By Ernest O'Neill

What Does it Mean to Believe With Your Heart?

Rev. Ernest O'Neill

Now, loved ones, that’s an exact example of the verse that we are studying today -- and it’s truth.

So maybe you’d like to look at it.  It’s Romans 10:10:  "For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.”  For John, believing in his heart was not just believing in his head.  Submitting himself to a course of treatment for alcoholism was not just an academic matter that didn’t touch him or his life at all.  In fact, you remember, the president had been very careful to point out that this included not just his mind, but it included his will.  He said, “Do you know, John, that this will mean changing your way of life?  It will mean taking a new attitude to your friends and your relatives.  It will mean taking a new attitude to the dependence that has been in your life.  Now, are you willing to submit yourself to that?”

Now, that’s what believing in the heart is, loved ones.  It isn’t just saying, “Oh!  Sure.  Sure, I am ready, I believe that.  I believe I can be cured.”  But it’s being willing to submit yourself to it.  The heart is the deepest part of a person’s personality.  It varies with all of us according to how far down we’ve got into reality -- in our own personalities.  But the heart is the deepest part.

So, when that verse says, "you believe in your heart," it means you are willing to submit yourself -- your mind and your will -- to the facts of reality, and you are willing to live in that reality.  Then, you remember that when John was ready to do that, then he was justified.  That means he was put right with the company.  He was put in a right relationship with them.  He was accepted back in as part of a family, because he said he was willing to submit his life to the cure.

And then do you see the second part of it?  He confesses with his lips and so is saved.  The word for confess is “homologeo”. The Greek word means, “to say the same thing or to agree” -- and it means making your life agree with what you say you believe.

So, it means that your life reflects what you say you believe and what you said you were willing to submit to.  You actually do it.  In other words, in the first century they used the phrase, “he made a good confession” -- talking about some martyr or some Christian.  He made a good confession.  That has nothing to do with verbal declaration, which we get all wrapped up in.  I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is my Savior, so that makes me Christian -- that isn’t it at all.

Making a good confession is living a life that expresses what you believe is true.  It means living the life that is required by what you believe.  Of course, only when a person does that is their personality gradually renewed and recreated.