Jesus and…

Romans 10:9-11 – 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. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Jesus is Lord – That is a confession many of us have made.  That is the confession and the Belief that we are praying for every week at our church.  We are praying for awakening.  We want God to bring an awakening of belief to the people He draws to our church this weekend.

But to pray for God to do that in our church, we need to understand it.  I remember the first time I heard someone teach on the cultural context of “Jesus is Lord.”  I learned that Roman citizens in New Testament days would declare their allegance to Rome by declaring that “Ceasar is Lord.”  Or they would declare loyalty to Roman god’s and goddesses by saying that they were Lord. Christians in this time period who were subjected to Roman rule were being killed because they would not confess that Ceasar was Lord.  The first time I heard that historical context behind this passage,  it strengthened my faith.  It was challenging and empowering to understand that Christians were willing to suffer and die because of their faith that Jesus was Lord.

The more that I have studied this passage and the context behind it, I have come to realize that they weren’t getting killed for just saying Jesus was Lord.  They were suffering and getting killed for not adding Jesus to the list of other gods that were acceptable to worship.  They were getting killed for not worshiping “Jesus and…”

The truth is the Romans were fine with them saying Jesus was Lord…as long as Caesar was Lord too.  Jesus could be called Lord as long as the local deities already worshiped were Lord too.

The Battle was not for “Jesus and…” The battle was for “Jesus or…”

That was their battle.  And we have the same battle in our culture today.  Most of us have never been threatened with martyrdom like they were.  We are not facing physical death over this battle.  But many of us are dying spiritually because of “Jesus and…”

When the majority of Americans in a survey say they believe in God but have no life change, when a majority of people in the south think they are Christians because they go to church, then we need to realize that there is a battle in our culture for “Jesus or…”.  The battle is for true confession and belief.  There is a spiritual battle going on this week.  That battle is for people to die to themselves, to tear down idols in their lives, to have only one God.

Jesus will not share his glory.  Jesus is Lord.  He is Lord alone.  The battle is not Jesus and me, it is Jesus or me.  It is not Jesus and money, it is Jesus or money.  It is not Jesus and religion, it is Jesus or Religion.  It is not Jesus and comfort it is Jesus or comfort.

“Jesus and…” is not really a battle at all.  It is a compromise.  God calls it idolatry.  The battle is for  “Jesus or…”

Jesus is Lord and He does not share His Lordship, His rule, His authority with anyone or anything else.

Romans 10:9-11 – 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. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

My prayer is that we see true life change and repentance in our church this week.  God wants people to move from unbelief to belief.  he wants to change our hearts.  Because in our hearts we believe, then out of the overflow our our hearts, our mouths speak.  In other words, once radical change comes to our hearts, then our speech, our actions, and our worship all change.  Our old idols are shattered.  God wants to do that in our churches this weekend.  It begins with Jesus being elevated in our hearts above everything.  Not Him just becoming a part of our lives, but instead, Jesus is our life.

What is the awakening He will bring as a result of that?  Verse 11 says “we will never ever be put to shame.”  We need to wrestle with that truth.  To truly know and walk in belief that we will not be put to shame.

I am praying for an awakening this weekend.  An awakening for those far from God, that they will come to true belief in Jesus.  I am also praying for an awakening this weekend in Christians.  That we would come to understand and truly believe that He has really changed us, and as a result, our shame is taken away.

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