That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.
The conjunction “that” is used after the verb “preaching” from the previous verse to indicate the content of what is communicated in the message of salvation. Mechanically, this passage is for the Jews. It is dealing with how people were saved in the time of the writing of Deuteronomy, which was by believing in Jehovah (Jesus Christ) as Savior.
The Greek verb for confess is “homologeo,” which means to agree, to admit, to acknowledge, to cite and to make a legal statement. It connotes understanding and candid declaration. So what Paul began with was, “that if you will acknowledge with your mouth.” The point that Paul was making when he mentioned the mouth first was that the Jews could not ignore the first advent of Christ and escape the consequences of condemnation, forever. “Confess with your mouth” was an idiom that meant to make a statement to God, not a confession to a congregation of people. Notice that the confession is that Jesus is God (deity).
Note that the admission is made about Jesus to God, not to mankind. In other words, this is an expression of faith in words and sentences, which can be either verbal or non-verbal. The expression occurs in the soul. Words are enunciated with the “mouth” but they are formed in the soul. The failure of the unbelieving Jews was blotting out of their mind the first coming of Christ and that was the issue that Paul presented when he said, “Jesus as Lord.”
This passage was for Jews. The Jews must acknowledge to God the Father that Jesus Christ is the Messiah (God in the flesh). It was Jesus Christ, as the God of Israel, who gave Moses the Law on Mount Sinai. He did not give Moses the Law to keep as a way of salvation. To acknowledge or to admit that Christ is God is to recognize that Christ is the Messiah, the God of Israel. It is recognition of what is in Codex #2.
The Resurrection was mentioned because if you blot out the first advent, you blot out the Resurrection. If you blot out the Resurrection, you blot out salvation. The Resurrection confirms that Jesus Christ was the Messiah.
For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
The Biblical heart is the mentality of the soul and possesses a frame of reference which is designed for thought, a memory center, vocabulary and categorical storage, the conscience, a momentum department, the wisdom department and the subconscious.
Salvation is accomplished in the soul. The soul is saved, the soul makes the decision and the soul does the thinking. The confessing is also done in the soul to God. What is confessed is faith in Christ, which is what results in salvation. This verse never says and does not mean to walk down an aisle and stand before the church congregation and tell everyone that you have believed in Christ for salvation.
Salvation is a transaction between an individual making his own decision and God. It does not involve other people. The individual must believe for himself in the Lord Jesus Christ and no one can do it for him. When faith in Christ occurs in the mind of a person a confession to God is automatically made in the soul.
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
This is a quote from the Old Testament in Isaiah 28:16. The complete passage in Isaiah is speaking of Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone. It is a reference to Jesus Christ as the God of Israel. The word foundation in Isaiah 28 connotes entrance into the plan of God which can occur only through faith in the Messiah. To the Jews who rejected the first advent of Christ through unbelief, Christ became a stone of stumbling and a rock which would crush them. (Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:8)
The Jews who believed in Christ were never disappointed about that decision because it meant the imputation of God’s perfect righteousness. But for the Jews who ignored the first advent by the rejection of Christ, there was personal and historical disappointment. And, in eternity there will be plenty of disappoint as well when an unbelieving Jew stands before Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne Judgment.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him.
In the plan of God race is not an issue. It is personal volition and attitude toward doctrine that counts, plus the time logged in the filling of the Spirit. When we believe in Christ, regardless of our racial background, He is Lord of all of us.
Logistical grace is the meaning of “abounding in riches.” God will provide your needs. If you are positive He will provide doctrine. He will provide food, shelter and clothing. He will provide transportation, time, environment or whatever it takes to have you advance spiritually. He will protect you and sustain you in the most awful historical disasters; you will live through them to grow in grace, and there will be blessing in disaster for you. God’s plan goes on regardless of historical environment.
“Unto all that call upon Him” means to call on someone for help or for aid, and that is where we get the idea of prayer. Since there is no distinction in the body of Christ, all believers who call upon the Lord for help will receive it provided it is within God’s will for them.
For, whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
This is a quotation from Joel 2:32. The context is dealing with the second advent of Christ and the Jews who are going to be delivered at that time. The background for this context is a prophecy about the end of the Jewish Age. The Jewish Age was moving along until the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ. When Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father he needed a royal family, so the Age of Israel was halted, discontinued temporarily, and the Church Age or the dispensation of the Royal Family of God was begun. It continues until its termination with the Rapture. Then the Tribulation begins and is the period of the conclusion of the Jewish Age, and then the Second Advent. This particular context in Joel chapter two is dealing with the second advent of Christ and the restoration of Israel.
The Greek noun “onoma” means name but it often means a name in the sense that you don’t know much about them, you just know their name. It also refers to a person about whom you know very little. Therefore it indicates that you don’t have to know a great deal about the Lord to be saved. There are two places where it is used as a synonym for the word Jesus. (Acts 5:41; 3 John 7)
There is a popular teaching today using these passages that says a person must make Jesus Christ Lord of his/her life in order to be saved. As we have seen, these passages of Scripture are not talking about making Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. They are written about the nation of Israel and are referring to Jesus Christ as the Lord of Israel (the Messiah).
Attempting to make Christ the Lord of your life is adding works to faith, which is false teaching. Making Christ the Lord of your life after salvation is appropriate under the filling of the Holy Spirit, but has nothing to do with keeping your salvation secure.
Believers start with grace for salvation and therefore they must continue in grace. All spiritual advance is based on the grace policy of God. To deviate from grace is to become involved with arrogance. Arrogance is not only a mental attitude sin, but it is a whole system of sinning. All blessing after salvation, whether logistical or special, originates from the justice of God and is imputed to its target or home, the imputed righteousness of God now resident in every believer, which is based on God’s grace.
The plan of God continues in every type of historical circumstance. Advance in the plan of God is a grace operation, therefore it is never hindered by historical disaster and never helped by historical prosperity. Logistical grace makes provision to sustain the believer in every circumstance of life – personal problems, problems at work, difficulties with family and relationships, etc. Therefore catastrophe or disaster does not hinder the believer from spiritual growth. The main hindrance to growing in grace is the distraction of the details of life, which normally means a lack of focus on your spiritual life, etc.
Both self-righteousness and works righteousness exclude grace provision from God. They become a distraction from doctrine and from spiritual growth. Because of grace, in every era of history there has always been a remnant, a pivot of mature believers. Spiritual momentum and motivation is based on God’s grace. Apostasy and reversionism is based on the expression of self-righteousness in human works.
Grace and human works are mutually exclusive. Add works to grace and grace is no longer grace. (Romans 11:6)