THE BOOK OF ROMANS
J. Deering, AncientPath.net
ROMANS CHAPTER 10
1Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
Even knowing the sovereignty
of God in salvation – Paul prays for the unbelieving nation of
Once again we should feel the
“pinch” of Paul’s words. When was the salvation of the
unbelieving nation of
2For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
Busy, busy, busy – that about sums up most involved church goers. But busy for what? Suppers to celebrate; dinners to fellowship; Sunday school; events to “bring ‘them’ in; meetings, meetings, meetings; etc. These are things that often need to be done, but our whole lives should not be wrapped up in self-service.
Paul tells us that the unbelieving Jew in the Nation of Israel was zealous for works and zealous for the keeping of the Law – but they had no KNOWLEDGE of His will for them, and they had no KNOWLEDGE of their need for a saving relationship with Him.
3For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
Specifically, they did not KNOW about what God had revealed about Himself in terms of His definition of righteousness. Rather than KNOW Him, they chose to develop and maintain their own system of righteousness.
They did not KNOW that in order to have a saving relationship to Him required their OBEDIENCE to God’s revealed requirements for righteousness.
We drive up to a stop sign and what do we do?
Some stop because
it is the law to stop.
Some stop because it is their habit to stop.
Some “roll-through,” holding themselves to a different law.
Some just don’t stop, holding themselves to a different law.
God’s requirement is that we stop because we honor Him and His requirements for righteousness.
4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
This is a tough sentence to get a grasp on. Our difficulty is in seeing that Christ is:
The final (end) result, the final (end) product of the intentions of God’s Law (not just the 10 commandments).
For every DEMAND of God’s revealed will for righteousness there is an answer that can only be found in CHRIST. Whether it be a LAW, or a SACRIFICE, or a SACRAMENT – the requirement is only fulfilled in CHRIST. The nation of
Israelshould have recognized that this was true. They should have recognized that God’s Law pointed to the Savior. They should have recognized that the required sacrifices pointed to the one true sacrifice, The Christ. They should have recognized that every demand for Holy service (sacraments) could only be met in service to The Christ.
Those who found FAITH – found the END of the Law In Christ.
The final (end) destination of the intentions of God’s Law (not just the 10 commandments).
God’s Law was given to TEACH the righteousness of God – not a method of ACQUIRING the righteousness of God. God’s Law was given to TEACH the Holiness of God – not an object to WORSHIP. God’s Law was given that they might KNOW Him and WORSHIP Him – in KNOWING The Christ.
Those who found faith – SHOULD have recognized His righteousness … and put an end to their trying to acquire righteousness through the keeping of the law. They should have recognized that apart from God GIVING them righteousness they could never achieve it through any means.
The unconverted heart believes that God is afar off.
5For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law (F) shall live by that righteousness.
The saying, “You are what you eat,” pretty much sums up verse 5.
If you make the law your source of righteousness then you will LIVE by that kind of righteousness. Your whole life will take on the qualities of the law. Everything will be according to law. You’re life strength will be from the law.
While The Law teaches the righteousness of God – it is NOT the righteousness of God. Your life source becomes the law, instead of the law giver.
Verse 6 speaks of the one who’s life is summed up through the law as a life that thinks God is far off. Because of their attention to the law instead of the Law Giver, there is not only no immediacy with their god, and certainly there is no place for the Indwelling Holy Spirit of God in their lives or bodies.
6But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: " DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, 'WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?' (that is, to bring Christ down),
Is Christ afar off? Is He a heavenly god who does not care about the affairs of men? Does one need to travel to heaven to make contact with Him? No, the answer is. The immediacy of being able to be in His presence is made possible by the constant indwelling of His Spirit. He is HERE, not there.
7or 'WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)."
Is Christ afar off? Is He a dead god? Or Is He only concerned with the dead (those who have passed from life to sheol)? No, the answer is. (It is interesting that many think that God’s only business is the afterlife, and that we are just pawns in the big game of life waiting to be ushered before St. Peter and the Pearly Gates)
New Meaning in
The Believer VS The Unbeliever
These verses are often used (legitimately) as part of the “Roman Road” in leading those ready for salvation. Consider now that perhaps these verses are written to those who are ALREADY saved and are clearly delineating the difference of KNOWING Him versus knowing His Law. Context is everything!
8But what does it say? " THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART" -- that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
Paul states that those of FAITH (the faith “In-Christ” that the Apostles were preaching) have God so near (Emanuel – God WITH us) that His word is IN your mouth and IN your heart (because of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who is there because of your Faith or Belief).
