“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness” (Romans 10:1-3).
Though it was hard for so many of them to believe, there were actually numerous children of Abraham who would be eternally lost (cf. Romans 9:6-8)! In disbelief they would counter: They loved God! They were sincere in their attempt to keep the Law! They could trace their lineage back to the ancient patriarch!
But none of those things could save them. Only obedience to Jesus saves.
Similarly for us:
- I’m not a Christian just because I live in America.
- I’m not a Christian just because my parents are.
- I’m not a Christian just because I belong to “a church.”
- I’m not a Christian just because I say I am.
We must be obedient to Jesus Christ! Among other things:
- A Christian has been washed in the blood of Christ and walks in the light (Rev. 7:14; 1 John 1:7).
- A Christian has repented of sin and been immersed for forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-5).
- A Christian continually watches their lives and confesses sin (1 John 1:9).
- A Christian worships with fellow saints in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24).
We can be sincere…and yet be sincerely wrong. This was the case with certain Jews (Rom. 10:2). This was the case with Paul (Gal. 1:14; Phil. 3:6).
May such never be the case with us! Let us humbly, sincerely, and rightly seek the blessings of God (Col. 3:17). Let us combine zeal with knowledge and submit to God’s righteousness.
South Green Street church of Christ