Romans 10:5
For concerning the righteousness that is by the Law, Moses writes: "The man who does these things will live by them."
Confession of a Risen SaviourR.M. Edgar Romans 10:1-11
The Freeness of SalvationT.F. Lockyer Romans 10:1-11
A Comprehensive DesireR. S. MacArthur, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Apostolic PatriotismD. Thomas, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Barriers Broken DownC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 10:1-13
Blind ZealCawdray.Romans 10:1-13
How to Promote the Salvation of OthersDean GravesRomans 10:1-13
Human Righteousness Only Attainable by Submitting to The Righteousness of GodF. W. Bourne, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Ignorance of God's Righteousness, the Guilt OfT. Chalmers, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Lsrael a Lamentable Example of the Blindness of UnbeliefJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Man's Tendency to Trust in His Own RighteousnessJ. McCosh, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
On ZealJ. Barr, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Paul's Chief Desire for His CountrymenD. Jamison, B.A.Romans 10:1-13
Paul's Concern for His PeopleJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Paul's Desire and PrayerT. Chalmers, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Paul's Desire and PrayerElnathan Parr, B.D.Romans 10:1-13
PhariseeismJ. Burns, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Reasons Why Men Reject the Righteousness of GodJames Hamilton.Romans 10:1-13
Self-Righteousness -- Ruin of ManyC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 10:1-13
The Proper Regulation of Religious ZealW. Smyth.Romans 10:1-13
The Salvation of IsraelDean Graves.Romans 10:1-13
The Way of SalvationJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal and KnowledgeElnathan Parr, B.D.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal for the Conversion of RelativesMrs. McLeod Wylie.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal for the Salvation of SinnersG. Burder.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal Without KnowledgeAbp. Tillotson.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal Without KnowledgeJohn Foster.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal Without KnowledgeT. Chalmers, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal, CautiousCawdray.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal, FalseJ. Goodman.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal, MisguidedJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal, TrueR. Cudworth.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal, True and FalseJ. Whitecross.Romans 10:1-13
Zeal, UncontrolledJ. Spencer.Romans 10:1-13
ZealotryPope., W. Penn.Romans 10:1-13
Zealous, But WrongC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 10:1-13
Believing with the HeartH. Melvill, B.D.Romans 10:5-11
Confessing ChristR. Wardlaw, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
Confessing ChristRomans 10:5-11
Confessing ChristC. Hodge, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
Confessing ChristJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
Confessing Christ InevitableH. Melvill, B.D.Romans 10:5-11
Confessing Christ, Ashamed OfRomans 10:5-11
Confessing Christ, from GratitudeRomans 10:5-11
Confessing Christ: DecisiveClerical LibraryRomans 10:5-11
Confessing the Lord JesusJ. Vaughan, M.A.Romans 10:5-11
Confession of FaithWeekly PulpitRomans 10:5-11
Confession of Faith the Glory of ChristiansRomans 10:5-11
Confession of Faith, PublicBiblical MuseumRomans 10:5-11
Faith and ConfessionW. Denton, M.A.Romans 10:5-11
Faith and ConfessionJ. Morison, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
Faith is DesireA. Maclaren, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
Important Questions AnsweredDean Alford.Romans 10:5-11
Mouth and HeartC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 10:5-11
Redemptive FaithW. C. St. FreareRomans 10:5-11
SalvationJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
SalvationJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
Salvation Assured to All Believers Whether Weak or StrongC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 10:5-11
Salvation NearC. H. Spurgeon., T. Robinson, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
The Apparatus of Salvation NighT. Chalmers, D.D., W. Arthur, M.A.Romans 10:5-11
The Cry of Humanity and the Response of the GospelHomilistRomans 10:5-11
The Cry of the Soul and the Answer of the GospelD. Thomas, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
The Faith that Makes Men RighteousRomans 10:5-11
The Four WitnessesC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 10:5-11
The Gospel of the ResurrectionJ. A. West.Romans 10:5-11
The Present BlessingW. L. Watkinson.Romans 10:5-11
The Righteousness of FaithJ. Morison, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
The Righteousness of Faith IsJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
The Righteousness of the LawJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
The Righteousness of the Law and of FaithJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
The Righteousness of the Law and of FaithJohn Wesley, M.A.Romans 10:5-11
The Two Ways of SalvationT. Chalmers, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
The Word of FaithJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
True PreachingAbp. Trench.Romans 10:5-11
Trusting ChristRomans 10:5-11
What Saith the Righteousness of FaithJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 10:5-11
The Simplicity of the GospelC.H. Irwin Romans 10:5-13

The apostle here contrasts the simplicity of God's plan of salvation with the efforts which men have made to work out a righteousness for themselves. Salvation is gained -

I. NOT BY OUR OWN GOOD WORKS. "Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the Law, That the man who doeth those things shall live by them" (ver. 5). If this were the condition of salvation, how hopeless would our condition be! None of us could say that we had made ourselves free from sin, or that our works were perfect and faultless, or that we had fully and faithfully kept all the commandments of God.

"Not what these hands have done
Could save this guilty soul;
Not what this toiling flesh hath borne
Could make my spirit whole."

II. NOR BY MIRACULOUS INTERVENTION. "Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep?" (vers. 6, 7). The desire which is here expressed still survives. Not content with the Word of God and the invisible, but real, spiritual presence of Jesus with his Church, and the power of the Holy Spirit, many zealous Christians think it is necessary to have a more visible manifestation of the supernatural. Hence we have the doctrine of the real presence; alleged appearances of the blessed Virgin at Lourdes and at Knock; and, on the other hand, an undue stress laid upon the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."


1. The Holy Scriptures are the means used to bring this salvation near to us. "The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach" (ver. 8). In contrast with ceremonial or legal observances, in contrast with all miraculous appearances, the apostle here magnifies the reading and preaching of the gospel as the Divine method for the salvation of souls. "The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith unto salvation."

2. Faith, which is the condition of salvation, is an act of the human mind. Not by bodily labours or sufferings, not by appearances to our bodily senses, but by the Spirit of God and the Word of God working upon our spirits, and producing faith in us, do we receive salvation. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness" (ver. 10). It is to the spiritual and not to the bodily nature that the appeal of religion is to be made. It is the spiritual and not the bodily nature that we must cultivate if we would see the kingdom of God.

3. Yet this faith will have an outward manifestation,. "With the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (ver. 10). If our faith in Christ is real, it will show itself. We shall not be ashamed to make public acknowledgment of him.

4. Thus salvation is brought within the reach of every one. "The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved" (vers. 12, 13). This plan of salvation brings the gospel to the Gentile as well as to the Jew. "For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek" (ver. 12). Wherever there is a heart seeking after God, that soul need not wait to work out a righteousness for itself. "Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved." What a contrast the simplicity of the gospel is to all human systems of religion and all man-made methods of salvation! The more we keep to the Word of God, and the less we mingle with it human tradition and ecclesiastical shibboleths, the more shall we be blessed in bringing souls to Christ. - C.H.I.

For Moses describeth the righteousness of the law.

1. In every point.

2. In the spirit as in the letter.

3. In the past as in the future.


1. He is sinful.

2. Has actually sinned.


1. Misery.

2. Helplessness.

3. Danger.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

I. The righteousness OF THE LAW requires —

1. A sinless nature.

2. A perfect obedience.

II. The righteousness OF FAITH requires —

1. No impossible achievements.

2. But a believing reception of the truth as it is in Jesus.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

The apostle does not here oppose the covenant given by Moses to that given by Christ, for the latter as well as the former words were spoken by Moses concerning the covenant that then was (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). But it is the covenant of grace, which God through Christ has established with men in all ages that is here opposed to the covenant of works made with Adam in Paradise.


1. That man should fulfil all righteousness inward and outward, negative and positive.

2. That this righteousness should be perfect in degree. No allowance could be made for falling short in any particular.

3. That it should be perfectly uninterrupted.


1. By this is meant that condition of justification which was given by God to fallen man through the mediation of Christ (Genesis 3:15). It was a little more clearly revealed to Abraham (Genesis 22:16, 18), and more fully made known to Moses and the prophets; but it, was not fully brought to light until Christ came.

