10 For with the heart one believes and is justified,
and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
In the preceding verses Paul highlighted grace and faith in quotes from Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Those truths preface what we find here. The opening word “because” connects what follows with what Paul has just said about the nearness of God’s word of faith. The gospel message is near us, available to us, and therefore ready and waiting to be confessed and believed.Confess and believe; believe and confess
Verses 9 and 10 state in creedal form how a person lays hold of salvation. All a person has to do to be saved “is to confess with one’s mouth Jesus as Lord and to believe—really believe—in one’s heart that God has raised Him from the dead” (Charles Cranfield).
By putting confession with mouth before belief in heart, Paul conforms to Moses’ wording (verse 8). Of course, salvation depends foremost on faith in the heart. John equates confess and believe (1 John 4:15 and 5:5). Colin Kruse observes that this is the only place in his letters Paul speaks of believing in the heart or of confessing with the mouth.
In verse 10 “justified” and “saved” are equivalent in meaning, the variation being for rhetorical effect. Also for such effect, Paul forms a chiasm by reversing the order of heart and mouth from verse 9 and switching “saved” from heart to mouth.Belief in the resurrection
Christ’s resurrection and our belief in his resurrection are essential for our salvation. Jesus was raised for our justification Paul says in 4:24–25. The resurrection is proof that Christ’s death paid for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). And by raising his Son from the grave, the Father certifies that Jesus is Lord of all. “You cannot be saved if you do not believe in the resurrection of Christ,” says R. C. Sproul.
The gospel’s universal outreach
Verse 11, with a quotation from Isaiah 28:16, carries forward Paul’s theme that salvation is available to “everyone who believes,” a phrase repeated from verse 4 and also found in 1:16 and 3:22. The same Isaiah quotation appears in 9:33. This truth is the basis for Paul’s declaration in verse 12 that “there is no distinction between Jew and Greek.” The door of salvation is closed to no one, for Jesus is Lord of all people.
Christ shares his riches
Jesus is wealthy beyond measure, and if you call on him to be saved he will make you wealthy as well. Making wealthy is the literal meaning of the participial verb “bestowing his riches.” These riches prosper spirit and soul, not pocketbook, and they include love, mercy, peace, kindness, righteousness, joy, and glory. To everyone who calls on him he freely gives. “Ask, and you will receive,” Jesus said, because he wants to make our joy full (John 16:24).
Christ’s “unsearchable riches” attach so closely to the gospel that Paul speaks of preaching them (Ephesians 3:8). “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
In 11:33 Paul speaks of the depth of the Father’s riches. All that the Father has belongs also to the Son (John 16:15). Through Christ in the ages to come we will see the immeasurable riches of the Father’s grace and kindness (Ephesians 2:7). These are the riches of his glory God makes known to the vessels of mercy (9:23)—everyone who calls on the name of Christ.Jesus is Yahweh
Verse 13 is a quotation from Joel 2:32, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” The “Lord” Joel wrote about is Yahweh. “In the original context the prophet speaks of the awesome day of the Lord, when deliverance and survival will come to those who invoke Yahweh” (Joseph Fitzmyer). By his use of the Joel passage and of the title Lord throughout this passage in reference to Jesus, Paul implicitly calls him God.
Jesus was explicit about his deity. He identified himself as “I am” (Yahweh) in John 8:58. For more on Jesus’ divinity, see 9:5b.Still time to call on his name
Anyone can call on Jesus’ name by praying to him. Here Paul exhorts unbelievers to call on Jesus in prayer for salvation. Cranfield notes that “for a Jew, to pray to anyone other than the one true God was utterly repugnant.”
As the Isaiah quotation in verse 11 makes clear, only those who place their trust in Christ now will avoid shame when Christ returns in glory (see also 1 John 2:28). A day is coming when everyone will confess Jesus Christ is Lord. His followers will make this confession voluntarily and gladly whereas those in rebellion against him will do it as admission of defeat (Philippians 2:9–11).