Romans 10:4-13 / For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
We love secrets. We especially love thinking we have secrets no one else does. Virtually every false teacher, cult or false religion traffics on its “secrets.” And sadly, secrets have become the currency of much pop-Christianity too. Just scan the titles in your local Christian bookstore, or the offerings of the host of media ministries – and see how many of them portend to offer some secret or other to cure your illnesses, make more money, succeed in business, get the house, spouse, kids and career you want. And even more – secrets of Heaven itself. Spiritual secrets to a Spirit “activated” life, increased giftedness, more powerful prayers, the ability to command nature, marshal angelic hosts, get gold teeth and… – you name it.
Now in this text from Romans, Paul is making a point which he borrows almost verbatim from Deuteronomy 30. And he does so with the very same intent Moses had when he uttered it back then.
The idea for Israel was simply this – there is no secret to serving God and living in His favor, and it was not rocket science; it was no secret. God said – I call you to: A. Seek, know, obey and walk with Me. B. When you fail, repent, and I will restore. C. Know that steadfast refusal to repent brings great hardship. D. I am a most loving, merciful and forgiving God. A covenant keeping God.
Deut. 30:11-13 / “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
The “secret” of serving God is no secret. It is not hidden in Heaven. You don’t have to scour the earth for it – I’ve revealed it. You’ve heard it. You’ve affirmed it with your own lips. Stick to what is written.
So when we get to Romans, we are hearing the very same thing when it comes to the New Covenant and salvation in Christ: There is no secret. It is not rocket science. No one has to ascend into Heaven to bring it down – it’s already here. No one has to descend into the dark recesses of the unknown to dredge up some secret truth about Christ. What God has said, He has said plainly and out in the open. You’ve all heard it before and know it: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead – you WILL be saved.
No secret formulas. No hidden or esoteric rituals. You don’t need a single secret to have your sins forgiven, to walk with God, to inherit eternal life or to walk in the Spirit as reconciled to the Father. You need to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord (master over you) and believe the truth that God raised Him from the dead after dying a substitutionary death on the Cross.
Stop looking for and chasing after secrets of the Christian life. If you have Christ, you have all the fulness of God – in Him. Walk in it. Stick to what is written. And leave the “secret” stuff – to Him. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut. 29:29)