Salvation is a Matter of the Heart

In Romans 6.17 Paul commends the Roman Christians for the way they came to Christ. He says: But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching to which you were handed over. Note how the Romans were motivated out of the heart to obediently respond to the gospel. When Paul writes, from the heart, he describes a very personal decision, made by one's own volition, to surrender to God. But Paul’s words go farther. He is not speaking of superficial or coerced obedience, but rather something deeply felt and deeply motivated from deep inside someone. The Christian reality is a matter of the heart. Paul focused on this in at least two other places in Romans: 
  • Romans 5.5: This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 
  • Romans 10.9-10: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation

Paul’s emphasis on the heart makes sense when we think about salvation by grace through faith. We have been released from the penalty of law and thereby deemed “not guilty.” How can we not be impacted to our very core when we read there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, Romans 8.1?

Salvation by grace is a matter of the heart. How can your heart not be impacted when you realize you are now in a relationship with God. Through the blood of Jesus, our hostility has been replaced with peace, Ephesians 2.14. We are no longer aliens, but citizens, 2.19. We are no longer strangers, but members of God’s household, 2.19. This was all made possible through the riches of God’s mercy. Because of His great love, while we were dead in our trespasses and sins, God made us alive together with Christ. By grace we have been saved, and we have been raised up with Him and seated with Him in the heavenly places, Ephesians 2.4-6a.

The day of your salvation was the most momentous day of your life. On that day you received: 
  • The Father, who knows your name, I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine, Isaiah 43.1. 
  • Jesus: Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of righteousness, Romans 8.10. 
  • The Spirit: Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 1 Corinthians 6.19. 

These things are worthy of an emotional response. The God of the universe loved us enough to do everything possible for us to spend eternity with Him. It is so much more than obedience to a system of doctrine; it is about you and God together for all of eternity!  It is about our heart being given over to God. Do you realize the magnitude of your salvation?

Matthew Allen

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