Main point summary
The Torah tells us of the two ways to be righteous: perfect, personal obedience to God or responding to the word in your mouth and heart—the word of justification in Jesus to all who believe.
Bible study outline
A walk through Romans 10:5-13. The big idea of this passage is righteousness. See verses 5-6. There are two ways to obtain righteousness —one through the law (i.e. being perfect) and one through faith (believing in the one who lived perfectly for me). The lie is to say there is a third way—righteousness through a decent life. “What about a good person who never hears about Jesus?” Heard this? What is the answer? (There is no such person!) And let us be careful! There are many “believers” who in reality seek righteousness through good works. Don't be one because there is no third category. Note: Vs 5 is not talking about the book of the Law (i.e. the Torah). This is clear from the fact that verse 6 goes on to quote from the Torah as a basis for the righteousness based on faith! Notice the excuses for unbelief. “Its far away!” “It is beyond my understanding.” (It is simple enough for a child to understand.) “I have never had the chance to hear it.” (You are hearing it now.) “It is too spiritual for me.” (Its spirituality is to make up for your lack of genuine spirituality—that's the point!) “We can never know who God is or even if he exists.” (He has told us who he is and you know it is true by the way it pierces your heart.) There are two contradictory points present in virtually every religion. The person who wants to be righteous must obey all God's commands. There are righteous people who have not obeyed all God's commands. These two point are also found in the Bible. The difference is that only the Bible provides a third point that nullifies the contradiction. Jesus obeyed all God's commands and gives us his righteousness. It is the great exchange. Christ has born the punishment of our unrighteousness and we receive the reward of his righteousness. Our faith is ultimately in a Person. Verses 6-7 make this clear (along with 9a). And this includes faith in what this Person has done (9b). What are we saved from (vs 9)? guilt shame wrath destruction ... Why does the condition involve both mouth and heart? Are there actually two conditions for salvation? Can the mute not be saved? There are three ways humans function. We love, rejoice, believe, etc in our hearts. We communicate, most often with our mouths. And we act through deeds. Paul is jealous to help us understand that we receive God grace and salvation on the basis of that first, heart reality, and in no way on the basis of the last reality of deeds. But what about the reality of our words? [[ Read through cross-reference texts. ]] Confession is a partner to the love, joy and faith in our hearts. For communication is the overflow of the heart. Certainly there will be those who confess without sincere faith (Matt 7:21-23), but there will never be a person who truly believes but never confesses Christ. There are two clarifications of verse 9 that we must understand to understand this verse right: God makes sinners righteous through faith (accompanied by confession) alone. God freely gives the riches of righteousness and salvation irrespective of pedigree.
Μωϋσῆς γὰρ γράφει τὴν δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ [τοῦ] νόμου
For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law,
ὅτι ὁ ποιήσας αὐτὰ ἄνθρωπος ζήσεται ἐν αὐτοῖς.
that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.
ἡ δὲ ἐκ πίστεως δικαιοσύνη οὕτως λέγει•
But the righteousness based on faith says,
μὴ εἴπῃς ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου•
“Do not say in your heart,
τίς ἀναβήσεται εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν;
‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”
τοῦτʼ ἔστιν Χριστὸν καταγαγεῖν•
(that is, to bring Christ down)
ἤ• τίς καταβήσεται εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον;
“or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’”
τοῦτʼ ἔστιν Χριστὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναγαγεῖν.
(that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
ἀλλὰ τί λέγει;
But what does it say?
ἐγγύς σου τὸ ῥῆμά ἐστιν
“The word is near you,
ἐν τῷ στόματί σου καὶ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου,
in your mouth and in your heart”
τοῦτʼ ἔστιν τὸ ῥῆμα τῆς πίστεως ὃ κηρύσσομεν.
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
ὅτι ἐὰν ὁμολογήσῃς ἐν τῷ στόματί σου κύριον Ἰησοῦν
because, if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord [NASB]
καὶ πιστεύσῃς ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου
and believe in your heart
ὅτι ὁ θεὸς αὐτὸν ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν,
that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
καρδίᾳ γὰρ πιστεύεται εἰς δικαιοσύνην,
For with the heart one believes and is justified,
στόματι δὲ ὁμολογεῖται εἰς σωτηρίαν.
and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
λέγει γὰρ ἡ γραφή•
For the Scripture says,
πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων ἐπʼ αὐτῷ οὐ καταισχυνθήσεται.
“Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διαστολὴ Ἰουδαίου τε καὶ Ἕλληνος,
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
ὁ γὰρ αὐτὸς κύριος πάντων,
for the same Lord is Lord of all,
πλουτῶν εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἐπικαλουμένους αὐτόν•
bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
πᾶς γὰρ ὃς ἂν ἐπικαλέσηται τὸ ὂνομα κυρίου σωθήσεται.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Master or God ?
10a and 12a contain explanatory γὰρ's. 11a and 13 contain proof γὰρ's as they ground the previous statements in Scripture.
The entire passage is a ground to the following sentence in verse 4: "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
A confession of faith
42 Nevertheless, v many even of the authorities believed in him, but w for fear of the Pharisees they did not x confess it, so that they would not be x put out of the synagogue; 43 y for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
1 Peter 2:9
9 But you are z a chosen race, a a royal b priesthood, c a holy nation, d a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you e out of darkness into f his marvelous light.
8 But you will receive n power o when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and p you will be q my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and r Samaria, and s to the end of the earth.”
9 x Therefore y God has z highly exalted him and bestowed on him a the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus b every knee should bow, c in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and d every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is e Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 Timothy 6:12
12 m Fight the good fight of the faith. n Take hold of the eternal life o to which you were called and about which you made p the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts u sprinkled clean v from an evil conscience and our bodies w washed with pure water. 23 x Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for y he who promised is faithful.
A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit 33 n “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, o for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 p You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, q when you are evil? r For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 r The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, s on the day of judgment t people will give account for u every careless word they speak, 37 for v by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”