The Scriptural Application of
Repenting, Believing and Confessing
By Pastor George D. Cutler
Grace Gospel Ministry
1. Repent and Believe
It is of note that in most ministering circles; repenting and believing are conceived as volitional acts by humans and almost universally accepted as requirements for salvation. Strict exegetical consideration of what the scriptural meaning and dispensational importation of repentance is essential. Herein this is addressed as follows:
¨ the meaning of repentance
¨ the relation of repentance to believing
¨ the relation of repentance in covenants
¨ dispensational inclusion and absence of demand for repentance from salvation in the Scriptures
¨ significance of repentance in specific passages of scripture
The word metanoew (meht•ahn•o•eh•o) as conveyed in the Greek, is in every instance translated “repentance,” which simply means a “change of mind or heart.” The common practice of reading into this word the thought of sorrow and heart-anguish is responsible for much confusion in the field of Soteriology. In many instances, sorrow does accompany repentance and does in fact leads to repentance but the sorrow, within itself is not repentance. II Corinthians 7:10, through proper exegesis states, “for the grief according to God produces repentance unto salvation, not to be regretted, but the grief of the world produces death.” Here the text of the verse as well as the context of the passage emphatically iterate the sorrow or grief imposed by God upon His elect by design; produces repentance (a change of mind or heart) but such sorrow should not be mistaken for the change of mind itself, which it may serve to produce. The son cited by Christ as recorded in Matthew 21:28-29 at first said "I will not go," but then afterward repented (changed his mind) and went, which is a true example of the precise meaning of the word. In the Kingdom Gospel and New Covenant, the call to repentance is precisely an urge for self-condemnation and to a change of mind. This promotes a change in the course being pursued, as Israel and Judah are required to do under the conditional stipulation of their new contract, which is the call to reject the Old (Mosaic Law) and embrace Christ for their acceptance to God. There will be little or no progress can be made in a right induction of the eternal workings of God on until the true and accurate meaning of the word is reconciled and defended against its scriptural misuse.
Such unscriptural misuse also erroneously foists the relation of repentance to believing as it is asserted that it is to be added to belief as a requirement for salvation. Unfortunately, this is assumed so much that the claim has been set up as dogmatically stated as language could declare; that repentance is essential to salvation and none can be saved apart from its concomitancy with believing, as inseparable requisites. This thinking has cascaded to the problem of so-called identifying those who have received salvation. Hence this practice has evolved in some ministries as the plumb-line for supposedly delineating regenerate from unregenerate persons. Here it is safe to say that few errors have caused so much confusion regarding the salvation of God’s elect than the practice of demanding an anguish of soul as ones enactment of exercising faith in Christ. Such emotions have been orchestrated to be produced at will as the way of salvation has thus been made impossible for all who do not experience this required ritual. This error results in another serious misdirection of the message of salvation, namely, one in which such ones are encouraged to look inward at themselves and not outwardly to Christ as Savior. In this view, salvation is conditioned on some expression of their exercise of faith and the intensity of anguish which preceded or accompanied it, but not on the faithfulness of Christ. It is in this manner that their expressed sorrow of heart and verbal or mental consentient become mainly subtle forms of meritorious work and to that extent a gross contradiction of God’s Grace as the only adduce for salvation.
Underlying all the suppositions that tears, anguish and human expressions of faith are necessary is the most serious notion that the blood of Christ that was shed in eternity was not entirely propitious but that God must also be softened to pity and appeased by induced penitent grief and volitional input of faith in the sphere of time. This cogitation militates against the fact that the Scriptures document that God is exclusively propitious because of Christ's death for the very sinful nature that is the source of human sorrow. There is no occasion to melt or temper the heart of God, as His attitude toward sin and the sinner is a matter of revelation in His eternal purpose. This implication as it is so generally accepted, assumes that God must be mollified by human agony, which is a desperate form of unbelief. The belief of the gospel has been assigned to His elect, who are manifested as unsaved, which certainly is not the mere notion that God must be coaxed into a saving attitude of mind. It is in eternity that Christ has died and grace was extended from the One who is propitious to the point of infinity.
