Romans Chapters 9-11 Study 2
Romans Chapter 10
(Vss. 1-3) “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
Once again Paul clearly shows his burden for his fellow Israelites. His prayer is that they may be saved. In his thinking God had not forgotten His ancient people. They had a zeal for God but their zeal was based on a faulty knowledge of what God required for righteousness. They had knowledge but no inner revelation as to what it means spiritually for them in relation to their Messiah the Lord Jesus. They had religious knowledge and knew Torah but missed seeing the one whom the whole of the Torah was about.
In seeking to establish their own righteousness through trying to keep the law of Torah they showed they were ignorant of the righteousness from God that came by faith, the same kind of righteousness Abraham received even before Torah was given because Abraham obtained it by faith. Religious pride will always prevent those enslaved to its demands from seeing the righteousness that comes from God through faith. Satan loves religion and he gets more people into hades (hell) with religion that he does with all of the other sins of the flesh combined. As it has been said; “Hell is the devil’s best kept secret.”
(Vs.4-5) “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. The Message of Salvation to All.” “For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.”
There is only one man who kept all of God’s Law and that was the Lord Jesus who was fully God yet fully man. He never once used his divine power as God but operated as a man under the power of the Holy Spirit. Everything He said and did was done by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:18-19) He kept the law on the behalf of man who could never keep it. God’s Law has never ceased to exist. The law showed God’s standard of righteousness in order to make men realize how far short they fall from keeping it. (Romans 3:19-20)
God never intended men and women to be put right with Him by keeping the Law (Romans 3:20). By providing the righteousness for man that is received by faith the Lord Jesus clearly showed that it was futile to try to keep the Law as a means of justification. For the unbelieving Jew this cut across their attempts to become righteous in God’s sight through trying to keep the Law of Moses revealed in Torah. The message of salvation and righteousness from God received by faith in the Lord Jesus alone was not for the Jews only but for all who believe, whether they are Jew or Gentile. (Romans 3:21-31)
(Vss.6-7) “But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”
Those who have faith realize that it is not necessary to call the Messiah to come down again from heaven or to be raised again from the dead because this has already happened. Those who have been made righteous through faith know that all they will ever need for life and Godliness is found in the Lord Jesus who kept the law on their behalf. God accepted the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus and through Him made that righteousness available to all through faith and not by keeping the Law. (Romans 3:28) As to the Law the blessed Holy Spirit empowers the believer in the Lord Jesus to walk in the Law and to love God with their whole being and to love their neighbour as themselves and so fulfil the law completely. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Walking in a faith that works by love is accepted by God as righteousness. (Galatians 5:6) (Romans 13:8, 10) It is only through faith in the Lord Jesus alone that a person can be put right with God. (Romans 5:1) (Romans 3:26) Those who walk in the Spirit are free from being condemned by the law. (Galatians 5:16) (Romans 8:1-4) As the apostle Peter writes; “Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
(Vs.8) But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);”
The Word of God must be in the heart as well as in the mouth. A faith that does not result in a changed life and produce works that are acceptable to God is not Biblical faith. It is a dead faith, a belief that a person does not act upon. (James 2:20) If the Word of God is in our heart then we will have the right confession and appropriate actions along the line of that faith we profess. What we say confirms what we believe and what we believe confirms what we say. Words are connected to the experience of salvation. It is a faith that is not based on anything visible. As it is written “we walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
If we have a genuine faith that works in our daily life then we will want to share that faith with others. We need to always be prepared to give a reason for the hope we have. (1 Peter 3:15) Repentance must always precede faith but in Romans Paul focuses on what it means to be saved for both Jew and Gentile. It is by the Law of faith and not by the works of the Law that a person is saved.
(Vss.9-13) “…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on Him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The Lord Jesus said that “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” You can tell what lies within a person’s heart by the words they speak. What comes out of their mouth in abundance is what is down on the inside. When confession is made it does something to cement the faith that person has. If we really have saving faith deep down on the inside of us then it will directly be expressed in what we say. We confess with our mouth because we have believed in our heart and that faith is there and by it we are justified before God. Then because we have genuine faith in our heart we will automatically confess that faith publicly and openly.
Water baptism is the best way to express saving faith. Biblically once a person has repented and believed and made a good public declaration of it the next step for them is to be baptised by immersion and after that to receive the Holy Spirit. This is the Biblical pattern. When we speak out what we believe it strengthens the faith we have on the inside. This is why it is important to witness to someone straight after we have been saved by faith. Whoever believes in Him will never be put to shame because God will honour that person’s faith if they are speaking and acting on what they believe. Having said this it is important that we witness for the Lord Jesus when the opportunity presents itself to do so. If we do not witness then how will people hear the message of salvation?
(Vss.14-15) “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
God always intended the Gentiles to receive salvation and He wanted the Jews to be the means through which He could provide it. The whole sacrificial system and laws and regulations given to Moses in Torah all pointed to the Lord Jesus the Messiah who would come and be the Passover lamb for Israel and also the means of salvation for the whole world. Israel had failed to do this because they had a righteousness based on works that made them think they were a cut above the Gentile nations because they had the Laws and commandments of God and the Gentiles didn’t.
The first century Jewish believers in the Messiah understood the Great Commission and sought to spread the Word of God and the message of salvation to anyone who would listen whether they were Jewish or Gentile. Those who have genuine faith will want to share that faith with others. On the other hand those who have religion pride themselves on their religious works and look down on others who are not like them. Not everyone is called to be an apostle or prophet or an evangelist or a pastor and teacher but we are all called to be involved in evangelism and discipleship. God is looking for faithfulness. All of us in the Body of the Messiah are gifted differently but God expects us to use the gifts we have in the work of the Kingdom. We are called to be faithful in using what we have to reach others with the Gospel of the Kingdom and with the Word of God. For some it will be the mission field, for others the office at work or on the university campus or in the secondary college or filling envelopes with gospel tracts to send through the post.
