Question: What does Romans 10:13 mean?
Answer: Paul wrote to the Romans, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." The context of our verse has the burden of showing that Israel is not automatically saved, but does have the opportunity for salvation (vss. 1-21).
The Jews can be saved. Paul began by expressing his heart's desire for the salvation of physical Israel (vs. 1). They had "zeal of God," he admitted, " but not according to knowledge" (vs. 2). They would not submit themselves to God's means of righteousness, but sought, as so many today, to "establish their own righteousness" (vs. 3). The word was near or accessible, but they had to confess Jesus, must not be ashamed, and must call on Jesus' name (vss. 8-10, 13). They could not rely on their Jewish descent (vs. 12).
Must call upon the name of the Lord. The promise of verse thirteen has no boundaries as far as race is concerned. "Whosoever," Paul wrote. But what does "call on the name of the Lord" mean? Romans 10: 13 is quoted from Joel 2:32. Joel 2: 28-32 is quoted and applied by the apostle Peter in Acts 2: 16-21. Let us see how the language is applied by an inspired man. In Acts 2 there were about three thousand saved (vs. 41). The same verse tells us what they did to call on the name or to be saved. ",,,they that gladly received his word were baptized..." They had believed (vs. 36), repented (vs. 38), we infer they confessed (Rom. 10:9, 10), and they were baptized for forgiveness of sin (vs. 38, 41). Saul of Tarsus did precisely the same thing in calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22: 16).
Beloved, to call on or invoke the name of the Lord means that we submit to His authority and ability to provide cleansing. We submit by humbly doing what He has told us to do (cf. Luke 6: 46).