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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Humility (Guest post by Grace Maples)

Hello! Today we have our last guest poster of the May guest posting. I hope you like the article!

Humility. 
I have never understood what it means, and I’m sure I’m not alone. 
What in the world does it really mean?
I used to think it meant to put yourself down or belittle yourself.
In his marvelous little book, The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness, Timothy Keller gives an amazing picture of what humility looks like for Christians and what pride truly is.
I want to look at just a couple things in this book about humility. But, you MUST check out this book. For all you non-readers out there, it’s only 50 pages. Short and sweet.


Pride.
Pride is empty, painful, busy, and fragile. It’s empty because it has nothing at its center, painful because it has something wrong with it, busy because it’s constantly pointing to self, and fragile because it’s in danger of being deflated.
Pride in essence is all about self. That’s why it’s so empty, painful, busy and fragile. That’s why pursuits of riches, fame and greatness end up falling short.  It’s why we compare ourselves to others. It’s all about me, myself and I.
C.S. Lewis says, “For pride is a spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”


What’s the solution?

Humility.
As Christ followers, humility should be one of the most developed and practiced character traits of all time.
But what is it? Putting yourself down?
NO!!
Humility is not putting yourself down, or even being quiet. (But being quiet is a good idea for most of us, sometimes, myself included.)
Humility is self-forgetfulness. Not thinking less or more of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
You put value on what God says about you rather than others. You are constantly thinking of what others need instead of yourself. You’re thinking of yourself less.
That brings us to another important point. No other view of you matters except God’s.
God’s view is the only one that matters. Timothy Keller says:

“You see, the verdict is in. And now I perform on the basis of the verdict. Because He loves me and He accepts me, I do not have to do things just to build up my resume. I do not have to do things to make me look good. I can do things for the joy of doing them…. With every other form of identity and every other ‘badge’ or accolade we might award ourselves it is always a case of the verdict coming from the performance…. But in Christianity, the verdict can give you the performance…. Because Jesus was on trial instead. Jesus went into the courtroom. He was on trial. It was an unjust trial in a kangaroo court- but he did not complain. Like a lamb before the shearers, He was silent. He was struck, beaten, put to death. Why? As our substitute He took the condemnation we deserve; He faced the trial that should be ours so that we don’t have to face anymore trials. So I simply need to ask God to accept me because of what the Lord Jesus has done. Then, the only person whose opinion counts looks at me and He finds me more valuable than all the jewels in the earth.”
His verdict does not depend on our performance, as all other ways of acceptance. No, the verdict is dependent on what Christ did on the cross.
We can practice humility because of the verdict Christ gave us on the cross. He sees us as precious, so we don’t need to flaunt our prideful, self-glorifying deeds to seek acceptance.
I challenge you today to cultivate humility. Think of others more, and yourself less. And, you will find, humility is easier than you think. It’s not some secret formula, it’s simply putting others’ needs before your own.

Bio: Grace Maples is a homeschooled high school student from Knoxville, TN. She adores traveling, writing nonfiction and historical fiction, playing piano and guitar, and reading great books. She and her family are serving on the mission field in East Africa. She loves Jesus, and seeks to glorify Him with her life. You can find her at Proclaiming His Excellencies blogging about her journey with her Savior and her current WIP.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

You Are Not Worthless + Priceless

On Thursday 24, I got published on Awkward Truth for the first time and I want to share the poem plus something additional: our worth.

The poem talked about how we are not worthless to God no matter what. We are not worthless in the sight of God because He loves us all so very much. (John 3:16)

To read the poem, click here.

But let's talk about our worth in Christ. We know that we are not worthless to God, but how much are we worth to Him?

Isaiah 43:4a says this, "You are precious and honored in my sight... because I love you."

Isn't that's amazing? We are very precious to God because He loves us. Another this is that we are more precious than diamonds and gold, so we are priceless.

As Priceless by For King and Country says, "Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable... Oh, so priceless." (listen to song here)

We are precious and priceless in God's sight, never forget that.

God bless your week!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Creation is a Salvation Issue (Guest post by Monica Hoffman)

Today we have another guest poster! I hope you like the article!

