Sunday, August 18, 2013
Vol. II — Chapter 6 — Romans 10:9-13
Vol. II — Chapter 6 — Romans 10:9-13
THE UNIVERSAL CERTAINTY OF SALVATION
OF CONFESSING BELIEVERS
Romans 10:9-13 (9) 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. (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.
Verse 9 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. To ‘confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,” is to make an open profession of the truth respecting the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Divinely appointed, and Divine Saviour (John 9:22). This certainly is not speaking of confession to a Roman Catholic Priest, or confessing of sins to a brother, nor even a poor sinner confessing sin to God. It is the public confession in our daily life of Christ as our Lord and Saviour (2 John 7). In our day it doesn’t cost much to confess Christ in this country, but it can even cost the new believer his life in other countries. He who thus confesses that he truly is joined in vital union to Christ — he, and he only, shall be saved (1 John 4:2-3). Our Lord Christ said “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). The Lord will not own any cowardly and secret disciples. “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32-33). The apostle was certainly not ashamed to confess his relationship before men when he stood in the midst of the idolatrous crew and soldiers on the ship and told of the reassuring message he had received from the angel of God, as he added, “whose I am, and whom I serve” (Acts 27:23). In the words of Charles Hodge, “Those who are ashamed or afraid to acknowledge Christ before men, cannot expect to be saved. The want of courage to confess, is decisive evidence of the want of heart to believe.” (Luke 12:8; 1 John 4:15).
Confession is here put before faith, as it is the confession which gives visibility to the faith, and Paul here was following the order suggested by the words of Moses from the passage in Deuteronomy. Open confession of Christ as our absolute Lord before men is an indispensable condition for all authentic discipleship. When we speak of true believers the natural order is faith and confession. When we speak of a group of believers the natural order is profession and faith. As John Brown wrote, “The statement here is substantially the same as that of our Lord: ‘He that believeth, and is baptized’ — i.e., confesses his faith in the appointed way — ‘shall be saved’” (Mark 16:16).
To “believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,” is to be inwardly persuaded, on the testimony of God, that He has manifested His satisfaction with the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, as the propitiation for the sins of His elect, by raising Him from the dead (John 6:69). Caution must be exercised by us all for there are different sorts of faith, and it is folly to regard all who profess that Christ is the Son of God and the Saviour of men is exercising true, saving faith. The devils “believe and tremble’ (James 2:19). “But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that believe not, and who should betray him” (John 6:64). Here all the false disciples, who had a temporary faith, that thought Christ to be the true Messiah, but would fall away as Judas and others, are said to be those that believed not, making an essential difference between their belief, and that true grace of God-given faith that is called faith or believing appropriated to it. Faith is a receiving of Christ into the heart, in such a sense as to believe that He is who and what He declares Himself to be, and to have such a high esteem of Him as our most excellent, precious Lord and Saviour, and so to prize Him, and so to depend upon Him, as not to be ashamed nor afraid to profess Him, and openly and constantly to follow Him (John 10:27).
To truly believe and confess the Lord Jesus Christ requires a supernatural faith to embrace it for “no man” can honestly, sincerely say “that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1Cor. 12:3). In this identification of the historical Jesus Christ with His subsequent exaltation to supreme Lordship and universal dominion (Phil. 2:9-11), all the facts of the Gospel are presupposed. This was the constant emphasis of the apostolic message and no preaching which fails to do justice to the absolute sovereignty of our Lord Christ is true preaching of the Gospel. Gospel preaching in the New Testament shows that the Lordship of Christ is presented as essential to true preaching of the Gospel (Acts. 2:36; 16:31; Rom. 10:9). The Lord Christ is called ‘kurios’ (which in the vast majority of cases is Lord) 747 times in the New Testament. In the book of Acts which records early Church evangelism “Lord” is found 92 times and “Saviour” only twice. The Scriptures tell us plainly that all professors who reject the Lordship of Christ are children of the kingdom of darkness (Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 6:46-49; 1 John 2:3-4).
