“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.”
- Romans 10:9

Over two-thousand years ago, there were three men who hung together on a series of crosses at a place called Calvary. The one in the middle had been beaten; He had been scourged, mocked, and a crown of thorns had been placed upon His brow. To His left, another condemned man had joined in with the mockers, and to his final breath had taunted this Man who had dared to call Himself a King.

However, the man to His right rebuked the first criminal, asking him: “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?” And he continued, adding, “And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then this man, this penitent thief, turned toward Christ, asking: “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

And what was Christ’s response? Do you recall what Christ said? “Assuredly,” Jesus replied, “today you will be with Me in paradise.”

Our faith is not in an impersonal God of stone and marble, but it is in an intimate God who took on flesh and blood, and who hung on a cross to save those who deserved death. Ours is a Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for the sheep. When the thief looked at Christ, and when he confessed with His mouth the name of the Lord Jesus, he was placing his faith in Christ’s divinity and power over death. And just as with Abraham so many centuries before, this lowly thief’s faith was then accounted unto him as righteousness. By trusting in Christ, the man’s sins were imputed unto our Savior, and Christ’s righteousness was imputed to the thief.

And on that basis alone, this thief (who the people of Jerusalem were happy to be rid of) was able to walk right into the courtyards of Heaven; clad not in chains and bloody linen, but in a white robe of righteousness. “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.”

Romans 10:9 gives us great assurance. It does not hedge nor equivocate, it does not say that we might be saved through our confession, but that we will be saved. And it does not make this salvation contingent upon our works, but upon the grace of God. What an amazing distinction this is!

Consider the thief… what could HE have possibly brought to the table beyond his faith? What did the thief have to brag about, in hopes that Christ might find some worth in the man and therefore agree to save him? Nothing. The man had absolutely nothing that he could point to except his own guilt, which only served to condemn him. However, the thief realized that salvation did not hinge on his own merit...

...but on the merit of the Man right next to him.


Gospel To Gillette. Copyright 2014