Young people are leaving the church. and not on a small scale.  My generation is exiting church doors in masses. I was brought face to face with this hard truth when my family recently attended The Creation Super Conference put on by Creation Ministries Canada and this issue was discussed
In Joshua 23:6, it says, "Be very firm, then, to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, so that you may not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left…” This verse is saying that the first 5 books of the Bible, and more specifically Genesis, are exceedingly important. Why?
  1. First, good news isn’t good news without bad news. Let’s put this into context for a moment. If after having been sick for two weeks you called your best friend and told her you were well enough for a movie night, she would rejoice because she knew you had been sick.  It’s the same thing when we share the Gospel or The Good News with someone. They can’t fully grasp the awesomeness of what Jesus did on the cross unless they understand that they’ve sinned and what sin is, and they can’t understand this without the book of Genesis; the first of the five books of the Law of Moses.


  1. Second, God didn’t create the world this way. When God created the world and pronounced it “good” and “very good.” (referring to Adam and Eve) There was no sin. Yes, this is a fallen world…but God created a perfect world. Would He create a world full of sin and death and call it “good?” The answer is no. God is perfect. Therefore, what He creates is perfect. However, because of the fall, we are born into sin.


The New Testament gospel is like a nearly completed puzzle. It’s nearly completed because there is a missing piece. That missing piece is the book of Genesis, and more specifically Genesis chapters 1-4 where it details the six days of creation, the fall of man, and the penalty of sin.  


Genesis deals with a lot more than just the Gospel. It’s also the foundation for how we view history and science.
PAOC and the Southern Baptist Council of Family Life in 2002 have shown that 66-90% of kids who grow up in the church are leaving once they hit the late teen years. Research by Creation Ministries International has proven this is largely because of questions that are not getting answered. Pastors, youth leaders and Sunday school teachers are largely ignoring the big subject of Creation, and so when we get to college age, and get inundated with evolutionary doctrine, many of us fall for it and loose faith. Instead of teaching teens the Genesis account of creation the church confuses us even more by teaching a “Christian” view of evolution.  
There’s a theory called “Theistic Evolution.”  This basically takes evolution and sticks God in there to make seem “Christian.” From this theory you can then accept evolution and say we evolved from apes it sounds biblical. God just created the goo, and from there all that we see today created itself over billions of years, right?
Wrong!! By saying this, we’ve mangled Scripture which God commands us not to do. This is serious. Deuteronomy 4:2 says: “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

It’s time for the Christians, young and old, to stand up. We’ve been passive way too long. I believe it can start with this generation. It needs to start with this generation. As Paul wrote in a letter to Timothy,  “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”


Bio: Monica Hoffman has been writing seriously since 2017 when she joined the Young Writer’s Workshop. Monica also enjoys dance and works part time for Propeller Dance Company. Monica loves puppies, cool fall day, exploring with her dog and family games.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Following God's Calling Even When It's Hard


How do you follow God's call even when it's hard?


The answer to that question lie in this article.


Following God's call is hard, especially when it goes against the crowd. But that shouldn't discourage us from following God's call because God is with us and for us, and "if God is for us, who is against us?" (Romans 8:31)


But how do you do it even when it's hard?

The first thing I would advise you to do is pray. 
Pray for wisdom, courage, and strength as you follow God's call. We can't do much without seeking God's guidance. Even as I wrote this article, I prayed for wisdom and for God to give me the words to say in this article. I can say is that prayer is one of the most useful tools to help us follow God's call to wherever He leads us. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea." (Psalms 102:17)

The second thing I would advise you to do is act.
Whatever God has placed in your heart, do it! Do not hesitate, because God is with you. We can't sit around and wait for something to happen for us, we have to act! Would I expect this article to write by itself? Certainly not! I find that a prayer without action is not a prayer at all.* After all, actions speak louder than words, right? "Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." (James 1:22)

The third thing I would advise you to do is be dedicated.
You can't act without being dedicated to act, because action without dedication will fade.
You see, it's not about how hard it is, it's about how dedicated you are. If you are dedicated to follow God's call even when it's hard, then keep it up! If I wasn't dedicated to this article, it wouldn't be done, right? Dedication is actually one of the most important things here: prayer without action is not a prayer at all, you can't act without being dedicated, and you can't pray and act without being dedicated. "Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established." (Proverbs 16:3)

So, remember: pray for wisdom, courage, and strength to follow God's call; act out what God placed in your heart; and be dedicated to it. 

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." (Colossians 3:17)

Are you ready to follow God's call even when it's hard?
I hope you are.

*It is not clear to me who said this quote before, but it is possibly Mother Teresa.