Too, evangelical repentance is a major part of a true ministry of the Gospel (Matt. 4:17; Acts 3:19; 20:21; 26:20), which demands a true turning against sin and self, and taking sides with God against ourselves. Our Lord Himself came preaching that men should “repent, and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15) — which are the doctrines of repentance and faith. The apostles preached “repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). Our Lord warned all men that “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Paul exhorted the young preacher Timothy to preach the Gospel trusting that “God, peradventure will give them repentance” (2 Tim. 2:25), and any and all preaching that does not do the same is not true Gospel preaching. Also our Lord’s encounter with the rich young ruler shows, we have no business preaching peace to people who do not understand the implications of God’s Holy Law.
“Shalt believe in thine heart” — Scripture frequently speaks of the heart. And although in Scripture the terms spirit, soul, and mind (nous) are sometimes interchanged, yet in general, we may say that by heart Scripture usually denotes that spiritual, ethical center of man that in regeneration is radically turned about. That it is the heart that is regenerated is directly taught in Scripture (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-12; Ezek. 36:25-27). The Scripture abounds with such phrases as with all the heart, or with the whole heart, in speaking of pure religious matters. And the manifest intent of them is to signify a gracious simplicity and godly sincerity. Compare the following Scriptures as examples of hundreds that could be given (1 Sam. 12:20, 24; 1 Ki. 8:23; 14:8; 2 Ki. 10:31; Psa. 9:1; 86:12; 111:1; 119:2, 10, 34, 69; Joel 2:12).
Saving faith is a believing on Christ with the heart, thus, there is no such thing as saving faith in Christ where there is no real love for Him, and by real love is meant a love which is evidenced by obedience. Our Lord Christ acknowledges none to be true believers save those who do whatsoever He commands them (John 15:14). Saving faith is manifest by loving obedience (1 John 2:4-5), therefore we read of “the obedience of faith” (Rom. 16:26). A. W. Pink said, “Saving faith is to the soul what health is to the body: it is a mighty principle of operation, full of life, ever working, bringing forth fruit after its own kind.”
Religionists and mere professors, performing acts of religion, whose hearts the Scriptures abundantly represent as under the reigning power of sin and unbelief, are those that do not give their hearts to God, but give them to other things (1 Pet. 4:3). They go about to serve two masters (Matt. 6:24), and as those who indeed draw near to God with their lips, but have at the same time their hearts far from Him (Matt. 15:8-9). They are self centered, running more after worldly things and immoral pleasures (Titus 3:3). They are but hypocrites without single eye or single heart.
The word “believe” in the New Testament, answers to the word trust in the Old; and therefore the phrase “believing with thine heart” is parallel to that in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart.” And “believing with the heart” is a phrase used in the New Testament to signify saving faith (Rom. 8:37), as is the phrase “obeying the form of doctrine from the heart” (Rom. 6:17-18).Whosoever makes this Christian confession cordially, or with his whole heart, God dwells in him.
“Shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead” — that Christ is all that He claimed to be and that He has accomplished as the sinner’s Substitute all that He came to perform in their stead (Rom. 1:4; 4:24-25). It is faith in God as He reveals Himself in our Lord Jesus Christ as our salvation (2 Cor. 4:6). That God raised Christ from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in Heavenly places, and He revealed the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe (Eph. 1:19-20).
“Shall be saved.” Herman Hoeksema wrote, “The apostle is speaking of our future salvation, of our salvation as it shall be realized in the day of Christ. Indeed, he who confesseth with his mouth the Lord, Jesus, and believeth in his heart that God raised Him from the dead, may also say that he is already saved. He is saved by faith, and he is saved in hope, for he is justified. He even now possesses the redemption of God in Christ, the forgiveness of sins. He stands as a righteous man before the tribunal of God. He carries the conviction that there is no condemnation for him. For God has raised Jesus, his Lord, from the dead. Still more, he is not only redeemed from the guilt of sin and righteous before God; he is also in principle delivered from the power and dominion of sin. He is not under the Law, but under grace. Sin shall have no more dominion over him, and he lives! He has been snatched from the power of death! He is a partaker of the resurrection of Christ. He was begotten again unto a lively hope! He is regenerated and born of God. He is a child of the living God, not only by adoption, but also because of the new principle of life that is in his heart. And through the Spirit of Christ he is heir of all the spiritual blessings of salvation. O, yes, he is saved.”
