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Understanding Romans 10

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Understanding Romans 10:9

We should not make the mistake of making the “confession of our mouth” a necessary part of the salvation process. That is not the emphasis here. Paul is emphasizing that the righteousness from God comes when we simply put our trust in God and not by trusting in our own ability to fulfill the law.

He tells us in verse 4 that Christ is the end of the Law, in other words, Christ fulfilled the law because He is the only one who lived it perfectly. Therefore it is His righteousness that is imputed/given to us by the grace of God when we put our trust in Him.

In verse 8 Paul quotes from a passage taken from Deuteronomy 30: 9-14

9 Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, 10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

 11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

In this passage Moses is reminding the people that the Law that they are to obey was not to difficult, i.e. it was not too hard to understand, and it was not beyond their grasp, i.e. they had access to it. He reminds them that God revealed this law to them so no one had to go up to heaven or travel across the sea to get it. Nor did anyone need a special person to interpret the law so they could obey it.

 It was already written down and the people of Israel had become familiar to its commands in the wilderness. Therefore Moses could say, “the word is near you;” and they could speak the law to one another so he could also say, “it is in your mouth;” and they knew the law so he could say, “it is in your heart.”

Take a look at Romans 10: 9-14

4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. 5 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them." 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 "or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:

 9 That 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. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

In verse 9 Paul is using a rhetorical device, he is showing how the “word of faith” (gospel) is “in your mouth” and “in your heart” like the quote in Deuteronomy 30:14.

  • This does not make the confession just as important as the belief in the heart. Paul is simply showing that it matches; the word about Christ is at hand (”near you,“ Rom. 10:8) so no one has to bring Christ from heaven or bring Him from the dead for He already has become incarnate and ascended.
  • We must remember that confession is not a “condition” for salvation; the emphasis for salvation is found in
    • Romans 9:30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;
    • Romans 10:4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
    • Romans 10:11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
  • Salvation comes to those who believe in their heart.

If we take a closer look at the passage in Romans we find that verse 10 tells us that confession is an outward manifestation of what is already believed in the heart.

  • NIV Romans 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
  • NLT Romans 10:10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
  • That means that the one who confesses can only confess what is already in his heart. 1 Corinthians 12:3 tells us people can only confess “Jesus as/is Lord” by the Holy Spirit.
    • Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
    • The confession spoken of in Romans 10:9 is a confession of a person who is reborn and not an unsaved person who wants to be saved.

Why? Because salvation is a free gift that only God can give and only God can accomplish in a person.

  • Even the faith to believe God is from God
    • Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
  • Man cannot believe on his own
    • John 8:34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
    • Romans 7:14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
  • Man receives the ability to choose God, to believe, from God.
    • NIV 1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
    • NIV Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

 

How would we know if someone is saved?

  • There would be evidence of a repentant life!

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