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Your Calling (Guest post by Anne Rhys)

Hey there! Today we have another guest poster! Enjoy reading:


Finding your calling is hard, it could take a while.
How do you do that? Well, there’s no one answer at all. Except through God.
For me, to reach others would be to write. Sure there are other ways I can and will do that, but mainly writing is what I do. That took me several years to figure out, and I haven’t even been doing it for very long. Here are some ways to help you think about your calling.

1. What are your God given talents or spiritual gifts. What are you good at? What are your interests?

2. Seek advice and godly counsel from your parents, peers, mentors, and others who know you and can help you figure things that might what God is calling you to do.

3. Explore and try different and things. Maybe you haven't found it yet. Keep praying for God's guidance.

We are called to live for the Lord, we are called to spread his word. And there are so many ways for each and everyone of us to do that. We all have one.


Bio: Anne Rhys is a young writer who has been blogging for the past two years at Father's Joy and is continually finding her calling in pursuing God. She also writes fiction, and loves reading.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

God's Calling (And Why You Should Follow It)


Have you ever felt God calling you to do something, but you never do it?
Have you ever told anyone that God is calling you to do something, but you don’t do it?
Have you ever heard of Halfway Herbert by Francis Chan?

If the answer to the first two questions is “yes,” then you have a serious problem. If your answer to the last question is “no,” that’s fine. That story is going to be an example for this article, so forgive me for spoiling.

Personally, my answer to all these questions are “yes,” which is a serious problem for me, except when it comes to the last one. I have been living this way for a while and I never noticed it until the night of May 2.

I went to bed early because I was very tired, but my dad came in and talked to me about how I was doing. When I mentioned things that I didn’t feel like completing, he told me to take caution. He said that anything involving God’s calling is very serious. He also said that if we don’t follow God’s calling, we are disobeying him.

After that conversation, I nearly cried myself to sleep. I realized I had made a big mess in my life and spat in God’s face by doing so. I prayed hard and asked for forgiveness. That night, I learned true surrender to Christ: following Him wholeheartedly.


Now to tell the story of Halfway Herbert. He was a boy that did everything halfway, from eating half of his lunch to brushing half of his teeth to tying one shoe. It was crazy. One day, he decided to ride his bike down a hill, not tying one of his shoes. As he rode down the hill, his shoelace got caught in the wheel and he crashed into his father’s car, denting it. His father saw the dent, he asked Herbert if he did it. Herbert told a half-truth. He got away with it, at least until their neighbor called Herbert’s dad to see if Herbert was okay, thus revealing that Herbert lied. His dad explains that living halfway is very unhealthy and sinful. That’s when Herbert’s life changed. He decided to live his life whole.

The end.

Wonderful story, right? Well, that wasn’t the full story, so if you want to read the full story (if you never have), look it up.

Deuteronomy 6:5 (NASB) says, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Meaning? Love the LORD wholeheartedly in everything you do!

We may not be perfect, but we can still live a life of loving and following the LORD to the fullest.

“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

What about you? Will you following the LORD wholeheartedly?

That’s for you to decide.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What A Homeless Man Taught Me (Guest post by Hannah Grace)

Hey there! Today we have a second guest poster here. I hope you enjoy the article:


About a week ago, my mom and I were running errands, and one of our stops was the laundromat. (We live on a farm and for some of our clothes we really appreciate a commercial washer.) As we walked in the door, I was suddenly nervous as a rough-looking man walked in, his dog tied up outside. His hair was long and straggly, and his face showed he had seen a lot in life.


As a young lady who doesn’t look too intimidating (at least I don’t think so…), I was nervous, and in my mind rightly so.


As I pushed quarters into the slot in the dryer, I heard him talking to another customer, and as I turned around, he was sharing about Jesus! I was shocked! I mean, this homeless man, who couldn’t even afford to use the dryer, who had no home to go back to if he got beat up, was on fire for the Lord, and everyone he had a chance to talk to he would try his best to share with them. Even his bicycle had signs on it, reminding those around him that Jesus still loved them.


This homeless man taught me so many lessons that day. One about being too hasty to come to conclusions, but most of all, to share my faith boldly.


We have probably all read the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” But how do we get from the reading to the doing?