Verse 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. “With the heart” shows us that it is the heart that we must first examine in order to discover evidences of the presence of true saving faith (Heb. 3:12). The Scripture says that in true believers God is “purifying their hearts by faith” (Acts. 15:9). If our hearts are purified by faith (1 Pet. 1:22) they are fixed upon a pure Object. It drinks spiritual water from the fountain of Living Water, delights in a pure Law (Rom. 7:22), and looks forward to spending eternity with our pure Saviour and Lord (1 John 3:3). It loathes all spiritual and moral filth, hating the very garment spotted by the flesh (Jude 23), and it loves all that is holy and Christ like. A regenerated heart is a contrite, humble, tender heart that trembles at God’s Holy Word (Isa. 57:15; 66:2).
Many present day ministers preach an easy believism message from this passage telling their hearers that saving faith is but an act of the mind, an assent to the Divine testimony, but this passage is clear, just as is the entirety of Scripture, it is “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness. The heart is the seat of the affections and no man can change his own heart by an act of his will. A miracle of grace must be performed within the sinner first; his heart must be “renewed” by the Holy Ghost, radically changed; before he will love what he once hated and hate what he once loved. “Wherein does this faith come short of a saving one? Wherein is it defective? It is merely an intellectual assent to the letter of Scripture and not “with the heart” (Rom. 10:10), so as to bring Christ into it (Eph. 3:17), just as one may read and accredit a historical work, and no spiritual effect be produced thereby. It is a faith which is “alone’ (Jam. 2:17), for it is unaccompanied by other graces, whereas a saving faith has as its concomitants love, meekness, holiness, perseverance, etc. Such a faith consents not to take a whole Christ: it will embrace Him as a Saviour, but is not willing for Him to reign over them as a King. Those with such a faith desire Christ’s pardon but not His scepter, His peace but not His yoke. They will accept Him to deliver them from Hell, but not to sanctify and cast out of their temples whatever God abominates. They are not willing to subscribe to Christ’s terms of discipleship, which are the denying of self, the taking up of the Cross, and following Him whithersoever He leads: such terms they consider harsh and unnecessary. Such faith is a lifeless and barren one.” (A. W. Pink). If we are not persuaded as well as convinced of the truth of the Gospel, our faith is vain.
True saving faith is the heart going off all others and cleaving to Christ in His entire Person and character as Prophet, Priest and King. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). It is God in His revealed character, as made know to us in the Word and brought home to our hearts in power. It is knowing Christ as a living reality, as God’s Son who is revealed in me (Gal. 1:16). Saving faith is a cordial, loving approbation of Christ, an acceptance of Him in His entire character as Prophet, Priest, and King (Lord); it is entering into covenant with Him, receiving Him as Lord and Saviour (Col. 2:6). It is damning to expect that you can receive Christ as “Saviour” and refuse His “Lordship.” Preachers who deceive multitudes of hearers and professors with such a message are filling Hell with poor doped professors. The Lord Christ said to His apostles, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (John 13:13). That is not a mere characteristic of our Lord that can be separated from His person. This is Who our Lord is and it is only “as many as receive Him” (John 1:12), not a part of Him or one office of Him in His saving work, but THE WHOLE CHRIST, does He give the power and authority to become the sons of God. All men, regardless of their professions or religious affiliation, who will not “have this MAN to reign over them” shall be cast into Hell for ever (Luke 19: 14, 22, 27).
“With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” In the fourth chapter of Romans we read “his faith is counted for righteousness” (v. 5), “faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness” (v. 9), “it was imputed to him for righteousness (v. 22). In these three verses the Greek preposition is eis which never means “in the stead of,” but it always signifies “towards, in order to, with a view to”: it has the uniform force of “unto.” Its exact meaning and force is unequivocally plain in our verse here, “with the heart man believeth unto (eis) righteousness,” that is, the believing heart reaches out to and lays hold of Christ Himself. As John Calvin said, “This verse may help us to understand what justification by faith is, for it shows that righteousness there comes to us when we embrace God’s goodness proclaimed to us in the Gospel. We are then, for this reason, made just; because we believe that God is propitious to us through Christ.” In the clear words of the Westminster Catechism “God justifieth, not by imputing faith itself, the acts of believing, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ.”