For the unbeliever, when the Holy Spirit comes upon them for an appeal to faith, then the very same Holy Spirit of God is prompting and convicting them of their need. He is NEAR in that He is UPON that unbeliever, however not INDWELLING them. The Word (Emanuel – God WITH us) is so very near, that He is waiting for the unbeliever to use their Heart and their Mouth in confession of the Savior.
9that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
The believer who confesses (testifies) “Jesus as Lord” (believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead) will be among the saved in the final accounting. While this sounds like a plea to confess and believe it is in fact a description of the one who is saved. They are the ones who confess and believe.
For the unbeliever belief and confession of the Christ can only be realized through the gracious granting of the gift of FAITH. Once the gift of faith has been realized in the unbeliever (now believer) nothing should be able to stop him or her from confessing their new-found belief.
10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
This is Paul’s summary statement: The gracious gift of Faith makes belief possible, the result is the granting of the eternal righteousness of God, and the resulting action is the confession of The Christ. The gift of eternal righteousness is the grounds upon which the believer stands.
For the believer these verses are a statement of KNOWLEDGE.
For the unbeliever, this is the path they must follow.
11For the Scripture says," WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
This verse does not stand alone but joins the following two verses (12-13). The Jew was blessed indeed. They were God’s chosen nation. They were blessed with the very presence of God. They were given the responsibility of worship and service. The Old Testament is filled with verses that portray God as being merciful, just, loving, kind, etc. He revealed Himself as their “Father.” He promised riches beyond riches to those who would seek Him. No one who chose the God of the Hebrews as their God would ever be disappointed with that choice.
12For 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;
Paul tells his Gentile readers (and his Jewish readers) that GOD is GOD regardless of what nation or race a person comes from. Lord of ALL – there is NO OTHER NAME that can be called upon for SALVATION. His Salvation riches ABOUND upon ALL who call upon HIM.
13for " WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
For the saved individual this is a testimony of the wonderful grace of God. For the unbeliever it is a wonderful testimony of just where God stands in their lives. He is standing at the door of their heart offering them the free gift of eternal salvation – IF they would but CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD. This is the call to BELIEVE in The Christ, not just an assent to facts. This is the call to confess the Christ, not just to mouth the words.
WARNINGS FROM THE
The Offense of the Jew – The Position of the Gentile
14How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without (U) a preacher?
These verses are often used as an encouragement to go out and preach the word – however they are words that express the self-willed, self-involved, God hating, attitudes of a people who were given it all, and yet – they rejected the true and living God at every decision point in history.
15How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, " HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"
The Prophets, the testimony of those chosen by God, the words of those who gave themselves to the Lord God Almighty – God found them, not just their feet, beautiful in His sight.
16However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, " LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT"
HOWEVER! They did not ALL heed the GOOD NEWS. Isaiah wondered if ANY heard in such a way as to BELIEVE. Some heard and believed – the remnant, but the vast majority closed their ears and chose not to believe.
17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
FAITH COMES FROM
HEARING THE WORD OF CHRIST (through belief).
We often ask, “Well, what about those who live in places where the gospel had never gone?” This same question was put to Paul and this is how he answered it.
I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they
"THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH,
AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD."
Had Israel heard? – Indeed they had! The VOICE of the prophets and testimonies has gone out to the ENDS OF THE WORLD (even still).
I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says,
" I WILL MAKE YOU JEALOUS BY THAT WHICH IS NOT A NATION,
BY A NATION WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING WILL I ANGER YOU."
Did Israel KNOW? – Indeed they did! And God promised them, because of their unbelief, that they would become jealous – having lost their primary position before God – and watching the GENTILES (a nation without understanding) become the apple of His eye in this age.
OF THE GENTILES…
Isaiah is very bold and says,
" I WAS FOUND BY THOSE WHO DID NOT SEEK ME,
I BECAME MANIFEST TO THOSE WHO DID NOT ASK FOR ME."
21But as for Israel He says, " ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE."
Romans 10:2 : Acts 21:20
Romans 10:3 : Rom 1:17
Romans 10:3 : Is 51:1; Rom 10:2, 20; 11:7
Romans 10:4 : Rom 7:1-4; Gal 3:24; 4:5
Romans 10:4 : Rom 3:22
Romans 10:5 : Lev 18:5; Neh 9:29; Ezek 20:11, 13, 21; Rom 7:10
Romans 10:6 : Rom 9:30
Romans 10:6 : Deut 30:12
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
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