Romans 10:9
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.
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(9) If thou shalt confess with thy mouth.—Interesting as containing the earliest formal confession of faith; that in Acts 8:37 (see Note there) is not genuine.

There is no opposition between the outward confession and the inward act of faith. The one is regarded as the necessary consequence and expression of the other. In the next verse this takes the form of Hebrew parallelism, in which the balanced clauses are regarded as equivalent to each other.

The Lord Jesus.—Jesus as Lord.

Hath raised him from the dead.—Comp. Romans 4:25. Though the death of Christ apprehended by faith is more especially the cause of the Christian’s salvation, still the Apostle regards the Resurrection as the cardinal point; for without the Resurrection the proof of the Messiahship of Jesus would have been incomplete, and His death would not have had its saving efficacy.

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.That if thou shalt confess - The word here rendered "confess" ὁμολογέω homologeō is often rendered "profess"; Matthew 7:23, "Then will I profess to them, I never knew you;" Titus 1:16; Titus 3:14; Romans 1:22; 1 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 6:12-13, 1 Timothy 6:21; Hebrews 3:1, etc. It properly means to "speak what agrees with something which others speak or maintain." Thus, confession or profession expresses our "agreement or concord with what God holds to be true, and what he declares to be true." It denotes a public declaration or assent to that, here expressed by the words "with thy mouth." A profession of religion then denotes a public declaration of our agreement with what God has declared, and extends to all his declarations about our lost estate, our sin, and need of a Saviour; to his doctrines about his own nature, holiness, and law; about the Saviour and the Holy Spirit; about the necessity of a change of heart and holiness of life; and about the grave and the judgment; about heaven and hell. As the doctrine respecting a Redeemer is the main and leading doctrine, it is put here by way of eminence, as in fact involving all others; and publicly to express our assent to this, is to declare our agreement with God on all kindred truths.

With thy mouth - To profess a thing with the mouth is to speak of it; to declare it; to do it openly and publicly.

The Lord Jesus - Shalt openly acknowledge attachment to Jesus Christ. The meaning of it may be expressed by regarding the phrase "the Lord" as the predicate; or the thing to be confessed is, that he is Lord; compare Acts 2:36; Philippians 2:11, "And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." Here it means to acknowledge him as Lord, that is, as having a right to rule over the soul.

Shalt believe in thy heart - Shalt sincerely and truly believe this, so that the external profession shall correspond with the real, internal feelings. Where this is not the case, it would be hypocrisy; where this is the case, there would be the highest sincerity, and this religion requires.

That God hath raised him - This fact, or article of Christian belief, is mentioned here because of its great importance, and its bearing on the Christian system. If this be true, then all is true. Then it is true that he came forth from God; that he died for sin; and that God approved and accepted his work. Then it is true that he ascended to heaven, and is exalted to dominion over the universe, and that he will return to judge the quick and the dead. For all this was professed and taught; and all this was regarded as depending on the truth of his having been raised from the dead; see Philippians 2:8-11; Ephesians 1:21; Acts 2:24, Acts 2:32-33; Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 4:14; 1 Corinthians 15:13-20. To profess this doctrine was, therefore, virtually to profess all the truths of the Christian religion. No man could believe this who did not also believe all the truths dependent on it. Hence, the apostles regarded this doctrine as so important, and made it so prominent in their preaching. See the note at Acts 1:3.

Thou shalt be saved - From sin and hell. This is the doctrine of the gospel throughout; and all this shows that salvation by the gospel was easy.

9. That if thou shalt, &c.—So understanding the words, the apostle is here giving the language of the true method of justification; and this sense we prefer (with Calvin, Beza, Ferme, Locke, Jowett). But able interpreters render the words, "For," or "Because if thou shalt," &c. [Vulgate, Luther, De Wette, Stuart, Philippi, Alford, Revised Version]. In this case, these are the apostle's own remarks, confirming the foregoing statements as to the simplicity of the gospel method of salvation.

confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus—that is, probably, "If thou shalt confess Jesus [to be] the Lord," which is the proper manifestation or evidence of faith (Mt 10:32; 1Jo 4:15). This is put first merely to correspond with the foregoing quotation—"in thy mouth and in thine heart." So in 1Pe 1:10 the "calling of believers" is put before their "election," as that which is first "made sure," although in point of time it comes after it.