Now true confession time; to be completely honest, at first I didn’t feel like I am the best person to write on this topic. I am very shy, and often nervous to share my faith. But I hope that the lessons I am learning now help you avoid some of the mistakes that I’ve made, and that we can grow together as we learn to step out and stand up for the Lord. As we think about this important topic, I think we should all pray these three things (as well as many others!):


  1. “Help me love for those around me.”
I once heard about a missionary who served with her husband in a rough town. As the men came down to dinner from their work in the mountains, she suddenly noticed there was a man missing. “Where is he?” she asked. The men quickly told her that he was very sick, and would probably die, but none of them wanted to try to help him. She was obviously concerned, but when she asked, they all warned her – he was mean. But she decided to go anyway. Day after day she tried to care for him, but he just cursed her. After a while, she started to grow weary. That night as she tucked her small daughter into bed, her daughter noticed she hadn’t prayed for the sick man. “Mommy,” she asked, “did you give up on him?” “I guess so,” she replied. Then her daughter asked, “Did God give up on him?”


That question really opened her eyes – did she have God’s love for people?


This is a question we must all ask ourselves: do we love the lost? Are we concerned about where they will spend eternity?


None of us will get it right all the time, and I am sure we all have had missed opportunities because of our fear, but each of us can choose to love. We need to ask the Lord to give us His love for the people around us, to seek the Lord to give us the love He showed us.


  1. “Let me never forget the gift I’ve been given.”
Nearly two-thousand years ago, God gave His life not for His friends, but for His enemies! He was beaten, pierced, wounded, and humiliated for you and me! He willingly laid His life down to rescue us from the problem we created. He gave us life when we chose death.


As we approached Resurrection Sunday this year, I prayed that God would open my eyes to His amazing love, and that I would realize the gift He gave me.


And after the Good Friday service, it was so real. To feel the weight of our Lord crucified was just a glimpse into that weekend.


I’m reminded of the words from the song, “Amazing Love”:


“I’m forgiven because You were forsaken,
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I’m alive and well, Your Spirit is within me,
Because You died and rose again.”


We have been given such an amazing gift! One we will never truly fully understand. But the gift isn’t one that is just for us.


Do you remember the parable of the servants who were given the talents when their master went away? How the one multiplied his gifts to so many more, the other multiplied some, and the other buried his gift? When the master came back, the ones who used their talents were rewarded greatly and praised for their efforts; but the man who covered up his gift, held back for himself, had a much different fate.


While this parable is referring specifically to our gifts, could it also refer to the greatest gift we have been given?


Think about it. Our “Master” has gone away, but left us with the gift to share – but then we don’t always share it.


And don’t get me wrong – I’m in the same boat. I struggle with this as well. Lately the Lord has really been speaking to me about this very thing – if I have been given such an amazing gift and loved by the King of the Universe, shouldn’t I want to share it?


  1. “Show me the gravity of eternity.”
Fear is very real. Read through stories of martyrs and you will see that there is a cost for sharing our faith. We might be rejected, hurt, or even need to give our lives for Christ. It is totally normal to be afraid; all of us have fears and struggles to face when it comes to sharing our faith, but in the light of eternity…


Hell is a scary place. Darkness, torment, pain, distress. Separation from the Lord forever. The worst on earth can never compare to its devastation.


In comparison, Heaven is more glorious than we can ever imagine! We think of streets paved in gold and how glorious that will be, but that is just the pavement! To see our Savior face to face, no more tears or sorrow, no more pain, no more night, will be the greatest joy!


But when we see loved ones around us headed to torment forever, if we realize the gravity of separation from the Lord, we will want to share with those around us. We don’t want to see them suffer for eternity! We will set aside our fear and be bold to share.


I think all of us have things to learn when it comes to sharing our faith. I know I definitely still have a lot to learn! But if we continue to seek the Lord, He will enable us to share the greatest gift of all with the world.

Bio: Hannah Grace is a young writer who loves spending time with her Lord and Savior, hanging out with family and friends, playing and teaching piano, and working on her novel. She also writes for Th!nk Magazine and her blog, growinginhisgraceblog.weebly.com.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Guardrails


"Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life, but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die." (Proverbs 19:16)

Why am I going to talk about guardrails?