2. This covenant saith not to, sinful man, "Perform unsinning obedience and live," or he would have no more benefit through Christ than if he were required to "ascend into heaven," etc. This were to mock human weakness. Strictly speaking, the covenant of grace doth not require us to do anything, but only to believe (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:11, 23-25).

3. What, then, saith this covenant of forgiveness? "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." In the day that thou believest thou shalt surely live.

4. Now "this word is nigh thee." The condition of life is plain, easy, always at hand. The moment that thou believest thou shalt be saved.


1. The one supposes him to whom it is given to be already happy and holy, and prescribes the condition wherein he may continue so; the other supposes him to be unholy and unhappy, and prescribes the condition wherein he may regain what he has lost.

2. The first in order to man's continuance in God's favour prescribed a perfect obedience; the second-in order to man's recovery of God's favour prescribes only faith.

3. The one required of Adam and his posterity to pay the price themselves, in consideration cf which they were to receive God's blessing; in the other, seeing that we have nothing to pay, God "frankly forgives us all," provided only we believe in Him who hath paid the price for us. The first required what is now afar off, the second what is nigh at hand.


1. Those who do this set out wrong; their first step is a fundamental mistake; for before they can claim any blessing on the terms of this covenant they must suppose themselves in his state with whom it was made. And how foolish to forget that it was not given to man when "dead in trespasses and sins," but when he was alive to God, and that it was never designed for the recovery of God's favour, but only for the continuance thereof.

2. They do not consider what manner of obedience the law requires, nor their inability to perform it. What folly to offer our poor doings, mixed as they are with many sins, to Him who is strict to mark what is done amiss, and in whose sight no flesh living is justified.


1. That it is acting according to truth and to the real nature of things. For what is it more than to acknowledge our sinfulness and helplessness.

2. That it is the righteousness of God — the method chosen by God Himself. Now as it is not meet for man to say unto God, "What doest Thou?" so it is true wisdom to acquiesce in whatever He has chosen.

3. That as it was of mere grace and undeserved mercy that God has vouchsafed to sinful man any way of reconciliation with Himself, whatever method He is pleased to appoint it is doubtless our wisdom to thankfully accept.

4. That it is wisdom to aim at the best end by the best means. Now the best end a fallen creature can pursue is happiness in God. But the best, nay the only, means of attaining this is submitting to the righteousness which is of God by faith.Conclusion: Then do not say in thy heart —

1. "I must first do this; conquer sin, go to church," etc., but first believe.

2. "I am not good enough." Thou never wilt be till thou believe.

3. "I am not sensible enough of my sins." It may be that God will make thee so by believing.

(John Wesley, M.A.)

Two ways to eternal life are here contrasted. The one is by doing; the other is by believing. The one by doing a full and finished righteousness for ourselves; the other by believing that Christ has done a full and sufficient righteousness for us. There are two places at which these respective ways may be compared with each other.

I. AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE TWO WAYS — when man, under the first effectual visitation of earnestness, resolves to go forth in busy search after the good of his eternity.

1. And here a consideration meets us at the very outset of the way of doing.(1) It is he who doeth all things that shall live. Have we hitherto done all things:? It is not enough that there be the purpose of obedience in all time coming. Can we appeal to every hour of our bygone history, and confidently speak of each, having, without one flaw, been pervaded by those duteous conformities of a heart ever glowing with affection, and a hand ever glowing with activity, which the creature owes to the Creator who gave him birth? Should there be one single deed either of sin or of deficiency to soil the retrospect, it nullifies the enterprise.(2) If the conscience be at all enlightened, this will be felt as a difficulty. The sense of a debt which no effort of ours can possibly lessen — of a guilt that by ourselves is wholly inexpiable — will paralyse the movements of a conscious sinner; and just because they paralyse his hopes. The likest thing to it in human experience is, when a decree of bankruptcy without a discharge has come forth on the man who has long struggled with his difficulties, and is now irrecoverably sunk under the weight of them. There is an effectual drag laid upon this man's activity. The spirit of industry dies within him when he finds that he can neither make aught for himself, nor, from the enormous mass of his obligations, make any sensible advances towards his liberation; and he either breaks forth into recklessness or is chilled into inactivity by despair.

2. From all this there is no release to the spiritual bankrupt, till the gospel puts its discharge into his hands. By this gospel there is a deed of amnesity made known, to which all are welcome. There is revealed to us a Surety who hath taken the whole of our debt upon Himself. And whereas in the way of doing, the very entrance was impracticably closed against us — this initial obstruction is entirely moved aside from the way of believing. Like the emancipated debtor to whom the fruits of all his future toil and diligence are now fully assured to him, a weight is taken off from the activities of nature. Our labour is no longer in vain — because now it is labour in the Lord; and every effort becomes a step in advance towards heaven.

II. AFTER A MAN HAS SET FORTH IN THE PURSUIT OF THIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and has made the weary struggle it may be of months or of years in order to attain it.

1. A thousand punctualities may be rendered, with the view to establish a merit in the eye of heaven's Lawgiver, which never can be effectually done without a full and faultless adherence to Heaven's law. Now, if conscience feel as it ought, there will throughout this whole process be an inappeasable disquietude — a self-dissatisfaction which no doings or deserts of our own can terminate. For, let it be observed, that, reach what elevation of virtue we may, the higher we proceed, we shall command a farther view of the spaces which still lie before us; or, in other words, we shall be more filled with a sense of the magnitude of our own shortcomings. The conscience, in fact, grows in sensibility, just as the conduct is more the object of our strict and scrupulous regulation. The presumptuous imagination of our sufficiency comes down when we thus bring it to the trial; and that impotency of which we were not aware at the outset, we are made to know and to feel experimentally. Meanwhile that is a sore drudgery in which we are implicated; and all the more fatiguing that it is so utterly fruitless. This is the grand failure. The hand can labour; but the heart cannot love. And after wasting and wearying ourselves with the operose drudgeries of a manifold observation, we still find that we are helpless defaulters from the first and the greatest commandment.

2. Now, it is when thus harassed, that the very outlet required is opened. The righteousness, which the sinner has so ineffectually tried to make out in his own person, has been already made out for him by another; and now lies for his acceptance. The sin, which hitherto has so hardened him with despondency and remorse, is now washed away by the blood of a satisfying expiation. What a mighty enlargement when the title-deed to heaven, for which he had been stretching forward with many long and laborious efforts, till he at last sunk down into exhaustion and despair, is put into his hand. He passes from death unto life. And when delivered from the burden of this felt impossibility, man breaks forth on a scene of enlargement; and with all the alacrity of an emancipated creature whose bonds have been loosed, he proceeds to offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and to call on the name of the Lord.

3. And let us not be afraid lest this judicial salvation should not bring a moral salvation in its train. The great author of that economy under which we live will sanctify as well as justify; and if we but trust in Christ, we shall be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who will superadd the personal to the judicial righteousness, and make us meet in character as well as meet in law for that heaven, the door whereof Christ hath opened to us.

(T. Chalmers, D.D.)

I. WHAT MOSES SAITH (ver. 5). If you wish to be saved by the law you must do its commands and you shall live. The law is written in the ten commandments; you know them; and if you desire to live by them you must keep them. "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." Moses does not tone down the law to suit our fallen state, or talk of our doing our best and God's being satisfied with our imperfect obedience. if the law is once broken it is all over with you as to salvation thereby. You that hope to be saved by your works are indulging in a forlorn hope; whatever you may do or be in the future, the past has already ruined you. If you were to be saved by the law you should have begun without sin, continued without sin, and then it would be needful to end without sin. This is what Moses saith; hear it and be humbled.


1. The gospel claims to be like the law in its clearness. Moses claimed for the law that it was within the range of their knowledge and understanding (Deuteronomy 30:11). The gospel says, "Believe and live," quite as distinctly as Moses said, "Do and live." No man doubts that if he had performed the law God would give him life; but it is equally certain that if we have believed in Christ we have eternal life.