“And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” To guard against a possible misunderstanding here by showing that confession is not the cause of salvation, but the necessary consequence of a living, God-wrought faith, John Calvin wisely said, “Paul’s desire was solely to show how God accomplishes our salvation, viz. by making faith, which He has put into our hearts, show itself by confession. Indeed, he simply wanted to point out the nature of true faith, from which this fruit springs, lest anyone should hold out the empty title of faith for faith itself.” The apostle speaks of such a confessing of Christ, or outward and open testifying our love and respect to Him, and adhering in our duty to Him as our Lord, which exposes us to suffering reproach and persecution. That such is of the essence of saving faith is shown by the following Scriptures: “Nevertheless, among the chief rulers also, many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43) — compared with “How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?” (John 5:44).
Verse 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. “For the scripture saith” — the “scripture” means the holy writings of all the many penmen, all of which were of Divine authority, because holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Pet. 1:21). This passage is from Isaiah 28:16, and had already been quoted in Romans 9:33. It is a Messianic prophecy, and intimates that, under the Messiah, sinners were to obtain an interest in His blessings by believing, and whether they be Jew or Gentile, all true believers shall possess these blessings. It is not whosoever is circumcised, or whosoever obeys the Law; it is, whosoever believeth in Him. Those that trust Him “shall not be ashamed.”
Those who will not bow to Christ as absolute Lord will be brought to the place that they shall bow to Him in spite of themselves (Rom. 14:11). In that day every thought and intent of men’s hearts will be made known. Those who have had their sins blotted out through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ will stand in His righteousness as a justified sinner, while those who have rebelled and refused to bow the knee to Christ, crying as a needy sinner, and confessing Him as the Lord, Saviour, and their All, will be brought to open shame and eternal damnation. Reader, look up the following verses which show that a Holy God will put to shame those that do not willing and lovingly acknowledge Him (Isa. 42:17; 44:9-11; 65:13-15).
We offer a few comments on, Isa. 65:13-15. These are those who hate God’s people and sneer at those who would walk with Him. They are so prominent today and greatly outnumber God’s “little flock.” They scoff that we look for the coming of our Saviour who brings joy and peace to our hearts. Oh how vile is the old Adamic heart of fallen man, a heart of unbelief and total hatred of the God of the Bible. They despise the truth of redemption in Christ and they all foolishly make a God to their liking in their corrupted mind. They will certainly be brought to the eternal shame of being separated from God forever, but there is more. There is the revelation in which men will be brought to acknowledge what they are in themselves and to stand divested of all the pretense in which they have clothed themselves. The world lives in an artificial state of self-deception, but the judgment is coming which will remove all of this. God describes this in Isa. 28::16-17: “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious stone, a sure stone: He that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.”
Verse 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. “For there is no difference” between Jew and Gentile for they all sprang from the loins of Adam through whom sin entered into the world (Rom. 5:12). There is no difference as to the guilt of original sin (Rom. 5:18-19) or the absence of righteousness (Rom. 3:10); no difference as to their need of a wholly gratuitous salvation (Rom. 3:23; 5:21), all by the atoning blood (Rom. 5:9) and the imputed righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). Our Lord “receiveth sinners,” be they Jew or Gentile, who come unto God by Him. Oh dispensationalists hear this and hear it well, there is no distinction separating between the Jew and the Gentile. It is not Jew or Gentile, male or female, Barbarian or Scythian, bond or free — there is no national or political distinction or difference on new covenant ground, “for ye are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Gal. 3:28), and Christ Jesus to every regenerated sinner is “All in All.” There are no promises to any nationality for all “the promises of God are yea and amen” in Christ Jesus” (2 Cor. 1:20).
