Shelby G. Floyd
It is good to see all of you this morning. We are having a beautiful rain that will brighten everything up. We also just had a great song service praising God and lifting up our hearts together in joyful praise. We are glad to see Wayne, Amber and Daxton back with us and they gave the church a card expressing their love and thanks for our support during Wayne’s injury and hospitalization. Jeff did a great job this morning teaching the adult class and you could tell that he did a lot of research and study. We are saddened that Mitch is sick and absent today.
I have a simple lesson today, but it needs to be proclaimed because there is so much false teaching in this world. The text in Romans 10: 5-13 was read and you will notice the last verse said, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Now how many times have we seen on television, a preacher will stand up and say something like, “That is all you must do to be saved and have the promise of everlasting life.” The Bible does use that expression several times and we are going to look at them today and we will find out just exactly what the Bible means when it says, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” So many preachers are teaching that we are saved just by a profession of our faith. We admit the Bible does say “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” and that is in Romans 10:13. Thinking about that statement I pondered on the word “shall” which means future tense. It does not mean you are already saved. Pull up the dictionary and “shall” and “will” are future tense. Therefore, in calling on the name of the Lord, the phrase “shall be saved” involves future actions on the part of the sinner.
And do you agree with the Lord Jesus Christ who said just calling on the name of the Lord will not save anyone? So we have it right out of the mouth of the Lord that just professing his name alone is not going to save anyone. You might say, where did Jesus say that? How about the sermon on the mount: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Jesus, are those who say Lord, Lord, calling on your name the ones who will be saved? No, he says it will be those who do the will of his Father in heaven! So there is something that we must do in order to call on the name of the Lord. And Jesus said about the same thing in Luke 6: 46: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Therefore, we must do what the Lord says, when we say ‘Lord, Lord!’ But at the same time I must admit it is true that there is no other name under heaven by which we are saved, other than the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the name that we must call on!
There is No Other Name By Which Sinners May Be Saved
Now I want us to look at what is going on in Acts 4: 8-12. Peter is preaching in Jerusalem along with John. The Day of Pentecost and the conversion of at least 3, 000 people has occurred. They became Christians by calling on the name of the Lord. And we will point out later what they did in calling on the name of Lord. And so the church has been established and now they are in Jerusalem preaching the gospel to the people. The Jewish authorities do not like what is going on because the Jewish people are crowding in the Temple area to hear Peter and John preach the word of God. They proclaim to everybody that no one can be saved unless you call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the Jewish authorities decide that they must stop this rebellion right now. Therefore they send the temple guards to arrest Peter and John and put them in jail. But the Angel of the Lord comes and releases them, and they go right back out into the city and continue to preach the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
And so the Jewish authorities bring them before the tribunal who gave them an ultimatum! They command Peter and John not to preach in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Fearlessly and boldly Peter replied: “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12 NKJV). Let us focus on the last statement of Peter. All mankind is lost in sin and there is only one name under heaven by which anyone can be saved! And that one name is “Jesus of Nazareth!”
Sinners Call On The Name Of The Lord On Pentecost
I want to go back now to the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two. The day of Pentecost always occurred on Sunday, and it was always 50 days after the Passover. It is the day of Pentecost and the apostles have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and they are able to speak in tongues (dialects) and languages that they had never studied. As a result on this very Pentecost everybody regardless of what language they spoke they could understand what Peter was saying. They asked, “And how here we every man in our own tongue”—so they heard the gospel in their own tongue or language. And Peter preached a great powerful sermon on the Kingdom of God or the church. And by the way the church or the Kingdom of God was prophesied in Isaiah chapter two, Daniel chapter two, and in Joel chapter two. And all of those prophecies were fulfilled in Acts chapter two! And on this memorial day Peter quotes Joel two in his sermon,
“But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:16-21; Joel 2:28-32 NKJV).
Joel said it shall come to pass in the last days that I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my menservants and my maidservants I will pour out of my Spirit in those days. And then the very last thing Peter quoted from Joel was this word that relates to our lesson: “And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:21 NKJV).
