Since Paul’s words are usually those used to misconstrue the truth, we will continue in Chapter 10 of Romans as we bust the myth that Salvation is simply confessing with our mouth that we believe.
Often, Romans 10:9 is quoted which says if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead we will be saved. This is true, but without Paul’s complete explanation of what this means, many are led astray.
If one reads Romans 10 in its entirety we see that Paul does a very good job at defining what he means by this.
If you haven’t already, you should watch the Bible Myth Buster titled, “Christ is the end of the law?”, which provides more context on this chapter. In short, Paul writes a letter to the Romans telling them that the children of Israel are living according to their own righteousness and do not know the righteousness of God. He proceeds to explain what righteousness is and right here in verse 8 he provides us with a definition that epitomizes the righteousness of God.
He says “the word is near us, even in our mouths and it is the word of faith that we preach.” He specified that this word of faith that they preach is that if one confesses with his mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in his heart that God raised him from the dead, they shall be saved, because with the heart a man believes resulting in righteousness and with his mouth confession is made resulting in salvation.
A couple of things are often misunderstood about this passage.
First, let us look at verse 9 which reads, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
When looking at this verse we should first recognize that John is telling the Romans, what he and they claim to be the truth or what they preach to their people. Always keep these types of principles in mind so that you read everything in context.
Second, what they preached had a two-part stipulation. One must confess or profess the existence of Yeshua with their mouth AND believe that God raised him from the dead to be saved.
Saying something is easy, believing it a bit more complicated. But he goes on to explain what he means by confessing and believing.
In verse 10, Paul says, “When we believe with our hearts it leads to true righteousness and when we confess with our mouths it results in salvation.”
Believing is different from thinking, in that a thought can be swayed and a mind changed. But when we believe something in our hearts, it is equivalent to knowing the truth of the thing we believe.
For example, I know and believe my given name is Deshina. I know and believe that my children are mine, and in the same manner, I know and believe that Yeshua lived and died and was risen from the dead by God. See, knowing is believing and believing is knowing.
And if we know that Yeshua was raised from the dead by God, then we also know that his words are true and he was sent by God, thus we live by his teachings – all of them, not only teachings that conveniently leads us to believe that everyone who calls on his name is saved.
Yeshua says this in Mat 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” In Mat 7:23, he adds that those who call on him professing all that they have done to deserve a seat in the kingdom, but are disobedient to the will of His Father, are evil.
Yet in verse 12 of Romans, Paul says that Old Testament scripture says that “whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved.”
Sounds like a huge contradiction and it is because the scripture Paul is referring to, Joel 2:32, says whoever calls on the name of the Father, “Yahuwah”, shall be delivered. It goes on to specify that the deliverance of those who call upon Him will be made possible, because there will be a remnant of Zion and Jerusalem, who Yahuwah shall call. In Romans 11, Paul goes on to somewhat clarify this for the Romans.
The point is that Yeshua says, to call on his name means nothing if we are not doing the will of His Father. And Paul and Joel says that everyone who calls on the Father will be delivered. Additionally, Joel explains that Yahuwah said his deliverer would be a remnant of Israel, whose lack of knowledge Paul is currently talking about.
Paul uses this scripture to express to the Romans that the Israelites have a particular purpose and mission, and part of their mission is to be made blind for a time. He is explaining that they are naturally inclined to have a zeal for God, but do not yet have knowledge of the righteousness of God.
He tells the Romans that they are held to the same standards as the Israelites and will, likewise be judged. He makes this point as he explains to them what salvation and righteousness is and tells them that it is everyone’s duty to proclaim the word of God so that salvation is made available to others and attained by the confessor.
So he goes on to demonstrate, through a series of rhetorical questions, which he is famous for, that only those who know Yeshua can call on him, and only those who have heard of Yeshua can believe in him. He says how can Israel hear unless someone tells them. And how can someone tell them unless they are sent.
What does any of this have to do with salvation? Paul is defining confession for us. He says to confess Yeshua is to share his word, and we share his word because we believe in him… and salvation comes, because we share his word. Not only our own salvation, but the salvation of those who hear and receive the word of faith. Which, by the way I am sharing in this video.
In other words, we are saved by saving others when we share the word of faith… This is confession and salvation, but we can only do this if we have ourselves attained righteousness through faith, which comes through wholehearted belief in the Messiah.
And when we call on God, he sends deliverance, rather Israelite or Gentile, but this deliverance will ultimately come from the remnant or be available because of the remnant that is in Zion and Jerusalem, according to Joel.
So we take Paul’s explanations regarding Israel, thus ourselves writing certain parts in stone like Moses did on the mount. We than choose to believe only those parts that are attractive to us and negate all the truths within his letters and accept every word above Yeshua’s. But Yeshua’s and Yahuwah’s words are what helps us to reconcile Paul’s or any other man’s thinking. Not the other way around. In other words, Yah’s and Yeshua’s words should supersede any confusions brought on by Paul’s or anyone elses’ teachings.
What he is explaining to the Roman’s about Israel of his day, still holds true for the Israelites of our day. We have a zeal for God, but we lack knowledge, because we have not been taught the truth of God. We have not heard and faith comes by hearing.
So as you study, don’t be afraid to question what is written by Paul, or to fact check him, me or anyone else with the word of God and of Yeshua.
What you’ll often find is that the way Paul explained it is confusing, but there is always truth in what he says. This confusion comes because we fail to realize, Paul was not speaking to Israel, but to gentiles about Israel. In doing so, he sometimes misinterpreted old testament scripture or used it inappropriately to emphasize his point, which was not exactly the point of the scripture he quoted.
And unless we believe that Paul was as perfect the Messiah, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging his mistakes. And more often than not, it’s not his mistakes, but our lack of context that leads us to misunderstanding.
So the myth that salvation comes by saying we believe is completely dispelled.
And this is why you must study to show yourself approved by God!
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Look out for the next Bible Myth Buster Video “Jesus is God?”