2. It forbids the questions of despair. "Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend," etc. When a man is awakened to a sense of sin he cries, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Surely it would need that I mount to heaven to own my sin, or dive to hell to bear my punishment. How is it possible that I can be saved?" This wail of despair takes many forms: one man puts it thus, "What doings can I perform by which I can be saved?" Another, despairing of deliverance by his doings, runs upon his feelings. Now, the gospel forbids us to dream in this fashion. Say not even in thy heart that anything is wanted as to doings or feelings in order to complete the righteousness which is wrought out by Jesus. Ah, then the heart foolishly cries, "I must know a great deal; as much as if I had been to heaven, or as if I had dived into the depths." No, you must not: the gospel is simple; easy as the A B C of your childhood. Say not in thine heart that thou must be made into a scholar. No, trust in the sinner's Saviour, and you are saved. Another says, "I must undergo a singular experience of heavenly delight, or hellish despair." No, the righteousness of faith lies only in reliance upon the work of Jesus finished for you.

3. The gospel translates these questions, and then answers them. A voice cries, "Who shall ascend into heaven?" The gospel replies, if you did what would you do there, without the Saviour? You say, "Who shall descend into the deep?" Listen. If you were to descend there, what would you do without Him whom God has anointed to save? If you find Him it will not much matter where you find Him, in heaven or in the deep, for He must be almighty everywhere. Thou sayest, "Who shall ascend into heaven?" Why? "To bring Christ down?" Hear this! Jesus has come down — to the manger, the Cross, the grave. And our salvation lies not in our descending, but in Christ's descending. You need not "bring up Christ again from the dead," for the Lord has risen indeed. And your hope lies wholly in what this Son of God did in His descent and ascent. Now, soul, thou hast nothing to do with asking vain questions; thou hast to accept the result of the Saviour's actual performances.

4. The gospel declares this word of life by faith in the risen Christ to be near us. As your next door neighbour's house is not hard to get at, so neither is salvation by the gospel.


1. That "whosoever" in all the world, throughout all the ages, shall trust on Christ shall never be ashamed of having done so; he shall never turn round on his dying bed, and cry, "I made a mistake in trusting Christ." Cardinal Bellarmine thought that we might trust in our works; but admitted that inasmuch as no man could be sure that he had done enough, it was safest to trust altogether to the merits of Jesus. I have always felt obliged to the Cardinal for that admission; because the best is good enough for me.

2. That no man is forbidden to believe (ver. 12). There never was a sinner yet to whom God said, "You must not trust My Son"; on the contrary, it is written, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."

3. That though your faith should only be strong enough to lead you to pray, yet it shall save you (ver. 13).


1. That it is the grandest way of living in the world.

(1)In times of doubt, distress and sinfulness.

(2)In times of jubilation and success. When God gives you growth in grace and fruitfulness in good works it will be your safety to trust in nothing but the work of the Lord.

2. That it enables men to face death with courage.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise. —


1. The gift of God.

2. Through Christ.


1. You have no great thing to do.

2. But simply believe.

III. IS SURE. Thou shalt be saved.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

The apostle employs a strong personification, investing "the righteousness which is of faith" with powers of speech in general, and of discriminative and persuasive speech in particular. The personified object is represented as "of," i.e., "from," faith. Not that it originates "in" or is identical "with" faith. It is conveyed to the soul of the recipient "by" faith, and as elsewhere represented is from God to be enjoyed by man on the condition of faith. If it were gifted with speech it would say to each man, "Say not in thy heart," etc. No such effort is required. Men who have fallen into unrighteousness can be lifted up again. It is a great work. But it is not to be effected by some supernatural effort on the part of men themselves. They do not need, e.g., to soar aloft to find Christ and induce Him to come down to save. The indispensable supernatural forthputting of energy has already been put forth by one who is "mighty to save to the uttermost," The apostle weaves the woof of the utterances of his personified pleader into the warp of some grand oratorical pleading addressed by Moses to the Israelites on the eve of his disappearance within the veil (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). In ver. 7 an alternative is oratorically introduced, not identical with that laid down by Moses, but substantially parallel. Moses spoke of "going over the sea." But the apostle, for his peculiar purpose, modifies and intensifies the representation. He desired to make the way plain for introducing a reference to Christ's resurrection; and hence he speaks of the world of the deceased, representing it, in one of its awesome aspects, as an abyss. Will it be needful to go down into that dismal region, which, as "bottomless," has never been explored. "Say not Who shall make that terrible descent?" The personified righteousness continues to speak, and as it speaks it draws attention to "the word" in which it is conveyed to the soul. In Deuteronomy it is not righteousness that speaks, but Moses in God's name. Hence there is no rhetorical personification, but the living personality of the lawgiver. And it is with, his own living voice that he specifies "the commandment which God commanded, and says, "It is not hidden, nor afar off, but nigh... that thou mayest do it." "The word" referred to is the commandment exhibiting the duty devolving on the Israelites. The apostle's reference is different. The "word" with him is the gospel — "the word of faith," so called because it is the object towards which faith points and in which it terminates. The gospel is "a word," though not necessarily or generally a mere vocable. As there may be several vocables in a word of exhortation, so in the proclamation of the word of faith harmonious groups of vocables may be requisite. Sometimes, indeed, it may be condensed into a single one such as "Jesus," "Christ," "propitiation," etc. But more frequently it expands itself into some such worded utterance as "God so loved the world," etc. Let a man study till he understands this word; or let him master the vocables referred to, and a great light will dawn on his spirit. The personified pleader says of the word, "It is near thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart." It has been brought near by proclamation, or conversation, or by some kindred modification of instrumentality, or by some more subtle influence still. Men heedlessly utter gospel words with their mouths; and both before and after utterance, the words are in the heart or mind. Like other words, however, they have both a kernel and a husk; and too often is the attention occupied with the exterior to the neglect of the interior.

(J. Morison, D.D.)

Seek —

I.NOT IN HEAVEN. Christ is here,

II.NOT IN THE GRAVE. Christ is risen.

III.NOT AFAR OFF. Christ is nigh thee.

IV.IN THY MOUTH, IN THY HEART, if thou canst but believe.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

A man of poetic genius has ever a strong tendency to personifications. He gives life to dead things, thought and feeling to unconscious objects, and makes even dumb matter speak. Hence the apostle here personifies Christianity; he makes her speak to the men who are looking out in the distance for the good which stood in all its plenitude by their side. His description of Christianity here is simple, compendious, and expressive. He calls it the righteousness which is of faith, which means the system which is to make men right by believing in the heart. A heart-belief in the gospel makes men right — right in their spirit, motives, lives, relations. Note here —

I. THE CRY OF THE SOUL, "Say not in thine heart," etc.

1. The spirit of this cry is identical throughout the race. What is it? It is a heart craving for some good in the external, the distant, and the supernatural. This craving explains much of the history of the ages.

2. The objects of this cry are various throughout the race. Whilst all cry for good, all do not cry for the same kind of good. The summum bonum varies with different men. The text implies that the men addressed are seeking the Messianic good, and crying out for Christ. This was the grand wish of the Jewish world. Christ is the desire of nations. If we analyse the cry we shall-find that it includes —(1) A deep consciousness of want. Man is a needy creature, and the deepest need of man, as a sinner, is a "Christ," some Divinely anointed one who shall make right his soul.(2) Belief in the existence of a provision. Man's primitive notions of a God, and his experience of the fitness of the world to his physical needs, give him the conviction, that, wherever there is a deep want, there must be somewhere a Divine provision.(3) A felt necessity of some agency to bring the provision near. Who shall ascend? The good is somewhere, who shall bring it near? What priest? What sage? What measures? What men?


1. The answer discourages this tendency. "Say not in thine heart." Christianity discourages the tendency in man to look for good outside, far off, and in the miraculous; it bids him to look within, enjoy the near and the natural.

2. The answer reveals the provision. "The word is nigh thee," etc. The good, to satisfy the deepest cravings of the human soul, is to be found in that Word which was made flesh and dwelt among us. Christ meets all the exigencies and aspirations of the soul, and He is near to every one who has the revelation. Near —(1) In the Scriptures. The Scriptures are not far off from thee; not in distant lands, distant libraries, or churches, but in thy house, thy home, etc. They are they that testify of Him.(2) In thy memory. Thou hast been taught the biography of Christ, etc. Thoughts of Him are constantly coming up to thee, "Nay, it is even in thy heart." Much of thy speech is shaped by sentiments concerning Him. Even in thy "heart." He has often stirred thy emotions. The preaching of Him has often evoked the tenderest sympathies of thy nature.