Because last year, a very close cousin of mine sent me an email talking about what was happening where he was and he told me about wanting to talk about about guardrails to friends. Here's how he puts it:
"Guardrails are those protective railings on roads that keep people from zooming off a cliff if they aren't paying attention or going to fast. Guardrails can also be standards or mental safeties that you put on yourself to keep you away from danger. For example, a guardrail could be that you won't watch TV or surf the Internet while your parents are away, that you don't get tempted to do something wrong by watching something you shouldn't."
He also said this, which is quite important:
"The weaker and closer to danger your guardrails are, the less likely they are to keep you safe."
I was (and still am) shocked by the truth of what my cousin said, but I'm very glad he shared it to me because it is something we need to ponder.
This year in March, I went to a Third Culture Kid (TCK or 3CK) camp and during a devotion time, the person that organized the camp came and talked to me about how he can pray for me. That's when I got to mention what my cousin said about guardrails. He encouraged it be saying this, which I really like:
"We need to keep those guardrails tight and strong."
Indeed, we do need them to be that way to prevent ourselves from falling into temptation easily.

I'll tell you about one good guardrail I have that I made in my life is to not go anywhere with a  girl alone. (NOTE- This is influenced by my cousin having the same guardrail.)

To end the article, I want to encourage you to make good guardrails and keep them tight and strong or you may fall a lot easier. Plus a cartoon I saw on Pinterest, click here.

God bless your week!
Your brother in Christ,
Michael.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Awkward Truth Launch Team

Hello there! I know, I'm posting more than I said, but it's just this day I have a lot to talk about.
Anyway, today I just wanted to share with you something I got from two of my writing bros, Jason and Peter (yes, the same two that nominated the Sunshine Award). They’re launching a new blog called Awkward Truth that I’m super excited about! And they need your help.
Here’s what Jason said:
"My friend, Peter Rogati, and I are starting a blog focused on discovering God’s absolute truth in His relational and natural creation, even and especially when it’s awkward.
But before I launch I need your help.
I’ve created a two-question survey. Your answers will shape the direction of this new project.
Will you take a few minutes to:
1.Complete the survey yourself 
2.Forward this email to anyone you think might be interested
Here’s the link to the survey:
Thank you so much for your support!
In Christ, 
Jason"
I hope you show interest in their blog!
Your brother in Christ,
Michael.

Sunshine Blogger Award

Just want to post another article today because guess what? I was nominated the Sunshine Blogger award by Jason Zimmerman and Peter Rogati from https://miznos.wordpress.com and Erica Floret of https://undyingjoy.wordpress.com!!

After I answer the questions, I will nominate a few blogs that I really like and ask the owners/founders of those blogs questions.

Questions from Jason and Peter:
1. What’s your favorite obscure crayon color?
Answer: Hmm... Red.
2. Have you ever laughed at the wrong moment?

Answer: Yes, I have.
3. Do you have any unique skills or weird talents?

Answer: I am double-jointed on my fingers and I can mimic some fictional characters like Gollum from LOTR... Mainly Gollum.
4. Which is more satisfying: when you perfectly fill a page with words or the feeling of a pen against paper?

Answer: Probably perfectly filling a page with words.
6. In your opinion, which sport is the most pointless?

Answer: That's tough. Probably American football, because it should be called soccer while American soccer should be football. That's me.
7. If you could be anyone (other than yourself) for one day who would it be?

Answer: Um, I think I might be content with being myself everyday until the day I die. Okay, fine, I might be King Solomon of Israel.
8. What is the least favorite post you’ve written on your blog?

Answer: To be honest, probably We Are Overcomers.
9. What is the awkwardest thing you’ve ever said?

Answer: Hehehe... Something tells me this is my least favorite question, but fine. The most awkward thing I ever said was "I love you" to a girl I "liked." ('cause I didn't really like the girl) Yep, definitely my least favorite.
10. What fictional character from LOTR do you get the most frustrated at? Why?

Answer: Probably Sauron. Because the only things he did in the LOTR is simply show his Eye, not being in any battles himself, and saying to Frodo, "I see you!" It's like Sauron likes hide-and-seek.
11. What’s your favorite book of the Bible? Why?

Answer: James.

That was all the questions from Jason and Peter, now for the questions from Erica.

Questions from Erica:
1. What sort of book do you wish you could buy but it doesn’t exist?
Answer: Hmm... This is the toughest question. I honestly do not know.
2. What’s your favorite drink?
Answer: Water.
3. What’s your favorite book?
Answer: The Bible obviously!!
4. What have you found to be the most effective way to get followers on your blog?
Answer: Um... Not my kind of question since I am not an expert blogger... Oh wait I have, even though I never used it yet! Go to friends and ask them if they would like to follow/subscribe to your blog.
5. If you could give one blogging tip to other bloggers, what would it be?
Answer: PRAY! Pray to God for wisdom and strength as you blog.

