Saturday, January 12, 2019

Romans 10:9 Proves Jesus Is God Almighty

          "that 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; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)

          The Greek term kurious (in English, it means "lord") does not always refer to deity. It is used in reference to God, but can certainly be used as a formal way in addressing a person. In the case of Romans 10:9-10, it can be argued that the Apostle Paul calls Jesus Christ God.

          The reference to confession found in verse nine alludes to Deuteronomy 30:14. Confession with the mouth signifies openly acknowledging our allegiance to Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and our Savior. The fullness of our being rightfully belongs to Him. Christ is the second Person of the Triune God. The outward expression "Jesus is Lord" is a parallel to the Jewish Shema prayer (Deuteronomy 6:4). The New American Bible has this excerpt on Romans 10:9-11:

          "To confess Jesus as Lord was frequently quite hazardous in the first century (cf. Mt 10:18; 1 Thes 2:2; 1 Pt 2:18–21; 3:14). For a Jew it could mean disruption of normal familial and other social relationships, including great economic sacrifice. In the face of penalties imposed by the secular world, Christians are assured that no one who believes in Jesus will be put to shame (Rom 10:11)."

          Christians who resided in Rome were at higher risk of persecution because citizens were expected to confess Caesar as Lord. The divinity of Jesus Christ was a direct challenge to the lordship of the Roman emperor. So, understanding the historical context in which Paul was writing sheds more light on how Romans 10:9 points to Jesus being God.

          In Romans 10:6-10, Paul quotes Deuteronomy 30:11-14. Providing some background on this passage from the Old Testament makes plain the apostle's rationale for using it. In listing off to the Israelites the conditions which God required of them upon inheriting land, Moses stated his message was simple to grasp. His audience, therefore, would be without excuse. God's commandments were in their hearts and in their mouths. The blessings of the covenant were inseparable from, but not based on, the faithfulness of the Jews to God.

          In Romans, the Apostle Paul utilizes terminology from Deuteronomy and expounds in a New Testament context. He points us to Christ, who took on human flesh and rose bodily from the grave. These events have been fulfilled. In the Old Testament, people experienced Christ and His Gospel through faith. They longed for the coming Redeemer. Paul speaks of the righteousness that comes by faith (Romans 10:6). It is with the heart that one believes and is justified (Romans 10:9-10). Man proclaims Christ with his mouth.

          Romans 10:13 is a quotation of Joel 2:32. Paul believed Jesus to be his Lord in the same sense as God the Father was his Lord. Christ is called Yahweh in verse nine. This is undoubtedly a problem for groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses. In their New World Translation, the word "Lord" ("kurios" in Greek) is oftentimes rendered as Jehovah. However, that term was not used by biblical writers (nor has any support from known Greek manuscripts). Moreover, the Greek term is not translated as Jehovah in texts such as Romans 10:9-10, 1 Corinthians 12:3, Philippians 2:11, 1 Peter 3:15, and Revelation 22:21.
That point highlights inconsistency in the New World Translation. The Watchtower Society's emphasis on "Jehovah" as the divine name is misguided. If the Greek word kurios was translated in a consistent fashion, then Jesus Christ would also be called Jehovah.

          Why does Paul say that God raised Christ from the dead? Jesus is God incarnate. He took on human flesh. He is both fully human and fully divine. He exercised both human and divine attributes throughout His earthly ministry. Christ was crucified for our transgressions. His divine essence is not what passed away. Rather, a divine Person in His human flesh died. He did not set aside His divinity by taking on human flesh. The Father raised Christ from the grave (Acts 2:32; Galatians 1:1). The Son raised Himself from the grave (John 2:19; 10:17-18). The Holy Spirit raised Him from the grave (Romans 8:11). All three persons of the Trinity brought about the resurrection.


The Men of Usury said...

I do appreciate the levels of research you take to establish the truths of Chritian doctrine as opposed to those of sects like the LDS or Jehovah's Witnesses. I thinl this serves as just further proof of Christ's divinity which is made clear in Philippians.

Anonymous said...

"Jesus as lord" could alternatively be a reference to Jesus as messiah in the Jewish sense, i.e., the new king of the Jews. As the king of kings, it is reasonable for Paul to call Jesus his lord.

Jesse Albrecht said...


Recognizing Jesus Christ as the Jewish Messiah does not preclude or is not mutually exclusive with Him being divine. As the King of kings and Lord of lords, He would be God.

Anonymous said...

What exactly do you mean by "divine"? The Jews did not believe the messiah would be God, they believed he would be a man, a direct descendant of David. He would be divine in the sense that God would adopt him as his son. That is what Paul understood Jesus to be.

Jesse Albrecht said...

The prophet Isaiah did say that the Messiah would be “mighty God.” It is incorrect that all Jews did not recognize that the Messiah would not be divine.

The first chapter of John's gospel refutes the idea that Jesus Christ was an adopted son of God. Moreover, He is called God's "one and only son" to emphasize His unique Sonship. Christ shares the same divine nature as God Himself.

The statement is true that He is a man, but He is also divine. The Apostle Paul affirmed the same concept in multiple places in his epistles (Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:4-6).