But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10)
The Oath Of Allegiance
Throughout the New Testament world, the image of the Roman soldier was firmly embedded in the minds of every citizen. Rome made certain the might of the Imperial Army reminded the people daily of the conquest by a greater power and their subjection was demanded with no question. The Roman soldier was a formidable presence. He represented unquestioned authority because he took an oath to serve the power of Rome in every land vanquished by its might. Paul used imagery from the Roman army to impress upon the mind of his readers the role of the Christian in the army of God. The church in Ephesus was told to put on the whole armor of God with each piece of the uniform a vital part of righteousness, truth and courage.
Writing to the Christian’s in Rome, Paul reminded them of the confession made when they obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ. The imagery the apostle used was not mere words expressed in rote form but an oath of allegiance to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Confession is one of the key ingredients leading a man to salvation. In the book of Acts, Philip told the man from Ethiopia if he believed with all his heart that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God; he could be saved. The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” They stopped the chariot, both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. The eunuch obeyed the word of truth but not before proclaiming his allegiance to the Lord. Confession is a pledge to serve the Lord as King.
Teaching the gospel plan of salvation requires the individual understanding the cost of being a disciple of God’s Son. Jesus taught no one could be His disciple unless he denied himself first. Parents, children, siblings, friends, or one’s own life must be discarded for service to Jesus as Christ. Lordship demands complete obedience. Confessing the Lord Jesus recognizes that Jesus is Lord of my life and I have no control of my life. Believing in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead acknowledges the eternal power of God rules my life in every part. The Roman domination of the world was complete in every part of society. Accepting the rule of God in my life requires the supremacy of the Lord’s will in every part of my life. Salvation comes from the confession with the mouth that Jesus is Lord. This comes from the heart believing righteousness rules my life.
The life of the soldier of Christ is a daily acknowledgment of the confession made when one obeyed the gospel. Confessing Jesus as Lord guides every part of daily living. With each new day, the child of God remembers the oath made that Jesus is Lord and life is measured by the allegiance to the King. His will is my will; His word is my word and serving Jesus the King comes from an oath made that God raised Jesus from the dead and He rules as supreme. I serve the King. I follow His commands because I love Him. I made a promise and I will not fail in the confession I made. Jesus – you are my King, my Lord and my Savior.
The way of Christ is not possible without Christ. (William Russell Maltby, Obiter Scripta, ed. F. B. James, 1952)