The Synergistic mindset is prone to imagine that there is some form of atonement for sin through men expressing sorry for it. Whatever may be the place of sorrow for sin in the restoration of the elect’s transgression, it has been predetermined for both Jew and Gentile and there is no occasion to propitiate God or to provide any form of satisfaction by the expression of misery or distress of ones soul. It is glaringly inconsistent for one to assert that the unsaved must experience mental suffering and consent to change before they can be saved. The majority of Christendom has failed to inform their hearers that such implied burden upon the elect is unscriptural. It should be restated that the reception of salvation does not engender God’s consideration of ones grief of mind, as it cannot be genuinely produced at ones will because the humanly depraved nature is void of the demand of a self-produced affliction of mind. In this sense, it is irrelevant to debate whether regeneration shall precede salvation by ones faith. When salvation is presented on the basis of human imputation, it becomes a form of fatalism and is responsible for the doubt, fear, confusion, despair and insecurity that are so prevalent among countless multitudes of God’s people. It is this synergistic point of view that advances the supposed merit of human repentance in the salvation process but this should be excluded from the terms on which a soul may be saved.
As before stated, repentance, which is simply a change of mind, is the resulting effects of believing, which is all caused by God. In the manifestation of salvation, no individual can turn to Christ based on their owned induced confidence in God and change of mind. Here it should be noted that repentance in the sphere of time is not something that a spiritually dead individual could ever effectuate, as it was the work of the Holy Spirit in eternity. This must foremost be considered by those who are amenable to the Word of God that the essential preparation of heart which the Holy Spirit accomplished in the elect to manifest in them a spiritually intelligent and non-voluntary acceptance of Christ as Savior occurred not as the results of sorrow for their sinful nature. The unsaved that come to Christ in manifestation, do so by God’s divine influence as they are illuminated and given a clear understanding concerning their sinful nature. Those who are caused to believe on Christ, regardless of its perceived act of securing salvation, does not engender turning from something to something but rather turning to something from something. This terminology may seem like a mere play on words but a spiritually analytical investigation of the sphere of the actual enactment of salvation exudes this vital distinction. For depraved humanity to turn from evil, is not a possible act within itself nor can such action be determinant at that point.
One’s turn to Christ was a pre-determined act in eternity, thus the joining of these two separate acts…….repentance and faith in the sphere of time………. can’t in any way be requisites for salvation. On the other hand, manifestly speaking………. turning to Christ from all other confidences does exude the act of repentance, which is a change of mind. Note how the Apostle Paul stresses this distinction in accurate terms when he states to the Thessalonians, “you did turn unto God from the idols, to serve the living and true God “(I Thessalonians 1:9). Upon close scrutiny, this text provides no comfort for those who contend that recipients of grace must first, in real contrition, renounce all wicked things, terminating from such at that point and afterwards, as a second and separate act, turn to God. The text recognizes but one act, i.e., "You did turn unto God from idols," which is an act that resulted from their gift of faith alone.
Those who stress the requirements of repentance and believing, inadvertently disclose that in their conception, the problem of personal sins is all that enters into salvation. It is in fact the sin nature that caused the enmity and separation yet neither are legitimate subjects of repentance or believing. Salvation contemplates many vast issues and the consideration of the issue of personal sin, though included, is but a small portion of the whole. Many are confused when they attempt to amalgamate the Kingdom and Grace messages; by inducing Acts 26:18 as drafted proof of their idea that the recipient of salvation must do various things in order to be saved. From their erroneous exegesis of this verse’s dispensational applications, they enumerate various things which they purport to be manifestly wrought in the believer by the saving power of God.