In fulfillment of Joel’s prophesy, the twelve apostles received the baptismal measure of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost qualifying them to preach the good news with perfection and without mistakes (Acts 2:1-11). And on this very day Peter goes on to preach the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and he is preaching on the name Christ, and all of a sudden the people in the audience cried out and said, “Men and brethren, what shall we do” (Acts 2:37)? Hear Peter’s answer, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38, 39). This sermon resulted in the salvation of about 3,000 souls who “called on the name of the Lord” and were added to the church (Acts 2:47). They have become Christians by calling on the name of the Lord in obedience to the gospel message! This was only the beginning, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
I want us to look at chart number one above. Where? Who? What? How? Why? We compare Acts 2:21 with Acts 2:38. In Acts 2:21 it is stated that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And in Acts 2:38 Peter said in paraphrase “Every one of you repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” Therefore on the Day of Pentecost to “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” was equal to “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Whosoever Calls On The Name Of The Lord Shall Be Saved
Next we shall examine how sinners call on the name of the Lord to be saved. It is made plain in the following graph:
Now we are going to do a more detailed study of Romans 10:5-13. Paul is revealing how sinners call on the name of the Lord instead of Peter. But both Peter and Paul agree because the same Spirit inspired them. Paul writes to the Christians in Rome that there is no distinction between Jew and Greek for the same Lord is rich to all who call upon him (Romans 10:12). Next Paul affirms and assigns the reason God is rich to all who call upon Him! “For (gar—Greek) whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 NKJV). Notice Paul writes “shall be saved.” They are not saved by merely calling on the Lord! They shall (future tense) be saved after they do what calling on the Lord implies and means.
It is in order for us now to look at the context of Romans 10:5-13 and point out what goes before “calling on the name of the Lord” and what follows afterwards! First Paul begins by referring to Moses and the book of Deuteronomy in his dealing with the rebellious children of Israel. In reference to the righteousness of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them” (Romans 10:5). Paul then contrasts the law of Moses with the “righteousness of faith” (Romans 10:6). Under Christ it is not difficult to call upon the Lord and be saved. In order to call upon the name of the Lord, one does not need to ascend all the way up into heaven and bring Christ down from above. Neither does one need to descend into the abyss and bring Christ up from the dead (See Deuteronomy 30:11-14; Romans 10:6-7 NKJV). That would make calling on the name of the Lord very difficult.
But what does one need to do? Again Paul quotes the book of Moses and puts it in his own words, and then adds what is required to call on the name of the Lord and be saved: “ But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Deuteronomy 30:14; Romans 10:8-10). Paul affirms that you will be saved “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe that God has raised Him from the dead.” Therefore faith in the heart and confession with the mouth are prerequisites to salvation, because they are “unto righteousness” and “unto salvation!” The preposition “unto” looks forward to it object. Therefore faith and a confession are prerequisite to salvation and “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
The Process of Calling On The Name Of The Lord
From the beginning of time God had a plan and process by which lost sinners would be able to hear the good news that Jesus died, was buried, and was resurrected for the forgiveness of sin and receive the promise of eternal life. That plan is explained and specified in our study of the tenth chapter of Romans:
For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:13-17 NKJV).
For the sake of brevity we shall explain this plan in the following table:
In summary, since faith comes by hearing the word of God, then a preacher must be sent out to proclaim the word of God, and having heard the word the sinner can believe on Him (Christ) and be saved by calling on the name of the Lord. And we have demonstrated several times that calling on the name of the Lord involves hearing the word, believing the word, confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and being baptized for the forgiveness of sin. That is what it means to call upon the name of the Lord.
Saul of Tarsus Called On The Name of The Lord And Was Saved
Now we want to move to the example of another man who called on the name of the Lord and was saved. I am speaking of Saul of Tarsus, better known as Paul the apostle to the Gentiles. It is very simple and easy to understand. In fact one would need expert advice to misunderstand it! One verse of scripture explains our entire lesson on “Calling On the Name of the Lord to be Saved!”
