Rescued Along The Roman Road
Our next stop on the Roman Road is Romans 10:9-10 (NASB)
“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
The phrase “Jesus is Lord” was the New Testament confession of faith. It is the acknowledgment that Jesus Christ is God Himself and that we are making Him the Lord of our lives. This is our declaration when we decide to believe and receive the truth of the risen Christ. 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. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
In memorizing Romans 10:9-10, notice that both verses speak of twin actions that enable us to claim salvation. We believe with our hearts and confess with our mouths. But the order is reversed in the two verses. Verse 9 tells us to confess with our mouth and to believe in our hearts. Verse 10 explains that we believe with our hearts and confess with our mouths. That’s not a contradiction; it’s a mirror image of the process. Quote verse 9, and then learn verse 10 as if looking at verse 9 in a mirror. Scholars call this an A-B-B-A format (chiasm). Verse 9 gives us the order from the outside in, and verse 10 gives us the order from the inside out. The two actions happen at once as we believe in our hearts that Jesus has risen from the dead; therefore, we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. Add verse 13, and you’ve mastered the entire “Roman Road.”
Verses 9–10 draw conclusions from what Paul has said about “the righteousness that is by faith” in verses 6–8. Deuteronomy 30:14, which Paul cites in Romans 10:8, refers to the “mouth” and the “heart.” In verse 9 he elaborates each of these. With the mouth one confesses “Jesus is Lord.” The confession that Jesus is Lord is one of the most basic distinguishing marks of being a Christian. With the heart one believes that God raised Jesus from the dead. The fulfillment of these two conditions brings salvation. Verse 10 elaborates further, only now in reverse order, with the heart coming first and then the mouth. Heart belief leads to justification, confession with the mouth to salvation.
Romans 10:13 (NASB)
for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”
Joel 2:32 (NASB)
And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.
All people are saved by the same promise. Note that this promise was foretold in the Old Testament (Joel 2:32). This verse is one of the great promises of God. God loves every person, no matter his nationality or race. God is not willing that any person should perish; He wants every person to be saved (2 Peter 3:9). In fact, God promises salvation to every person if the person will: “Call upon the name of the Lord.” Note what God says:
“Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The word “whoever” means anyone and everyone, no matter who they are.
- It means any person, any nationality, any race, any color.
- It means any person, whether immoral or moral, unjust or just, bad or good, poor or wealthy, mean or nice, lonely or befriended, unpopular or popular, deformed or attractive, diseased or healthy, needful or without need.
“Whoever” means that any person can be saved, no matter who that person is. No matter how terrible a person and his circumstances may be, that person can be saved. You may be enslaved by the most terrible spirit of sin and evil imaginable—God will still save you.
Romans 3:23 • Romans 6:23 • Romans 5:8 • Romans 10:9-10, 13