For with the heart man believeth, etc. - And be sincere in this: for with the heart, duly affected with a sense of guilt, and of the sufficiency of the sacrifice which Christ has offered, man believeth unto righteousness, believeth to receive justification; for this is the proper meaning of the term here, and in many other parts of this epistle; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. He who believes aright in Christ Jesus will receive such a full conviction of the truth, and such an evidence of his redemption, that his mouth will boldly confess his obligation to his Redeemer, and the blessed persuasion he has of the remission of all his sins through the blood of the cross. One grand object of the apostle is to show the simplicity of the Gospel scheme of salvation; and at the same time, its great efficacy, it is simple, and very unlike the law, which was full of rites, ordinances, ceremonies, etc., each of which required to be perfectly fulfilled: and yet, after all, even those who had the utmost zeal for God, and, as conscientiously as possible, observed all the precepts of the law, had not attained to justification nor peace of conscience. Whereas both Jews and Gentiles, who had believed on the Lord Jesus according to the simple declarations of the Gospel, were freely justified from all things from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses: and they had the witness in themselves that they were passed from death to life.
For with the heart - Not with the understanding merely, but with such a faith as shall be sincere, and shall influence the life. There can be no other genuine faith than what influences the whole mind.
Believeth unto righteousness - Believes so that justification is obtained. (Stuart.) In God‘s plan of justifying people, this is the way by which we may be declared just or righteous in his sight. The moment a sinner believes, therefore, he is justified; his sins are pardoned; and he is introduced into the favor of God. No man can be justified without this; for this is God‘s plan, and he will not depart from it.
With the mouth confession is made - That is, confession or profession is so made as to obtain salvation. He who in all appropriate ways professes his attachment to Christ shall be saved. This profession is to be made in all the proper ways of religious duty; by an avowal of our sentiments; by declaring on all proper occasions our belief of the truth; and by an unwavering adherence to them in all persecutions, oppositions, and trials. He who declares his belief makes a profession. He who associates with Christian people does it. He who acts with them in the prayer meeting, in the sanctuary, and in deeds of benevolence, does it. He who is baptized, and commemorates the death of the Lord Jesus, does it. And he who leads an humble, prayerful, spiritual life, does it. He shows his regard to the precepts and example of Christ Jesus; his regard for them more than for the pride, and pomp, and allurements of the world. All these are included in a profession of religion. In whatever way we can manifest attachment to it, it must be done. The reason why this is made so important is, that there can be no true attachment to Christ which will not manifest itself in the life. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. It is impossible that there should be true belief in the heart of man, unless it should show itself in the life and conversation. This is the only test of its existence and its power; and hence it is made so important in the business of religion. And we may here learn,
(1) That a profession of religion is, by Paul, made as really indispensable to salvation as believing. According to him it is connected with salvation as really as faith is with justification; and this accords with all the declarations of the Lord Jesus; Matthew 10:32; Matthew 25:34-46; Luke 12:8.
(2) there can be no religion where there is not a willingness to confess the Lord Jesus. There is no true repentance where we are not willing to confess our faults. There is no true attachment to a father or mother or friend, unless we are willing on all proper occasions to avow it. And so there can be no true religion where there is too much pride, or vanity, or love of the world, or fear of shame to confess it.
(3) those who never profess any religion have none: and they are not safe. To deny God the Saviour before people is not safe. They who do not profess religion, profess the opposite. The real feelings of the heart will be expressed in the life. And they who profess by their lives that they have no regard for God and Christ, for heaven and glory, must expect to be met in the last day, as those who deny the Lord that bought them, and who bring upon themselves quick destruction; 2 Peter 1:2.
