Chapter # 10 Paragraph # 2 Study # 5
April 21, 2009
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
1901 ASV Translation:
10 for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame.
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek: for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich unto all that call upon him:
13 for, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- I. Paul's Explanation of the Process of "Salvation".
- A. 10:9 says, "...if you confess ... and believe ... you shall be saved". The end result of this promise is too great to stumble over the details of the process. When all is said and done, whether a person is "saved" is the important issue.
- B. Thus, 10:10 is launched with a "for" that goes into an explanation of the process.
- 1. In a reversal of the 10:9 order of "confess/believe", Paul claims that it is with the "heart" that man "believes" unto justification (an integrated element of "salvation").
- a. The most elemental aspect of this declaration is the identification of what Paul calls "the heart" and the description of how that entity "believes".
- 1) In Paul's "theology of the heart", he has already made the claim that a "foolish" heart can be "darkened" as a consequence of rejecting God as God, withholding gratitude, and becoming vain in the imaginations (1:21). This seems to make the "heart" a "victim" of some other entity that contols the choices that are made.
- 2) However, he immediately went on to say that it was "the lusts of the heart" that caused men to dishonor their own bodies (1:24).
- 3) He also attributed the on-going heaping up of judgment to a "hard" and "impenitent" heart (2:5).
- 4) From there he went on to say that the behavior of people "shows" the presence of a "law written in the heart" -- strongly indicating that behavior arises out of the content of the "heart" (2:15).
- 5) And just a few verses further along, he claimed that it takes a "circumcision of the heart by the Spirit" to "constitute" a person a "true" Jew, with the result being a longing for praise from God instead of praise from men (2:29).
- 6) Jumping from there to 5:5, Paul taught that God sheds His love in our hearts so that we cease to be "ashamed" of the hope.
- 7) Then he moved to 6:17 where he claimed that it is "submission by the heart to the doctrine of the Truth" that moved his readers out of their bondage to sin. This is the first overt declaration that it is "with the heart that man believes".
- b. The conclusion seems to be that Paul considered the "heart" to be the most elemental aspect of "personality", the root of controlling desires and methods of thinking. But, the question is this: is the "heart" the controller of the man, or is there something else in man that dominates the "heart"? In other words, is the essence of "man" his "heart", or is the "heart" merely a primary tool in the hands of "man" that is controlled by another "essence"? The answer seems to be that the "heart" was chosen to be the most fundamental metaphor for the essence of man. He is his "heart". He "thinks" in his heart (Isaiah 10:7), he "lusts" in his heart (Romans 1:24), he "acts" out of his heart (Romans 2:15), and God has to "circumcise" his heart if He intends to alter his essence (Romans 2:29). Thus, the word "heart" is used when it is the intent of the author to get to the "heart" of a matter -- i.e., "heart" signifies "the essential person". This means something highly significant in terms of "salvation": unless man "believes" at the "heart" level, he is not justified; but, on the other hand, if the "faith" arises from the "heart", God does not refuse him. The elephant in the room, however, is this: how does a person "believe with his heart"? The biblical answer is that, though a man who believes with his heart, believes with his heart, the "faith" is not something that his "heart" generated. There is no formula for "believing with the heart" that man can apply to himself that will empower his life. "Belief" is something that, though it happens in the heart, happens to the heart.
- 2. Continuing with the reversal of the 10:9 order, Paul claims that it is with the "mouth" that "confession" is made unto "salvation".
- a. The question is why "confession with the mouth" is even in the picture. What is it about the "mouth" speaking words of agreement with the faith of the "heart" that leads to "salvation"?
- 1) The word "confess" literally means "to say words of agreement". It signifies an agreement between two. In this case, the "two" are the "mouth" and the "heart".
- 2) The direction of the "confession" is identified by Paul in the larger text over and over (the "calling" is "upon Him" [10:12], the "calling" is "upon the name of the Lord [10:13], and the "calling" is "on Him" [10:14]). In other words, "confessing with the mouth" is telling God with the mouth what is in the heart.
- 3) The result of the "confession" is that the God to Whom the words are directed responds by "saving" the "confessor".
- 4) The consequent conclusion is this: "mouth" confession is introduced into the mix beyond "heart" belief for a reason. That reason probably finds its roots in the reality that "salvation" is a restoration of real fellowship between the Creator and His creatures (1 John 1:3). Unless "heart faith" moves the person to direct communication with God, no "fellowship" can exist. If no "fellowship" exists, there is no real "salvation". Thus, unless the "mouth" begins to communicate with God, "salvation" is just a theoretical concept.
- b. The question of the nature of the "salvation" comes next. If one is "justified" by the "belief" of the "heart", what, beyond "justification", is in view in the word "salvation"?
- 1) "Justification" is an aspect of "salvation" because salvation is deliverance from something. Justification makes it impossible for Judicial Judgment to be imposed upon a person. Thus, "justification" exempts a person from the "wrath" of God.
- 2) But, exemption from wrath is not a very large concept for "Life". It is large, indeed, when the magnitude of sin is clearly understood, but the concept of entrance into "Life" is extraordinarily more than simply having sins forgiven. "Life" is participation with God in active inter-personal reality. Thus, "salvation" is a deliverance from "isolation from God".
- II. Paul's Evidence of the Truth of His Doctrine.
- A. He quotes from Isaiah 28:16 as he had in Romans 9:33.
- 1. The Isaiah text clearly indicates a couple of major obstacles to "faith": the One to be trusted is a "stone of stumbling" and a "rock of offence".
- 2. Psalm 118:22 addresses the same thesis: there is a "stone" which the "builders" reject that God makes the head of the corner.
- 3. In 1 Corinthians 1:23 Paul addresses this thesis in a culture-application setting: to the Jews the crucified Christ is the "stone of stumbling"; to the Greeks the crucified Christ is a "foolish" notion. The distinction, culturally, was that the Jews prided themselves on being "God-pleasers" and the crucified Christ made that pride a vacuous bunch of nonsense, and the Greeks prided themselves on being "wise" and the crucified Christ seemed to them to be the epitomy of foolishness (to claim that one could get to "life" by "dying" through "resurrection" was just too "over the top" for the worldly wise to accept -- the dead do not rise).
- B. Paul's use of the quote is extremely "positive": it is a declaration that the one who "trusts" the "Rejected Stone" will not be shown to be an idiot by the final outcome.