In focusing in on the relation of repentance to covenants, it is of note that the term covenant is broad in its implicational inferences. Israel is under Jehovah's unalterable contract in the Old (Mosaic Law) and New Covenants (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Matt 26:28) and yet the Body of Christ is the object of another, as the Grace Church, composed of all believers of the present age, who are also now the objects of the Grace Covenant made in Christ's blood (I Corinthians 11:25). A covenant implies relationship because it secures a right relation to God in matters belonging within the bounds of the covenant. A covenant that is unconditional, as the above-named latter two covenants are, is not affected by any human elements nor is it changeable even by God Himself. However, the stipulations of a covenant and the experience of its blessings are different things. In the case of Israel, it is possible to be under the provisions of an unconditional covenant and to fail for the time being to enjoy its blessings due to the manifested workings of God’s eternal purpose (Romans chapter 11). In this instant, Israel’s separation, which cause by divinely imposed blindness; has cast a limitation upon the enjoyment of their covenant. But the covenant, being unchangeable, still abides, as the issue becomes, not the remaking of the covenant but the confirmations of the relationship (Romans 11:26). In the case of elect Jews and Gentiles son-positioned in the Body of Christ, the Grace covenant is unencumbered in its unconditional application, now that it has been revealed in the present Grace Dispensation.
It therefore follows that for those covered in respective covenants, there is automatically instituted within them divine dealings with specific provisions evincing the manifestation of repentance and belief. Even in the relationship of the Mosaic Covenant, repentance is expressed by confession to God. Note that having confessed his sin, David did not pray for his salvation to be restored but he rather prayed for the restoration of "the joy" of his salvation (Psalms 51:12). In like manner in the New Covenant, it is joy and fellowship which confession restores for the believer (I John 1:3-9). When Christ came offering Himself to Israel as their Messiah and announcing their kingdom as at hand, He, with John and the Kingdom Apostles, called on their people to repent (to change their minds) in preparation for the proffered kingdom. There was no appeal concerning salvation induced by the formation of covenants but it was restoration of the people by a change of mind, which would lead them to forsake their sins by the acknowledgement of their Messiah in lieu of dependence upon compliance with the Law for righteousness (Matt 10:6; Romans 10:3).
The applications of these appeals are made to covenant Jews concerning adjustments to the Old Covenants. When this is confused with the covenant applications of Grace to individual elect Gentiles, who are "strangers from those covenants" (Ephesians 2:12), it is a serious error indeed. The reference made to repentance in II Corinthians 7:8-10 is conveyed as a separate act having nothing to do with the acquisition of salvation. The conclusion of the matter is that while God’s covenant people are appointed to national or personal relationships to God by manifestations of repentance as a separate act, there is no basis either in reason or revelation for the demand to be made that those who are manifestly called in this age must exhibit repentance and exercise of their faith in order to be saved. The absence of demand for repentance for Salvation is without question evidenced in the Grace Contract. Note that there are a plethora of New Covenant passages that condition salvation on its recipient’s testimony of their belief and exercise of faith, which should pointedly enshrine the contrasting stipulations in the covenants (New and Grace), as it does indeed distinguish their usages. In this sense, the latter words in these uses of it in the Grace Contract are misconstrued as an exact synonym of the former uses in the New Contract. These portions of Scripture in the New Covenant include all that it declares on the matter of the human responsibility in salvation as it is viewed strictly from the earthly vantage-point; yet each one of these texts omits any reference to repentance as a separate act inciting the conferment of salvation.
This fact, which is easily verified, cannot but bear enormous weight with any candid minded student of God’s Word. For instance, the Gospel of John, which is written to present Christ as the object of faith unto eternal life, does not once employ the word repentance. More forcefully, Paul’s epistle to the Romans, which is a complete analysis of all that enters into the whole plan of salvation by grace, does not use the word repentance in connection with the saving of a soul. Here some will readily quote or actually misquote Romans 2:4 where they assert that repentance is equivalent to salvation itself. When Romans chapter two is properly contextualized, it becomes apparent that those being addressed were the ones formerly under the auspices of the Law. In this view, none had or even could initiate a change of heart or mind. When the Apostle Paul’s and Silas’ reply to the jailer is properly analyzed, the question really was, “Sirs, what must I do -- that I may be (having been) saved?” Thus concerning what he should do in manifestation of being saved, they said, "you must (having) believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will (manifestly) be saved ------ you and your house" (Acts 16:31). This reply evidently mitigates the necessity of induced repentance and belief.