(D. Thomas, D.D.)





The questions asked may be through unbelief, or embarrassment, or anxiety, or possibly through all three combined. The anxious follower after righteousness is not disappointed by an impracticable code, nor mocked by an unintelligible revelation: the word is near him, therefore accessible; plain and simple, and therefore apprehensible; and, we may fairly add deals with definite historical fact, and therefore certain; so that his salvation is nor, contingent on an amount of performance which is beyond him, and therefore inaccessible; irrational, and therefore inapprehensible; undefined, and therefore involved in uncertainty.

(Dean Alford.)

Your salvation is in Christ, and that salvation is marked —

I. BY CLEARNESS. "Who shall ascend into heaven?" etc., is the language of one bewildered. Salvation is felt as a difficult and perplexing problem. The apostle reminds us that it is plain and intelligible. In ver. 9 you have the Apostle's Creed.

1. It is a definite creed. A dying German metaphysician exclaimed, "Only one man in Germany understands my philosophy, and he doesn't understand it." But we are not called upon to struggle with incomprehensible speculations, but to receive simple, historical facts. To believe in the Christ: His incarnation, His atoning death, His resurrection, His reign at the right hand of God, dispensing grace and joy to all who trust in Him.

2. It is a simple creed. But you say, "It is full of mysteries." True, but you are called upon to rest in the facts, not to understand the mysteries. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness." Thousands of men enjoy the sunshine who know nothing of astronomy; admire the rainbow knowing nothing of optics. God will some day reveal more fully the philosophy of redemption, but to-day I am to take God at His word, and leave the mysteries. Believe that in your lost estate God loved you, that He worked out your salvation in Christ, that if you only rest in Christ God will not cast you out. "If thou shalt believe," etc.

3. It is a short creed. Dr. Porson declared he should require fifty years to satisfy himself on all points of divinity, but in five hours you may grasp the truth which saves the soul. There is no intellectual impossibility. It is not as difficult to become a saint as to become a Homer or Newton. We cannot write an "Iliad" or a "Principia," but we can believe that God loves us, and that He for Christ's sake blots out our sin.

II. BY NEARNESS. "The word is nigh thee," etc. It is not in the heights or depths. Our poet says, "A man's best things lie nearest him, lie close about his feet." It is so in daily life, and also in spiritual things.

1. All we need for the healing of our nature is here. Some maintain that we need never have recourse to foreign drugs, that God has planted in each locality the very plants which can cure the diseases of that locality. "God put such and such a plant that heals sore throats by the riverside," they tell us, "because where the bane is, the antidote is." However this may be, it is a grand thing to know that the Plant of Renown, the Tree of Life whose leaves are for the healing of the nations, is close to us.

2. All we need for the perfecting of our life is here. In the third verse we read of Israel "going about to establish their own righteousness." A plant has not to go about looking for the sunshine, the dew, the rain; all that it has to do is to bare its heart and take in the precious influences which wait upon it. So the truth which saves, the love which purifies, the faith which uplifts, the power which perfects, are all about us, waiting only the opening of our heart to take them in. By this time a great number of our rich countrymen have left us for milder climes; but the poor and busy amongst us cannot take our flight to find health and life beyond the sea — we must stay where we are, and die, it may be, under the rigours of an English winter. But, thank God, the poorest of us for our spiritual health and salvation need not to cross the sea. "Say not who shall ascend into heaven, or go beyond the sea." The world of health and blessing is about us already. Men are seeking for truth and power as if they were up in the sky, down in the depths; but the saving truth has been in our lips, the saving grace in our heart from childhood, and all we have to do is to realise that language, to exercise that grace. The Redeemer is not distant geographically, nor historically. The difficulty is not to find Christ, but to avoid Him. The word of salvation is in thy mouth, the power in thine heart — believe it, use it, and you shall know your Saviour nigh at hand and not afar off.

III. BY FREENESS. "Who shall ascend," etc. Some impossible task is contemplated. But the argument is, all has been done already; all we have to do is gratefully to accept what is pressed upon us. Justification and eternal life are free gifts. I know that men do not like to think so; they fancy they can work up to them, but this is in strict consistency with God's method of action in the intellectual world. Men may work day and night, know well the theory of their art, strictly observe rule and order, but it is all to little purpose if they are not originally gifted men. Did the poor ploughman Robert Burns "learn" to make poetry? Did that tinker of Bedford "learn" to dream? No; they were gifted, and it was easy to them to sing, to write, to paint the very grandest things the world has ever seen. So it is with true righteousness. Genius, however, is to the few, but the same Lord over all is rich in grace to all who call upon Him. Some of you have long sought to fulfil the law, and you have miserably failed. You could not climb the sky of moral perfection, you could not penetrate its depths; but find in Christ abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, and you shall delightfully fulfil the commandment in all its heights and depths.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

But what saith it?

The word is nigh thee. — THE IMPORTANCE OF SIMPLE FAITH IN THE WORD: — To bring Christ down from above, or to bring Him up from the dead, would be to make Him an object of sight. A current aphorism is, that seeing is believing; yet Scripture distinguishes between the two. "Faith is the assurance of things not seen," and belief through the medium of the senses is far less valued than a belief in a testimony (Luke 24:25; Mark 16:14; 1 Peter 1:7, 8; Romans 4:21). But there is a third way in which an absent thing might be viewed by us — viz., as an object of conception, an act often conjoined with faith, yet perfectly distinct from it. One might conceive a thing without any belief in its reality; and, on the other hand, though one can scarcely believe without some conception of the object of faith — yet may that conception be so dull as almost to justify the expression of our believing in the dark. You might believe in the existence of an absent friend, and in his affection for yourself; and this belief might or might not be as strong to-morrow as it is to-day. His whole countenance, manner, and voice, bespeaking the utmost cordiality — these may all tell more vividly on the imagination at one time than another. This conception flits and fluctuates, as if dependent on the ever varying mood of the spirit — at one time gleaming forth towards the vivacity of sense, and at another fading almost to extinction. But the remarkable thing is that, under all these varieties of conception, the faith might remain invariable. There may be a dimness in the contemplation, without the slightest mixture of a doubt in the object contemplated. What is true of an earthly friend is true of our Friend in heaven. He is far removed out of sight, but may become the object of faith through the word that is nigh unto us. And He may also become the object of conception, which is a sort of substitute for sight. But let us never forget that as faith without sight is all the more pleasing to God in that it subsists on its own unborrowed strength without the aid of the senses — so might faith be in the absence of any lucid or enlivening conception, having nothing to sustain it but the simple credit which it gives to the word of the testimony. Yet while we hold these bright and exhilarating views of the Saviour to be unspeakably precious (John 14:21), we should distinguish between the conception and the faith — because while the one may be a minister of sensible comfort, it is the other which is the guarantee of our salvation. The man who, to repair the insufficiency of the word, would bring down Christ from heaven, but exemplifies the man who, as if to make up for the same insufficiency, strains but ineffectually to frame some picturesque idea of Him there. The danger is that he may compass himself about with sparks of his own kindling, or walk in the light of his own fancy or his own fire. Let him keep, then, determinedly by the word which is nigh, rather than by the imagery wherewith he peoples the distinct and lofty places which are away from him. He who has conception but not faith, will at length lie down in sorrow. He who has faith, but from the want of conception walketh in darkness, and has no light, is still bidden trust in the name of God and stay upon His word. He who conceiveth may have sensible comfort; but, with or without this, he who believeth is safe (Isaiah 50:10, 11).

(T. Chalmers, D.D.)

