The race is on to finish Paul 2...
Enveloped in Paul’s thoughts about God’s plan for the Gentiles are some familiar verses. We have heard them in terms of “getting saved,” about “becoming a Christian,” about “getting to heaven.” For example, Romans 10:13 says "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved," quoting Joel 2:32. Romans 10:9 features in the “Roman road,” a series of verses from Romans meant to lead a person through the logic of becoming a Christian. On the Roman road, Romans 3:23 first tells us that “all have sinned,” which of course includes me. Then Romans 6:23 tells me that the “wages” for my sin is death. But Romans 5:8 gives me hope—even though I was a sinner, Christ died for me. Finally, we come to our verse from this passage, Romans 10:9: “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Hopefully the last few chapters have made it clear that, while this way of using these verses is not completely off, it approaches these verses a little differently than Paul did. For Paul, all these statements had to do with the question of whether Gentiles, non-Jews, could escape God’s coming judgment. This is what being saved and salvation means for Paul. It refers to escaping God’s wrathful judgment on the day when Christ returns to the earth and everyone gives him an account for the deeds they have done on earth—including believers for the things they have done after God forgives their sins (cf. 2 Cor. 5:10). In that sense, no one is literally saved yet because salvation is something that is yet to come, on the Day of Judgment. When we speak of “getting saved,” we are really speaking of our assurance of something that has not yet happened.
So in Paul’s mind, the “all” in “all have sinned” meant "both Jew and Gentile" rather than just Gentiles—all, both, have sinned. And Paul’s arguments about the wages of sin and Christ dying for the ungodly were situated in his mind in a story in which the Jewish Law set the standard for sin and Israel would eventually recognize that Jesus was its messiah. Later Christianity has universalized Paul’s thinking in ways that are not wrong, but are slightly out of context. The Law becomes the universal moral law rather than the Jewish Law. The “all” in “all have sinned” shifts to the individual trying to be justified and ultimately saved, rather than the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
So Romans 10:9 is also situated in a passage where Paul is asking why it is that so many Gentiles are headed for salvation while most Jews were not. Why? Paul says it is because they insisted on doing it their way rather than God’s way. God's way was to make the world right with him through trust in Jesus, but the Jews by and large wanted to be right with God through keeping the Jewish Law (9:30-33). They stumbled over God's plan for "righteousness," in this case a right standing before God, through Jesus (9:33). They tried to establish a right standing before God on their own, rather than what God had in mind (10:3). 
Christ is thus the goal of the Law, that to which the Jewish Law points (10:4). Some traditions take the phrase "Christ is the end of the law" to mean that Christ brings an end to the law. But it is far more likely that Paul is saying Christ is the goal, the telos of the Law. As Paul says in Galatians 3:24, the Law was a guardian, a tutor for the Jews to be ready for Christ (NASB). But now that Christ has come, born under the Law to redeem Jews under the Law (4:4-5), faith has come and neither Jews nor Gentiles need the tutor any more (3:25). We have "grown up" in the maturity of salvation history now to have the status of sons and daughters who no longer need the Law as our guardian...
 The parallelism of 10:3 pushes us to take the phrase, "the righteousness of God" in 10:3 in reference to human righteousness more than God's righteousness as in 1:17. Of course Paul may intend a double entendre, as he may in Romans 3:21. Some like N. T. Wright insist that Paul always must mean God's righteousness when he uses the phrase (What Saint Paul Really Said ***), but this approach seems excessively rigid. Wright and others are correct that the background of the phrase pushes us toward God's righteousness as the default. But ultimately the immediate literary context must cast the deciding vote.