Hence from this overwhelming mass of irrefutable evidence, it is clear that the Scriptures do not impose repentance upon the elect as a condition of salvation; neither from the Gospel of John with its direct words from the lips of Christ nor in the epistle to the Romans with its exhaustive treatment of this question nor in the entire array of passages, which are the total of divine instructions. Regeneration is incomplete, misleading and will always remain so if repentance must be accorded concomitantly with believing for its enactment. No scripturally informed person would attempt to defend such a notion against such odds and those who have thus undertaken this task doubtless have done so without weighing the evidence or considering the untenable position which they assume.
Finally, we explicate the significance of the exhibit of ones repentance and exercise of faith in specific passages of the Scriptures. When entering upon this phrase, as it is so often expressed, it is first necessary to dispensationally qualify all portions, which introduce the word repentance in its relation to each respective covenant. Also it is necessary to mitigate the misconstruing in other passages that employ the word repentance as a synonym of believing (Acts 17:30; Romans 2:4; II Timothy 2:25; II Peter 3:9). There are passages which refer to a change of mind (Acts 8:22; 11:18; Hebrews 6:1, 6; 12:17; Revelations 9:20) yet, again, consideration must be accorded three passages, as they are related to their respective constituents which are often misapplied (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31). There are references to John's baptism, which was unto repentance that are conveyed outside the Synoptic Gospels (Acts 13:24; 19:4). Another passage deserves more extended consideration, namely: Luke 24:47, "And that repentance and remission of sins to be (having been) preached in His name among all nations, having begun at Jerusalem."
Here it should be seen that repentance is not in itself equivalent to believing or faith, though, being included in believing, is construed here as a synonym of the word believe. Likewise, it is to be recognized that “remission of sins" is not all that is proffered in salvation, though the phrase may serve that purpose in this instance. Above all, actually none of the passages require human obligations with respect to salvation. From certain historical passages in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, some purport that repentance coupled with believing leads to remission of sin. Here it is of the utmost importance to correctly apportion historical and contextual conveyances in charting the transitional accounts of the Kingdom Gospel that was preached in the former portion of Acts, as it transmuted to the ultimate emergence of the Gospel of Grace. From varied accounts, repentance is linked with believing and in certain instances serves as a synonym for the word belief. In some accounts prior to Paul’s specific message of salvation to the Gentiles in chapter 13, certain Gentiles had received the same message as Israel, i.e., “repentance and belief,” which engenders the Kingdom Gospel’s all-important and essential change of mind. Thus it is also true that such passages do prescribe these two things as necessary to salvation, e.g., Acts chapter 17 and more specifically Acts 20:21, which states, "testifying fully both to Jews and Greeks, toward God repentance and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
The conveyance in this passage should not be construed as a condition and must not be distinguished from the “no-conditions” character of the Gospel of Grace. It is also important to note that in the Grace Message, Jews are placed on the same level with Gentiles, as both are objects of God’s Divine grace. The Jews with their pre-Grace Covenant background or the Gentiles with their heathen ignorance, each are caused to experience a change of mind respecting their relation to God. Manifestation of this entails their awareness of God's gracious purpose; as there can be no reception or revelation without an impartment of the gift of faith, which is the sole reason that it is possible to recognize God's purpose and acknowledge Christ as Savior. In other words, repentance (a change of mind) toward God could not itself constitute the equivalent of “gifted faith” but is a testimony of that faith. The introduction of who God is……….. is significant, as Christ is the sole source and object of faith, which is most vital to mitigate those who would insist that there are human obligations unto salvation. Hence repentance and the exercise of one’s faith as a twofold requirement are omitted in the Gospel of Grace.