“For the same Lord” in the immediate context makes it clear that “Lord” is to be referred to the exalted Lord Jesus Christ, and this is confirmed by the use of this expression throughout the New Testament (see Rom. 10:9, 12, 13; Acts 7:59-60; 9:14, 21; 10:36; 22:16; 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 2:11; 2 Tim. 2:22). Notice that our Lord Christ is clearly referred to as “Lord of all” in Acts 10:36. He is head of all the elect in all nations of the world (Eph. 5:22-23). As the God-man, the Mediator, He has been advanced “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Eph. 1:21). All creatures are in subjection to Christ for God “hath put all things under his feet” (Eph. 1:22). He is “Lord of all” (Acts 10:36); He is “Lord both of the dead and the living” (Rom. 14:9). He who died on the bloody, gory Cross is now the Ruler of the universe. He holds in His hands “the keys of Hell and death” (Rev. 1:18). Every since He arose and ascended back to Heaven He has been “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3). At this very moment He is ruling “in the midst of His enemies” (Psa. 110:2). “And hath put all things under his feet” (Eph. 1:22). Bowing one’s head to another indicates reverence, but, falling down at his feet expresses the utmost subjection.
‘For the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” God is plenteous and rich in His communications to those who humbly call upon Him (Eph. 1:7). “For thou art good and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy upon all that call upon thee” (Psa. 86:5). He is bountiful to all poor, totally lost calling sinners (Psa. 145:18). To such our Lord hath an inexhaustible store of grace and mercy. The soul that sees not his utter helplessness He sendeth away. The utterly helpless, totally lost sinner He shows him His pure saving mercy and grace. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Tim. 1:15).
Verse 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. In this verse Paul quotes the last part of the well known passage from Joel 2:28-32. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord” shows the universality of the Gospel. The word “whosoever” has been used twice and the apostle uses the word “all” twice also. It is clear that the universality of the Gospel in our day is the central thought of the text. The Scriptures are clear that this does not mean that all who have, with their lips, cried unto the Lord or sought God in the name of Christ to have mercy upon them, been saved. Many are deceived by the mere sound of words. The Scriptures are not to be read like a daily newspaper and neither is the Word of God to be understood by lazy people. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself tells us that there are many who call Him “Lord,” and His reply is “Depart from Me” (Matt. 7:22-23). Our Lord hears not him who calls upon Him because of his fear of Hell. God is not at the beck and call of any rebel who, when he is terrified, sues for mercy. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Prov. 28:9). “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whosoever confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:13).The only “calling upon the name of the Lord” that our Lord hears and heeds, is that which issues from a broken, penitent, sin-hating heart, and thirsts after holiness.
The unsaved are frequently told that God loves everybody, that Christ died for the whole human race, and that nothing is required of them but a mere intellectual assent to the Gospel. To them it matters not that “many believed in his name . . . but Jesus did not commit himself unto them” (John 2:23-24), or that “many believed on him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him lest they be put out of the synagogue, for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43), which shows that their “believing” was worthless. Where are the true servants of Christ who is faithful enough to tell them that none ever did or could savingly “call upon” Him out of an impenitent heart? The preachers preach, and those in the pews hear, “another gospel” of easy believism and human ability to accept Jesus. But the Gospel of Christ tells men that none find true rest for their souls until they take Christ’s yoke upon them (Matt. 11:28-30). The Gospel sets forth Christ in all His offices, and unlike the gospel of man, does not make one office of the Redeemer disturb another. He is Saviour of none unless He is first their Lord.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord” — the name of the Lord is an expression which occurs very frequently in Holy Writ. Calling on the name of the Lord is going out of the whole of our being, heart, soul, mind, and strength, in a movement that has turned away from any hope in self and that has come to an utter confiding in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the action of a quickened sinner who by the Spirit’s mighty operation has experienced a radical inward change. Quickened out of his natural state of sin and rebellion he now begins to seek the Lord. Three times it is recorded that Abraham called upon the name of the Lord Jehovah and each time he was standing at an altar of blood sacrifice. Calling on the Lord was vitally connected with the blood atonement of Christ. In the story of Elijah, we have the incident of his conflict with the priests of Baal. (I Ki. 18:23-24). Here the calling on the name of the Lord was not only connected with the blood sacrifice, but it was something that put God to the test and showed the true faith of Elijah in Him.
