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
It is important that we know what the WORD that we are reading means. Understanding the WORD of GOD, requires that we sometimes go beyond the WORD that has been translated to the ORIGINAL language. The old and new TESTAMENTS were written in the language of ‘the day’, when it was written. The old was written in Hebrew and Aramaic and the New was in Greek and Aramaic. In addition to the different languages, some words have multiple meanings. The word ‘set’ has almost 400 variations and uses. So we need to know what WORDS were meant by the WORD that was used. Over time, words can change and thus their meaning. So we must go back to the original language to get the purest meaning and intent.
Leader, the word used here BELIEVE, is the word ‘pisteuo’, it has the meaning of, “convinced of something” and “to give credence to”, it also has a further inherent meaning. It also means to “trust.” NO OTHER OPTION- a life vest! If we believe in the biblical meaning of the word, then we are TRUSTING CHRIST to save us—NOT a good life, NOT church attendance, NOT water baptism, NOT taking of the sacraments, or keeping of the commandments. In other words, NOT of our own WORKS, so that NO MAN can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) It is through FAITH alone, by GRACE alone, in CHRIST ALONE!
Conduit, no better word brings out the meaning of believe to a twenty-first century listener than the word TRUST. We must be sensitive to the fact that some people believe in Christ in the sense that they accept Him as a historical figure who died and arose; however, they are not trusting HIM ALONE to save them, which is what the biblical word believe conveys. As we share the gospel, we must explain that God requires the individual to TRUST IN CHRIST ALONE- plus nothing- for salvation. Only when we trust in Christ alone to save us is God satisfied. To believe in the biblical sense of the word is to trust in Christ alone as the only way to obtain eternal life with God. In the words of AMY GRANT: In Christ alone, my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song. This Cornerstone, this solid ground-firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace? When fears are stilled, when strivings cease- My Comforter, my All in All. Here in the love of Christ I stand! Amen.