Previously we have noted that both hearing and faith are essential to salvation. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Without believing in Jesus, a man will die in his sins (John 8:24). However, hearing God’s word and having a belief is not the only thing essential to a man’s conversion; confession is also needed.
The Spirit revealed, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). This confession is a verbal declaration that you believe Jesus is the Son of God and brings the promise of salvation. Jesus affirmed this when He said, “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8).
If a man is unwilling to confess Jesus as the Christ of God, then he will lose his soul. Jesus said, “But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:9). It is not enough just to believe and not confess. The Bible records such men, “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43). Those who love men more than God will not be saved (Galatians 1:10; Matthew 10:34-39). So, there is such a thing as belief without salvation!
Furthermore, there are those who acknowledge Jesus, but in their deeds deny Him, and are separated from God as a result. The demons said, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are — the Holy One of God!” (Luke 4:34). There is more to salvation than hearing, belief, and confession! One must submit to the commands of the Lord. Included in those commands are repentance and baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
Steven F. Deaton