and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised—"that God raised"

him from the dead, &c.—(See on [2242]Ro 4:25). In Ro 10:10 the two things are placed in their natural order.

q.d. There are but these two things, which the gospel principally requires in order to our salvation: the one is, the confession of Christ with our mouths, and that in spite of all persecution and danger, to own him for our Lord, and for our Jesus; and to declare, that we are and will be ruled and saved by him, and by him only. The other is, to believe in our hearts,

that God hath raised him from the dead. This article of the resurrection of Christ presupposeth all the rest, and fasteneth together, as by a link, all the antecedents and consequents of it; his ascension, session at the right hand of God, and intercession, which followed after. This article therefore, by a figure, is put for all the rest; and this is mentioned, because the death and passion of Christ had availed us nothing, unless he had risen again; for thereby he obtained a perfect victory over sin, death, and damnation, for all the elect. This is the principal ground of our justification, as hath been said, Romans 4:25.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,.... That is, if a man shall make a good, sincere, and hearty confession to God, before the church and people of God, and before the world, that Christ is his Lord and Saviour, whom he desires to serve, and to be saved by; and this as arising from a comfortable experience of the grace of God in his soul, and from a true faith in Christ in his heart, wherefore it follows,

and shall believe in thine heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved; for this article of Christ's resurrection includes the several other articles of faith: it supposes his death, and that supposes his life, and the obedience of it; and his life implies his being here on earth, and that his coming down from heaven to do the will of his Father; and this is the rather mentioned, which is here ascribed to God the Father, though not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit, because that Christ is risen again for our justification, with which true faith is principally concerned; for such a faith is intended, not which lies in a mere assent to the truth of this, or any other article of the Christian religion; but which is concerned with Christ for righteousness, life, and glory; and with such a faith salvation is certainly and inseparably connected.

{6} That if thou shalt {g} confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that {h} God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

(6) That is indeed true faith which is settled not only in the head, but also in the heart of man, of which we also give testimony by our outward life, and which serves Christ as our one and only Saviour, even as he sets forth himself in his word.

(g) If you profess plainly, sincerely, and openly, that you take Jesus alone to be thy Lord and Saviour.

(h) The Father, who is said to have raised the Son from the dead: and this is not spoken to exclude the divinity of the Son, but to set forth the Father's plan, with regard to our redemption in the resurrection of the Son.

Romans 10:9. Not a statement of the contents of the ῥῆμα, but assigning the ground of the immediately previous τοῦτʼ ἔστι τὸ ῥῆμα τῆς πίστεως ὃ κηρύσς. The force of the argument lies in the fact that, in respect of the ῥῆμα published by its preachers, confession and faith (mouth and heart) must be consentaneous in order to obtain salvation, which is what Moses also means of the ῥῆμα (Romans 10:8).

ὁμολ. ἐν τ. στόμ. σου] corresponds to ἐν τῷ στόμ. σου (ἐστι) in Romans 10:8, as afterwards πίστ. ἐν τ. καρδ. σου to ἐν τ. καρδ. σου in Romans 10:8.

κύριον] as Lord (comp. 1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Php 2:11). “In hac appellatione est summa fidei et salutis,” Bengel. It refers to the question τίς ἀναβ. εἰς τ. οὐρ., Romans 10:6; for the whole acknowledgment of the heavenly κυριότης of Jesus as the σύνθρονος of God is conditioned by the acknowledgment of the preceding descent from heaven, the incarnation of the Son of God; Romans 8:3; Galatians 4:4; Php 2:6, et al.

ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν] corresponds to the question of Romans 10:7.

σωθήσῃ] corresponds to ζήσεται in Romans 10:6, but characterizes the latter, according to the doctrinal system of the apostle (Romans 1:16, Romans 5:9-10, et al.), as a deliverance from destruction to the Messianic salvation.

The confession of the mouth (of high essential importance for the relations of every time, and peculiarly of that time!) and faith in the heart are not separate things, as though one without the other had as its consequence the σωτηρία, but they are mutually dependent requisites. Comp. Knapp, p. 565 ff.

The resurrection of the Lord here appears, as suggested by Romans 10:7, and according to Romans 4:25 quite justly, as the object of that faith which makes blessed. Without it, His death would not be the atoning death, 1 Corinthians 15:17-18, nor would He Himself be the Son of God, Romans 1:4.