In the Psalms God tells His people to call upon Him and tells them what He shall do for them when they obey Him (Psa 50:15; 81:7). In Jeremiah there are two occurrences given where God is speaking to His ancient people and telling them of the deliverance that He has in His purpose for them. (Jer. 29:11-14; 32:27 and 33:3). These show that calling upon the Lord is to seek Him with our whole heart, that we may come to Him, that we may pray to Him. To call upon the name of the Lord is to believe all that the name of the Lord stands for; to know Him in His qualities as our Saviour, Lord of all; to approach Him through the blood of the Cross; to know and feel that there is no strength in ourselves; to come to Him as a guilty, helpless sinner realizing and acknowledging that all power dwells in Him; bowing at His feet, totally surrendering to Him as our Lord and committing our all to Him, desiring Him to fill all our needs. There is a vital union between the Lord Christ and the believer. It is a living union: Christ and the believer are one. The meaning of this phrase, “calling upon the name of the Lord,” coveys approximately the same meaning as does “to worship.” He that truly believeth on Him surely will worship Him, will confess and glorify His name with thanksgiving. But here it seems to specifically mean to cry out to Him in the midst of trouble. (Psa. 107:13).
“The name of the Lord” signifies the Lord Himself. His name reveals who He is, what He has done, why He did it and where He is now! The words of this verse are taken from Joel 2:32, which is also quoted by Peter in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:21). David Brown remarks, “This is but one of many Old Testament passages of which Jehovah is the Subject, and which in the New Testament are applied to Christ — an irrefragable proof of His Divinity.” In the prophet Joel the word for Lord is Jehovah, the incommunicable name of the Most High; and here Paul is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, and has for several verses been speaking of no other Divine Person. The name of the Lord is the Lord revealed to us, the Lord Christ as we know Him in saving mercy as a living reality to us, as we have spiritual contact with Him. We call on Him whose name is the Lord.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Prov. 18:10). The previous verse of our Romans passage sets forth that the name of our Saviour is “Lord,” who is Lord of all. This is the declaration of His identity. The wonder of the name of the Lord is that it began in the Incarnation with the announcement from the angels that this Child would be born without a human father, that He would be begotten in the virgin’s womb by the Holy Ghost, and that His name would be called Jesus, Saviour, because He would saved His people from their sins (Matt. 1:18-25).
The truly redeemed have been delivered “from the power of darkness, and [He] hath translated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son” (Col. 1:13). Christ is the King of saints. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6:15), and His Kingdom in shown in Scripture in various aspects. (1) His Kingdom is universal, for His rule and dominion extend to the realms of Glory, of grace, of nature, and of providence (Eph. 1:20-23). “Without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). All things are committed into His ruling hand (Matt. 28:18). But, His Kingdom is: (2) Spiritual. He reigns in the hearts of His people. “The Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21); and in the exercising of His sovereignty, He cleanses them from all idols (Ezek. 36:25). No rival can challenge Him for His throne for “He shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). His Kingship and rule are: (3) Actual, though unseen. We see second causes which are but instruments used by our Lord Christ in the accomplishment of His purposes. In His overruling power, He makes “all things work together for good to the called, to them that love Him” (Rom. 8:28). His reign is: (4) Mediatorial in this Gospel age. In the High Courts of Heaven He governs all on earth, and things are disposed so that in the end they shall prove to have fulfilled the single purpose of Jehovah, and to have been “all for the lifting of our Lord Jesus on high.” His Kingship is: (5) Revealed in part. Enough is seen to leave men without excuse. Every believer experiences unmistakable signs of our Lord’s presence. The eye of faith perceives Him, though dimly. The hand of faith clings to Him, though feebly. Still He is our King, our Lord.
“Shall be saved.” Saved from sin, saved from our wretched, wicked condition, saved from the power of Satan, saved to all the riches of God’s grace in Christ. We concluded our chapter with the words of the godly evangelist Rolfe Barnard. “The essence of all sin is arrogance, setting up the little puppet god of self on the throne of the heart instead of the rightful Ruler, Jesus Christ. There can therefore be no New Testament salvation without submission to Him on the throne. The very essence of salvation is the collapse of the regime of self and the enthronement of another King. . . . It is vain for one to speak of faith in Christ as Saviour, who is not committed to the Lordship of Christ, and positively opposing the dominion of the lordship that sin has in his personal life. . . . To be ‘saved’ then means to be converted to the rule of God in Christ, to be man under God. It means the consent of the heart to the sovereignty of the Redeemer. Here is wholeness. Christ received with the open hand but the knee bowed. Men made captives of Christ and thus free. Men most free when most His. Men who never stand so straight as when they bow to Him. Under His authority is man’s freedom and thus his wholeness or salvation and nowhere else. The greatest need of man is to find the right answers to the question where shall supreme loyalty lie? . . . A gospel that produces a salvation apart from glad subjection to and holy adoration and worship of an enthroned Lord cannot be owned of God in our day. . . . This lawless generation must be confronted with the Christ of the covenant in the truth of Him: His Cross and His throne.”
