That if you confess 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 confess and are saved.
Wow! There is quite a bit in this amazing scripture but baptism is not here.
This scripture identifies two of the steps in the Biblical Plan of Salvation, confession and belief. Confession happens with the mouth and belief occurs in the heart.
The thing we must believe is that Jesus rose from the dead. We would not be able to do this if we did not believe in Jesus and we would not believe in Jesus if we had not been told about him by an evangelistic disciple. This means we heard the message and we accepted the message.
There is a process.
When we accept the message, it means we are agreeing with what someone has taught us about Jesus… specifically that he died for our sins and was risen by God to life again. We are taught that if we want to be free from our sins and enjoy eternity in heaven, we should put our faith and trust in the work Jesus did, on our behalf, at the Cross. We are taught that he paid the price for our sin and there is nothing we can do to earn or merit the free gift of eternal life. This is the Gospel.
Since we have a humble, open heart and want to follow Christ, we ask… like so many before us, “What must I do to be saved?”
Romans 10:9 tells us we must confess with our mouth, “Jesus is Lord.”
We can’t argue with this. It’s very simple.
All you need to do…
Now remember, this scripture has been offered by the anti-baptism proponents as a proof text, proving that baptism is not necessary for salvation. Ok, fine; so is confession the only thing I need to do or is it all I need to do? Of course not. I must believe and accept. Repentance is not listed in this scripture. Shall I ignore that requirement because it is not mentioned here?
Confession is something I must do. It is an action I take. It is an act I perform. According to this scripture, after I do this action I “will be” saved. Did you notice the future tense of the verb? The scripture does not say, “I have been saved.” The correct chain of events puts salvation after confession. The second part of the scripture plainly states that we are saved with our mouth. Something happens with our mouth. What? Our confession that Jesus is Lord. Our mouth or our confession saves us.
This is baffling to me. Why would an anti-baptism proponent choose this scripture to prove their point when it so obviously includes an action a believer must perform in order to be saved? Isn’t this just as much a work as baptism or repentance? I am told to confess. I am told to repent. I am told to be baptized. All of these things precede the forgiveness of sins in the scriptures. All of these things are commands I can not break. Why is baptism singled out as an ineffective work of merit but belief, accepting the message, repentance and confession are not? I don’t see the difference. Please help me understand.
How is confession not a human work of merit?Enjoy!