OMMD isn’t a Band from the 80s

“This is what the Lord says—

Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:

I am the first and I am the last;

apart from me there is no God.”

Isaiah 44:6, NIV

Origin.

Meaning.

Morality.

Destiny.

The four great existential questions.

If you’ve ever stared at the ceiling at 2:00AM, it’s likely you were torturing yourself by one, or several, of these: Where do I come from? Why am I here/What’s the purpose of this life thing? How should I live my life? What happens to ‘ME’ when this life thing ends?

Origin. Meaning. Morality. Destiny.

The very name of this blogsite points to the first book of Scripture, where I will (of course) proceed… eventually. Today, to get to Genesis, I’ll start in the book of Romans.

Romans 10:9-10 is a very famous Biblical passage among Christians in America. We use it all the time from the pulpit, from the Bible Study dais, from the street corner we’re sharing our faith from… wherever. It’s ever-present in our words and our thoughts.

“If you declare 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 profess your faith and are saved.”

Romans 10:9-10, NIV

Let’s focus on Verse 9.

When the human writer, Paul the Apostle, penned Scripture under the authority of God’s Holy Spirit, he (Paul) was always referring to Jesus Christ, not some other Jesus, when he used the name “Jesus.” There’s no argument, there. This passage speaks of Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, son of God.

“Lord” as used in the passage is the Greek word “Kyrion.” This word is synonymous with the Hebrew “Yahweh,” the very name that was considered by the Hebrews to be so holy that, in ages past, a Jew would not utter it aloud.

There’s zero equivocation on who Paul is speaking of when he uses the name “Kyrion.” As in each of the New Testament books that Paul wrote (under the authority of the Holy Spirit), Paul makes the direct connection between the person Jesus Christ and Yahweh.

In other words, Paul presents to all people an important fact that God wants us all to know: Jesus is Lord. So, we confess with our mouth that “Jesus is Lord.”

We people lack the language to convey how important that phrase is!

Next comes “And believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,”

Believe = Accept as true; act according to the truth.

In your heart = Your inner self, which includes your mind, your character, your very center of being. So, you believe it through and through. Now, as a brief aside, maybe (on some days) this belief is tested by any of a thousand appeals made by your flesh, the world around you, or demonic powers of the world. But, that’s a longer discussion for another essay.

To the point: We’re called to accept as truth, in our very centers of being, “that God raised Him from the dead.

God, in this verse, is the Greek word “Theos” which is used for God Almighty. In Paul’s letters, this aligns with the Hebrew name “Elohim,” the same name that appears in the Hebrew of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” 

That’s right: God in the very first verse of the Bible is the One who raised Jesus from the dead. It’s important to note that God is not one of many gods. God is not one facet of a god shared by many faiths. The Bible contains many, many verses like this one:

“This is what the Lord says—

Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:

I am the first and I am the last;

apart from me there is no God.”

Isaiah 44:6, NIV

Over and over and over again, God Almighty wants us to know that there is no other God; that He alone is God.

No other.

If we are to accept Romans 10:9, then we must accept the two subjects being presented to us by the verse:

  1. Jesus, of whom He Himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” And,
  2. God the Father, as reported earlier in Genesis 1:1 and Isaiah 44:6.

These occur as truth statements. There can be no equivocation in the understanding of these words and of whom they speak.

The verse talks about God the Father and God the Son, and throughout Scripture we are informed of the unity of these, along with the Holy Spirit. These three are presented to us as three distinct persons of God. And, by “unity” I also mean that there are no others; the verse (and all of the Bible) reveals us that there is no other God. None whatsoever.

And, so, Romans 10:9 says that we believe in the center of our beings that the one and only God the Father raised the one and only God the Son from the dead.

From the dead. Not that Jesus was raised from a swoon. Not that Jesus never had an actual physical body, and so He was raised allegorically from the dead. No. None of those things. Jesus Christ died on the cross. Jesus was dead in the tomb from Friday evening until Sunday morning. And then, on the third day, on that Sunday morning, God the Father raised Jesus the Son from the dead.

All of this is written to us as factual, not allegorical.

Now a condition.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9, NIV

The truth is there, and so is the promise. It’s conditional. But, the condition does not deny the gift, or make it untrue. In a manner of speaking, it’s like a Christmas gift left at our front door: It’s there. But, we don’t get the gift unless we open the door and accept it. And, to accept the gift, in this case, means we accept the premises upon which the gift rests: That there is one God only and ever, and that He raised God the Son from the dead.

If – if –  we will believe this, and accept it, then we will be saved. Saved! Saved from what? From NOT being with God for all time & eternity! The Bible describes that as the worst thing imaginable. Can you imagine terrible things? It will be infinitely worse. To escape that destiny, we place our faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ. We confess our belief.

We confess that “Jesus is Lord,” and, we believe in our innermost being that God raised Him from the dead.

These are points that must be repeated and reinforced!

Back to the four existential questions, and back to Genesis.

I once had a conversation with an atheist who declared to me that they believed they came from purely blind natural forces, and that when they died, they would simply cease to exist; that their consciousness would be snuffed out and there would be no more “them.”

From nothing, and to nothing.

There’s no more concise description of how atheism fails utterly to answer any of the four existential questions than what they had said that day.

Their origin is nothing; their destiny is nothing.

Is it any wonder why our world is becoming ever-more lawless? But, I digress…

If our origin is nothing, then our origin informs our destiny. This is inescapable. While I’ve tried (very clumsily) to make that point clear to fellow-Christians, there’s no better voice than from among those young people on college campuses who have rejected Christianity because they chose to believe the theory of evolution instead.

That’s not hyperbole. You can find the video clips on https://creation.com.

To the Christian: If you and I don’t make a stand, today, for God; for Jesus; for the Bible; for the true and factual Genesis account of creation, then our children and grandchildren will be raised like we were: To believe that the Genesis account of creation is a fairy tale. And, people, if what God says about our origin is a fairy tale, then why would I think what God says about my destiny is any different? Why do you think young people, raised in Christian homes, reject Jesus in college? Because they’ve been taught, all their lives, that the Genesis account of their origin is a fairy tale.

Faith in the one and only God there ever was, and ever will be, starts in Genesis. It starts with the Genesis account of creation. It starts with the truth of our origin.

What is our origin? We were created by God, the one and only God there ever was, and ever will be.

That’s our origin: God Almighty.

And, so, what’s our destiny? To be with God Almighty forever!

Not allegorical.

Not a facet of a larger ‘truth.’

Truth, unequivocal.

See now that I myself am he!

There is no god besides me.”

Deuteronomy 32:39

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

Find rest for your mind; for your very soul; for your innermost being. Accept the truth of your origin, and let it inform the truth of your destiny: That God made you, and God will be with you for eternity, if…  

If you declare 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 profess your faith and are saved.”

Romans 10:9-10, NIV

Christian, when was the last time you considered Romans 10:9-10 carefully and completely?

To you who are not Christian, may I invite you to consider that the Bible, and only the Bible, presents God our Father, and our Savior Jesus, and that they alone answer the four great existential questions. You have an origin, and it isn’t nothing. And, you have a destiny. Your destiny is conditional: Either terrible beyond comprehension or incredible beyond understanding.

What say you? What do you confess? What do you believe?

God’s peace to you.

Scripture marked NIV taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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