If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame,” since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. For, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13
Verses 9-10 of this passage contain our confession of faith as Christians. The word “Lord” in the phrase “Jesus is Lord” is the translation of the Greek word “kurios”. This word is the regular way of translating the Hebrew name for God (Yahweh) in the Greek Old Testament. Jesus is not only the Messiah, but he is also Lord. Not only do we believe that the man “Jesus was raised…from the dead”, but we also believe that he shares the same nature with God. This is the start of the understanding of Christ’s two natures, as articulated at the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451). Jesus is fully human and fully God. Christians by definition believe and confess this truth.
In verses 11-13 Paul cites biblical support for the universal offer of salvation. Salvation is for both “Jew” and “Greek” (i.e. Gentiles) since the same “Lord (Greek Kurios) richly blesses all who call on him”. The promise is for all who call on “the name of the Lord (Kurios). As the prophet Joel said, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Joel 2:32)
Paul here is telling the most critical and the last step in the road to salvation. But what are the others? They are:
- We have to recognize that everyone sins.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”-Romans 3:23 NIV
- We have to recognize the penalty for our sin is death.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”-Romans 6:23 NIV
- We have to believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”-Romans 5:8 NIV
- In order to be forgiven for our sin, we must believe and declare that Jesus is Lord, because our salvation only comes through faith in Christ.
“But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”-Romans 10:8-10 NIV
The question now becomes where are you on the road to salvation. Because you can recognize that you are a sinner and that penalty for that sin is spiritual death, but if you never believe that Jesus died for your sins and if you never declare Jesus to be Lord then all the other steps don’t matter. Are you ready to declare Jesus to be your Lord. If you are then pray this simple prayer:
Dear God, I know that my sin has separated me from you. Thank you that Jesus Christ died in my place. I ask Jesus to forgive my sin and to come into my life. Please begin to direct my life. Thank you for giving me eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.