Have you ever been tempted to “give someone a piece of your mind” when they made you angry?
(For those of you reading translated versions of “Mornings with Bishop Robert”, that’s an English idiom that means to speak out in anger.) Boy, this is something that I’ve battled for years! I could wish that strapping on a clergy shirt made all those struggles go away. But, trust me, it doesn’t help. Thankfully I’ve gotten better at keeping my mouth shut over the years. A well-known bible teacher named Dr. Howard Hendricks used to warn people against giving people a piece of their mind they could ill afford to lose! It was solid advice.
Of course, speaking your mind is a concept that’s familiar to many; but this morning I’d like to invite you to consider a different concept — speaking your heart.
Before we go on, thanks for watching “Mornings with Bishop Robert.” My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally — and better. If our time together today speaks to your heart, do me a favor and click LIKE; and then share it on your page !
Today’s verse tells us 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.
Why are BOTH required, you might wonder. The earlier part of that verse says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” If you simply believe that Jesus is the Messiah, isn’t that enough? Well, not really; but even that answer requires some explanation.
The point that the bible is making here is actually a pretty straightforward one. Jesus told His disciples He would give them the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Stay with me here; you’re going to love the lesson Jesus was teaching. There are TWO keys to the Kingdom of Heaven in Jewish thought. The first key opens the inner court and second opens the outer court.
The inner court is your heart. It deals with the area of your belief, and also your love. To believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead is to recognize the great gift Jesus offers you. He was raised from the dead IN VICTORY OVER SIN AND DEATH. He died on the cross paying the price for our sins; yours and mine. He rose from the dead as a sign of ultimate authority. Even the grave couldn’t hold Him.
When we choose to believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead we are declaring our love for Christ, and our faith in His promise of forgiveness. All of that speaks to things INSIDE us, the “inner court.”
The outer court is our deeds and actions. It is the body expressing the truth contained within the heart, the love of Christ. Confessing “Jesus is Lord” with your mouth is an external demonstration of what has happened on the inside. But the words alone are not enough. Talk is cheap. A living love on the inside will be powerfully expressed on the outside.
And you need both keys to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. You may have a heart for God, but if you do nothing about it then you have no key to the outer court. Conversely you may have good deeds and do many great things, but have no heart for God or love for Jesus; in that case you would lack the key to the inner court and your deeds count for nothing.
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
The lesson from this verse is this:
If you have truly made Jesus your Lord in your heart, then His love will overflow into your life. Your words and actions will be demonstrations of His love.
A vibrant and living love will show. You can’t help it. It will show in your actions and in your words.
So instead of speaking our MIND, let’s focus more on speaking our HEART and letting the love Christ has placed within us touch those around us.