Most gospel presentations, especially the famous “Romans Road” witnessing technique, include Romans 10:9-10 to help explain the need for people to make a personal faith response to God’s plan of salvation. After an initial hook or introduction, a good gospel presentation then goes into a discussion of the universal problem of sin (Romans 3:23 – “All have sinned”) and its just penalty for all people (Romans 6:23a – “The wages of sin is death”). Next, the presentation will talk about what God did for us through Jesus’ death and resurrection to offer us a way of escape from hell and an entrance into eternal life (Romans 5:8 – “God demonstrates His love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” and Romans 6:23b – “The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”). Finally, once these facts have been understood by the listener, the presentation will talk about how a person must turn from sin and to Jesus by faith. At this point, Romans 10:9-10 can be given as a simple path to salvation: To be saved, a person must be willing to “confess” aloud (publicly profess) that they “believe” in their “heart” (soul, mind, will – all of their being) that Jesus Christ is Lord. The belief comes first, but it is then followed by a public profession of that faith afterwards. A person “gets saved” and then has a desire to tell others about the miraculous spiritual event that has just occurred. This is what we see throughout the New Testament and even in places in the Old Testament – people who come to a genuine faith in the God of the Bible then make that faith known to others.
Remember that in Romans 9-11, Paul is considering the problem of why most of the nation of Israel has not accepted Christ. Most Jews have wanted to gain salvation by merely keeping the law of God outwardly rather than trusting in God’s Son from a heart of faith. They think that they will find life by following this way of Moses, who gave them the commandments (Romans 10:5). But that is not the way to life because nobody can really keep all the commandments, not inwardly or outwardly (Remember, “all have sinned”). Instead we need to put our faith in Jesus, who is the only one who both came down from heaven and rose from the dead to go back up again (Romans 10:6-7). This is another way of saying that only Jesus was perfect, that Jesus was the only man who always obeyed God’s law and will His entire life on earth. The “faith” or message “that we preach” as Christians is not to encourage others to try to be better people in their own strength, but to believe in Jesus with both our hearts and our mouths (Romans 10:8). To repent and believe is to renounce or give up trying to do our own thing in life and to instead let Jesus guide us by faith as or “Lord,” a word that means He is our God and our boss. The salvation that Jesus offers is freely available to everyone who hears the gospel, no matter their religious background (Romans 10:12). Anyone who is willing to believe in Jesus and make that belief known to others can have a relationship with God and be saved from sin, judgment, and hell (Romans 10:13). The promise here is strong and certain – God will not turn anyone away who truly believes upon His Son (Romans 10:11).
Today’s passage is a clear path to the lost person for how they may be saved and know God personally. For the Christian, today’s passage is a promise to hold onto in our darkest moments of sin, sorrow, and doubt: “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved!” And to everyone, these verses are a powerful testimony to the goodness and faithfulness of the one and only God, a God who is faithful to save anyone and everyone who will put their faith in Him. May we believe these truths of God’s Word today and have chances to share them with others.
The Text (Romans 10:5-13)
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Questions to Think About
- How have other people (parents, teachers, pastors, etc.) explained to you the concept of “believing in Jesus with your heart”? Have you ever tried to explain heart faith in Jesus to someone else? Is there a difference between “head faith” and “heart faith”?
- When a person comes to a heart faith in Jesus and is saved, why is it important that they confess that new faith to other people?
- What are the different ways that a person can confess Jesus as Lord? If you are a Christian, how have you confessed your faith in Jesus to others?