The apparatus of salvation nigh: — Once in the city of Rome, giving a gentleman of the place an account of a sermon I had heard a friar preach in the Coloseum, I said that though many things in it pleased me, one did not: he never gave the people to understand that they might go for absolution direct to God without the offices of a priest. That intelligent and noble man leaned across the table, and, with an eager look, said, "Do you believe that a man can obtain absolution without the intermediation of a priest?" Of course, I replied that our view of the place and work of the minister of the gospel was directly the opposite of that. Instead of his being a power between God and the sinner, we hold that his happiest work is to make the sinner feel that there is no power, visible or invisible, between him and the Saviour, and so to encourage him and lead him direct to the one Mediator. He then put some question which seemed to say, "What, then, is the apparatus of absolution?" This, he was told, was settled by a few words of St. Paul. "The word is nigh you" (Romans 10:6-10). Here the whole apparatus is "nigh" the man, in his own person — his heart to trust in the Saviour, his mouth to call upon Him; that is all the apparatus. Wherever a man stands feeling his need of salvation, there are all things now ready — the loving Saviour, the free pardon, the blood that speaketh peace, the heart to believe, the mouth to call upon the Lord. When the Roman heard this he looked up and said, "How grand that is! why, that could be done in a quarter of an hour." Yes, it may be done in a quarter of an hour; for this salvation is a free gift (Matthew 7:7, 8).

(W. Arthur, M.A.)

It is said that some years ago a vessel sailing on the northern coast of the South American continent was observed to make signals of distress. When hailed by another vessel, they reported themselves as "dying for water!" "Dip it up, then," was the response, "you are in the mouth of the Amazon river." There was fresh water all around them, they had nothing to do but to dip it up, and yet they were dying of thirst, because they thought themselves to be surrounded by the salt sea. How often are men ignorant of their mercies! How sad that they should perish for lack of knowledge! Jesus is near the seeker even when he is tossed upon oceans of doubt. The sinner has but to stoop down and drink and live; and yet he is ready to perish, as if salvation were hard to find.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Even In thy mouth and in thy heart. — In the heart for our personal salvation; in the mouth for God's glory and the salvation of ethers. In the heart and not in the mouth is cowardice; in the mouth and not in the heart is hypocrisy. The gospel believed is a fountain in the heart; the gospel possessed is the streams through the mouth.

(T. Robinson, D.D.)

That is, the word of faith which we preach. —


1. It teaches faith.

2. Is offered to faith.

3. Inspires faith.


1. We are but dispensers.

2. Divinely commissioned.

3. To all who will receive it.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

Faith is desire. Never in the history of the world has it been, or can it be, that a longing towards Christ shall be a longing thrown back unsatisfied upon itself. You have but to trust, and you possess. We open the door for the entrance of Christ by the simple act of faith; and, blessed be His name, He can squeeze Himself through a little chink, and He does not require the gates should be flung wide open in order that, with some of His blessings, He may come in.

(A. Maclaren, D.D.)

Preaching is not the communication of information, the transfer of a dead sum or capital of facts or theories from one mind to another, but the opening of living fountains within the heart, the scattering of sparks which shall kindle where they fall; the planting of seeds of truth which shall take root in the new soil where they are cast, and striking their roots downward and sending their branches upward shall grow into goodly trees.

(Abp. Trench.)

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved
Paul's great work was saving souls. This is one of the reasons why he so often gives us weighty condensations of the gospel. He prepared them for his brethren, as one provides for travellers portable meats. A compact sentence of this sort is a little Bible, a miniature Body of Divinity', and he who composes such may be working as effectively for the salvation of men as another who preaches. Notice —


1. The law continues life to those who have already life enough to do good work (ver. 5); but the gospel saith not only that we shall live by it, but that we shall be saved by it, which implies that we are lost and ruined.

2. Jesus comes to bring salvation.

(1)From the punishment of sin.

(2)From sin itself.

(3)From the power of sin.


1. Unbelief saith, "Who shall ascend into heaven? Who shall descend into the abyss?" Unbelief is always starting questions. Faith is of another kind: she takes her stand where Christ is, and she says, "If salvation is anywhere it is in Him."

2. Unbelief dreams of skies and seas, and all immeasurable things. "Who shall ascend into heaven?" Imagination beholds her mighty merits scaling the everlasting ramparts. At another time, when she is heavy, her dream is of a wretched diver into the deep seas of anguish, plunging down into the abyss to find the pearl of peace. Faith has done with dreams, for she has done with Sinai. With open eye faith reads facts. She reflects that Christ died, rose again, and is gone into glory.

3. Unbelief puts a sad slur upon Christ. She talks about going up to heaven: but that would imply that Jesus had never come down. She talks of descending into the abyss, as if Christ had never come up from the dead. The fact is, all that can be done has been done. Why do you want to do what is already done?


1. This confession is put first.(1) Because Paul was quoting from Deuteronomy, and had, of course, to place the words as there arranged. Yet there must be other reasons.(2) Because it is most likely to be forgotten. We have plenty of preaching of "Believe and live." Christ said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Now, baptism is the confession of our faith. The faith to which salvation is promised is never a dumb faith; it is a faith which owns the Lord even in the teeth of adversaries.(3) Because it is first as far as our fellow-creatures are concerned. How can I know what yon believe in your heart? I must first hear what you confess with your mouth. "Speak, that I may see you."(4) Because in a certain sense it is actually first. Many persons never receive comfort because they have never confessed. The Lord will not give to you the warmth of faith unless you are willing to yield the obedience of faith by taking up your cross and confessing Him.

2. What it is that is to be confessed: "The Lord Jesus."(1) The Deity of Christ. He who denies this puts himself out of court, for he rejects that part of the Redeemer's character which is essential to His being a Saviour.(2) That Jesus is Lord; i.e., Ruler and Master. You must cheerfully become His disciple, follower, and servant.(3) Jesus, i.e., Saviour.

3. This confession is very definite. It is not to be an inference drawn in silence from your life, but a declared statement of the mouth. If the apostle meant that we were merely to obey Christ, he would have said so. Why is this? Because confession with the mouth is —(1) A sort of breaking away from the world. When a man says, "I believe in Christ," it is as good as saying to the world, "I have done with you."(2) A way of forming a visible union with Jesus. When a man confesses Christ he takes sides with Him and His cause.(3) Useful to the outside world as a witness reproving their ungodliness, and inviting them to a better mind. The confessions of the saved are often the means of saving others. This is a hard saying to some of you. You have good points about you, but you do not let your light shine before men. Your candle is under a bushel: it cannot burn well in so confined a space. If it is God's own fire, and you put it under a bed to hide it, it will soon set the bed on a blaze. Mischief comes of suppressed truth.


1. She has truth of which she must speak with her mouth; but she has also facts which she ponders in her heart. "With thy heart believe that God hath raised Him from the dead" — does not only mean that you believe the fact, but so believe it that it warms and comforts our heart.

2. Why is salvation promised especially to this? Because —(1) All the rest of Christ's history is implied and included in it. If He was raised from the dead, then He must have died. If He died, then He must have been a man, and have been born.(2) It is confirmatory of the whole. By raising Him the Father set His seal upon His person as Divine, upon His office as commissioned of God, upon His life as well-pleasing, and upon His death as being accepted of God for full atonement.(3) It is the source of the heart's best comfort. We shall rise to glory because He rose to glory. How this ought to cheer those who are near despair! How it should encourage those who lie at death's door!

V. THAT FAITH HAS A SURE PROMISE TO REST UPON. "If thou believest . . thou shalt be saved."

1. The singular pronoun, "thou," sets its mark upon you. Put thine ear to this telephone; a voice speaks to thee.

2. Observe the absence of "ifs" and "buts." It is not "thou mayest be saved," but "thou shalt be saved."

3. There is a sort of passiveness about the expression "be saved." The text does not speak about what you are going to do, but about something that is to be done for and in you.

4. There never was, and there never will be, a man that with his mouth confessed the Lord Jesus, and with his heart believed that God raised Him from the dead, that was not saved.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Distinguished by this text of belief, and confession of that belief, men are divided into four classes. There are those(1) who neither make confession of any such belief with the mouth, nor believe these truths in their hearts.(2) Those who believe indeed in the heart, but who fear to confess their belief in Christ before men, or who even do as Peter did, when in the time of trial he denied that he knew the Lord (Matthew 26:72; cf. Mark 8:38).(3) Those who confess with their lips the truths revealed by God, but who do not believe in Him with their hearts; who profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Titus 1:16; cf. Matthew 15:7, 8).(4) Those who confess Him with their mouth before men, and who believe in Him with their hearts. To these is the promise made that they shall be saved.

