Romans 10:9-10 is a passage used in the “Roman’s Road” evangelistic tool – “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” I’m concerned that many read this without understanding that it is in essence a very serious oath. An individual takes that oath when they believe on Jesus Christ for salvation and profess that faith willingly and openly.
A quick word study in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and Dictionary speaks directly to two key words in this passage – believes and confesses. The word translated believeis from another word meaning to have faith in a person or thing. This implies entrusting one’s spiritual well-being to Christ. This means not just believing but also being persuaded in such a way that we can trust with confidence. This signifies that we rely on our Lord and not merely express belief that He is true and genuine. The word translated confess means to declare openly by way of speaking out freely as a result of a deeply held conviction of the facts being declared.
Problems can arise when we speak such an oath but still have hidden expectations and/or hidden agendas – underlying intentions or motives. The ongoing repentance process with the guidance of the Holy Spirit will assist us with these but I don’t believe He will magically just make them go away. The Spirit of Truth will continue to lead us into ever deeper understandings as we continue in a sanctified relationship with our Lord.
Shalom, Pastor Bill
Notes from the Staff @The Woods