Monday, June 27, 2016

Calling upon the name of the Lord: Romans 10:9-13

I have done many posts on the so called "sinner's prayer", but this one will specifically deal with Romans 10:9-13 and WHAT it is actually talking about. 

First of all, here are some facts about the passage and the context:

1.) The "salvation" in the context is Israel's (vs 1). Individual salvation is not even being covered in the context. Romans 9-11 is about Israel nationally (Rom. 9:1-5, 10:1, 11:1, 11:26-27). 

2.) How Gentiles under grace receive justification was already taught in chapters 1-5 of Romans (1:16-17, 3:19-28, 4:1-5, 4:24-25, 5:1). Chapters 6-8 are not about how to get saved, they are about our new identification and standing in Christ. Chapters 9-11 are not about how to get saved, they are about Israel (fall and restoration).

3.) The "every one" of verse 4 is referring to every one in Israel, for the Gentiles were not under the law (Rom. 9:4, 1 Cor. 9:20, Eph. 2:12, Col. 2:14).

4.) "The man", "thine", and "thee" of verses 5-9 are referring to Israel. Check the context of Paul's quote (Deut. 30:11-20).  

5.) When Paul does mention the Gentiles getting saved (10:20), he quotes Isaiah 65:1 which says, "I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me."

With those facts in mind, look at the passage

Romans 10:
[1] Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
[2] For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
[3] For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
[4] For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
[5] For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
[6] But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
[7] Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
[8] But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

[9] 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.
[10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
[11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
[12] 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.
[13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved

Romans 10 is referring to Israel rejecting Christ and the New Covenant program that God offered them, instead they wanted to establish their own righteousness and continue in the Old Covenant law program. Under the New Covenant Israel will say "in the LORD have I righteousness" when "in the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory" (Isa. 45:24-25). But since Israel rejected the LORD (Jesus Christ) they missed out on their New Covenant blessings and they have been temporarily postponed until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in....

Romans 11:
[25] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
[26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
[27] For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins

Israel rejected the Gospel of the Kingdom and so they temporarily became fallen, diminished, and cast away (Rom. 11:12-15).

Notice the contrast between the Old Covenant salvation and New Covenant salvation of Israel in Romans 10.

"For Moses describeth the righteousness WHICH IS OF THE LAW, That THE MAN WHICH DOETH those things shall live by them." (Romans 10:5)

"But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)...The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart...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" (Romans 10:6-9)

The Old Covenant involved Israel living by their own righteousness of doing those things written in the law. But the The New Covenant that will be made with Israel is about what God does and it is based on the redemption Christ provided on the cross (Heb. 9:12-14, 12:24). He will then put His "law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts" (Jer. 31:33) and He will put His Spirit in them (Ezek. 11:17-20, 36:23-33, Joel 2:28-29). This grace will be brought unto them at the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Second Advent (Matt. 19:28, Acts 3:19-21, Rom. 11:26-27, 1 Pet. 1:5-13, Heb. 9:28). It is at that time that God will "cleanse them from all their iniquity" (Jer. 33:8) and "Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation" (Isa. 45:17). In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. (Isa. 45:25)

Romans 10:9-13 is referring to the OT scriptures that say Israel (and any believing Gentiles) at the end of Daniel's 70th Week will call upon the Lord, inherit the riches of the kingdom, and never be ashamed again. 

Joel 2:
[26] And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
[27] And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
[28] And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
[29] And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
[30] And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
[31] The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
[32] And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Zephaniah 3:
[8] Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
[9] For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.
[10] From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.
[11] In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.
[12] I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.

Some people mistakenly believe that Romans 10:13 is referring to Gentiles under Grace because verse 12 says "there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him". The people would be 100% correct, if the context did not demand otherwise. The context is referring to the covenant with Israel (Deut. 30) and the future salvation promised to all who come to mount Zion to worship the Lord for deliverance. ALL NATIONS will come to Zion, both Jews and Greeks, and they will all receive "deliverance" at the beginning of the Millennium. 

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance" (Joel 2:32) "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:2-3)

And notice Zechariah 8:21-23.

"And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you."