Romans 10:9. Apparently this verse gives the content of what the Apostle describes as “the word of faith which we preach”. ὅτι = viz. The reference both to heart and mouth in Deut. suits his purpose, and he utilises it; the closing words in the LXX (καὶ ἐν ταῖς χερσί σου ποιεῖν αὐτό) he disregards. ἐὰν ὁμολογήσῃς τὸ ῥῆμαὅτι Κύριος Ἰησοῦς: the putting of the confession before the faith which inspires it, and of which it is the confession, seems to be due simply to the fact that in the O.T. passage present to the Apostle’s mind ἐν τῷ στόματί σου precedes ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου. τὸ ῥῆμα is virtually = the Gospel, as God’s word concerning His Son and faith in Him. We confess it when we say, Jesus is Lord. Cf. 1 Corinthians 12:3, Php 2:11. The exaltation of Jesus is the fundamental Christian confession, and presupposes the resurrection; and it is this exaltation which here (as in the other passages referred to) is meant by His Lordship. It is mechanical to say that the first part of Romans 10:9 (Jesus is Lord) refers to the doubting question in Romans 10:6, and therefore means a confession of the incarnation; and the second part of it (God raised Him from the dead) to the doubting question of Romans 10:7. Paul nowhere connects the Lordship of Christ with His incarnation, and there is certainly no reference to His Divine nature here. The confession of the first part of the verse answers to the faith in the second; he who believes in his heart that God raised Christ from the dead can confess with his mouth (on that ground and in that sense) that Jesus is Lord. On the basis of such mutually interpreting faith and confession he is saved. This does not deprive the death of Christ of the significance which Paul ascribes to it elsewhere. Christ could not be raised unless He had first died, and when He is raised it is with the virtue of His sin-atoning death in Him. His exaltation is that of one who has borne our sins, and the sense of this gives passion to the love with which believers confess Him Lord.

9. that if thou shalt, &c.] Here the contents of the “utterance” are given in more detail.

confess with thy mouth] i.e., practically, “submit to and own Him as supreme for thee.” See, for the demand of such “confession,” Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:8. For all adult converts, this was an important feature of Baptism. In all cases, it is to be a test of the intelligence and reality of the faith of which it is a fruit.—“Confession” is here put before “believing,” because in Deuteronomy “the mouth” had been named before “the heart.” In the order of experience, of course, faith precedes confession.

the Lord Jesus] Better, Jesus as Lord; i.e., as Supreme and Eternal; the all-blessed Son. Cp. 1 Corinthians 12:3; where light is thrown on the deep reality and significance of the confession meant here.—St Paul here refers back to the “who shall ascend?” of Romans 10:6 : Jesus, as Lord, is He “who is in Heaven,” (John 3:13,) who came thence, and is the way thither.

that God hath raised him, &c.] Cp. Hebrews 13:20; where the “bringing again of the Great Shepherd from the dead,” by the Father, is the full and final proof that the Father is the God of Peace; i.e. of Reconciliation, of Justification. See too above, Romans 4:24-25, Romans 5:1; and 1 Thessalonians 1:10.—The belief in the Resurrection here is not merely historical belief, (which yet is indispensable to all other belief in it,) but “heart” belief; the perception and cordial embrace of what the Resurrection reveals and imports as to the Risen One and His work.—Here, obviously, the “who shall descend?” of Romans 10:7 is referred to.

Romans 10:9. Εἀν) if only—ὁμολογήσῃς, thou shalt confess) Confession in itself does not save; otherwise infants would not be saved: but only in as far as it includes faith.—Κύριον, the Lord) The summary of faith and salvation is found in this appellation. He who confesses that Jesus is Lord, does not now any longer [now for the first time ceases to] endeavour to bring Him down from heaven.—ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν, hath raised Him from the dead) The special object of faith. He who believes the resurrection of Jesus does not now any longer endeavour to bring Him from the dead, Romans 10:7.

Romans 10:9That (ὅτι)

So rendered as expressing the contents of the word of faith; but better because, giving a proof that the word is nigh. Confess and believe, correspond to mouth and heart.

The Lord Jesus (κύριον Ἱησοῦν)

Others, however, read τὸ ῥῆμα ἐν τῷ στοματί σου ὅτι κύριος Ἱησοῦς If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the word that Jesus is Lord. Rev., Jesus as Lord.

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