Does Romans 10:9, 10 Teach that One Must Understand the Resurrection IN ADDITION to Simple Faith In Christ for Eternal Life?
There has been two basic lines of criticism against the gospel of John's sufficiency to articulate precisely and specifically the terms by which one may receive eternal life. The first one is Paul's discussion of his gospel as found in 1 Cor 15:3ff. You can find my response against this line of reasoning here on my blog:
The Difference between the Gospel Message and the Offer (or Promise) of Eternal Life
This shows that for Paul, the gospel message was not only the death and resurrection of Christ, but also Christ's burial and appearances to various people who could testify to the resurrection. These are all co-ordinate clauses describing Paul's message. It is inconsistent to assert that Paul's message is the content/object of saving faith in addition to faith in Jesus for eternal life but omit the burial and appearances. Are we to make sure that our potential converts check off these further historical facts in their doctrinal check-list, that once adhered to brings eternal life? I can't remember the last time I heard someone who advocates the gospel message of Paul to be the content of saving faith and insist at the same time that the potential convert believe in the burial and appearances to various people for eternal life.
Furthermore, no where in 1 Cor 15:3ff is there any indication by Paul that this message that he is re-declaring to the Corinthians is the CONTENT of saving faith. He makes it clear that it is "through" (Greek: dia) the gospel they are saved. The gospel contains, among other things, Christ's work on the cross for our sins, and His resurrection. It was by these acts of Christ that provision for our salvation was made. Therefore we were saved through the gospel. But we are saved BY grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Guarantor of eteranl life to the one who simply believes His promise to do so.
Anyone who believes that the gospel message is the object of saving faith, please make a case from 1 Cor 15:3ff or anywhere else for that matter. Paul was on the same page as John:
1 Timothy 1:16
16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
Ok, now on to Romans 10:9, 10
9 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. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
It is imperative to note here as we consider this text that almost everyone who professes any form of Christianity (except liberals!) believes that Jesus was raised from the dead. Does that make them saved? I doubt that you or I would say so. It seems obvious that this is Pauline shorthand for justification truth as indicated in earlier chapters. For instance:
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
Paul does not mean to say that simple belief in the resurrection saves, and this is confirmed by the obvious reference to justification in 10a ("believes unto righteousness"). Thus to believe that God raised Christ from the dead really means here, for Paul, to believe in Him as the one who is the grounds for our justification before God.
This is functionally equivalent to believing that Jesus guarantees eternal life to the believer as presented in John.
Unless a person holds that everyone who believes that God raised Jesus from the dead is eternally saved, the meaning that I have proposed here is the one suggested in the immediate, as well as broader, context.
Will anyone here go out on a limb and put forth the proposition that ANYONE WHO BELIEVES THAT GOD RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD IS ETERNALLY SAVED? Speak now or forever hold your peace.
Even if the aforementioned does not persuade you, you must please remember a point of logic: Even if everyone who believes in the resurrection is saved (an assertion I only make for the sake of argument!), it does not follow that the one who just believes that Jesus provides eternal life is not. The positive affirmation only entails a negative if Paul says: ONLY THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE RESSURECTION ARE SAVED. On any reading he does not say this.