Perplexing Bible Verses

The apostle Paul told us, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” On the other hand, Jesus told us, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”  What gives? Are these contradictory statements? Find out in today’s message.

At first there appears to be a perplexing conundrum between the verse from Romans 10:9 and Matthew 7:21. In Roman’s 10:9, Paul says that by confessing and believing in Jesus we will be saved. But in Matthew 7:21 Jesus states, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven.”

When Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven,” He was emphasizing that true discipleship requires more than mere words coming forth from our lips.

Doing the will of the Father and living according to God’s commandments and teachings, is an essential part of our Christian journey. Far too often we witness those who profess a faith in Jesus but live in a way contrary to all of His teachings. We cannot allow ourselves to live that way.

As Christians, we must not only believe in Jesus, but we must also put our faith into practice through concrete actions and a life of obedience to God. Simply crying Lord, Lord, is not enough.

We need to live in such a way that our actions put flesh on the bones of our profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Our life should be an outward sign of the fruit of God’s grace and the Holy Spirit working in us. The initial grace of justification is always a free gift from God. If we say we have faith and fail to live without charity towards others, our profession of faith could rightly be called into question. We all know that actions speak louder than words. Our response to the saving grace of Jesus, freely given to us, should be apparent in how we live. In other words, what we do demonstrates the authenticity of our faith.

How then can we, as disciples, do the will of God?

To start with, we need to develop a close personal relationship with God through prayer and familiarity with Him. Without a strong personal relationship with God, it is difficult, if not impossible, to discern His will for our life.

Self-knowledge is also a valuable aspect of our Christian journey. Taking an inventory of our flaws and shortcomings helps us to clearly see the need for God in our life. We all need a clear-eyed vision of the obstacles before us.

We must continually ask ourselves this question, “Have I completely given my heart over to God?” If I have, my deepest desire will always be to do His will. If I have only partially surrendered my heart to God, my own self-focused desires will likely trip me up and steer me away from God.

In John 14:15 Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Being a true disciple is more than mere words. Following the commandments is part and parcel of our profession of faith.

A true disciple continually seeks the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has the ability to grant us wisdom, faith, and discernment. These are valuable gifts that can assist us throughout life.

The Bible can, at times, seem perplexing, yet The Word of God can never contradict itself. It does, however, require us to dig in and study. Ultimately, doing the will of God requires an ongoing, dynamic process of prayer, self-knowledge, desire for God, obedience, and openness to the Holy Spirit. Living a life that exemplifies the profession of faith we made with our lips can be demanding and difficult. But this demanding path of Christian discipleship is a joyful path that leads to true fulfillment in this life and everlasting happiness in the next.

Heavenly Father, I long to be a true disciple of your Son Jesus Christ. I want to live a life that is pleasing to you. Send your Holy Spirit to strengthen my resolve. Help me to surrender my entire heart to you. Show me how to be other focused rather than self focused. Make me an instrument of your peace and love in the world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!


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Brian Pusateri
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  1. Michael T Schaefer on July 3, 2024 at 12:50 pm

    Great job! Thanks
    Michael T.

  2. gene klawetter on July 2, 2024 at 8:50 am

    Brian: thanks for today’s 4th Day Letters. From my humble perspective, this message is at the heart of our Christian faith. Pastors/churches seem extremely focused on the flock becoming Christians, but it would seem the effort to help “new” Christians (or “old Christians for that matter) develop a relationship with Jesus and to “live” a Christian life day in and day out goes wanting in the vast majority of conversions. EXAMPLE: God gave us the 10 commandments to live by; Jesus instructed us to “love God with all your heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbors as ourselves.” Maybe I am wrong, but it seems to me that these 12 commandments are the roadmap for the Christian life. Any yet, when is the last time you heard a teaching message from the pulpit on these commandments.

    Brian, I do not consider myself a “learned” man when it comes to our Christianity so please forgive me if these comments are off-base. I sincerely appreciate your efforts.

    • Brian Pusateri on July 2, 2024 at 8:56 am


      I very much appreciate your post. We all need to learn how to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.


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