Isaiah 55:
[1] Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
[2] Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
[3] Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
[4] Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.
[5] Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
[6] Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
[7] Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
[8] For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
[9] For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
[10] For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
[11] So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
[12] For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
[13] Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Isaiah 58:9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

Zechariah 13:9-14:1 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

Jeremiah 29:
[12] Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
[13] And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
[14] And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

Jeremiah 33:
[1] Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,
[2] Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name;
[3] Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
[4] For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword;
[5] They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city.
[6] Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.
[7] And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.
[8] And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
[9] And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.
[10] Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,
[11] The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.
[12] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.
[13] In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the LORD.
[14] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
[15] In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
[16] In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.
[17] For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;
[18] Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.
[19] And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying,
[20] Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;
[21] Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.
[22] As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me

As you can see, the "salvation" that is gained by calling upon the name of the Lord is NOT the individual salvation of the Gentiles under Grace. This salvation is received by Israel and the nations after the Second Advent. It is the remnant of Israel's "salvation" from being cast off with the rest of the nation. It is the "salvation" of the remnant of Gentile nations that did not worship the beast and helped Israel, the rest of the nations will be cast into hell (Zech. 14:3, Joel 3:1-12, Matt. 25:32-34, etc).

Applying Romans 10:9-13 to individual Gentiles under Grace is plain silly. Does not the end of the chapter say in regard to the Gentiles that God "was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me." (10:20)? Isn't that the exact opposite of what is said to Israel, "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near" (Isa. 55:6)?

Besides that, look at what Romans 10:9-13 actually says. You "believeth unto righteousness" with your heart, but it says that "with the mouth confession is made unto salvation". If you apply this to the salvation of individual souls you would end up believing that someone is "righteous" when they believe the gospel, but they are not "saved" until they confess with their mouth. That does not make much sense! Not only does it not make sense, it would also contradict what Paul said in Romans 1:16-17, that righteousness and salvation come by believing the gospel.

Romans 1:
[14] I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
[15] So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
[16] For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
[17] For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith

Also, when it comes to individuals, "God heareth not sinners" (John 9:31, 1 Pet. 3:12, Prov. 1:28-30, 15:29, 28:9, Micah 3:4, Isa. 1:15, 59:1-4, Ps. 34:15-17, Matt. 7:21-23, 15:8). God knows the heart of all men and needs not that any should testify of man (John 2:24-25). Once you hear the commandments of God and know that you have broken them, sinning against Him, God wants your mouth to be stopped (Rom. 3:19). 

On top of all of that, prayer is a LABOR that man OFFERS God. You cannot get saved by offering God your works!

Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;   

Compare that to 2 Timothy 1:9-10 and Romans 4:5. 

"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness

So that people do not misunderstand what I am saying, I will tell you exactly what I am saying:

Salvation is received by faith alone in the gospel of Christ, how that He died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day (1 Cor. 1:17-18, 2:2, 15:1-4). As soon as you put your confidence and trust in Christ and what He did for you, that is when you are saved (Rom. 1:16-17, 3:19-28, 4:5, 4:24-5:1, Phil. 3:1-9, Gal. 3:1-3, 6:14). You are then sealed with the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption and are baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ (Eph. 1:12-14, 4:30, 5:30, 1 Cor. 12:12-18).

Therefore, since salvation is received by faith alone without any mixture of works, prayer has absolutely no part whatsoever in salvation. To tell someone they will be saved by "repeating after you" is a false gospel that denies the truth that Christ is the only mediator between God and men (1 Tim. 2:5). To tell someone to pray in order to be saved is to be telling them to offer their works to God in order to be saved. 

I fully understand that all people pray when they get saved, for the Bible says that when we got saved that God "sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Gal. 4:6). And "ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:" (Rom. 8:15-16). 

And thus begins a lifelong communion with God by the Holy Ghost whereby we have access to the Father (Eph. 2:18).  

Everybody prays (whether in their heart, mind, or mouth) WHEN they get saved. However, nobody gets saved BY praying. No apostle, preacher, or evangelist in the Bible ever told anyone to repeat a prayer after them to be saved. It was simply "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 13:38-39, 16:31). 

Even in the OT Abel was saved BEFORE men began to call upon the name of the Lord (Gen. 4:8, 4:26).

If you have trusted Jesus Christ alone for salvation, you are saved. The reason I make an issue out of the "sinner's prayer" is because it is unbiblical and I was unsaved for the first 13 years of my life trusting in a mere recitation of man-made words that I repeated just because someone told me to. 

I have heard many people brag about their experience at the "altar" and the prayer they prayed, but that isn't salvation. When you talk about getting saved by praying at the altar you might as well be talking about getting saved by keeping the ten commandments, because they are both WORKS.  

--Eli "Hoss" Caldwell


  1. Wow....freat teaching..again...thanks dear Eli 😀

  2. I also spent years, week after week, saying the sinners prayer. I believed in eternal security, but I had no peace about my salvation. I thougt that I wasn't saying the prayer right or I didn't have enough faith in the prayer. It was years later that I realized that my salvation had nothing to do with any prayer but was based on me believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone. It is very dangerous to teach someone a prayer to say for salvation.


Your questions or comments welcome.