Romans 10:10
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
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Romans 10:10. For with the heart — Not with the understanding only; man believeth unto righteousness — So as to obtain justification, regeneration, and holiness, in all its branches; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation — So as to obtain eternal salvation. For if we so believe in Christ as to become truly righteous, and manifest that we are so by confessing him to be the Messiah, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, when such a confession might deprive us of our property, our liberty, and our lives, we must, of course, love him better than any or all of these things; and therefore we willingly part with them for his sake. And being thus crucified to the world, and all visible and temporal things, our affections will be set on things above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God: and consequently, when he shall appear we shall appear with him in glory. “In the first ages, the spreading of the gospel depended, in a great measure, on Christ’s disciples confessing him openly before the world, and on their sealing their confession with their blood. Hence Christ required it, in the most express terms, and threatened to deny those who denied him, Matthew 10:32-33; 1 John 4:15. The confessing Christ being so necessary, and at the same time so difficult a duty, the apostle very properly connected the assurance of final salvation therewith; because it was the best evidence which the disciple of Christ could have of his own sincerity, and of his being willing to perform every other act of obedience required of him. There is a difference between the profession and the confession of our faith. To profess is to declare a thing of our own accord; but to confess is to declare a thing when asked concerning it. This distinction Cicero mentions in his oration Proverbs Cecinna.” — Macknight.

10:5-11 The self-condemned sinner need not perplex himself how this righteousness may be found. When we speak of looking upon Christ, and receiving, and feeding upon him, it is not Christ in heaven, nor Christ in the deep, that we mean; but Christ in the promise, Christ offered in the word. Justification by faith in Christ is a plain doctrine. It is brought before the mind and heart of every one, thus leaving him without excuse for unbelief. If a man confessed faith in Jesus, as the Lord and Saviour of lost sinners, and really believed in his heart that God had raised him from the dead, thus showing that he had accepted the atonement, he should be saved by the righteousness of Christ, imputed to him through faith. But no faith is justifying which is not powerful in sanctifying the heart, and regulating all its affections by the love of Christ. We must devote and give up to God our souls and our bodies: our souls in believing with the heart, and our bodies in confessing with the mouth. The believer shall never have cause to repent his confident trust in the Lord Jesus. Of such faith no sinner shall be ashamed before God; and he ought to glory in it before men.For with the heart - Not with the understanding merely, but with such a faith as shall be sincere, and shall influence the life. There can be no other genuine faith than what influences the whole mind.

Believeth unto righteousness - Believes so that justification is obtained. (Stuart.) In God's plan of justifying people, this is the way by which we may be declared just or righteous in his sight. The moment a sinner believes, therefore, he is justified; his sins are pardoned; and he is introduced into the favor of God. No man can be justified without this; for this is God's plan, and he will not depart from it.

With the mouth confession is made ... - That is, confession or profession is so made as to obtain salvation. He who in all appropriate ways professes his attachment to Christ shall be saved. This profession is to be made in all the proper ways of religious duty; by an avowal of our sentiments; by declaring on all proper occasions our belief of the truth; and by an unwavering adherence to them in all persecutions, oppositions, and trials. He who declares his belief makes a profession. He who associates with Christian people does it. He who acts with them in the prayer meeting, in the sanctuary, and in deeds of benevolence, does it. He who is baptized, and commemorates the death of the Lord Jesus, does it. And he who leads an humble, prayerful, spiritual life, does it. He shows his regard to the precepts and example of Christ Jesus; his regard for them more than for the pride, and pomp, and allurements of the world. All these are included in a profession of religion. In whatever way we can manifest attachment to it, it must be done. The reason why this is made so important is, that there can be no true attachment to Christ which will not manifest itself in the life. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. It is impossible that there should be true belief in the heart of man, unless it should show itself in the life and conversation. This is the only test of its existence and its power; and hence it is made so important in the business of religion. And we may here learn,

(1) That a profession of religion is, by Paul, made as really indispensable to salvation as believing. According to him it is connected with salvation as really as faith is with justification; and this accords with all the declarations of the Lord Jesus; Matthew 10:32; Matthew 25:34-46; Luke 12:8.

(2) there can be no religion where there is not a willingness to confess the Lord Jesus. There is no true repentance where we are not willing to confess our faults. There is no true attachment to a father or mother or friend, unless we are willing on all proper occasions to avow it. And so there can be no true religion where there is too much pride, or vanity, or love of the world, or fear of shame to confess it.