Thus the latter chapters of Acts, strictly depicting Paul’s Grace Message, are void of any implication of human obligations or input. Acts 26:20 actually states, "But to those in Damascus first and to those in Jerusalem, to all the region also of Judea and to the nations, I was preaching to repent and to turn back unto God, doing works worthy of repentance." Again, both Jews and Gentiles are addressed as on the same footing before God. Here neither repentance nor anything else is being addressed as an obligation in order to secure the spiritual results of those "repenting and turning to God.” This passage does not sustain the synergist’s view of repentance, as they assert it as one’s sorrow for sin but gives it its correct meaning, namely, a change of mind! There is no difficulty in the scriptural induction of a change of mind as testimony of when one manifestly turns to God. This passage is even more certified by the conveyance of I Thessalonians 1:9, which states, “for they themselves concerning us do declare what entrance we had unto you and how you did turn unto God from the idols, to serve a living and true God."
Accordingly, the foregoing does demonstrate that the Scriptural Doctrine of Repentance offers no objection to the truth that salvation is by grace through the faithfulness of Christ apart from any suggestions of human works or merit. Thus recorded testimonies of repentance enter of necessity into the manifestation of believing on Christ since there can be no revelation of one turning to Christ from other objects of confidence without “a change of mind.” There are a plethora of textual conveyances in the Kingdom Gospel implying Repentance and Faith, as it is presented in the New Covenant’s intimation of expressing Christ’s role in assuming the human responsibility of salvation for believing and exercising faith. However, no such implicational requirements are present in the Gospel of Grace and its Covenant, as the revelation of God’s eternal workings renders such to be irrelevant.
Exegetical analyses of certain passages of Scriptures below are properly assessed in their respective conveyance in their correct application of the term REPENTANCE:
Application of the term REPENTANCE
Obviously addressed to Jews with a prior relationship to God, thus the appeal is to change from their estranged relationship from God.
Speaking to those in the Grace Church who were already saved so the reference is to a change of their conduct or actions.
Speaking of God’s un-changeability.
|II Corinthians 12:21||
Speaking to those in the Grace Church who were already saved so the reference is to those who had not changed their conduct.
|II Timothy 2:25||
The context clearly shows the “one opposing,” referencing the likes of Hymenaeus and Philetus (II Timothy 2:17). In II Timothy 2:18, Paul states that reasoning with such could possibly lead to their change of mind from the erroneous teaching that the resurrection had already passed; to a perfect knowledge in alignment of what had been revealed in the Mystery.
|Hebrews 6: 1, 6||
Obviously referencing the Doctrine of Repentance in the New Covenant.
|Hebrews 12:17||Referring to Esau as rejected by God before he was born and thus void of the possibility of a change toward God.|
II. Believe and Confess Christ
The ambition of ministries to secure apparent results and demonstrate the sincerity of those supposedly “desiring to make decisions for Christ,” very definitely have prompted the majority of protestant Christendom, in their general appeals, to insist upon a public confession of Christ on the part of those deemed by them to receive salvation. To those so inclined, this practice evinces practical purposes in the majority of instances where confessions from the respondents are proof of salvation in the minds of all witnessing such display of saving faith. In the majority of instances, this is viewed as being of equal importance as such ones exhibit the “exercise of their faith.” Unfortunately, this demand is foisted exclusively, not only as ones entrance into the local assembly but also the Body of Christ! Of course nowhere in the Scriptures is this practice of liturgical induction justified but it has evolved from the traditions of the masses’ misinterpretation of certain Scriptures. In focusing in on this practice, two texts of Scriptures are herein considered:
1. Scriptural Applications of Confession of Christ
Matthew 10:32-33 states, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in Heaven.” These verses are in the Kingdom Gospel and New Covenant and were stated in the midst of Christ's kingdom teachings and as a part of His instructions to His disciples whom He was sending forth with a restricted message to Israel (Matthew 10:5-7), which was to be accompanied by divers miracles (Matthew 10:8). Here it must be thoroughly understood that such is not concomitant and is not committed for ministering in the present Grace age. These instructions applied primarily to the disciples themselves in respect to the faithful delivery of the kingdom commission in proclamation of that which was extended in its appeal only to the Israelites to whom they were sent. It is carelessness but mostly ignorance of the distinction of the Kingdom and Grace Gospels, which assumes that these Scriptures present conditions of salvation for Jews and Gentiles in the present dispensation.
