What Calling on the Name of the Lord Means

“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13

black rotary telephone on white surface

Hey good people…wherever you are in this world (some days it’s harder to believe that such even exists). For the few of you who are still so kind as to read and follow my blog, thank you! There’s no doubt in my mind that there are very bad and unkind people in this world. That’s why I’m still praying for my enemies.

Today, my prayer for my enemies has been and is that God might bless you with security and safety – safety in your homes, on your jobs, and in your travels. I asked God to bless you with privacy of your thoughts, of your personal and private moments, and of your health and well-being. I also prayed that God will keep you from others violating your rights and abusing you – especially if you are already in a vulnerable position or more susceptible than others.

I prayed to God, asking Him to keep you from exploitation, from discrimination because of your race(which is probably unlikely due to your kind of privilege), and from emotional and psychological abuse from others who view themselves as superior to you or entitled to all of your being. I want and continue to pray for good things for you, my enemies – while you seek the opposite for me.

It seems like those shouldn’t have to be things to ask for – like they should be automatic givens just for being a human being. But, we are living in a different kind of world. A world of technology, of cameras, of surveillance, and of incivility and indecency. People want to know, have, and take everything from you.

(And whoever heard of someone being so concerned with another person’s couch – in a very disturbing and creepy kind of way? My furniture has always been tight, and it’s right. Nothing is wrong with it. That’s why, the guests, they stay coming back, drooling over its warm, comfy pillows – long past their welcome. When people get all stalker-ish like that over a couch, then you know it’s good.)

People who can’t mind their own business about couches and the like either can’t get one so good or nobody’s enjoying the one that they have. That entitlement thing is real – people will even go through others’ trash. It’s enough to make one think: Do you want my waste, too?

I’ve never been one to concern myself with other people’s business. It’s because I know that what someone else eats doesn’t make my bowels move, and vice versa. So, I pray for the crazed and obsessed enemies who wish and cause me harm. But, let’s get to the meat of the matter, already (like I prefer…over all that other stuff…straight to that delicious portion.)

I recently passed by a church building with a sign out front that read: “Call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved.” And yes, I saw correctly (there’s nothing wrong with my eyes; I get them checked every year and I see very well with corrective lenses. I once was wearing a torn contact lens that caused me some problems, but that was cleared with a round of eye solutions). I’ve heard that phrase alone  taught often before, though, and it can be misleading. A lot of people think that you can just call out the name of Jesus and you’ll be saved. That is not true.

A review of Romans 10:13 in context of the full chapter gives insight into the verse about calling on the name of the Lord.

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. 

Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame,

for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

 But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher?

And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!

But all did not obey the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?

So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.” – Romans 10:9-17

First, verse 9 of the chapter explains that you must confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead in order to be saved. So we see that we simply cannot call out or on the name of Jesus to receive salvation. Confessing that Jesus is Lord and believing in Him are requirements that result in salvation. It is also clear from the passage that belief, or faith, in God comes from hearing His Word and the message of Christ.

Further, Matthew 7:21 notes Jesus saying, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.” So simply calling out “Lord, Lord” or calling on His name cannot be what Romans 10:13 means. In order to get to heaven, Christ commands that we do His will.

Lastly, recall the following passage where Paul was describing his conversion and what Ananias told him: “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). The Scripture is clear that we call on the name of the Lord by being baptized to wash away our sins.

So, salvation comes through being obedient to God, believing in Jesus, confessing that He is Lord, repenting (Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3), and being baptized. We can’t take the verse out of context or to the exclusion of other passages of Scripture. They all work together to give us a complete picture of God’s will for our lives.

Have you called on the name of the Lord by being baptized to wash away your sins? It’s a requirement for salvation, and we all must do the will of the Father in heaven.

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