(3) those who never profess any religion have none: and they are not safe. To deny God the Saviour before people is not safe. They who do not profess religion, profess the opposite. The real feelings of the heart will be expressed in the life. And they who profess by their lives that they have no regard for God and Christ, for heaven and glory, must expect to be met in the last day, as those who deny the Lord that bought them, and who bring upon themselves quick destruction; 2 Peter 1:2.

10. For with the heart man believeth unto—justifying

righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation—This confession of Christ's name, especially in times of persecution, and whenever obloquy is attached to the Christian profession, is an indispensable test of discipleship.

With the heart man believeth; in the former verse confession was set first; in this, believing. Faith indeed goes before confession; I believed, says the psalmist, and the apostle after him, therefore have I spoken; yet our faith is discerned and known by our confession.

Unto righteousness; i.e. unto justification. This phrase may be expounded by Romans 4:5, or Romans 9:30.

With the mouth confession is made unto salvation: our adversaries the papists make great use of this text, to prove that good works, as confession, &c., are the cause of salvation; whereas confession is required here, not as the cause, but as the means thereof. The apostle makes faith here to be the cause, as well of salvation, as justification; because confession of the mouth, to which salvation is here ascribed, is itself an effect or fruit of faith; and so, according to that known rule in logic, the cause of the cause, is the cause of that which is caused thereby.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness,.... The apostle here explains the nature and use both of faith and confession; as true faith does not lie in the bare assent of the mind to the Gospel, or any truth contained in it, respecting the person and office of Christ, so neither does it lie, as not in the brain, so not in the tongue, but in the heart; it is not a notional knowledge of things to be believed; nor is it saying that a man believes; but it is heart work, a believing with all the heart; such a faith in which all the powers of the soul, the understanding, will, and affections, are concerned, it is a seeing of the Son, a beholding of the glory, fulness, suitableness, ability, and willingness of Christ as a Saviour, with the eye of the understanding spiritually enlightened; it is a going out of the soul to Christ, in various acts, such as venturing into his presence, prostrating itself at his feet, resolving if it perishes it will perish there; a giving up itself unto him, determining it will have no other Saviour, leaning and relying on him, and living upon him; which faith works by love to Christ, moves the affections, stirs up the desires of the soul to his name, and endears him and all that belong to him to it. The use of this grace is, "unto righteousness"; it is not instead of one, for faith is not our righteousness; nor is it in order to work out one, for this grace puts a soul on renouncing its own righteousness; but its use is to receive one, even the righteousness of Christ, which when it spies, it admires, receives, lays hold on, and rejoices in looking on itself as righteous through this righteousness, and so has peace with God through Christ:

and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. This is to be understood not of confession of sin, though that is proper and requisite to be made, both with respect to the participation, and enjoyment of salvation, particularly pardoning grace and mercy, and to an admission to Gospel ordinances; but of confession of Christ, as appears from the preceding verse, which lies in a frank and open acknowledgment of what Christ is in himself, as that he is truly and properly God, the Son of God, the true Messiah, the Mediator between God and man, and the only Saviour of lost sinners, and of our faith in him, with respect to ourselves, to our pardon, justification, acceptance and salvation in him and through him; in ascribing the whole of our salvation to him, and giving him the glory of it; in declaring to the churches of Christ what he has done for our souls, and in subjecting ourselves to his ordinances. This confession must be made both by words and facts, must be open, visible, and before men; and also real, hearty, and sincere, the words of the mouth agreeing with the experience of the heart; and such a good profession made before God, angels, and men, highly becomes all that believe with the heart. This was the practice of the primitive saints; yea, all nations own, acknowledge, and profess the God they worship; and should not we confess our God, Saviour and Redeemer? Christ himself confessed a good confession before Pontius Pilate, and is the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. So to do, makes both for the glory of God, and for our own real good and advantage. Yea, it is "unto salvation"; not as a cause of it, for Christ alone is the author of eternal salvation; but a sincere and well made confession of Christ points out to all that know us where and from whom we expect to have salvation; it is what lies in the way, and is to be taken up by all that believe in Christ, and to be held fast without wavering until we receive the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls.

