Let’s read Romans 10:9-10, “That if you CONFESS with your MOUTH the Lord Jesus and BELIEVE in your HEART that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the HEART one BELIEVES unto righteousness, and with the MOUTH CONFESSION is made unto salvation” (NKJV).

These two verses must be interpreted together, for they are vitally linked together by the words I have capitalized. The truth is no one will ever CONFESS the truth about the Lord Jesus until he BELIEVES that truth in his heart. What I am emphasizing is that FAITH comes FIRST and THEN CONFESSION. This means that verse 10 is the true order that one experiences; they must first BELIEVE the good news about Jesus Christ in their heart and then they will be “ready and willing” to CONFESS the Lord Jesus with their mouth. The moment you believe in Jesus Christ before God (for only God can see the faith that is in one’s heart), He counts you as righteous in His sight. The moment you confess what you believe before men (who can’t see your heart but they can hear the confession of your mouth), they will count you as one who has been saved through faith in Christ. Verse 9 may seem likes it’s teaching us that “confession is a requirement for salvation.” This is not true, for one is SAVED BY FAITH ALONE, as we see in Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you are have been SAVED THROUGH FAITH, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” So, these verses are actually teaching us that, “The believer will confess before men the salvation they’ve already experienced by believing in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.”

Now let’s look closer at verse 9 to see exactly what one must believe. There are two main things we must believe about Jesus Christ: 1) Who He is; and 2) What He has done. Regarding #1, the sinner must believe that “Jesus is Lord.” What does that mean? It means we must believe that Jesus is not an ordinary man, but that He is “the Lord of glory.” In John 1:1 & 14 we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Before Jesus “became flesh and dwelt among us” He “was with God” and He “was God.” He was the Eternal Word and the Eternal Son, the One who shared the glory with His Father from all eternity. When Jesus was about to go back to heaven, He prayed to the Father, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with THE GLORY I HAD WITH YOU before the world was.” Yet in grace the “Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” (1st John 4:14) and the Son was “born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4) and “became flesh” (John 1:14). He became a TRUE MAN (we call this the Incarnation of the Son of God) yet He never ceased being GOD! We may rightly refer to Him as the “God-Man” for He was “God manifested in the flesh” (1st Timothy 3:16).

Regarding #2, the sinner must also believe in the WORK that Jesus Christ did on the cross of Calvary. What did He do on the cross? He suffered the wrath of God for our sins and then laid down His spotless life in death for sinners so they could be saved. Isaiah 53:5 & 10 tell us, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed…Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin.” God poured out His judgment upon His beloved Son for our sins and when God’s wrath was exhausted, we read in John 19:30 that “Jesus said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” Our sins deserve DEATH and JUDGMENT (see Romans 6:23 and Hebrews 9:27) and on the cross Jesus paid for our sins by being JUDGED and then by DYING. The proof that God the Father accepted this work for the sinner’s salvation/justification is seen in the RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, as we see in Romans 4:24-25, “It (righteousness) shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who RAISED UP JESUS OUR LORD FROM THE DEAD, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was RAISED BECAUSE OF OUR JUSTIFICATION.” So, the believer takes God at His word and believes that “Christ DIED FOR OUR SINS, according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He ROSE AGAIN the third day according to the scriptures” (1st Corinthians 15:3-4).

In closing, FAITH is not a feeling that comes over us; FAITH is simply BELIEVING WHAT GOD HAS SAID. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). The moment we truly believe God’s Word, His truth is IN OUR HEART and then that truth will come OUT OF OUR MOUTH by confessing before men the Lord Jesus (Who He is and What He has done).  (DO)  (500.1)