(W. Denton, M.A.)

There is no Christian faith without Christian confession, and vice versa. Confession is just faith turned from its obverse side to its reverse. The two sides of the precious unity are inseparable and mutually indispensable. When faith comes forth in silence to announce itself, and to proclaim the glory and grace of the Lord, its voice is confession.

(J. Morison, D.D.)

Weekly Pulpit.
Paul is making an earnest effort to show how simple for both Jew and Gentile the way of salvation is. It is heart-faith in Jesus. It is life-devotion to His honour. Three principles are laid down with the utmost assurance.

I. A MAN SHOULD HAVE A HEART-FAITH IN CHRIST TO CONFESS. Profession without such heart-life is self-delusion or hypocrisy, and has most pernicious influence on the man. The heart-life is something between Christ and the soul. None may intermeddle with it. But it has its tests, which discover it to others. Heart-faith is —

1. Sincere and loving.

2. In Christ: Christ risen: Christ raised by God.

3. Tones the life with righteousness.Can these tests be applied now by men to themselves? Can these tests be applied now by men to their fellow men? Show they can. The sincere response to these is the abiding confidence of godly men.

II. A MAN SHOULD FIND OUT THE BEST WAY IS WHICH TO CONFESS SUCH HEART-LIFE. It is due to Christ that he should. It is needful for himself that he should. Life repressed is imperilled. Illustration. Archimedes running into the street, saying, "Eureka. I have found it," when his problem was solved. And what is the best way in which to confess?

1. A life on all of which lies the Christly stamp.

2. Association with those who stand out as manifestly Christ's.

3. Obedience to Christ in any public symbolic act — as Lord's Supper.Illustration. How these would come home to timid secret disciples among Romans. In these Christian times such confession is still demanded.

III. A MAN WILL SURELY FIND THAT GOD'S BLESSING RESTS ON FULL OBEDIENCE: in heart-belief, and lip, and life confession. Remember Christ's words — "Ashamed of Me before men." Blessing comes —

1. To the man himself — in fixity of mind and of life.

2. To others — in the example of His firmness, and in the work which confessed disciples undertake. Conclusion: Public confession of Christ must not be delayed until either —(1) An adequate knowledge is gained;(2) or model experience reached. When may the Eunuch confess Christ? When may Lydia — or the jailer? When may we? When with the heart we receive the risen Saviour as our Saviour, and begin to live in the rule of Christ, our saving Lord.

(Weekly Pulpit.)

Biblical Museum.
There was one Victorinus, famous in Rome as a teacher of rhetoric, who in his old age was converted to Christianity, and came to Simplicianus, who was an eminent man, whispering softly in his ears, "I am a Christian." But the holy man answered, "I will not believe it, nor count thee so, till I see thee among the Christians in the church." At which he laughed, saying, "Do these walls make a Christian? Cannot I be such unless I openly profess it, and let the world know the same? " A while after being more confirmed in the faith, and considering that, if he should thus continue ashamed of Christ, Christ would be ashamed of him in the last day, he changed his language, and came to Simplicianus, saying, "Let us go to the church: I will now in earnest be a Christian." And there, though a private confession of his faith might have been sufficient, yet he chose to make it open, saying, "That he had openly professed rhetoric, which was not a matter of salvation, and should he be afraid to own the Word of God in the congregation of the faithful?

(Biblical Museum.)

As the emperor always wears the diadem upon his head, so let us everywhere carry about the confession of our heart. The crown cannot so adorn the emperor as confession and faith the Christian.

( Chrysostom.)

This is a short chain to reach from earth to heaven. And God meant it to be easy. But its ease is its difficulty. Can this be really all?

I. AS TO FAITH — "If thou shalt believe," etc.

1. All real faith lies in the heart, not in the understanding; it is not the result of reasoning; no education will give it. I have to feel — in the closest personality — that Jesus died for me. If your faith has been inoperative, may not the reason be that it has not yet been heart work?

2. But why does God say, "Believe that God raised Him from the dead" instead of "that He died for you"?(1) The resurrection is the seal of all. By "raising Him from the dead" the Father showed that He accepted the ransom Christ had paid.(2) That resurrection is our resurrection. We rise in Him; now, to a newness of life; presently, to a life in glory.

II. AS TO CONFESSION. What is "the confession of the mouth"?

1. It may be that general acknowledgment of Christ, and the great doctrines of His religion, which ought to characterise our daily conversation. And here most of us must plead guilty to the charge that we do not show "whose we are, and whom we serve," by speaking of Christ and the great truths of the Christian religion. And yet if all we profess to believe of Christ be really true — if we owe to Him every comfort and every hope — if He is really my Brother, my Friend, my Saviour, my King, "out of the abundance of the heart" would not "the month speak"? We read, "They that feared the Lord spake often one to another." To talk in generalities about religion requires no effort, and brings no shame. The world likes it. But to talk of Christ requires an effort, and offends people. And yet it is a very solemn thought that Christ has said, "Whosoever shall confess Me," etc. Therefore it is no mean test of a believer, and we cannot wonder that it is made one of the conditions of salvation.

2. There can be no doubt that, from the first, all Christians were required to make, at some time, a public declaration of their faith. It is of this that St. Paul says to Timothy — "Thou hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."(1) This was evidently a part of adult baptism, which would, of course, be the most frequent in the early church.(2) Now that infant baptism has become, and rightly, the almost universal custom of the Church, the public confession has been transferred to Confirmation, which is an act by which a person who has come to years of discretion accepts and ratifies the covenant of his baptism renews the dedication of himself to God, and declares his faith in the promises and privileges into which his baptism has admitted him.

(J. Vaughan, M.A.)


1. That Christ is risen. The resurrection of Jesus was the decision of all controversies between Him and His enemies. They had invented stories to discredit it. To confess Christ, therefore, was to declare for Christ against the Jewish rulers. And as the Gentile philosophers scorned the resurrection, to confess Christ was to brave this scorn.

2. Christ's official character as the Messiah, which He suspended on His resurrection.

3. His personal dignity, as proved by the fact (Romans 1:3, 4).

4. The sufficiency and the exclusive efficacy of his righteousness and atonement. To confess His resurrection is to glory in His cross and passion.

5. His sole and supreme authority. We must acknowledge Him as the only Lord of the conscience, and if we do this we shall follow His will, let the world say what they may. This practical confession is indispensable. In the confession of the lips without it there is no sincerity. The apostle speaks cf some who professed that they knew God, while in works they denied Him. The practical denial was the true testimony.

6. His title to Divine worship and adoration. This is suggested by vers.11-13. In all this the avowal must be sincere and open, no silent reserve, no ashamed concealment, no disguising and palliating of the truth, no trimming and artful evasion.


1. Jesus is well entitled to it, both for what He is and what He bath done (John 1:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:9). Away with ingratitude so base that would disown or shrink from acknowledging such a friend!

2. It is one of the required and reasonable evidences of faith. There is no faith where there is no confession. And this evidence is of the utmost importance and value. Evidence of personal interest in Christ must be added to the evidence of the truth itself to give stability to personal hope and confidence (1 John 3:19; 2 Corinthians 13:5).

3. It is intimately connected with salvation. The terms expressing this connection are equally explicit with those which express the connection of faith with justification. If you do not make confession you do not believe, you are not justified, and cannot be saved.

4. It distinguishes the believer from the world, and is opposed to everything like neutrality. A man must be on one side or on the other. There must be no "halting between two opinions," and compromising with the so-called Christian world, any more than with the world of the avowedly unbelieving and ungodly.

(R. Wardlaw, D.D.)


1. A hearty reception of Christ (Luke 8:40; John 20:28; 1 Peter 1:8, 9).

(1)Of Himself (John 14:6; John 10:9; Ephesians 2:18).

(2)Of His work (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:24, 25).

2. An acknowledgment of the power of the Holy Spirit.

(1)To renew (Titus 3:5-7; John 3:7).

