“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Explanation and Commentary of Romans 10:9
Paul is explaining that both Jews and Gentiles are saved in the same way, by faith. Paul will also say that one must “call on the name of the Lord” (Ro 10:13). It is by grace and grace alone that we are saved. In verse 10 he will explain it in proper order, first the belief in the heart, followed by the declaration of Jesus from the mouth.
Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again to see the Kingdom of God (Jn 3:3). This is a mysterious work that will cause someone to be able to see, to believe, and to have sorrow for their own sin. God reveals himself to our hearts and calls us to follow him.
Paul speaks in this chapter about the importance of hearing the Gospel. People will not hear it if no one preaches it. No one will preach it if no one is sent. No one will be sent if no one is called by God to preach the Good News. But God has called some to preach, and he has called all Christians to witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Romans 10:9
#1 “If you declare with your mouth,”
Some people think that if someone will just say the words, they will be saved. In some places it is wrongly taught that after one says the words, even if they are just repeating what they’ve been told to say, it does not matter what they do, they are saved. They are going to heaven. Even if their life looks totally evil, and they renounce their faith, the fact that they said those words means they can’t lose their salvation. This is an error and misunderstanding of the true doctrine of eternal security. The heart is what matters.
#2 “‘Jesus is Lord,’”
If these words come from the heart then they are a declaration of the truth that he is Lord of everything. One who declares that “Jesus is Lord” will seek to bring their life under his lordship. They will be transformed to become like him. They will seek to become his disciples.
It is important that the two sides of the statement are combined. Along with “Jesus is Lord,” must come “believe in your heart.”
#4 “…believe in your heart…”
This is the first cause of the declaration that Jesus is Lord, and it is the evidence of true salvation. One who refuses to declare that Jesus is Lord does not believe in their heart.
#5 “…that God raised him from the dead,”
Belief in the resurrection of Jesus is generally what makes a Christian a Christian. Jesus’ death on the cross defeated Satan, sin, and death. His resurrection from the dead authenticated that victory. To believe this and to declare his Lordship is the first step of faith in the life of the Christian.
#6 “you will be saved.”
Salvation in Jesus Christ is an already/not yet reality. The Bible says we are saved, and it says we are being saved. Both are true.
Bible Study on Romans 10:9
Expert Overview of Romans Ch. 5-16
Biblical Translations of Romans 10:9
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Because, 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.
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.
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.