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“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10
In speaking of this important matter, — confessing with the mouth what we have believed with the heart, I call your attention, first of all, to the order of the two things. Believing with the heart must come first; confession with the mouth must and should come afterwards. To confess with the mouth what I do not believe with the heart would be hypocrisy; instead of being an acceptable sacrifice, it would be an abomination in the sight of God. How dare I profess to have faith if I do not possess it? How dare I assume a form of godliness unless I have proved its power in my spirit? So first comes the heart’s believing, and then follows the mouth’s confession. Do not reverse the Scriptural order, but take care that you do all things in their due course. Among the last words of the Lord Jesus Christ to his disciples are these, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Note the order, — not baptism first, and believing afterwards; but he who first believes, and then is baptized upon profession of his faith, is the servant of Christ who obeys his Master’s commands in their right order; and he it is who “shall be saved.”
Having noted the order of faith and its confession, next, note the connection between them. Confessing with the mouth is to follow believing with the heart just as effect follows causes. We are to confess with the mouth because we believe with the heart. The heart’s belief is to be so potent and energetic a thing that it constrains us to confess openly what we have received inwardly; no confession is worth anything unless it is the outcome of the grace by which we have received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.
There is a due order for faith and confession, and there is a clear connection between faith and confession.
Notice, also, the result of the two put together: “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The result of faith and confession is salvation. I do not doubt that a man, who truly believes in Jesus, is saved even before he makes a confession of his faith; but it is very remarkable that the blessing of salvation is constantly connected with these two things rather than with either one of them alone, and we must not put asunder what God has joined together. The same truth is taught in the memorable sentence which I quoted to you just now: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” There is no saving efficacy in baptism, yet belief and baptism are joined together by our Lord Jesus Christ, and again I say, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” I would not like to attend to one duty, and neglect another, when I found my Master laying both upon me. The path of obedience is ever the path of happiness; and if any God-given command should ever seem to your imperfect apprehension to be less important than another, remember the wise words of the mother of Jesus to the servants at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, “Whatsoever HE saith unto you, do it." And do it conscientiously, gladly, promptly, because he commanded it, even though you cannot see any other reason for doing it.
EXCERPT FROM A SERMON DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON, JULY 4TH, 1867.
C. H. Spurgeon
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) was England's best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1854, just four years after his...