Romans 10:9-10 states (Greek Text), "Because if you might confess with your mouth Lord Jesus and, might believe in your heart that God raised Him out from the dead, you shall be saved; for the heart believes unto righteousness, and the mouth confesses unto salvation.” Here one must observe that as correctly conveyed, misuse of these verses is deplorable indeed, as this message falls within the specific teachings of the Apostle Paul, which belong primarily to the way of salvation by grace and is worthy of more consideration than just a cursory perusal. A careful analysis of verse nine denotes that it opens with the subordinating conjunction o[ti (ot·ee) rendered “because” or “on account of”. Here it is used to introduce a cause or a reason based on an evidential fact. In the previous verse (Romans 10:8), it is established that the word of faith (message which Paul preached) was and is near. So the Apostle Paul now states, “If you might confess with your mouth Lord Jesus you shall be saved”. Now because some theologians use this verse in an attempt to deflect or dilute or even refute the principle of God’s sovereign election to salvation; the Greek grammar is utilized in exegeting it.
In this regard, the literally reading of Romans 10:9 from the Greek manuscripts is, o[ti eva.n o`mologh,sh|j evn tw/| sto,mati, sou ku,rion VIhsou/n kai. pisteu,sh|j evn th/| kardi,a| sou o[ti o` qeo.j auvto.n h;geiren evk nekrw/n( swqh,sh|\ (Ot·ee eh·ahn om·ol·oy·ees·ees ehn to stom·ah·tee soo keer·ee·on ee·ee·soon keh peest·tehv·sees ehn tee kahr·thee·ah soo ot·ee o Theh·os ahf·ton eey·ee·rehn ehk nehk·ron so·thee·see) rendered “Because if you might confess with your mouth Lord Jesus and might believe in your heart that God raised Him out from the dead, you shall be saved.” Now note that the Greek verb o`mologh,sh|j (om·ol·oy·ees·ees) translated “confess,” is in the subjunctive mood and aorist tense signifying a past completed probability. Thus, the statement should read “If you might confess (having confessed)” or “say (having said) the same thing” or “affirm (having confirmed) what God has said,” as established in the Decree of Jesus Christ in eternity. The next phrase is evn tw/| sto,mati (ehn to stom·ah·tee) rendered “with your mouth,” which is merely testimony that such one has been compelled by God’s eternal Decree to manifestly admit that Jesus Christ is the only remedy for sin. Hence, designated ones will be caused to openly acknowledge Him, i.e., those who have been designated to do so will manifestly accept and confess Him.
In further exegesis of Romans 10:9, note that the Greek phrase pisteu,sh|j evn th/| kardi,a| sou (peest·ehvs·ees ehn tee kahr·thee·ah) is properly translated “and might believe (having believed) in your heart,” according to its subjunctive mood and aorist tense connotations. Now some point to the “iffy” or probability aspect of the subjective mood to espouse a concept of “conditional salvation.” It is a fact that confessions of faith and belief are testimonies of salvation for manifestation purposes but they are not conditions or initiatives are to salvation. When viewed strictly from the vantage-point of time, the statements “if you might confess” and “if you might believe,” are manifestly expressing probabilities but they are mitigated by the fact that depraved mankind is unable within himself to manifestly confess or believe. Actually, belief and confessions were initiated, motivated and ontologized (actualized) by God alone in the eternal realm when they are viewed strictly from the vantage-point of eternity. Hence salvation as required was also supplied or provided in eternity, as such were fulfilled by His provisions supplied. Some Greek scholars will cite a grammar rule and state that the aorist tense in this structure does not address the time of these actions as completed in the past but it does in fact produce certification of the pre-choice of God of His elect in eternity. God ontologized (actualized), through the faithfulness of Christ in eternity, all provisional requirements and thus causes designated ones to manifestly express in time, belief in testimony according to the enactment of His Decree of their salvation. In this sense, manifestation is strictly held captive to God’s Eternal Decree.
