Words in your Mouth
5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For 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.
If you have ever tried learning a new language, you know that it takes a lot of discipline and practice using the new words that you learn. You can learn many words, but if you don’t use it and practice it, it will be forgotten. I remember taking grade 10 Italian because of my friends and I had an 85% average. After so many years, I barely remember anything from that class.
If we are to look at God’s words in the Bible, I’m sure many people have grown up seeing the Bible on the bookcase or in a hotel room. We may flip a few pages here and there or here a popular passage such as John 3:15 and that is the extent of the knowledge of the Bible. Paul was emphasizing that for a believer, the words are not just in your head, but in your mouth and in your heart. Righteousness is the result of studying God’s words and internalizing it through action and in faith. This is the difference between somebody who is saved and is not saved. The person who is saved not only believes, but takes into action and into obedience the words from the Bible so that they become righteous through the blood of Christ. There will be some who may have studied the Bible, but will reject the teaching of Christ and thus not be justified through Jesus.