The spiritual principle of believe and speak determines life in the full salvation of Christ. Words work towards liberty or to bondage based on our choice.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10)
Today’s verse reminds us how incredibly simple receiving salvation actually is. We don’t have jump through any hoops or pass a series of tests. The only ‘preparation’ required is the acceptance that we are a sinner whose only hope is in Christ. After that, we simply believe that we are saved and confess that we are saved. While repentance and confession doesn’t constitute salvation, they are part of it. True salvation cannot happen without it. What’s critical, though, is that both involve a relationship between believe and speak. We believe we are sinners and speak our repentance in confession. Then we believe in the forgiveness of sin through Christ – that righteousness can only be found in Him. Finally, we confess or speak this to receive salvation. But this relationship of heart and mouth has universal spiritual implications that will liberate or imprison us.
Believe and speak as a spiritual principle
There are a few verses that illustrate the believe and speak relationship very powerfully. We must guard our hearts as from there flows the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). Our hearts speak out of the abundance of our hearts (Luke 6:45). There are many more, but the spiritual principle is that we are what we have in our hearts. In essence, we are what we speak and we speak what we are. It’s a simple principle that the world has readily borrowed from the Word for things like positive thinking. That it’s the way to receive salvation indicates very clearly that it’s a fundamental and critical principle that underpins our faith, our walk, and our relationship with God. There are too many believers who underestimate this and never walk in the full liberty and grace purchased for us in salvation.
Speaking is essentially a testimony. We confirm to ourselves what we believe, and also confirm this to God. Not only that, our testimony is also to others. If we believe that Jesus is Lord, we must also confess it. Speaking is essentially confirming what we believe. More than this, it contains a creative power similar to what God revealed in creation. When He spoke, things came into being. From this perspective, speaking what is in our heart confirms and cements it. Spiritually, when we speak something we ‘make it real.’ Me make a decision in our heart and implement it with our speech. We choose something in our heart and manifest it in our speech. This relationship of believe and speak is enormously powerful. One simple example is using the Word in prayer, which brings us into the will of God when we pray.
The inverse principle of speak and believe.
But this relationship also works inversely, and just as powerfully. We also speak to believe. This is because we use speech to put things into our hearts. The old expression ‘learn by heart’ applies essentially means we learn something so well that it becomes a part of us. It’s in our heart. The way we learn by heart is by repetition – saying it over and over again. This moves it from our short-term memory to long-term memory. It’s there to stay. This operates very powerfully in the spiritual – as powerful as the inverse process of believe and speak. We become what we speak and speak what we are. The obvious illustration is ‘negative’ speech. If we’re constantly told by ourselves and others that we’re not good enough, we become just that. But if we’re positively encouraged with our true identity in Christ, for example, we begin to live as that.
The believe and speak detour.
This relationship between believe and speak is a powerful blessing if both believing and speaking are rooted in the Word. The reason we so often miss the full power is because it’s routed through the brain. While I’m all for using our brains in life, we can also misuse them. Left to its own devices, the brain will function as the centre of control. It’s the throne of the self-life, while the heart is the throne of the spirit-life. Because thoughts all too often become speech, they’ll railroad the beliefs right out of the equation. Logic, reason, and rational thinking are the natural enemies of faith. They have a purpose but they are a tool and nothing more. We use the brain to read and understand the words we read. But the brain cannot provide spiritual understanding which is what separates the things of God from the things of self.
When we detour what we believe through the brain, we both believe wrongly and speak wrong confessions. When we speak the wrong things, we’re learning the wrong things. If we continually allow the brain to be the filter by which we understand and learn the things of God, we’ll remain off the narrow road. Self wants to lead, not be led. The brain wants to dictate rather than be in surrender to the spirit. In very simple terms, the principle of the relationship between believe and speak is the practical explanation to living in the spirit. Our brains are the seat of intellect, not faith. Anything that originates in the brain, therefore, is antithetical to faith. A detour, by nature, causes delays. Inevitably, it leaves us hanging around in a place we shouldn’t be. God gave us brains to use, not be used by.
Believe and speak brings liberation or bondage.
This is the crux of the matter. We choose whether to live in one or the other. Both require discipline and the breaking of old habits. But it’s not enough to simply un-habit ourselves. We must also re-habit ourselves with what is good and of God. A vacuum inevitably means the old negative habits will return, stronger than ever. First, we choose how to live. Second, we consciously recognise the wrong habits and pull them out, roots and all – wrong thoughts and wrong speech which lead to wrong belief. Third, we replace these with the truth of the Word of God. It takes work, effort, and commitment. To believe and confess to salvation doesn’t end with being saved. Salvation is a ‘full package’ of everything we’ll ever need. Believe and speak is the way we take hold of every promise and live in the full liberty of Christ.
Lord, thank You for Your grace and for the wonderful gift of salvation. Forgive us for our foolishness in allowing wrong thoughts and words to affect what we believe. Remind us and increase our discernment of anything that stands as a detour on the road to living the full liberty of Christ. Help us to recognise our weaknesses and to persist in setting them right. Above all, Lord, keep us in Christ who is the only way to depose the mind and put the spirit in control.