(2)To sustain (Ephesians 1:19; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Jude 1:24). Giving all glory and praise for our salvation unto God, through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30, 31; 2 Corinthians 3:5; Galatians i, 4, 5).

3. A public acknowledgment.

(1)By union with His visible Church (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 1:22, 23; Romans 10:9, 10).

(2)By everywhere acknowledging Christ's claim upon you and yours (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; Matthew 16:24).


1. Personal unworthiness.

2. Moral weakness; fear of inconsistency; will not hold out; bondage to sin.

3. Have not sufficient knowledge —

(1)Of the Word.

(2)Of the doctrines of the Church.

4. Will defer it for the present.


1. Unbelief (John 5:38, 40; John 8:24; 1 John 5:10, 11; 1 Corinthians 2:14).

2. Insincerity (Jeremiah 17:9; Jeremiah 29:13).

3. Fear of man; sensitiveness to ridicule; ashamed of Christ (John 7:13; John 12:42; Mark 8:38).

4. Love of the world (James 4:4; 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4; 1 John 2:15, 16; Proverbs 1:24-32).

IV. REASONS WHY ALL SHOULD CONFESS CHRIST (Hebrews 3:12, 13; 1 John 4:15; Romans 2:4, 5; Proverbs 27:1; John 3:36). "What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (1 Peter 4:17; Isaiah 55:7).

(W. H. Van Doren.)


1. To say the same thing with others; to agree with.

2. To promise.

3. To acknowledge, to declare a person or thing to be what he or it really is.


1. The Son of God.

2. God manifest in the flesh.

3. The Saviour of the world.

4. The Lord.


1. It is not enough that we cherish the conviction in our hearts, or confess it to ourselves, to friends who agree with us, or to God.

2. It must be done publicly, or before men — foes as well as friends, amid good and evil report, when it brings reproach and danger as well as when it incurs no risk.

3. It must be with the mouth. It is not enough that men may infer from our conduct that we are Christians, we must audibly declare it.

4. This must be done —

(1)In our ordinary intercourse.

(2)In the way of God's appointment, i.e., by baptism and the Lord's Supper.

5. It must be sincere. "Not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven." It is only when the outward act is a revelation of the heart that it has any value.


1. It strengthens faith.

2. It is a proof of regeneration, because it supposes the apprehension of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

3. It is an indispensable condition of salvation because —

(1)God requires it.

(2)Not to confess is to deny.

(3)Denial implies want of faith or devotion.


1. It is not merely a commandment.

2. It is the highest moral duty to acknowledge the truth, and especially to acknowledge God to be God.

3. It is the most direct means we can take to honour Christ, and to bring others to acknowledge Him. Conclusion. Read Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:8; Mark 8:38; 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 John 4:2, 15.

(C. Hodge, D.D.)

A minister in Brooklyn was recently called upon by a business man, who said, "I come, sir, to inquire if Jesus Christ will take me into the concern as a silent partner." "Why do you ask?" said the minister. "Because I wish to be a member of the firm, and do not wish anybody to know it," said the man. The reply was, "Christ takes no silent partners. The firm must be, 'Jesus Christ & Co.,' and the names of the 'Co.,' though they may occupy a subordinate place, must all be written out on the signboard."

Clerical Library.
A young seaman, who had only a few nights before been converted, laying a blank card before a friend, requested him to write a few words upon it, because, as he said, "You will do it more plainly than I can." "What must I write?" said my friend. "Write these words, sir, 'I love Jesus — do you?'" After he had written them my friend said, "Now you must tell me what you are going to do with the card." He replied, "I am going to sea to-morrow, and I am afraid if I do not take a stand at once I may begin to be ashamed of my religion, and let myself be laughed out of it altogether. Now as soon as I go on board I shall walk straight to my bunk and nail up this card upon it, that every one may know that I am a Christian, and may give up all hope of making me either ashamed or afraid of adhering to the Lord."

(Clerical Library.)

At the battle of Williamsburg a soldier, who had the artery of his arm severed by a fragment of a shell, and was fast bleeding to death, saw a surgeon going to the front for orders, and, lifting his bleeding member, cried, "Doctor, please!" The surgeon dismounted, bound up the vessel, and gave all possible relief. As he started on, the man said, "Doctor, what is your name?" The reply was, "No matter." "But, doctor," said the wounded man, "I want to tell my wife and children who saved me."

It is impossible to believe with the heart and not confess with the mouth — this were to have a fire which did not burn, a light which did not illuminate, a principle which did not actuate, a hope which did not stimulate. Genuine Christians are temples of the living God; but think ye to be temples, and yet that no voice shall go forth from the secret shrine? Not so. There must issue a sound from the recesses of the sanctuary, the sound as of a presiding deity, eloquent to all around of the power and authority of the Being that dwelleth within. Therefore, whilst we admit that it is faith which is the instrument of justification, we can understand why confession should also be given as that which issues in salvation; even as we can understand why works should be spoken of as procuring us immortality. Confession is but the necessary result of belief — the demonstration and exhibition. It is but faith showing itself in speech, even as works are but belief showing itself in action. Speech is one of the most distinguishing properties of man. Ought, then, the hand, the ear, the eye, to be pressed into the service of religion, and is the tongue to be exempt? Nay, this best member must do its part, otherwise is the whole man in rebellion against his Maker.

(H. Melvill, B.D.)

its necessity: —


1. Lively emotions usually find expression.

2. Especially those which deeply affect the whole life.

3. If, then, faith really saves, confession cannot be found wanting.


1. While faith is hidden its operation is hidden.

2. Weak faith, by its want of confession, shows its defectiveness. It has not yet attained to the assurance of salvation.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

The late Professor C. S. Harrington, held in such high esteem for his deep spiritual attainments, as well as for his thorough scholarship, wrote near the close of life: — "The faith that makes men righteous is the faith that fastens simply and trustingly on the Lord Jesus Christ as the only, all-sufficient, atoning Saviour. It is that faith in Jesus that blots our transgressions, makes our record clear. It is Jesus that gives spiritual life. It is He that continues it. This faith merges the believer's life into the life of Christ. It dares not, it wishes not, a moment's separation. It knows no historic past; it deals only in present tenses. It echoes Paul's prayer, 'Let me be found in Him.' I cannot tell the process; I cannot explain the power by which the black coal is transformed into the gleaming diamond; how much less can I tell how, by the mystery of the new birth, the lost, dead soul lives by the merit of Jesus! I cannot tell how the living tree gets its flower and fruit from the dead substance in which it is rooted, and on which it feeds; how much less can I tell how the wounds, the blood, the death of Christ gives life to the soul dead in trespasses and sins, and clothes it with the fruitage of holiness! Or how can I tell the end of this Divine work, when the Giver of spiritual life shall crown it with life eternal? when dust and ashes, this body, shall spring from its sepulchre and appear in the glorified body of the resurrection? But it shall be done 'according to the working of the power whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.' Enough for me that this is God's way, and the work is worthy of God."

If a king should give to one of his subjects a ring, and say to him, "When you are in distress or disgrace, simply send me that ring, and I will do all for you that is needful," if that man should wilfully refuse to send it, but purchase presents, or go about to do some singular feats of valour in order to win his monarch's favour, you would say, "What a fool he is! Here is a simple way, but he will not avail himself of it, he wastes his wits in inventing new devices, and toils away his life in following out plans that must end in disappointment." Is not this the case with all those who refuse to trust Christ? The Lord has assured them that if they trust Jesus they shall be saved; but they go about after ten thousand imaginings, and let their God, their Saviour, go.