That one verse is found in Acts of Apostles: “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 NKJV). When Saul heard the voice from heaven, he asked, “Who are you Lord?” The voice replied, “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 16:8). “So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do” (Acts 22:10). Jesus sent the preacher Ananias to give Saul the message of salvation (Remember Romans 10:14,15; Acts 22:12-15).
What was the message Ananias gave Saul of Tarsus? “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 NKJV). There are several salient facts that stand out in this verse in reference to salvation from sin by calling on the name of the Lord. What are they?
1. “And now”—Now is the time of salvation—not tomorrow, next week or next year! For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).
2. “And now why are you waiting?” Too many people procrastinate and put off obeying the Lord until it is too late! Saul was praying, but he is told basically to stop praying and take care of his salvation.
3. “Arise and be baptized.” But if Saul was saved the moment he called Jesus his Lord, then he would not now have any sins to be washed away! That destroys the “faith only” doctrine and reduces it to an “re·duc·ti·o ad ab·sur·dum!
4. “And wash away your sins.” Baptism for the forgiveness of sin is a spiritual washing. “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:4, 5). And also notice that baptism is compared to the water that cleansed the earth and saved Noah and seven other people. The same water that destroyed all other people is the water that saved Noah and his family: “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).
I believe the following table will demonstrate plainly how baptism is involved in “Calling on the name of the Lord!”
Some time ago I was at a gathering where two denomination preachers were describing a Bible Study seminar they were conducting in a major city. It was being held in a hotel. They recounted a discussion on baptism and the man studying with them said, “I want to be baptized.” They said, “we will schedule it and put it on the calendar. The man exclaimed, “I want to be baptized, NOW!” And so they took him up to one of the hotel rooms and baptized (immersed) him in a bathtub. There is no doubt that man was saved from his past sins, because he did what the bible commands. But what struck me was the student knew more bible than the teachers, for in the bible sinners were always commanded to obey the gospel NOW!
This past week I received a little article from one of my fellow preachers. It was very interesting, and I really enjoyed reading it. He told about one of our pioneer preachers by the name of J. D. Tant. This man had over 200 spiritual religious debates in his lifetime. According to the story he was debating a denominational preacher by the name of Ben M. Bogard, who also had 200 debates in his lifetime. This particular debate was in 1937, the year I was born. In this debate with this denominational preacher, the preacher said in his affirmative speech that baptism is not required for salvation. He added that baptism is like a picture showing that you have already been saved. I really respect these old pioneer preachers because they were sharp and would destroy the sophistry of false teaching unmercifully. It is amazing the false arguments that some preachers make in order to get around the plain teaching of the word of God.
J. D. Tant (1861-1941)
Therefore when J. D. Tant got up to speak, he destroyed the “picture argument!” He said the picture argument would not help his case at all. He quoted the great commission of Jesus like this: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and has his picture taken will be saved” (Mark 16:16). Next he presented the apostle Peter’s answer to those who cried out on the Day of Pentecost, “Men and brethren, what shall we do? “Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you have your picture taken in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins….” (Acts 2:37, 38). And then he quoted Ananias the preacher who told Saul of Tarsus what to do to have his sins washed away: “And now why are you waiting? Arise and have your picture taken, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). And by this demonstration the audience could see that it was a silly argument that he had made and there was no truth in it. I really respect these old pioneer preachers because they were sharp and would destroy the sophistry of false teaching unmercifully. (This is a summary in my own words of the story told by Hugh Fulford in Hugh’s Views and News, April 22, 2014, sgf).
What I am saying here my friends is, when calling on the name of the Lord we need to do exactly what God told us to do to become a Christian. Therefore this morning if you have never called on the name of the Lord for your salvation from sin, please come forward and make that good confession (Romans 10:9, 10) and be baptized (have your picture taken) for the forgiveness of your sins! Respond today while we stand and sing this song of encouragement.*
* Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd delivered this sermon August 14, 2022 at the Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142.
Shelby G. Floyd, Minister, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142