Worthy Doctrinal and Spiritual Notes and Quotes on Romans 10:9-13
Verse 9. So that by the lively actings of faith, the soul beholds Christ in the Word, and in the promise, and takes Him with both into his very soul, until “Christ is” fully “formed there the hope of glory.” Hence, both the outward confession of the mouth, and the inward enjoyment of the heart have a beautiful correspondence: the one speaks what the other feels: “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” My soul! Is this thy faith? And if so, what can dispose thee of it? What shall stop thy joy or confidence in Jesus a single hour? If Jesus, the uncreated Word, the promised Word, the sum and substance of all the written Word, be nigh thee, yea, in thy mouth and in thine heart, not only thy understanding knows Jesus, but thine heart lives upon Jesus; surely salvation is secure; yea, Heaven itself is begun in the soul: “for this is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent.” — Robert Hawker (1753-1827).
Sinners are called on to believe, but to believe after the order of free grace; that is that they be first self-lost and sick, and then be saved by the Physician. — Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661).
To confess Christ with the mouth is to make a sincere, hearty confession to God before men that Christ Jesus is our Prophet to reveal God, our Priest to atone for us, our Lord to reign over us! When this is our experience we confess it in believer’s baptism. To believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead is to (1) Believe that He came to this earth as “God in the flesh” (John 1:14). (2) Believe that He truly died on the Cross for our sins (1 Pet. 1:18-19). (3) Believe that the sacrifice was effectual and sufficient, for God raised Him from the dead. (1 Cor. 15:13-22). — Henry Mahan (b. 1926).
Verse 10. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” But the natural heart is manifested by a carnal mind which is always “enmity against God” (8:7-8), hence the sinner must be given a “new heart” (Ezek. 36:26) and then he will be a new man with a mind that is willingly subject unto God. When the Lord makes a new man of him, then all things wear a different aspect. So great is this change that I once heard a convert say, ‘Either all the world is changed, or else I am.’ The new nature follows after right as naturally as the old nature wanders after wrong. What a blessing to receive such a nature! Only the Holy Ghost can give it. Did it ever strike you what a wonderful thing it is for the Lord to give a new heart and a right spirit to a man? You have seen a lobster, perhaps, which has fought with another lobster, and lost one of its claws, and a new claw has grown. That is a remarkable thing; it is a much more astounding fact that a man should have a new heart given to him. This, indeed, is a miracle beyond the powers of nature. — C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892).
We may have the language of God in our mouths, but, if we have not the faith of God in our hearts, we are only like painted sepulchers, which appear beautiful outwardly, but are inwardly full of rottenness and dead men’s bones. — Anonymous.
If I am, or fancy that I am, endowed with will and power to help myself, it seems a needless thing to beg of God to give me grace; as needless as to ask His help to light my candle. — John Berridge (1716-1793).
Confessing sin is not informing God, It is agreeing with Him. — Anonymous.
The way to cover our sin is to uncover it by confession. — Richard Sibbes (1577-1635).
Verse 11. For, says he, “The same Lord who is over all” mankind — i.e., the Lord Messiah, “is rich: — full of benefits, and ready to communicate them “to all,” whether Jews or Gentiles, “who,” believing on Him, “call upon Him” — give Him Divine homage — acknowledge His Lordship, by praying to Him. Under the Messiah, men were to obtain an interest in His blessings by believing, and that “whosoever,” whether Jew or Gentile, believed in Him, should possess these blessings. — John Brown (1784-1858).
Calling upon the name of the Lord is here put for all practical religion. What is the life of a Christian but a life of prayer? It implies a sense of our dependence on Him, and entire dedication of ourselves to Him, a believing expectation of our all from Him. — Matthew Henry (1662-174).
Man’s practices are the best indexes of his principles. — Stephen Charnock (1628-1680).
