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David's Commentaries

Romans 10:13 ‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

This Week’s Focus Passage: Romans 10:13

‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

    The above verse from the epistle of Paul to the church at Rome, is one of the key verses for the Arminian propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is not to say that it is a verse which would not be included as an important feature of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, by those holding to the sovereign grace of our God and Father, through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, and applied by God the Holy Spirit, in the appointed time. The full substance of this blessed verse involves, most conspicuously, the fact that those calling for salvation, are calling upon the Name; and that Name is the Name of the Lord. This is a quotation of Paul, taken from the book of Joel; chapter two, and verse thirty-two. We cite the entire pericope, 30-32:

And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as Jehovah hath said, and among the remnant those whom Jehovah doth call.

Unless one were to imagine that the apostle Paul did not know what he was writing when he cited this specific verse, we must recognize that he has utilized the phrase, ‘whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah,’ transliterating it into New Testament language, ‘whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord.’ This transliteration, in no way, suggests that those calling on the name of the Lord, in our day, are calling on anyone other than Jehovah, the great I AM, of the Older Testament. He that told Moses, Exodus 3:14, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Does this not warrant the people of God, and preachers of the Gospel, when proclaiming salvation through none other than the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world, to declare that, THE GREAT I AM hath sent me unto you? He that said, I AM the Way, and the TRUTH, and the LIFE, is indeed, none other than Jehovah of hosts. He that instructed His hearers, the Pharisees and others, when they were challenging the assertions that He was making, saying, ‘your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.’ They responded arrogantly and swiftly to these words;

The Jews therefore said unto him, thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? But Jesus responded to these unbelievers; Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I AM.—John 6:58.

Yea, He is the eternal God; the great I AM Himself. During His ministry on earth, He declared, on many occasions, precisely who He was, and who He is. These grand pronouncements are found, largely, in the gospel ‘according to John,’ although in one verse in Mark 14:62, the response of Jesus to the pressing inquiry of the high priest, when he said, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am, and ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power.  

    Indeed, it is in the records of Jesus’ life presented by the one leaning upon His breast at the table in the upper room, during the inauguration of the grand supper of remembrance; even the one that is called ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved.’ Yea, this one whom Jesus loved, was inspired to include in his remembrances of Jesus, that He said I am the bread of life, John 6:35, and, I am the light of the world, John 8:12, I am the door of the sheep, John 10:7, I am the good shepherd, John 10:11. He went on to state that He is the resurrection and the life; that He is the True Vine; that He the Son of God; it is well summed-up, in John 18:8, when the priests and soldiers came into the garden to arrest Him, when Jesus asked them who it was they were looking for; they answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth, to which His response was clear and simple, and infused with blessed Truth, when He said, I AM he; the ‘he’ being in italics, because it is not included in the original; the original only said, I AM !!

    Trusting that there are many Arminians that are truly sincere believers; when we speak of this week’s focus verse as being a favorite, and even key, verse for them; we have more folk in mind than those whose methodology involves what we must refer to as, ‘easy-believism.’ We have heard this verse, Romans 10:13, employed often in the same manner as John 3:16, with respect to ‘calling on someone to make a decision for Jesus,’ or ever how one would wish to put it. They seem to hold that, as John 3:16 is the ‘gospel in a nutshell,’ so also may be our verse, ‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ And just the same as with the famous John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life,’ so may this verse from Romans be employed to bring individuals to make a decision for Christ. Obviously, each of these verses, whether John 3:16, or Romans 10:13, are straight out of the Bible. So what, then, is the problem with them? Why do you vilify them at all? We are not contending that they are not true statements, but that fact, in and of itself, does not constitute either of them as being ‘the gospel in a nutshell.’ In point of fact, if we consider that the very idea of having a gospel in a nutshell, is similar, is it not, to saying that they are concise abridgments of the word of God respecting the salvation of sinners. We might say that they are the ‘easy-to-read’ versions of the gospel. This is not because they are so concise. They are that; yet an even more abbreviated statement which responds directly to the question, ‘What must we do to be saved?’ is that found in the account of Peter’s first sermon after the event which evidenced the Holy Spirit coming down, as it were, in fiery tongues, and enabling many to speak and to hear and understand foreign languages entirely different from the languages of their birth or other origin. 

    God the Holy Spirit must certainly have performed His office, which was stated by Christ, to be that most glorious promise given by Jesus, in John 16:7-11:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you. And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye behold me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world hath been judged. 

Do you recall the reaction when this most powerful event took place, and was recorded for us by Luke, and preserved for us in Acts? People was induced by God to preach his first post-Pentecostal sermon, the gist of which was that they were guilty of ‘crucifying the Lord of Glory, Jesus the Christ,’ and were further informed that ‘God had made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.’

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ.

First, Peter preached about their sinfulness, their guilt of being complicit in the death of Christ, and that He has now been made BOTH LORD AND CHRIST. He then charged them with their duty, saying, Repent ye, and believe the Gospel, or, being baptized, which is a token of your repentance and faith. This is the Gospel in a nut-shell; Repent and Believe in Him who has been made both Lord and Christ. And be assured, that, Whosoever shall call upon the Name of Jehovah shall be saved; He is Jehovah, both Lord and Christ; both King of kings and Lord of lords. When you call upon the Name; know that His Name is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; He is He of whom James wrote, in James 5:4, the Lord of Sabaoth; Jehovah of Hosts.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church

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