Art Toombs Ministries

Online Bible Commentary

Believe in Your Heart
Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them." 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, " 'Who will descend into the abyss?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 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. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (NKJV)





Paul wrote this letter to the Christians in Rome during a three month visit to the church in Corinth, Greece in late 56 and early 57 A.D. The letter is heavy with Christian Doctrine, Christian teaching.

Chapter 9 marked the beginning of a new topic from the Apostle Paul. He launched into the problem of Israel’s unbelief. Chapters 9-11 discuss this topic.

In this passage, Paul begins by addressing his blood brothers, the Jews, and confirming his strong desire for them to forsake Judaism and become Christians. Paul writes “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” (v. 1).

In this passage, Paul quotes six Old Testament passages in order to convince his Jewish brothers that what he is telling them is from the Law. These passages can be found in other resources so I will not take this space to cite them herewith.

“I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” (v. 2). Paul compliments them for their great excitement, their zeal, in being loyal to Judaism, but this zeal is not enough. It must be backed up by knowledge.

Sometimes new Christians begin with a wonderful zeal and excitement in their Christian life that is soon dashed the first time they are challenged by non-Christians or by other unexpected hardships. This is why new Christians must continue to be discipled after they accept Christ. They must possess knowledge, in order to fight off the challenges.

Here, Paul writes that the new Christian Jews in Rome do not possess this knowledge. They are ignorant about how to become righteous in the eyes of God.

“For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” (v 3). The new Christian Jews are seeking righteousness through obedience to the Law, by doing good works.

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them.’ “ (vv. 4-5). Paul writes that when you become a Christian you are saved by grace through faith, not by good works.

Paul is saying that If they want to continue to seek righteousness by “the Law”, they will “live” by the Law. They will be judged by the Law.

It is impossible for man to be perfect and live by the Law, the commandments. If man chooses to live in this manner, they condemn themselves to Hell.

Jesus was the only perfect Man who walked the earth. He is fully God and fully Man.

 “But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, " 'Who will descend into the abyss?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” (vv. 6-7).

The righteousness that comes from our faith in Jesus Christ is the true righteousness of God. Christ has already been resurrected and ascended back to Heaven.

The Jews had rejected Christ as their coming Messiah. They were still waiting. Paul was wanting to educate them.

Salvation is already at hand. Christ has already come. "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach).” (v. 8a). He is present in us when we receive Him.  

“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.” (vv. 8b-9). Here Paul cites the steps to become a Christian. We make a public confession that Jesus is the Lord of our life. And, secondly, we truly believe that He was resurrected from the dead.

Belief in bodily resurrection was difficult for some Jews. The Pharisees, Paul’s former sect, believed in bodily resurrection, but the Sadducees did not. Thus, Paul wanted to make sure the Jews understood that bodily resurrection was a Christian belief.

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (v. 10). Here Paul cites the order of our salvation. It all starts with our belief in our heart, our mind, our soul, our everything. Then we make a public confession of that belief. We are saved by our belief and not by anything we do.

 "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (v. 11). We will never regret making a decision for Christ. We will never regret becoming a Christian.

Once we make that decision, the Lord changes our “want tos”. We no longer want to live our old life. We have become a new person.

 “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ " (vv. 12-13). Salvation is available to all. All we have to do is reach out to the Lord and He will save us from the penalty of our sin, eternal separation from God.

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.