What does Romans 10:10 mean?
ESV: For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
NIV: For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
NASB: for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
CSB: One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.
NLT: For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
KJV: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Verse Commentary:
Paul continues his comparison of God's words to Israel in Deuteronomy 30:11–14. That passage was about obeying the commandments, which Paul aligns with believing in the gospel for the Israelites of his day. God told Israel that the command was already in their mouths and hearts. Paul wrote in the previous verse that both the mouth and heart are also involved in salvation by faith alone in Christ alone.

Now Paul restates the concept he taught in the previous verse. With the heart a person believes and is justified—they are declared righteous by God, cleared of all the charges against them. Paul's statement is clear: The faith in Christ that leads to salvation is personal and internal (Jeremiah 31:31–34). The mouth, then, becomes the means by which someone expresses their faith in Christ. Only saved believers can truthfully say with their mouths what has happened in their hearts: they have placed their faith in Jesus.
Verse Context:
Romans 10:5–13 explores how Israel's people have, for the most part, rejected God by refusing to trust in Christ. Instead of waiting for some new truth to fall from heaven, or float up from the abyss, they ought to recognize that truth has already been given. All who confess Christ as Lord, and believe in His resurrection, will be saved. This is true for both Jews and Gentiles.
Chapter Summary:
Paul's heart is broken for his people, Israel. He prays they will be saved through faith in Christ. Their enthusiasm for God is made useless by their attempt to be made righteous by their own law-keeping instead of by faith in Christ. What, then, is required to be saved? One must confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead. The same is true for both Jews and Gentiles. God waits patiently for Israel to turn and believe.
Chapter Context:
Romans 9 concluded with Paul's declaration that Israel has stumbled over the stumbling stone of Christ. Romans 10 describes Paul's heartfelt prayer that Israel would be saved, despite her commitment to saving herself through works. Why have the Israelites not confessed the Lordship of Jesus and believed in the resurrection? It's not for lack of hearing and understanding; they are disobeying the gospel. Paul will insist, though, in the following chapter, that God has not rejected Israel. He still holds out His hands to her, offering salvation through faith in Christ.
Book Summary:
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
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