Sunday.

That’s the empty tomb.

That’s what we celebrate today.

Jesus did not stay dead.

God raised Him from the dead.

And to be saved, we must believe it.


Do you believe that?

Do you believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead?

It makes all of the difference in the world.

If you do not believe it, you are not saved.

Believing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the nonnegotiables of Christianity.

To be saved, you must believe it in your heart.

It’s that important.

The Bible says that if Jesus has not been raised from the dead, then we are all wasting our time here.

And I believe that. If Jesus did not come back from the dead, then I am wasting my life and my life’s work is ridiculous, foolish, and to be pitied.

If Jesus is still dead, then I have wasted my life and career.

And everyone here in this room is being foolish.

But if Jesus has come back from the dead, then there is righteousness for all who believe.

Do you believe?

I encourage you to get that question settled.

For those of you with questions, we are giving away a book called The Case of Christ in the foyer. If we run out, we can buy some more. Just put your name down on a list and we’ll get you one.

This book goes into the evidence about Jesus and especially about the historical reality of His resurrection.

In fact, we’re going to have a special 6 week Sunday School class for adults starting in a few weeks on the evidence in that book.

If you have questions, get them answered, because it’s a matter of life and death and life again.

All five of the young people getting baptized today have said that they believe. They believe that God raised Jesus from the dead.

He is not still in the tomb.
His body did not decay.
He is not dust.

Yes, He died, but He did not stay dead. God raised Him from the dead.


And if you believe with your heart, then...

#2. CONFESS. V.10 again.

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Now, this word “confess” means to agree. It means to say the same thing as someone or something else.

We tend to use it negatively like confessing to a crime. And that’s true, if you confess to a crime, you agree that you are in the wrong. Your mouth matches the reality if you have committed a crime and you confess to it.

But this isn’t a crime that we’re confessing here in these two verses. What is our confession to be saved? V.9

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ ... you will be saved.”

Our confession is that Jesus is Lord. Our Lord and the Lord of all.

Do you see how that comes from our hearts?

The Lord Jesus said that it’s from the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks.

This confession is not a work that we perform to earn our salvation.

It is the natural outpouring of words that overflow from a heart that believes that God raised Jesus from the dead.

It is agreeing and saying with the rest of the church throughout the ages that Jesus is Lord.

What does that mean?

Well, notice that it’s a specific person. Jesus of Nazareth. The Jesus presented in the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

It’s the Jesus who entered into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday riding a donkey.

It’s the Jesus who served the Last Supper to His disciples and talked about the bread and the cup being His body and His blood.

It’s the Jesus who was tried, crucified, killed, and buried.

And it’s the same Jesus whom God raised from the dead.

That Jesus is LORD.

That’s a big strong word!

We don’t use it much expect for God these days but it means Ruler, Sovereign, King, Master, Boss.

For those of you who came to the our drama on Friday night, how about that centurion?

Remember when he yelled, “There is no King but Tiberius!”

We believe and we confess that Jesus is King. In fact, He is king of kings and Lord of Lords.

What He says goes.
What He commands is our command.

He is our Lord. And He is the Lord of all.

That’s what these 5 young people are confessing when stand up here today and when they get dunked up there in the water.

They are saying, “Jesus is Lord.”

He is their Lord and Lord of all.

Have you said that? Have you said that to the world?

These days, it’s not that popular to say that you have a Lord.

And most of us don’t want to have a Lord. We want to be saved, sure, if we need saving, but we want to live our lives the way we want to live our lives.

We want to do what we want to do.

We don’t want a boss.

We don’t want a Lord.

Especially if He cramps our style.

I believe that a lot of people have claimed to be Christians but aren’t willing to bow their wills the Master’s.

Jesus said, “Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?”

Jesus said to people like that, “I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”

Those are sobering words.

Let’s make sure that our lives match our mouths.

And let us confess that Jesus is Lord.

Because it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

#3. SAVED.

Saved from what?

Saved from sin. Saved from Satan.

But most importantly saved from God’s wrath.

Because the wrath of God is being revealed against all unrighteousness.

We need righteousness.

And Jesus has given us His.

That’s what was going on at the Cross.

And that’s what was going on at the Resurrection.

Romans 4:25 says that Jesus was raised for our justification. Our “righteousification.”

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Look at verse 11.

“As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’”

That means eternally.

It doesn’t mean that world won’t try to shame you.

Tyler, Thomas, Megan, Joshua, Nathan, the world will try to shame you for believing and confessing.

But God will not. And the world’s shame will not stick.

You need not be ashamed for believing in and confessing the gospel.

Because it’s the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.


Are you saved?

Do you have the righteousness that you need?

The wrath of God is coming on all who do not.

But Jesus Christ took the wrath of God in our place so that all who repent and place their faith in Him will never be put to shame.

Are you saved?

If you are not, we invite you to be saved today. Saved by Jesus.

Believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead after He died for your sins. Entrust yourself and your life to Him completely.

Don’t trust in your good works, your own righteousness. Trust in His, a righteousness guaranteed by His resurrection.

And confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you will be saved.


Messages in this Series

01. All Roads Lead to Romans
02. I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel
03. The Bad News
04. Hope for Holy Sexuality
05. The Even Worse News
06. The Worst News
07. Justified
08. Father Abraham
09. The Blessings of Justification
10. How Much More
11. New You
12. Slaves Of...?
13. A Life-Changing Relationship with Jesus Christ
14. No Condemnation
15. If the Spirit Lives in You
16. The Spirit of Sonship
17. We Know
18. For Us
19. Who?
20. God's Word Has Not Failed
21. Israel Stumbled