That if Thou Shalt Confess with Thy Mouth the Lord Jesus
by David J. Stewart | June 2016
Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
I was listening to a local neo-evangelical independent Baptist church radio station the other day. An evangelist was preaching from Romans chapter 10. Since the man is a member of this local church, I won't mention his name. He specifically mentioned Romans 10:9a—“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus.” He said to “confess” means “to say the same thing as God; to agree with Him.” That is correct so far. But then he said that this means we need to confess that we are sinners to be saved, and that is what Romans 10:9a means. Well, he is wrong!
The Holy Bible plainly teaches that we are to CONFESS THE LORD JESUS! It doesn't say to confess that we are sinners. Although it is true that we are sinners, and we must agree with God that we are a guilty sinner in His sight to be saved (Romans 3:19-23), that is not what this particular passage of Scripture is teaching, and it is important to get it right. The Bible clearly says “to confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,” which can only mean to agree with God that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son of God. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
The word “embellish” means“ to add to.” Many preachers embellish the Scriptures, adding extra requirements to God's simple plan of salvation, which is a gross sin. For example: The evangelist that I just mentioned wrongly interprets Romans 10:9a. After he said that this passage means to agree with God that we are a sinner, then he added the additional requirement that we also “turn away from our sins,” which he said is a part of repentance. Again, he is very wrong! This is the Devil's plan of salvation, because it embellishes the Gospel, adding self-righteousness to faith. Nowhere in the Scriptures are we told to “repent from sin” or “turn away from our sinful behavior” as a requirement to be saved. Instead, we are commanded to “repent” (Greek verb: metanoeo, which means, “to think differently”) TOWARD GOD (Acts 20:21). Repentance is a change of mind toward God that compels us to believe the Gospel to be saved. Repentance is seeing God as He is, holy, and seeing our self as an unholy sinner for breaking His commandments.
Repentance to the Acknowledgment of the Truth
Certainly, to repent toward God involves turning from something. You cannot face north without turning your back to the south. For some people it means turning to God from intellectualism that had blinded them from the truth of the Gospel. For others it means turning to God from their sinful ways that had hindered them from coming to the light to be saved. For some it may be turning from wealth, or bitterness against God, or false religion, that had hindered them from seeing the glorious light of the Gospel (2nd Corinthians 4:4). But the meaning of repentance is to change one's mind, and not the act of forsaking anything. Repentance is thinking differently toward God from whatever it was that hindered you from being saved in the first place. The emphasis is upon believing the Gospel, not upon forsaking anything. Please read, The Great Meaning Of Metanoia.
2nd Timothy 2:25, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” Carefully notice that repentance is to the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE TRUTH, and not from sins or anything else. Repentance is acknowledging that we have sinned against a holy God, seeing our self as a desperate sinner in need of the dear Savior (Galatians 3:24-26). Repentance and faith are inseparable. They happen simultaneously, at the same time. The man who believes has repented, and the man who repents has believed. We repent to believe, not repent and believe. If repentance were a separate step to salvation, then the Lord would have said so in John 6:28-29 and John 6:40, but He didn't. The Lord simply told us to BELIEVE ON HIM! If a man didn't repent, he would never believe.
More than half of America's Baptist churches have turned neo-evangelical, which means they have moved to the left (the wrong way). Neo-evangelicals believe right in most cases, but talk wrong. They are usually saved, believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible and teach modesty. Unfortunately, they aren't willing to stand for the purity of God's Words (so they use dozens of different Bible revisions). They aren't willing to preach against women wearing pants. They aren't willing to suffer reproach for Christ. They don't want to be outside the gate with Jesus. Neo-evangelicals refuse to wear the stigma that comes from Biblical separation. This is why Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in 2013 lifted their century old ban against staff members drinking booze, smoking tobacco and gambling. What wickedness!!! I wouldn't send my dog to Moody!!! You see, they want to name the name of Jesus, but without carrying a cross for the Lord. Neo-evangelical churches don't stand for hardly anything!
And so neo-evangelicals keep moving toward the left instead of toward the right (like the fundamentalist does). A “fundamentalist” is a Christian who withdraws from other believers who no longer adhere to the fundamentals of the Christian faith. For example: God only authored one Book. God promised to preserve (Psalms 12:6-7) His very “pure words” (Psalms 119:140) unto all generations. Today, there are two drastically different Greek sources from which all Bibles originate—the Textus Receptus (or Majority Text) from which our beloved King James Bible was translated); and the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus Alexandrian manuscripts (Minority Text) from which all corrupt modern Bible revisions have been translated. Literally, the Sinaiticus text was discovered IN A TRASH CAN by Constantine Tischendorf in the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine, on the Sinai peninsula. All of today's most popular Bible revisions came from a trash can!!!
The fundamentalist honors God's promise to preserve His inspired Words unto every generation, and so we insist on having only one Holy Bible (and we have that in our precious King James Bible). But the reprobate neo-evangelical doesn't care, choosing rather to search through dozens of English Bible revisions in a never-ending quest for the Words of God. Consequently, people in neo-evangelical churches are confused, frustrated and misled. And the unfortunate bilingual people, who rely heavily upon the watered-down modern revisions, are being fed to the wolves by ungodly pastors who promote those satanic Alexandrian Bible revisions.
We Are Saved by Believing The Gospel
So we see that “confess” in Romans 10:9a doesn't mean to repent, nor does it mean to turn from our sins. It means exactly what John 20:31 says—to BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God!!! And of course, Romans 10b tells us to BELIEVE that Jesus bodily resurrected from the dead the third day. This is the Gospel my friend—Christ DIED on the cross for our sins, He was BURIED, and He bodily RAISED UP three days later for our justification according to the Scriptures (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). BELIEVE it, Oh sinner, and you are eternally saved!
In John 6:28-29, the people who followed Jesus to Capernaum plainly asked Him in John 6:28b, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” That is a really good question! Jesus answers their question in John 6:29b, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Do you see any mention of turning away from sinful behavior here? No? Neither do I. Do you see any requirement to surrender to Jesus as “Lord”? Nope! Do you see any requirement to follow Jesus? Do you see anything mentioned about inviting Jesus into your life? Do you see anything about making public confession about Christ? No, none of these! Do you see anything about asking Jesus to come into your heart to be saved? Do you see anything about reforming your ways? Do you see anything about being willing to turn from sins to be saved? No, not at all! Do you see anything about water baptism? Do you see anything about committing your life to serve God? Do you see anything about changing your heart to be saved? Nope! Do you see anything about joining a church or becoming religious? No! The Bible simply says, TO BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! Acts 16:30b-31a, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
In John 6:40 we read a powerful Scripture, where the Lord plainly reveals THE WILL OF THE FATHER concerning salvation. John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” The Bible says when you see Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, and you BELIEVE on Him, you are saved!
In Matthew 7:21-23, a group of religious workers had dedicated their entire lives to serving Jesus Christ. They did many wonderful works in Jesus' name. They preached in Jesus' name. And they all went to Hell forever! How could this be? What did they do wrong? We know that they were sincere from the story. How could someone give everything to serving Jesus and still miss Heaven? The reason is simply because we are woeful guilty sinners, who all deserve to be punished in Hell for all eternity (Revelation 21:8). Sin must be paid for (Romans 6:23). Jesus paid the price for our sins in full with His precious blood (1st Peter 1:18-19). Hence, eternal life is a free gift from God, which can only be received by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved. The folks in Matthew 7:21-23 were trying to be saved. Instead, they should have been completely trusting (resting) in what Jesus did to pay for their sins. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. This is the imputed righteousness of God.