What happens if a person only trusts Jesus Christ for salvation from sin and never tells anyone? Are they only half saved or not saved at all? Will they still go to heaven when they die? Does the reception of salvation really involve two parts or maybe even three: faith in Christ, public confession of that faith, and submission to Christ’s Lordship? Many have learned a method of gospel presentation called “The Roman Road” which included Rom 10:9-10 as the key verse for how to be saved. Based on that verse many have been taught that a person must not only believe in Jesus, but also must publically confess their faith or they are not saved. And some also add that this confession specifically emphasizes submission to the authority or Lordship of Jesus.
Aside from the question of the necessity of public confession, a second popular teaching seeks support from this verse in making a distinction between a “head” belief and a “heart” belief. According to this view, a person must not only understand and affirm the gospel intellectually, a head belief, but in addition must have a heart belief, usually understood to be a commitment to Christ or something equivalent.