It is your duty and glory to do that every day that you would willingly do on a dying day. — Thomas Brooks (1608-1680).
Faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God, trusts God; and he that trusts God, obeys God. — C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892).
Verse 12. Oh glorious promise! How can God deny me anything now that I pray for? He has passed His Word for it; His Son has purchased it; the Holy Spirit inspires the prayer; the Word holds it forth; and the prayer of faith lays hold of it, and actually receives it. Prayer is the mouth of faith. If thou wilt have much, “open thy mouth wide, and it shall be filled.” Who then should not be stirred up to pray much? Oh what foolishness is this, that we have nothing, but may obtain all from God, and yet are so loath to pray much, and pray right. — C. H. V. Bogatzky (1690-1774).
Seeking Sinner, what abundant encouragement does the Word of God afford thee! God is a God of truth: He never said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain. When Jesus was in our world, He distinguished Himself by His wonderful compassion to the poor and the needy; binding up the broken-hearted; liberating the captives; speaking peace and pardon to the most guilty, and cleansing from sin the most filthy. He came into the world to save sinners — the chief of sinners: and will He not be gracious unto thee, and heal the foul diseases of thy troubled soul? Dost thou complain of the hardness of thy heart, and of thy backwardness to every thing that is good? Hast thou had a little of the light of God’s countenance, and it is gone? Hast thou been overtaken by temptation, cast down, and sorely wounded? Canst thou find nothing in the Word that will suit thy case; and do the terrors of the Almighty fall upon thee? Thou art the very sinner to whom Immanuel speaks (Matt. 11:28), yes, to you is the Word of salvation sent: “Christ is exalted as a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” — J. C. Philpot (1802-1869).
What am I the better if I can dispute that Christ is Lord, but have no sense or sweetness in my heart from thence that He is God in covenant with my soul? What will it avail me to evince by testimonies and arguments that He hath made satisfaction for sin, if, through my unbelief, the wrath of God abides on me, and I have no experience of my own of being made the righteousness of God in Him — if I find not, in my standing before God, the excellence of having my sins imputed to Him and His righteousness imputed to me? It is the power of truth in the heart alone that will make us cleave to it in an hour of temptation. — Dr. John Owen (1616-1683).
Christ is either Saviour and Lord, of He is neither Saviour nor Lord. — John R. De Witt
How vast the treasures we possess! How rich Thy bounty, King of grace! This world is ours, and worlds to come; Earth is our lodge, and Heaven our home. — Isaac Watts (1674-1748).
Verse 13. Christian faith consists essentially in the heart's enthronement of Christ. — T. T. Shields (1873-1955).
When you pray to Jesus Christ to save you from the guilt and power of sin, remember, He asks you by His Word the same question now which He asked then, “Believest thou that I am able to do this?” Not you and I together; no; but, Believest thou that I — I without you, I alone, am able to do this? And till you can answer the question truly, and say, “Lord, I do believe it,” your petition will draw no blessing. — John Berridge (1716-1793).
Christ must be crowned Lord of all, or He will not be Lord at all. He will brook no rival. There must be the complete heart-renunciation of all that stands in competition with Him: whatever pertains to the flesh must be renounced. The “Cross” is the badge of Christian discipleship: not a golden one worn on the body, but the principle of self-denial and self-sacrifice controlling the heart. We must come to Christ as Prophet, to be instructed by Him; as Priest, whose atonement and intercession are to be relied upon; as King, to be ruled by Him. Coming to Christ is a going out of self, so as no longer to rest on anything in self. It is the will bowing to His Lordship, accepting His yoke, taking up the Cross, and following Him without reserve. O how very few really do this! To the great majority Christ has to say “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life” (John 5:40). — A. W. Pink 91886-1952).
“God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” That is a prayer which, when it comes from a broken heart, never fails entering the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. — William Romaine (1714-1795).
All that seek to Jesus Christ, with a due sense of their misery and helplessness, and with a single trust in His power and mercy, will obtain what they seek. They may wait awhile at mercy’s gate, and meet with some discouragement, but at length it will be opened. The mourners will be comforted with pardon, and weary sinners will find rest unto their souls. Thus the promises, which are only gazed on by others as a fine picture, prove a Heavenly feast unto them. — John Berridge (1716-1793)..