“Whosoever Shall Call …”

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich unto all that call upon him; for, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved …” (Rom. 10:12f). These two verses are a conclusion of a continuing argument begun in verse 8. In the verses following that passage: “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is the word of faith, which we preach …” In verses 9-13 the word “because” appears once and the word “for” occurs five times and both “for” and “because” indicates assignment of reason.

The statement, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord,” is a quotation from the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28). A fuller quotation of the prophecy is found in Luke’s record of Peter’s Pentecost sermon. Joel had predicted the advent of the Holy Spirit and Peter assigned the noise of a mighty rushing wind, tongues like as of fire which sat on each of the apostles and the apostles’ tongues being loosed to speak in languages they had not learned as the fulfillment of that prophecy (Acts 2:1-4; 10-20). Additionally, Peter deals with Joel’s words, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” and shows exactly how such was done.

There are some errors as to how one “calls on the name of the Lord” which first needs our attention before it can be shown how such a wondrous thing may be done. It must be emphasized that “calling on the name of the Lord” is not something which is solely verbal. Jesus asked, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say” (Lk. 6:46)? It is true that the mouth is involved in “calling on the name of the Lord.” Paul had written, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved …” (Rom. 10:9). Still, it must be apparent that something more than uttering the Lord’s name; yes, even more than believing is involved before one calls on the name of the Lord.

Believing on the Lord and calling on the Lord are two separate things. Paul asks, “How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed” (Rom. 10:14)? According to the apostle’s reasoning, it is not possible for one to call on the Lord until he first believes; that one calls on the Lord after he believes, therefore believing is not calling! From Paul’s subsequent reasoning in Romans 10:14-15, the following order is obvious. ONE, the preacher is sent. TWO, the preacher preaches the word. THREE, the sinner hears the word. FOUR, the sinner believes the word. FIFTH, the sinner calls on the name of the Lord.

It is necessary that we remember that Peter deals with the same question as Paul. In his response in Acts two, Peter shows that Jesus was a man approved of God by the signs, wonders and miracles he did (Acts 2:22). The Jews knew of the works of Jesus (Acts 2:22). Jesus was delivered up (crucified) by the determinant counsel and foreknowledge of God — viz. — God both knew that His Son would be crucified and purposed such to occur (Act 2:23). Still, the Jews were responsible for their crime through seeking the Romans’ consent to crucify Jesus (Rom. 1:23). Death could not hold Jesus, He was raised from the dead (Acts 2:21). His resurrection was the fulfillment of prophecy and was witnessed by the apostles (Acts 2:25-32). God had exalted His Son to His right hand and given Him the promise of the Holy Spirit; not the Spirit, but the Spirit’s promise — viz. — that God would sit him on David’s throne. (Acts 2:23-36). This startling announcement pricked the hearts of honest Jews who were filled with anguish over their heinous act of having crucified the Messiah they had anticipated. From the depth of their soul they implored: “Men and brethren what shall we do” (Acts 2:37)? This was balm in Gilead; comfort for their stricken souls. Peter’s words, “Repent ye, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins,” was gladly received by some. “They that gladly received his word were baptized …” (Acts 2:41). They were commanded to be baptized in the name of the Lord: by the Lord’s authority. When they were baptized, they called on the name of the Lord for such were Ananais’s instructions to Paul many years before he wrote the Romans: “And now, why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16). NEXT: “They Did Not All Hearken To The Glad Tidings.”

Jim McDonald

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