For with the heart man {i} believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

(i) Faith is said to justify, and furthermore seeing the confession of the mouth is an effect of faith, and confession in the way to come to salvation, it follows that faith is also said to save.

Romans 10:10. Elucidation of Romans 10:9. With πιστ. and ὁμολ. Jesus is not to be supplied as subject (Hofmann), which is not even in accordance with the linguistic usage of the N. T., for 1 Timothy 3:16 has a singular poetical style; but the contents of the faith and of the confession are understood, according to Romans 10:9, entirely of themselves. “With the heart, namely (γάρ), one believes unto righteousness, but with the mouth confesses unto salvation.” In the style of Hebrew parallelism the thought is thus expressed: “With the faith of the heart is united the confession of the mouth to the result that one obtains righteousness and salvation.” The righteousness obtained through faith would, forsooth, fall to the ground again, and would not be attended by salvation, if faith had not the vital force to produce confession of the mouth (which speaks out of the fulness of the heart); see Matthew 10:32; comp. 2 Corinthians 4:13. We have thus here no merely formal parallelism, but one framed according to the actual relation of the dispensation of salvation; and in this case, moreover, Paul observes the genetic sequence in καρδίᾳστόματι, because he is now no longer dependent on Romans 10:8.

Romans 10:10. καρδίᾳ γὰρ πιστεύεται εἰς δικαιοσύνην, στόματι δὲ ὁμολογεῖται εἰς σωτηρίαν. The parallelism is like that in the previous verse, though the order of the clauses is reversed. To be saved one must attain δικαιοσύνη, and this depends on heart-faith; such faith, again, leading to salvation, must confess itself. To separate the two clauses, and look for an independent meaning in each, is a mistake; a heart believing unto righteousness, and a mouth making confession unto salvation, are not really two things, but two sides of the same thing. The formalism which seems to contrast them is merely a mental (perhaps only a literary) idiosyncrasy of the writer. It is true to say that such a confession as is meant here was made at baptism; but to limit it to baptism, or to use this verse to prove baptism essential to salvation, is, as Weiss says, unerhörter Dogmatismus.

10. For with the heart, &c.] The “for” introduces a further explanation; in which the special workings of belief and confession are noticed.

man believeth] Lit. it is believed; “belief is exercised.” So just below, it is confessed.

righteousness] i.e., practically, Justification. See last note but two.

unto salvation] i.e. final salvation; the “end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls.” (1 Peter 1:9.) The “confession with the mouth” represents in fact the whole process by which the Christian, in his life on earth, owns and obeys Christ as his Lord; refuses to “deny Him” in the evil world. It thus stands here for the “narrow path” along which the justified move to their promised and assured home. Faith indeed “saves:”—the Christian, in every sense, “lives by faith in the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). But his “life” is manifested in obedience, which alone (whatever be the influence which leads him to it and keeps him in it) is the path to heaven.—See Ephesians 2:8-10.

Romans 10:10. Καρδίᾳ, with the heart) From the mentioning of the ‘heart’ and ‘mouth’ by Moses [in Deuteronomy 30:14, quoted here at Romans 10:8], the consequence is [here by Paul referred, or] proved in reference to ‘faith,’ and ‘confession;’ namely, because the ‘heart’ is the proper subject of ‘faith’ and the ‘mouth,’ of ‘confession;’ therefore Paul here in this verse begins his sentences, by saying, with the heart, and with the mouth.

Romans 10:10With the heart (καρδίᾳ)

As the seat of the energy of the divine Spirit (πνεῦμα see on Romans 8:4); mediating the personal life (of the soul ψυχή, see on Romans 11:3), which is conditioned by the Spirit. It is not the affections as distinguished from the intellect. Believing with the heart is in contrast with oral confession, not with intellectual belief. "Believing is a mode of thinking not of feeling. It is that particular mode of thinking that is guided to its object by the testimony of another, or by some kind of inter-mediation. It is not intuitive" (Morison).

Man believeth (πιστεύεται)

The verb is used impersonally. Lit., it is believed. Believing takes place.

Confession is made (ὁμολογεῖται)

Also impersonal. It is confessed. "Confession is just faith turned from its obverse side to its reverse ... When faith comes forth from its silence to announce itself, and to proclaim the glory and the grace of the Lord, its voice is confession" (Morison).

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