Confess & Believe
“…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10.9)
Myriad denominations do not teach baptism is an essential part of salvation. Some say that people are saved by grace alone through faith alone. Mathematics itself dictates this statement false- two lone things are not alone; they have each other, and therefore, are no longer alone. Some read Romans 10.9 and tell their followers to pray the sinner’s prayer. The sinner’s prayer is not found in the Bible, but most versions include having a person confess Jesus is Lord. That would seem to fulfill the qualifications of Romans 10.9, but does it?
The problem lies in what the word “believe” means. Current use of the word simply means to have confidence in something to be true. But that’s not how the Bible uses the word believe.
As an example, consider Isaiah 55.3, “Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live…” Is God saying that just hearing His words are enough? Or is He telling the person that they must listen to the words and act accordingly? Simply hearing the word, “stop” is not the same as stopping. Later, in verse 6, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near”. A couple of hundred years ago, our ancestors used the word “call on” to indicate spending time with; which is how Isaiah is using the word- spend time seeking God, not just saying His name.
The Roman writer is telling us that we must believe in Jesus. Meaning we must also believe that Jesus’s words are true. Jesus preached repentance (Matthew 4.17). He said Peter would tell us what the rules for acceptance into His Kingdom would be (Matthew 16.18-19). Peter told people to “repent and be baptized…for the forgiveness of sins…” (Acts 2.38). Peter also said that “Baptism…saves us” (1 Peter 3.21). Do you believe Jesus or not? Confess Him as Lord, and believe that you will be held responsible for hearing what He has commanded for salvation.