Saturday, November 21, 2015

Since I am a "Stammite"...(Romans 10:9-13)

Since I have been accused of being a "Hyper Diaper Stammite" because of my position on Romans 10:1-13, I thought I would share what Cornelius Stam actually did believe about Romans 10.

From Commentary on The Epistles of Paul to The Romans by Cornelius Stam pages 213-215,
Copyright, 1984 BEREAN LITERATURE FOUNDATION 7609 W. Belmont Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60635 

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. "For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.

"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. 

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
-Rom. 10:9-13

In these sublime words the Apostle Paul sets forth God's simple plan of salvation in this "dispensation of the grace of God." This, he says, is "the word of faith, which we preach." How grateful we should be that both Jews and Gentiles are included in this program while God's blessings to Israel as a nation
are being held in abeyance!

The alarming extent to which the Church has departed from Paul's "gospel of the grace of God," however, is evidenced by the fact that today even many Fundamentalists, who claim to preach "the word of faith," have introduced into the very words of Paul in Vers. 9-11 the element of meritorious works.

How often babes in Christ are urged to get to their feet in public testimony on the basis of these words! They are reminded that, in addition to believing, "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth... thou shalt be saved" (Rom. 10:9).

Frequently Christian workers, not rightly dividing the Word of truth, support this argument by an appeal to the words of our Lord in Matt. 10:32,33:

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."

And thus the element of meritorious works is injected into "the word of faith, which we preach." Newborn babes in Christ are given to feel that a heart faith is not enough to make them secure; that not until they have risen in public testimony is their salvation fully confirmed.

While few of our leading Fundamentalists would stand by any explicit statement to that effect, we dare say that most of them in their comments on these verses give the impression that this is so.

But what, then, does the Apostle mean by these words? Does he not plainly say, "If thou shalt confess... thou shalt be saved"? Yes, but here again, as with so many other passages of Scripture, a traditional meaning has been super-imposed upon the actual words of God.

What does the English word "confess" mean? Simply to "acknowledge," to"admit." And this is exactly what the original Greek word means too, nor does Rom. 10:9,10 say anything about confessing before men.

The trouble is that the idea of confession has been changed to profession-even public profession-and multitudes have followed the tradition of the fathers instead of examining the Word to see what it actually says. Thus "the word of faith" has been perverted.

But, it may be argued, does not the Apostle clearly say, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth... thou shalt be saved"? Indeed he does, and he adds, "and shalt believe in thine heart."

Let us consider this thoughtfully. Is it with the physical organ which pumps blood into our veins that we believe in Christ as our Savior? No! All admit that this is merely a figure of speech; that somehow the heart is associated with believing. Yet some would insist that it is with the physical mouth that we must confess in order to be saved. Can mutes then not be saved? And what does the Apostle mean in Acts 28:27, where he quotes Isaiah's words: "And their eyes have they closed."

Must we not see that the heart and mouth in Romans 10 are both used symbolically? While believing is naturally associated with the heart, confessing is naturally associated with the mouth.

If indeed the Apostle meant that with the physical mouth public "profession" must be made for salvation, then salvation is not by faith alone after all, but by faith plus works. If, not only before men, but before God as well, a question mark is placed after the name of the believer who has not testified before men, then most assuredly, salvation is not "the word of faith, which we preach."

The Apostle says that we must confess and believe to be saved. This is different, and here quite naturally the heart and mouth become symbolically significant.

As if anticipating the misinterpretation of his words, the Spirit-inspired Apostle continues:

"For the Scripture saith, Whosoever BELIEVETH on Him shall note ashamed" (Ver. 11).

"For whosoever shall CALL upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Ver. 13).

This is "the word of faith, which we preach."

It is when the sinner comes to the end of himself and confesses, acknowledges that Jesus is Lord, and believes in Him as the risen, living Savior, that he is saved. Any work of righteousness he might add for salvation would be useless, for salvation is "by grace... through faith... not of works" (Eph. 2:8,9). And so:

With the heart man BELIEVETH" (Ver. 10).

"With the mouth CONFESSION is made" (Ver. 10).

"For whosoever BELIEVETH on Him shall not be ashamed" (Ver. 11).

"For ... whosoever shall CALL upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Ver. 13).

Years ago a Christian woman kept urging her unsaved husband to attend large Saturday night evangelistic services. He went, week after week, to please her. It seemed to her, after a time, however, that he was under deep conviction, so as they walked home together she asked him, "Dear, why didn't you go forward tonight?" He replied, "I guess I'm just a coward. I didn't have the courage to get up out of my seat and go forward. Maybe next week." But is salvation, then, by courage or by faith? by some human effort, or by trusting in the finished work of Christ? Yet this man and his wife had associated being saved with going forward in a gospel meeting, and there are multitudes like them.
We do not for a moment mean to minimize the importance of Christian testimony. Only, we would not frighten God's dear children into witnessing for Him. We would not cast doubt upon their salvation just because they have not had the courage to bear public testimony, nor give them to feet that salvation is incomplete without human works. Some of the finest people-and the best Christians-are very retiring, and find it difficult to ever express themselves publicly. Above all, we would not adulterate the message of grace, or alter the written Word of God.”

Commentary on The Epistles of Paul to The Romans by Cornelius Stam pages 213-215,
7609 W. Belmont Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60635

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