If this attitude is preserved, then when the Lord shall again let His light shine upon the people, they will turn from the heavenly illumination, saying, “I felt the same in 1893, and some in whom I have had confidence, said that the work was fanaticism.” Will not those who have received the rich grace of God, and who take the position that the working of the Holy Spirit was fanaticism, be ready to denounce the operations of the Spirit of God in the future, and the heart thus be proof against the solicitations of the still, small voice? The love of Jesus may be presented to those who thus barricade themselves against it, and exercise no constraining power upon them. The riches of the grace of heaven may be bestowed and yet rejected, instead of being cherished and gratefully recognized. With the heart men did believe unto righteousness, and for a time confession was made unto salvation; but, sad to relate, the receiver did not cooperate with heavenly intelligences, and cherish the light by working the works of righteousness.—The Review and Herald, February 6, 1894. 1SM 143.1
[Ellen G. White, in her public ministry effectively employed the appeal which called for a response. Presented here are accounts of a number of instances which reveal her use of such methods under varying circumstances.—Compilers.]Read in context »
In the prophecy of Daniel it was recorded of Christ that He shall “make reconciliation for iniquity, and ... bring in everlasting righteousness” (Daniel 9:24). Every soul may say: “By His perfect obedience He has satisfied the claims of the law, and my only hope is found in looking to Him as my substitute and surety, who obeyed the law perfectly for me. By faith in His merits I am free from the condemnation of the law. He clothes me with His righteousness, which answers all the demands of the law. I am complete in Him who brings in everlasting righteousness. He presents me to God in the spotless garment of which no thread was woven by any human agent. All is of Christ, and all the glory, honor, and majesty are to be given to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” 1SM 396.1
Many think that they must wait for a special impulse in order that they may come to Christ; but it is necessary only to come in sincerity of purpose, deciding to accept the offers of mercy and grace that have been extended to us. We are to say: “Christ died to save me. The Lord's desire is that I should be saved, and I will come to Jesus just as I am without delay. I will venture upon the promise. As Christ draws me, I will respond.” The apostle says, “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness” (Romans 10:10). No one can believe with the heart unto righteousness, and obtain justification by faith, while continuing the practice of those things which the Word of God forbids, or while neglecting any known duty. 1SM 396.2Read in context »
Ten thousand times ten thousand may profess to obey the law and the gospel, and yet be living in transgression. Men may present in a clear manner the claims of truth upon others and yet their own hearts be carnal. Sin may be loved and practiced in secret. The truth of God may be no truth to them, because their hearts have not been sanctified by it. The love of the Saviour may exercise no constraining power over their base passions. We know by the history of the past that men may stand in sacred positions and yet handle the truth of God deceitfully. They cannot lift up holy hands to God, “without wrath and doubting.” This is because God has no control over their minds. The truth was never stamped upon their hearts. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Are you doing this? Many are not, and never have done it. Their conversion has been only superficial. 5T 536.1
“If ye then,” says the apostle, “be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” The heart is the citadel of the man. From it are the issues of life or death. Until the heart is purified, a person is unfit to have any part in the fellowship of the saints. Does not the Heart Searcher know who are lingering in sin, regardless of their souls? Has there not been a witness to the most secret things in the life of everyone? I was compelled to hear the words spoken by some men to women and girls—words of flattery, words that would deceive and infatuate. Satan uses all these means to destroy souls. Some of you may thus have been his agents; and if so, you will have to meet these things in the judgment. The angel said of this class: “Their hearts have never been given to God. Christ is not in them. Truth is not there. Its place is occupied by sin, deception, and falsehood. The word of God is not believed and acted upon.” 5T 536.2
The present activity of Satan in working upon hearts, and upon churches and nations, should startle every student of prophecy. The end is near. Let our churches arise. Let the converting power of God be experienced in the hearts of the individual members, and then we shall see the deep movings of the Spirit of God. The forgiveness of sins is not the sole result of the death of Jesus. He made the infinite sacrifice, not only that sin might be removed, but that human nature might be restored, rebeautified, reconstructed from its ruins, and made fit for the presence of God. 5T 537.1Read in context »
My heart was rejoiced to see among the converts [at Willis, Michigan] so many young men and women, with hearts softened and subdued by the love of Jesus, acknowledging the good work wrought by God for their souls. It was indeed a precious season. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10).... TDG 211.2Read in context »