Romans 10:8-13 NIV But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare 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 profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Paul says to believe in your heart and declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you will be saved. I've heard people say that just believing is not enough, you also have to proclaim with your mouth, as if they are two separate things. It seems to me maybe Paul is placing the two together as one, making us a true believer in Christ. If you are a true believer, you will naturally proclaim the gospel.
I've been beating myself up thinking I have the belief part down but I am not proclaiming the good news of Jesus. I think I am realizing more and more that by my believing in Him, I am proclaiming by the way He has changed me and how I am loving others. I am not talking about the things I do so much, but rather the attitudes and the love I show. I have a real good friend who is a true believer and a smoker. He admits smoking isn't good for his health and has prayed that God would take away his cravings but so far those cravings still remain. One thing I have seen about this friend, though, is how he has actually used what he is struggling with to proclaim the good news. We will go to a restaurant and many times there will be someone standing beside the building smoking and my friend will go to Him and offer a dollar for a smoke. Most times the person will just give him a smoke then they begin talking. The conversation turns to, how are things going in your life. This friend of mine, because he is sharing a smoke with this fellow and not coming across as being better than him, can have a conversation I could probably never have. I begin to see this person open up and start sharing what's really going on in his heart. I'm often amazed at the way my friend is able to encourage and I often see someone whose heart is beginning to soften and maybe accept what my friend is telling him about Jesus. I'm not saying we should take up smoking and I think it's probably good to quit if at all possible but we all have things in our lives that are not perfect and if turned over to God can be used for His glory as He is changing us.
Maybe what we do too often is try to get people to accept the Jesus religion rather than the Jesus relationship. It is like having a good friend who has done so many good things for us and wanting to tell others about this good friend. This gives an opportunity for them to have this friend as part of their lives. We hope that they soon realize this friend is so much more than just a good friend.
by Ken Edgerly