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*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Romans 10:12-13 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 10:12
  • Romans 10:13

Paul is restating to his audience of believers in Rome that there is no distinction between the Jews and Greeks who believe; God is Lord of both, and anyone who calls upon Him gains riches and salvation.

In verse 11, Paul began to speak of the great benefits for those who follow God. Paul continues that thought, spelling out that when it comes to faith, there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him (v 12). Following God by faith—believing, speaking what is true, then doing what is right—is not without reward. To follow God in faith leads to abounding in riches for all who call on Him. 

In verse 13, Paul quotes a portion of Joel 2:32, where the prophet Joel is speaking to Israel: Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. In this verse, the word saved is the Greek word “sozo.” “Sozo” means “something is delivered from something” and context determines what is being delivered from what. “Sozo” can be translated heal when the context makes it clear that a person was delivered from a disease. In the context of Romans 10, Paul has been speaking of confessing that which we believe to be true. 

In verses 6-10, Paul quoted and summarized Deuteronomy 30:11-14, which emphasizes the progression of 1) believe what you know is true, 2) confess/think what is true then 3) do what is true and right. This can be applied to a new believer, calling on God to be saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 3:22-24). That gives us the riches of being born anew into God’s family. It can also be applied to walking in obedience to God on a daily basis, which leads to abounding riches.

Both Jews and Gentiles need to call upon God for deliverance from the “poverty” we have when living the ways of the world. If we call on God, we gain riches, which saves or delivers us from poverty.

Throughout Romans, Paul tells his audience that the righteousness of the law brings spiritual poverty. That is the condition of the competing Jewish “authorities,” and it is the condition of Israel. 

But the righteousness of faith, for those who call on Him, brings great riches. When we confess what we know to be true in our hearts, then live out those truths, we have true riches, spiritual riches. In the context of Romans 10, some of these spiritual riches are cultivated through righteous, harmonious living with fellow believers as Paul makes clear in chapters 12 through 15. 

Spiritual poverty, on the other hand, consists of a lack of fellowship not only with God but also with His family. If we call on Jesus, believe in Him, we can experience all of the spiritual riches God has for us.

This concept of spiritual riches, achieved through daily faith in God, is taught throughout the Bible. In Revelation 3:18, Jesus counsels the believers in Laodicea to “buy gold” from Jesus, as much as they like. It is inarguable that if someone could have as much gold as they wanted, then they would be very rich. 

In Revelation 3, the means to gaining those great riches is to listen to Jesus’s voice (Revelation 3:18). Isaiah 55:1-3 uses the same word-picture to show that true riches come from listening to God. We have the Spirit of Jesus in our hearts. True righteousness and true riches stem from listening to the word of Jesus, speaking those words, and doing those words.

Biblical Text

12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”




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