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10For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.

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10. For with the heart we believe 327327     “Creditur;” πιστεύεται, “it is believed.” It is an impersonal verb, and so is the verb in the next clause. The introduction of a person is necessary in a version, and we may say, “We believe;” or, as “thou” is used in the preceding verse, it may be adopted here, — “For by the heart thou believest unto righteousness,” i.e., in order to attain righteousness; “and with the mouth thou confessest unto salvation,” i.e., in order to attain salvation. “God knows our faith,” as Pareus observes, “but it is made known to man by confession.” Turrettin’s remarks on this verse are much to the purpose. He says, that Paul loved antitheses, and that we are not to understand faith and confession as separated and applied only to the two things here mentioned, but ought to be viewed as connected, and that a similar instance is found in Romans 9:25, where Christ is said to have been delivered for our offenses, and to have risen again for our justification; which means, that by his death and resurrection our offenses are blotted out, and justification is obtained. In the same manner the import of what is here said is, that by sincere faith and open confession we obtain justification and salvation. — Ed. unto righteousness, etc. This passage may help us to understand what justification by faith is; for it shows that righteousness then comes to us, when we embrace God’s goodness offered to us in the gospel. We are then for this reason just, because we believe that God is propitious to us in Christ. But let us observe this, — that the seat of faith is not in the head, (in cerebro — in the brain,) but in the heart. Yet I would not contend about the part of the body in which faith is located: but as the word heart is often taken for a serious and sincere feeling, I would say that faith is a firm and effectual confidence, (fiducia — trust, dependence,) and not a bare notion only.

With the mouth confession is made unto salvation It may seem strange, that he ascribes no part of our salvation to faith, as he had before so often testified, that we are saved by faith alone. But we ought not on this account to conclude that confession is the cause of our salvation. His design was only to show how God completes our salvation, even when he makes faith, which he implants in our hearts, to show itself by confession: nay, his simple object was, to mark out true faith, as that from which this fruit proceeds, lest any one should otherwise lay claim to the empty name of faith alone: for it ought so to kindle the heart with zeal for God’s glory, as to force out its own flame. And surely, he who is justified has already obtained salvation: hence he no less believes with the heart unto salvation, than with the mouth makes a confession. You see that he has made this distinction, — that he refers the cause of justification to faith, — and that he then shows what is necessary to complete salvation; for no one can believe with the heart without confessing with the mouth: it is indeed a necessary consequence, but not that which assigns salvation to confession.

But let them see what answer they can give to Paul, who at this day proudly boast of some sort of imaginary faith, which, being content with the secrecy of the heart, neglect the confession of the mouth, as a matter superfluous and vain; for it is extremely puerile to say, that there is fire, when there is neither flame nor heat.




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