Whatever the gifts we have will always be in line with the call of God and in some way connected to the saving of souls and the sanctifying of the saints. “Feet” in the Body of the Messiah are evangelists, those who specifically bring the gospel message to the unsaved. Their activity is greatly treasured by the LORD. In His estimation they have “beautiful feet” because they take the good news of the Lord Jesus to lost ‘sinners.’ While men must first be shown the Law of God they must also be shown the grace of God. This is the gospel message. To just preach the love of Jesus without first preaching the Law of God is to preach a false gospel. Sadly many churches are preaching a Jesus that is all loving and merciful and forgiving but side stepping the Law of God and the need to first repent and the coming wrath of God upon sin and rebellion.
God must initially thrust out labourers into the harvest field and give them the gifts they need to successfully complete their assigned tasks and we should pray to this end but we also must be available to be sent. Whatever it is the Lord Jesus has called us to do He will give us the necessary gifts and resources we will need to successfully complete the task He has assigned to us in His wise and loving providence. Whether men and women obey the gospel is not our work to bring about but our work is to preach the good news and to sow the seed of the word into the lives of others through the ministry of the Holy Spirit
(Vss. 16-17) “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
If we do not go and preach the gospel of the kingdom then how will ‘sinners’ believe in Him who shed His atoning blood for their sins and provided a righteousness for them they could never attain for themselves? Not all have faith. But how then does a person get the faith that results in righteousness? Is it by trying to keep the law? Is it just by reading the Bible or attending the synagogue or by going to Church? Will any of these things in themselves produce faith? There are many churches and synagogues where the Word of God is regularly read publically but many that hear it do not experience the reality of it in their heart and life every day. For a person to be saved they must have revelation knowledge of the Bible. The text says “so then faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ or as another translation says “by the Word of God.”
While the Logos is the Lord Jesus and his Word the Bible it must become the Rhema of the Word in the heart. In other words “faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Rhema of Christ. In other words, if the Word of God and its meaning, and He who is the Word of God Himself, is not revealed by the supernatural revelation of the Spirit a person cannot be saved. The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit neither can the sinful mind that is hostile to God submit to His law or receive the revelation knowledge of the Lord Jesus the Messiah. This is why there must be the new spiritual rebirth from above (John 3:3) without this new spiritual rebirth no one can enter or even perceive the things of God’s kingdom.
If people are to be saved then they must be given the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit otherwise it will be for them a dead letter of the law that they cannot ever hope to keep anyway. Whether they are a Jew or a Gentile all have sinned and all need the righteousness that come through faith in the Lord Jesus the Messiah.
(Vs.18) “But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
Through creation God has revealed Himself to man. They are without excuse. People will be judged on the light they have received. All of this is written in chapter one of Pauls letter to the Romans. “Their voice” refers to creation itself and to the harmony in creation which clearly show the nature and character of God so that men are without excuse. The second way is the voice of those who had been preaching the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire and even beyond. Both the unbelieving Jews and gentiles have had the testimony of creation itself and that of those who believe in the Lord Jesus so they are without excuse.
The gospel of the kingdom was preached in many cities where there were synagogues and for the most part the message concerning the Lord Jesus being the saviour and their Messiah was rejected by the Jews. They had a zeal for God but they had not been enlightened by the Holy Spirit concerning the Lord Jesus. Even to this day a veil remains over the hearts of most Jews today that hides the revelation that the Lord Jesus is their Messiah and Passover Lamb who has been sacrificed for them.
(Vss.19-21) “But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.” Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek Me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for Me.” But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
Has the Church on the whole made the Jews jealous? Most Jews see the Church as the institution that has persecuted and killed Jews and that in the name of the Lord Jesus. In the first century the Gentiles coming to saving faith in the Lord Jesus provoked the unbelieving Jews who were jealous of the fact that God could bless the Gentiles. Even the apostles and the Jewish believers in Jerusalem found it difficult to accept that the Gentiles were being saved and receiving the Spirit in the same way the Jewish believers had received the Spirit. A classic case was how God had to deal with Peter on this matter when He asked Him to minister to the household of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion and not a Jew. Through the prophet Isaiah the LORD had said that those who did not seek Him would seek Him and find Him and as we will see in chapter 11 Paul clearly shows the relationship between Israel and the Church.
The irony to a degree is that the Jews had Torah and the covenants of promise and the patriarchs of faith and a tradition of seeing the LORD manifest His power in previous generations but despite all of these things and despite God’s extended hand to them they remained a disobedient and wayward people. From 70AD until 1948 the gospel of the Kingdom bore spiritual fruit among the Gentile nations and in a very real sense God left Israel alone because of their rejection of the Messiah. Having said this as we will see God has not finished with Israel and that the Church has not replaced Israel but is an extension of Israel by incorporation and inclusion, it has not replaced Israel.
There are those who are saying that because Israel as a nation are in the Land in unbelief that they have no right to be there and that they are there today because powerful men in high places arranged for it to be so. What they do not realise in their ignorance is that according to the prophets Israel was going to be restored nationally and spiritually as a nation in the last days and that God would start to turn Hus grace towards His ancient people once again. In 1948 Ezekiel’s prophecy started being fulfilled (Ezekiel 37:1-10) Israel would be gathered again to their homeland in unbelief (Vss. 1-8) Then after they were back in the land they would be spiritually renewed as a nation (Vss.9-10)
The Church owes a great debt to Israel. Paul writes in chapter nine “…the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory and the covenants; theirs the giving of the Law, the temple worship, and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them proceeds the human descent of Christ, who is God over all, forever worthy of praise! Amen.” (Romans 9:4-5)