This is corroborated by the statements of Jesus: “………….no one does come unto the Father, if not through me” (John 14:6), which is the only condition of salvation and “no one is able to come (having come) unto me, if the Father who sent me may not draw (having drawn) him” (John 6:44), as expressed by the subjunctive-aorist connotations therein and that is the only condition, which leads to salvation. So this is all consistent with God’s election and call to salvation, which began and was actualized in eternity (Ephesians 1:4). In the scheme of God’s process of the manifestation of His salvation, there is no doubt that if you are God’s elect, you will confess with your mouth and you will believe in your heart because God has decreed that you do and as a result of God’s call and election, you (some) will testify of your salvation! But it is all God’s doing and not man’s. It is exclusively through the determinant counsel of God’s plan, will and purpose that His elect are placed into a saved and everlasting relationship with the Eternal God of glory. Remember, it is all by grace and not by any semblance of works or jesters (Ephesians 2:8-9). Notice as has been observed in this verse (Romans 10:9), the message that Paul preached was also in their hearts, which was pre-assigned in the rational and emotional center of their beings. In summarizing what is being conveyed, the message of faith, which Paul preached was very near, both in their mouth and heart. This message entailed saying the same thing about Christ that God Himself said and believing in His resurrection, which confirmed His deity that He is truly the Son of God (Romans 1:4). This confession and faith are directed toward God and they are all aspects of a single transaction in eternity, namely, the faithfulness of Jesus Christ as set forth by God.
The reading from the Greek manuscripts of Romans 10:10 is, kardi,a| ga.r pisteu,etai eivj dikaiosu,nhn( sto,mati de. o`mologei/tai eivj swthri,an (kahr·thee·ah gahr peest·ehv·eh·teh ees theek·eh·os·ee·neen stom·ah·tee theh om·ol·oy·ee·teh ees so·tee·ree·ahn), which is rendered “For the heart believes unto righteousness and the mouth confesses unto salvation.” Note in this verse, the inverted order of the Greek verbs pisteu,etai (peest·tehv·eh·teh) rendered “believes,” and o`mologei/tai (om·ol·oy·ee·teh) rendered “confesses.” In the preceding verse (Romans 10:9), the order was confession first and then believing. Here this verse focuses on the operation of the heart in conjunction with the spirit, manifestly exercising divine faith that has been deposited by God, the author or originator unto the end of righteousness. Now as a result of the belief that has been deposited in the believer, the mouth confesses to God. i.e., it says the same thing God has decreed unto the end of salvation. Notice that this focus is squarely in alignment with faith righteousness, albeit the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, which is the only faithfulness that can be counted for righteousness. Hence designated one are identified with His faithfulness, as He alone is the righteousness of God (I Corinthians 1:30).
So the mouth confesses unto the testimony of receiving salvation. This means that the mouth says the same thing back to God, i.e., He has acquired salvation for His elect in eternity. The mouth also agrees with God in depicting the gospel of salvation, in that He causes ones exercise of divine faith in it. Here the internalization of ones faith in the message, in reflection of the faithfulness of Christ, testifies to His righteousness being the exclusive source of salvation. Note again the grammatical characteristics of the verbs pisteu,etai (peest·tehv·eh·teh) rendered “believes” and o`mologei/tai (om·ol·oy·ee·teh) rendered “confesses,” as they are in the indicative mood (factual), present tense (continuous), the passive voice, (acted upon by an outside agent) and third person singular (initiated outside of human flesh). So manifestly, elect hearts (minds) are programmed or directed to believe and elect mouths are caused to confess, according to the eternal actualization of God’s sovereign call and election unto salvation in eternity. This cannot be emphasized enough! God has only one sphere in which He actualized the saving of His people and it is eternal. This is the way it ontologizes: by God’s Eternal Decree, the elect were justified; their sins were pardoned or done away with as they were introduced or baptized into the body of Christ before the creation of the world. Now the moment or instant one believes or is caused to believe, exudes the depiction of God’s process of revealing that such one belongs to Him but this is strictly all in manifestation of identifying with what He eternally accomplished in His elect.
