ROMANS CHAPTER 10






VERSES 1-5 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2- For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3- For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4- For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them."

A. "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved."
1. Paul repeats his deep yearning of the salvation of his physical brethren.

2. Paul does change the emphasis of his writing from the great privileges that they enjoyed as Godís people to the real tragedy of it, that they were indeed zealous for God, but were really ignorant of His will.

3. Paul was ready to give them full credit for sincerity, but he stated that sincerity was insufficient.

4. Sincerity, while necessary, is not sufficient to save.

a. Acts 3:17; 17:30. Also Matthew 7:21.
B. "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God."
1. The Jews who could not accept Jesus had gone about to establish their own system of faith based on a meticulous set of rules and regulations and not obedient faith based on love for God.

2. They could not accept Godís way of salvation, even though God had given abundant evidence of the divinity of His Son. While the gospel was Godís power for salvation, the Jews were trying to follow their own rules and regulations. See Matthew 15:6-9.

3. This demonstrates that there can be a willful ignorance, which is just as wrong as willful disobedience. See Matthew 22:29.

4. Coffman puts it this way. "Thus the Jewish ignorance of Godís word extended to the very heart of it, which they had so corrupted with human tradition and so glossed over with their own interpretations that many of the plainest precepts were countermanded. Thus, the failure of Israel, about to be mentioned in the next verse, refers not merely to their rejection of Christ (which they also did), but to their failure to keep even the commandments of the Law which they acknowledged, preferring their own traditions and precept instead of it."

5. The "righteousness of God" refers to the gospel system and obedience to itís precepts.

C. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
1. What the Jews knew about the goal of the Law, attaining the righteousness of God, was asctually to be found in the law of Christ.

2. This is the sad point of Paulís exclamation! What they sought, to be justified by God, was achievable in a relationship with Christ. But they had denied themselves any hope of that justification by turning to their own self-righteousness instead of following Christ.

3. Christ is the complete fulfillment of the Old Law.

4. The goal that all faithful Jews were aiming for in the Old Law, rightness before God, would be fulfilled "in Christ."

D. "For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them."
1. This is added proof that Paul is referring to the righteousness that each individual is striving for being right with God. In a technical sense, the Old Law DID offer justification before God. If a person was able to keep it perfectly all his life he would be declared sinless before God and thus counted worthy to stand before Him..

2. The only problem was that no man or woman had ever beeen able to keep the Law perfectly, at least none up to the time of Christ. Jesus was able to keep it sinlessly and stand justified. But all others had committed sin. Even Moses was not able to keep his own Law, thus being kept out of the promised land.
 
 

VERSES 6-8 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7- or, " 'Who will descend into the abyss?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 - But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach)"
A. But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart...."
1. The unbelieving Jews were always looking for the "great sign" that would show that God had given them what "they" had expected, an earthly carnal messiah. See Matthew 27:42-43.

2. There was ample evidence to show that Jesus was the Messiah. But he was not the messiah that the bulk of the Jewish nation expected. Thus, they did not want to believe him!

B. "But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach)"
1. The Messiah was not far away in Heaven, or deep in the abyss. He was as close as their hearts when they obeyed to gospel!

2. The rejection of the bulk of the Jews and the nearness of the Word for them has to be understood to make sense of what Paul is going to say in the following verses.
 
 

VERSES 9-11 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10- For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11- For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
 
 
 
 

VERSES 12- For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13- For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.

A. "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him."
1. This is an explanation of the phrase in verse 11, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." It is intended to show that God now has the same attitude toward Gentiles that he has toward Jews. All who approach Him in faith will be saved.

2. Not only is Jehovah Lord over all but also lavishes his mercy and grace on those who come to Him.

B. "For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."
1. All mankind would be saved the same way, by "calling on the name of the Lord." This is a restatement of Joel 2:32.

2. What did Paul mean when he made this statement? It is a synecdoche, or a part standing for the whole. Those who obey the gospel are those who "call on the name of the Lord."

3. See Acts 2:21, 36-39 and Acts 22:16.
 
 

VERSES 14-15 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15- And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!
A. "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15- And how shall they preach unless they are sent?"
1. These are a series of rhetorical questions, i.e. questions in which the answers are obvious.

2. The Jews are going to need to "call on the Lord" (obey the gospel) in order to be saved. But they had been exposed to the Gospel by the apostles and other preachers of the Word. Thus, they are without excuse.

B. ""As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!""
1. God has always loved those who proclaim His truth. Once again, the feet are a synecdoche for the whole person because they carry the message.

2. This is taken from Isaiah 52:7, which has a dual fulfillment in Isaiahís day in the return of Godís people from Babylonian captivity and in the first century in the Gospel.
 
 

VERSES 16-17 "But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" 17- So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.""
A. "But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?""
1. Reese mentions that Paul here in the passage gives four links in the chain covering the gap between Godís offer of salvation and manís appropriation of it - one sent, preaching, hearing, and "believing in Him." Many of the Jews had broken the link at number four, believing in Him. They refused to believe in the Messiah that God had sent to earth.

2. Isaiah 53:1 is quoted here to show that even when Isaiah penned these words God would know that that a large portion of His people would reject the Messiah.

B. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
1. In context, this verse is placed here to show that it is not Godís fault that His former people had rejected Him. Obedience comes from a person hearing and accepting the message. It was the task of God to make the saving message available. It was not Godís task to make the Jews accept it.

2. This passages does show that faith does not come by a direct operation of the Holy Spirit, but rather through contact with the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit. See also Acts 18:8.
 
 

Verses 18-21 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: "Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world." 19- But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: "I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation." 20- But Isaiah is very bold and says: "I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me." 21- But to Israel he says: "All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people."
A. But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: "Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world."
1. The problem is not in the availability of the message. It has gone everywhere. The gospel had been taken all over the known world in the first century. It was just like loud voice that had resounded all over the earth.

2. See Acts 8:4 and Colossians 1:23.

B. But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: "I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation."
1. Paul again anticipates another objection. Was it that Israel had not heard the message? No, they had the message, well in advance, if they had only chosen to listen.

2. The signs were written down in Scripture, if they would have only looked for them.

3. Moses warned them long ago (Deuteronomy 32:21) that they would be angered by God choosing the Gentiles for salvation. This was simply unthinkable to most Jews.

C. "But Isaiah is very bold and says: "I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me." 21- But to Israel he says: "All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people.""
1. This passage is taken from Isaiah 65:1-2.

2. See the irony in this passage. Those who had not sought after God for all the centuries, nevertheless obey Him. But those who had such an honored position for centuries would turn their backs on God.
 



Copyright 2000 by John L. Kachelman Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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