How can we understand why so many Christians have made a profession of faith, yet continue to live their lives in a way that makes you question whether they actually received a new heart? Because being born again is so much more than just a profession of faith. “But what about Roman’s 10:13 you may ask?” “for whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Yes, I’m not throwing that out, but I also know what it says in Galatians 5:19-21. “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
I don’t have to ask you if you know anyone who calls themselves a Christian, yet does some of those things. They’re all over the place! How? Why? I believe it is because many churches have taken that verse in Roman’s and built their doctrine solely on it instead of taking the whole Bible. So becoming a Christian has become as easy as just not wanting to go to hell, so I’ll raise my hand and then repeat after someone else saying what I need to say to get my ticket to heaven. But really, the question is, how can these two verses both be true? They’re both in the Bible and it does not contradict itself.
There are many more verses I could quote, but let’s go back to the Roman’s 10:13 verse. Scripture always means what it says, but in context of what it was talking about. So lets back up a few verses and see what was being talked about. Our answer is found in verses 9 and 10. “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” The key words are “believe in your heart” and “confess with your mouth.” Listen carefully or you might miss it. Our mind and our heart are two different organs in our body. Our mind can hear something and reason it out to be true, and even act on it, without ever consulting our heart. But once the going gets tough, and what our mind had perceived would be the result of it’s decision gets challenged, then it turns to the heart in which is the core of what we truly believe. So “believing in our hearts” is what has to take place for the confession of our mouth to be any good. This also lines up with what Jesus said in Mat. 22:37. “And Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart , and with all your soul , and with all your mind .”
When we BELIEVE in Him with everything that’s in us, we will also do what is required for salvation. Which is realizing and acknowledging that we have sinned against God by taking our own way instead of being obedient to His commandments. There has to be true repentance and a willingness to not do that anymore. Believing that the death Jesus died on the cross was sufficient to pay the price for your sins. True repentance leads to a willingness to surrender lordship to Him. The meaning of surrendering lordship is, we don’t get to choose what we want anymore, but are willing to do whatever He tells us to. That’s what believing with our heart means. Once the heart and the mind are willing, then the profession of faith is real. And Jesus honors it, because He sees the heart, and wipes away all our sins and puts His Holy Spirit in our heart, because it’s now His, and He is the Lord of it. This is what being born again is. But unless that willingness to die to ourselves takes place, the mouth speaks in vain. Luke 9:23-24, “And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”
He then goes to work on giving us victory over our own desires, as we surrender each one to Him individually, and gives us new desires, the desires of His heart. That my friends is why we see so many “Christians” who carry the name, but very little else in their lives seem to match up with the teachings of Jesus. But the good news is that it’s not too late for whoever is still alive! If you examine your life and you’re not sure if you completely surrendered it to Christ when you made that profession of faith, you can still do it. You see, many people want a Savior, but there are few who want a Lord who tells them what to do. Don’t be deceived, in the end, only the ones who surrendered their lives to Jesus and made Him their Lord in this life are the ones who get to spend eternity with Him in Glory. John 14:23-24, “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” By Eli Lee