Rom.10:8,9 – But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Paul is now at the very heart of His argument that he began in the first chapter of Romans. Remember how he said it, Rom.1:16,17 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” In the passage for today Paul is literally bringing people to the point of decision. He is describing the action of faith, believing the gospel message with your heart and declaring it with your mouth. This is where Martin Luther is at his best, check his comments on today’s passage.
“The apostle is comparing the two kinds of righteousness with each other, so that he attributes works to the righteousness of the law but the Word to the righteousness of faith. For work was required for the law, but faith is required for the Word. (The law was required for the deed, so that we might know what ought to be done, but for faith the Word was required, not so that we might know but so that we might believe.) Thus the first kind of righteousness depends on the work that has been done, but the second on the Word, which we believe. It is this Word he describes, as if to say that the Word which must be believed is nothing else than this: Christ died and is risen again.”
Luther had a way of saying things so simply, “work was required for the law, but faith is required for the Word”. This is the supernatural moment when someone’s life is radically and permanently changed. We hear the message of the cross and the resurrection, the Holy Spirit awakens us to the truth of the message, we believe the gospel with our heart and then our mouth follows suit declaring that Jesus Christ is Lord. The word is near us, it is in our mouth and in our heart, this is the message of faith that we must preach.