Now for the nominations:
1. Erica Floret from Undying Joy
2. Jason Zimmerman and Peter Rogati from Miznos (to inform that they are soon relaunching their blog, click here for info.)
3. Julia Rose from Julia Rose
4. Madison Grace from Madison Grace (Author)
5. Anna-Lee from Anna-Lee Leilani

My questions for you all:
1. What is your favorite song?
2. What are your two favorite books?
3. If you could visit one US president in history, who would it be?
4. What's your favorite Bible verse?
5. Favorite subject in school?
6. Favorite food?
7. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
8. Hugs or handshakes or waving?
9. Favorite animal?
10. Do you want to "Do Hard Things"?

Take your time to answer these questions. Enjoy!

Your brother in Christ,
Michael.

Jesus: Not Just Your Savior (Guest Post by Theron St. John)

Hello, readers! Today we have our first guest poster on Obey God, Reach Others. I hope you like the article:
I have an interesting relationship with my parents. They are not only my parents, but they also attend the church where I currently serve as associate pastor. Therefore, I am their son and their associate pastor. From time to time, my father will joke around and say, “But you are my son first.” To that, I tongue-in-cheek respond, “That is true, but it does not negate that I am also one of your pastors!” I am not only their son. I am both their son and their pastor.
While such an illustration is meant to be lighthearted, there is a mindset among some Christians that is serious, contributing to a faulty understanding of Jesus Christ and what it means to be a Christian. There is an accepted idea that somehow a person can have Jesus as Savior but not trust in Him as Lord. They are willing to say they believe in Jesus and know He died for their sins, but they may not yet be ready to surrender to Him as Lord. They don’t think they need to trust in Jesus as both Savior and Lord to be saved.
With matters eternal, this is not an issue to overlook. It is serious and worthy of our attention to clarify. The question we must ask, then, is: What does Scripture say? The testimony of Scripture, particularly the New Testament, shows Jesus as Savior and as Lord. In speaking of Christ’s incarnation, Luke 2:11 says, “for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Still, while it is true Jesus is both Savior and Lord, we have not answered the question in terms of how that impacts what it means to be a Christian.
In Romans 10 we find an answer. In the context of Romans 9–11, concerning Israel’s unbelief and God’s sovereignty over the salvation of His people, we are told that the means by which people respond to the Gospel is through the hearing of God’s Word (10:17). How does one respond to the Gospel in order to be saved? By confessing and believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Listen to the Apostle Paul in Romans 10:9–10, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
We can observe two points from this text that are pertinent to our discussion. The first is recognizing what we are confessing. We are confessing Jesus is Lord. The term here used for Lord conveys the ideas of authority. Pertaining to Jesus, it “acknowledges the superiority of Jesus over all things (e.g., Rom 10:9, 14:9; 1 Cor. 12:3; Phil 2:11) and his universal rule over all things on behalf of God (e.g., 1 Cor. 15:25, 28; Rev 1:5, 17:14).”[1] In other words, we could say Jesus is King. He is the King who has died to bring us into His kingdom. He died on the cross to save us from our sins. In understanding the saving work of Jesus, we must believe God raised him from the dead. He is the Lord who is over all and He is the Savior who has died for all who repent and believe.
This leads us to consider the second point from these verses. A belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord is not merely a doctrine to affirm. It is a truth to take to heart. As the Holy Spirit inspired Paul, he wrote, “confess with your mouth” and “believe in your heart”. It is not in mere words but with a sincerity of heart. This belief is not merely intellectual either. It is a belief, or trust, evidenced by actions. What is the action? Confessing your sins, repenting of them, and following Jesus Christ. How do we know how to follow? By studying and obeying God’s Word. We are not saved by our obedience, but our obedience is the evidence that we are saved. That is why it is eternally significant to understand that a Christian is one who has repented of their sin and has placed their trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Reflection Questions:
  • Why is it important to understand that a Christian is one who trusts in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord?
  • Read John 14:15–17. How do Jesus’ words, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” contribute to this discussion on the Lordship of Christ?

[1] Lo, J. (2014). Deity. D. Mangum, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, & R. Hurst (Eds.), Lexham Theological Wordbook. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Bio: Theron St. John is a Christian young adult who is blessed to serve the Lord both in the church and the academy. He is the associate pastor of youth and families at Blue Ridge Christian Union Church and an adjunct professor and academic advisor at Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis. You can check out more of his writings on his blog, www.entrustedbygod.org.