August 14, 2017

Romans 10:9  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

The phrase “Jesus is Lord” is no doubt in quotes here to contrast it with the common affirmation of the Roman world that “Caesar is Lord.” Much of first century society had no problem with proclaiming Caesar as Lord. Rome had brought the Pax Romana, a state of relative peace and prosperity to much of the region it ruled. The worship of the emperor could easily blend in with the popular worship of the day by adding the emperor to the significant divine powers venerated, maybe even the most significant. It provided a focus of unity for an empire geographically and socially diverse. Paul was no revolutionary in the common sense of the term and even writes in this same letter “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (13:1). But there could only be one ultimate authority to whom we owed total allegiance, one true Lord, and Paul declared that it was Jesus. We have many Lords in our world- political, monetary, celebrity, power, romantic, etc. Paul called on the people to repudiate all Lords except the Jesus of Easter. People are listening. Whom do you declare with your mouth as Lord?

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