Terms of Salvation
What Does a Person Need to Do to be Saved?
Is a Person Saved by Calling on the Name of the Lord?
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Here in Romans 10:13 we find a wonderful salvation promise. Man must do the CALLING; God will do the SAVING. This verse is a quotation of Joel 2:32 which has reference to the Name of JEHOVAH. The New Testament quotes this Joel passage in Acts 2:21 and also here in Romans 10:13, both having reference to the Name of JESUS (thus Jesus is equated with Jehovah, a solid argument for the deity of Christ, see our paper on The Deity of Christ).
"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him" (Romans 10:12). The richest people in all the world are those who are saved! The unsaved billionaires of this world are rich for a second but poor for all eternity! Notice the important invitational words in this passage: Romans 10:11--"whosoever"; Romans 10:12-- "all"; Romans 10:13--"whosoever."
There are two clear Biblical examples of men who called upon the Name of the Lord: 1) The publican or tax-collector of Luke 18:10-14--"God be merciful to me a sinner." 2) The malefactor on the cross of Luke 23:39-43--"Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom." Knowing their desperate need they cried out in faith to the only One who could meet their need. The publican was "justified" and the malefactor was soon to be in "paradise." The Pharisee and the other malefactor both refused to call upon the Lord and refused to cry out for salvation, and they both remained in their sins. They would face a Christ-less eternity in hell.
Calling upon the name of the Lord is not condition of salvation which is separate from faith. Calling upon the name of the Lord is an outward expression of inward faith. Before a person calls on Christ, he must first believe on Christ in his heart. Before the malefactor cried out, "Lord, remember me!" he first believed in his heart. His words merely expressed the faith which he already had. When the publican cried out to the Lord for mercy, he had already believed in his heart. This is why Romans 10:17 says, "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?" You cannot call upon Christ for salvation unless you have first believed on Him in your heart. Calling upon His name is a natural manifestation or expression of the faith the person already has.
People can call upon the Lord in many different ways. The thief said, "Lord remember me." The tax collector said, "God be merciful to me a sinner." A person may say, "Lord, save me" or "Lord, come into my heart and forgive all my sins" or "Lord, I'm a great sinner and I need Your mercy and grace" or "Lord, I don't know what to say, but I need You to be my Saviour." It's not the words that count; it's the heart. A person could insincerely pray the most eloquent "sinner's prayer" but words do not save. God looks on the heart. God is looking for a person who is resting all his weight on the Person and work of Christ, depending on Christ and on Christ alone.
Have you called upon the Name of the Lord?
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