Therefore all the elect were completely saved in eternity, in that the Grace Covenant distinctly identifies the total redemptive work of salvation as being eternal, including propitiation, justification, sanctification, imputation, regeneration, adoption, etc. In this light, no activity in the sphere of time, i.e., mourner’s bench, sinner’s prayer, tarrying rooms nor even the plain simple expression of the exercising of ones faith in the finished work of Jesus’ sacrificial death upon Calvary; constitute the actuation or actualization of ones salvation. Now no one can be justified or accepted unto God except through the merit of Jesus Christ, for this was and is God’s only acceptable plan for salvation and there is no departure from this fact. Some vehemently disagree with this because of the traditional teachings of denominations and legalistic organizations but the truth is confirmed by the Word of God, not the doctrines of humans who seek to be honored and glorified. The truth does not flow according to the traditions of mankind but as the Scripture states, “let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:3-4).
When the elect received the love of God, they concomitantly received His life and nature, which expresses itself in them according to His will, as this is what constitutes confession. How else can one abide except thought the exclusive eternal workings of God? A confession of Christ Jesus as Lord is only the testimony of the new life of God that was eternally enacted but manifestly received by its recipients in the sphere of time. Having received this love, we become aware that we are born of God and being born of God, we cry "Abba, Father," which is the first word of a new-born soul, born of God, knowing God, and out of a like nature with God speak in the language of His children. The two manifested expressions (believing and confessing) in these verses are each expanded with respect to their meaning in the immediate context which follows. Of believing it states "For the scripture says, everyone believing on Him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same One is Lord of all, being rich unto all those calling upon Him” (Romans 10: 11-12). Thus salvation was given to both Jew and Greek without any conditions of them initiating belief and such indeed shall not be disappointed. It should not go unobserved that the confession of Romans 10:9-10 is declared to be a calling on the name of the Lord. In other words, this confession is that unavoidable acknowledgment to God on the part of the one who is manifestly testifying concerning His saving grace; as such one is merely a responsive believing recipient of salvation through Christ’s faithfulness.
2. Two Conclusive Reasons
Hence there are two compelling reasons why the Scriptures under consideration do not present these two expressions as human responsibilities in relation to salvation by grace.
a. To claim in the Grace Covenant that a public confession of Christ as Savior in tandem with believing in Christ is required………… is to contend that a plethora of passages in which testimonies of believing appear, are traceable to some external physical jester, renders that such was incomplete and to some extent is dependent upon human actions, which is actually misleading. The Synergistic mindset however seems to construct all of gifted faith’s confidence on this erroneous interpretation of passages that have guised as volitional acts of humans. Contrariwise, the factual conveyances of the overwhelming body of Grace Scriptures definitively state that these manifestations of the enactment of salvation are not in any sense influenced by human participation.
b. To actually require a public confession of Christ as a prerequisite to salvation by grace in the present dispensation is to discredit the eternal enactment of salvation to an innumerable company of God’s elect who were saved under circumstances which precluded all actions in the sphere of time, public or private.
The Belief and Confession of Christ is germane to testimony for manifestation purposes in salvation only. Ones privilege in testimony should not be construed as a duty that must be undertaken to activate the moment one is saved. Such actions would then constitute conditions of salvation, which would counter the eternal doctrines of grace in favor of perceived works of merit ……… intruding where only the Eternal Decree of God can possibly ontologize salvation.