You have only to observe the character of the truths which revelation unfolds, and you may see clearly that belief presupposes the possession, or requires the exercise of those virtues whose seat must be the heart. There must be humility in him who believes, for he must cordially confess himself unclean and undone. There must be submission of the understanding to God, for much which has to be received is not explained. There must be willingness to suffer, for Christianity summons to tribulation. There must be willingness to labour, for Christianity sets man about the most arduous of duties. What then? Is faith nothing more than an involuntary act, depending simply on the quantity of evidence, and therefore wholly unworthy of being exalted into a condition for the bestowment of blessings? Is it nothing that in him who believes there must be candour and freedom from prejudice, sincerity of purpose, an abandonment of all good opinion of himself, an entire resignation of his judgment to God, a willingness to submit to insult, a determination to enter into combat with the world, the flesh, and the devil? Are we to be told that though there must indeed be this great combination in every man who cordially believes in revelation, it is, nevertheless, a surprising thing that faith should be so dignified in the Bible, that it should be used as the test of admission into the privileges of the gospel? For our own part, when we consider what faith presupposes, what obstacles there are in the constitution of man to the belief of Christian truths, we can only feel that if God did not work on the human heart the whole world would be infidel. We do not know any achievement so remarkable, so little to have been expected, from a proud, prejudiced, and depraved creature such as man naturally is, as the believing in a record so humiliating, so condemnatory of lust, so rigid in enjoining difficult duties as the gospel of Jesus Christ.

(H. Melvill, B.D.)

, W. C. St. Freare.
I. THE FAITH BY WHICH MAN IS MADE RIGHTEOUS AND SAVED IS THE FAITH OF THE HEART. Faith in general is conviction arising from evidence.

1. The faith of the intellect is based on the evidence of the senses, or on the results of reasoning. Mathematical reasoning, with its definitions, postulates, axioms, etc., metaphysical proofs of the existence of God, the external evidences of Divine revelation, appeal to the mind as distinguished from the heart. Education, prejudice, circumstances, and associations frequently determine the mind to a languid acquiescence in various doctrines.

2. The faith of the heart supposes the assent of the understanding, the approval of the judgment, the submission and choice of the will.(1) It springs from the heart. It is the confidence of love. The heart trusts when the mind cannot explain. It is the heart that trusts in character. Feeling quickens and strengthens the faith of the mind. The emotions of penitence prepare the heart of man to trust in the heart of the Saviour. "Our eyes were made to weep, but also made to see. Our hearts were made to suffer, but also to believe."


V. Hugo).(2) It carries the heart with it. Many of our intellectual beliefs are inoperative. Many men are firmly convinced of the duty and advantages of early rising, but still caress the sluggard's pillow. What the heart believes, puts the whole man in movement.(3) It reacts upon the heart. Sufficient evidence enables the mind to dispel doubt. The faculties are at rest. So when the heart trusts in God, the affections are at peace. The disquietudes of spiritual anxiety are allayed, and the agitation of fear subsides. "I know whom I have believed," etc. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace," etc.


1. As the object of our faith, rather than His death.(1) Because this belief is distinctive of a Christian. Pagans and infidels will easily admit that Christ was born, lived, and died, but they deny His resurrection. Pharisees and philosophers deny the fact (Acts 17:32); Sadducees denied its possibility. Hence, belief in it was a capital article of faith in those days.(2) All that Christ did and suffered would have profited us little, unless He had risen again. By His resurrection He triumphed over death and hell, and was enabled to ascend to His throne.(3) The Resurrection pre-supposes all the other facts of Christ's life, such as His incarnation, sacrifice and exaltation.

2. In a special point of view, viz., as having been accomplished by the power of God. In other passages Christ's resurrection is ascribed to His own power, or to the energy of the Holy Spirit. As an act of the Father, it is designed —

(1)To recognise and vindicate the claims of Christ to be the Son and the sent of God.

(2)To confirm His teachings.

(3)To declare His acceptance of His atonement.

(4)To fulfil His promise to Christ. "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell," etc.


1. What is to be confessed? Jesus, as —


(2)The Lord.

(3)Our Lord.

2. Why is this confession enjoined? It is required —

(1)By Christ. "Whosoever shall confess Me," etc.

(2)By the interests of Christ's cause. "Ye are My witnesses."

(3)By gratitude.The instructor to whom you owe your career, the lawyer who has saved your property, the physician who has saved your life, will you not thankfully speak of them? How much more should you speak of the great Physician, Teacher, Advocate. How is it to be made? Avow your principles. Join His Church. Confess Him boldly, sincerely, wisely, meekly, reverentially.Conclusion:

1. The way of salvation is —(1) Not so easy as often represented. The exercise of faith is often found difficult; to confess Christ before men requires moral courage.(2) Nor so difficult; the gospel is easy to be understood; the terms of salvation are simple, etc.

2. A profession of religion is necessary. Christ demands it, and we are not His disciples, and compromise our salvation if we disobey. "With the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

3. Faith must be attended by confession, and confession by faith.

(W. C. St. Freare.)

In crossing the sea I will suppose that there shall be a good stiff wind, and that the vessel may be driven out of her course, and be in danger. As I walk the deck, I see a poor girl on board; she is very weak and ill, quite a contrast to that fine, strong, burly passenger who is standing beside her, apparently enjoying the salt spray and the rough wind. Now suppose a storm should come on, which of these two is the more safe? Well, I cannot see any difference, because if the ship goes to the bottom, they will both go, and if the ship gets to the other side of the channel they will both land in security. The safety is equal when the thing upon which it depends is the same. So, if the weakest Christian is in the boat of salvation — that is, if he trusts Christ — he is as safe as the strongest Christian; because if Christ failed the weak one, He would fail the strong one too. If the least Christian who believes in Jesus does not get to heaven, then Peter himself will not get to heaven. If the smallest star which Christ ever kindled does not blaze in eternity, neither will the brightest star.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. ITS IMPORT. Deliverance —

1. From sin.

2. From its consequences.


1. Confession of Christ as our only Saviour and Lord.

2. Faith in His resurrection.


1. Faith brings righteousness.

2. Righteousness prompts confession.

3. Faithful confession ensures salvation.


1. The word and promise of God.

2. Which may be trusted.

3. Without fear of disappointment.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

is —


1. All need it.

2. It is offered to all in Christ.

3. We preach it to you.


1. Confess.

2. Believe.


(J. Lyth, D.D.)


1. Man is ignorant, and needs authoritative instruction. Not of arts, government, and sciences; they affect not the eternal welfare of man. That only is true wisdom which is suited to our highest nature and eternal destiny. Man, by nature, knows not, nor enjoys God. "The world by wisdom knew not God." But the gospel meets the case. Jesus Christ taught every truth necessary to enlighten the understanding, and direct the conscience, and God raised Him from the dead as His great confirmatory seal to the truth of His doctrines.

2. Man is guilty and needs an acceptable propitiation. Now Christ was raised from the dead; therefore His death is an available atonement.

3. Man is depraved, and needs entire renewal. The gospel meets this case. Christ declares that man must be the subject of a supernatural change, and promises to send forth the Spirit for this purpose. But the Promiser died, but rose again; and "therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, He received of the Father the promise of the Spirit."

4. Man is supine, and needs powerful motives. And the gospel presents motives to rouse the most supine — motives fetched from eternity. Christ declares, "he that believeth not, shall be damned" — "he that believeth not, is condemned already." His strongest motives are derived from His doctrine of the day of judgment. But all His doctrines are founded on the Resurrection, as the grand proof of His Messiahship. And "God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30, 31).

5. Man is unbelieving, and needs strong evidence. And what evidence can be stronger than that He rose from the dead according to His own prediction.


1. The pre-requisites of faith. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus" — that is, acknowledge Jesus Christ as thy only Saviour. This is one of the most difficult tasks to human nature. We cleave to our own performances and attach merit to them. "I must first reform — weep more — bring a softer heart — pray more," is not "confessing the Lord Jesus."

2. The object of faith. "That God hath raised Jesus Christ from the dead." In Scripture a part is often put for the whole: so here, the resurrection of Christ is put for the whole of His mediatorial work, because by that miracle God gave assurance that Christ was His Son — that His sacrifice was acceptable and efficacious; and that His laws were binding, His doctrines true, and His promises sure.

3. The exercise of faith. "Believe with thine heart." We sometimes use the term, "faith in the head"; by which we mean an instinctive, rational conviction. This is not shut out; but it is only the casket of the jewel — a shell of the fruit. The righteousness of faith is by the heart. The affections have now more to do than the intellect. In this exercise of faith thou art called upon cordially to approve of God's way of saving sinners; not to understand how the death of Christ avails for thee!

4. The encouragement of faith (vers. 12, 13).

(J. A. West.)

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