About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Rhema Word Of Faith
"If you confess with
your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and if you believe in your heart that God
raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9 NIV)." This
is one well known Bible verse, but do we understand its finer, but vitally
Backing up one verse to
Romans 10:8 we note that Paul preached the word of faith.
The Greek word "rhema" is translated into English as
"word" in verse 8. Unlike
the Greek word "logos" that simply means an idea put into a
word, "rhema" is an idea that once put into a word produces some
kind of result in the one to whom it is intended.
For example; if I say to you, "That's a dog" you probably
won't have a reaction. That's
a logos style word. If I say
to you, "Here's a million dollars to do as you wish" you'd
react. That's a rhema style
The Greek word
"pistis" is translated into English as "faith" in the
phrase "word of faith". "Pistis"
simply means "trust". If
you have faith that I can hold onto your million dollars without spending
it, you trust me. Faith is
The word of faith is the
message about trust. Once the
message is carried by the Holy Spirit to your heart it gives you the
ability to trust Jesus with your life.
Now let's look at Romans
10:9. Once the rhema word of
faith gives you the ability to trust Jesus, according to verse 9 you
confess that Jesus is Lord. The
word "confess" is translated from the Greek word
"homolegeo" which means "to speak the same thing or to
agree." Confessing is in
fact agreeing with God that Jesus has now become your personal Lord.
Merely mouthing the words "Jesus is Lord" isn't agreeing
with God on this matter. Anyone
can say "Jesus is Lord." When
you agree with God that Jesus is Lord, you agree that He is the ultimate
universal authority. You,
therefore, have no other logical choice but to hand your life over to Him.
"believe" in the phrase "believe in your heart" in
verse 9 is translated from the Greek verb "pisteuo", the verb form of
the noun "pistis" that I defined above.
Believing that God raised Jesus from the dead is not a mental
acknowledgement of the historical fact that Jesus rose from the dead.
Believe means to trust. You
trust, or give yourself to, the historical fact that Jesus is alive.
You can't trust a dead man with your life, but you can trust a
living man with your life.
Both Greek verbs
translated as "confess" and "believe" in Romans 10:9
are aorist active subjunctive verbs. Simply
put, "only" when you agree with God by allowing Jesus to become
your personal Lord, and "only" when you trust that He is alive
to be your Lord, will you be saved.
The Greek word
"sozo", meaning to rescue, to deliver, or to heal, is translated
into English as saved in verse 9. The
most important thing you are saved from is the wrath of God.
The phrase "You shall be saved" is a future passive
indicative Greek verb. That
means your salvation, although instantaneous upon confessing and
believing, is completed on the future day when Jesus transforms your
mortal body into an eternal body.
Romans 10:9 tells us that
once the Holy Spirit plants the message of trust into your heart, that
message enables you to make Jesus your personal Lord because He is alive
for you to trust. Only then
are you saved.
My Methodist background
taught me that I was to receive Jesus as my Saviour and at some later date
make Him my Lord. Romans 10:9
says differently. First of all
I don't receive Jesus. He
receives me when I allow Him to be my personal Lord.
At that point Jesus immediately becomes my Saviour.
The reverse to Methodist teaching is in fact true.
Jesus becomes my Saviour because He is first my Lord.
We should also understand
that inherent in allowing Jesus to be your personal Lord is the act of
repentance. You cannot serve
your Lord when you are serving your sinful self.
Without acknowledging and leaving your sin you can't make Jesus
your Lord and thus you cannot be saved.
Understanding Romans 10:9
is not only important for our own spiritual health, it's vitally important
for those we are trying to lead to Jesus.
We do an eternally damaging disservice by asking people to simply
repeat a sinner's prayer, by having them mouth the words "Jesus is
Lord", and by having them mentally acknowledge that Jesus rose from
the dead. Those things may be
a step towards salvation but in themselves they save no one according to
Romans 10:9. God forbid that
we cause someone to believe he is saved when he is not saved.