We have seen that Israel has rejected God due to her stubbornness. We have, also, seen that Israel sought salvation through legalistic works and, therefore, did not submit to Christ, which is what we saw in yesterday’s passage. Now today, we are going to see that the law method can never work because it demands what we cannot do—perfect obedience from the cradle to the grave (Romans 10:5). However, we are going to see that the faith method can work because we can do what it asks (Romans 10:8-10). Next we are going to see that that faith method makes salvation possible for all men (Romans 10:11-13). However, this universal salvation demands universal proclamation of the Gospel (Romans 10:14-15).
Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by 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 deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”—10:5-13
Paul further contrasts faith and works, exploring the difference through the Old Testament. In verse 5, Moses sets out the manifesto of the law given in Leviticus 18:5. By contrast, faith does not involve the impossible labor of ascent to heaven or a descent to the subterranean waters (Romans 10:6-7), because faith simply means believing in the Word, the message of the Gospel (Romans 10:8). The message of the Gospel is summarized in Romans 10:9 and expanded in verse 10. Christians will profess their faith (both in church and to others outside of church) and on the last day be saved. Negatively, salvation is the same as not being put to shame on the last day, hence Isaiah 28:16 (already quoted in Romans 9:33) is support for the argument that belief or faith or trust, because all three are the same word in Greek, leads to salvation. Another important part of Isaiah 28:16 is that it does not specify who can believe; it simply refers to the one who believes. Therefore, Paul can apply this to Jews and Gentiles alike (Romans 10:12). Paul cites another inclusive Old Testament verse: everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13, quoting Joel 2:32). In sum, unlike Moses’ manifesto in Leviticus 18:5, which insists on law-observance, the other Old Testament passages emphasize the nearness of the Word, that anyone can believe in the Lord, and that everyone who calls on him will be saved.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”—10:14-15
Paul begins to think about how people come to believer, and he may be specifically thinking about his fellow Jews. Paul works backward from people hearing to people preaching to churches sending, emphasizing the importance of preaching by his reference to Isaiah 52:7.
Now let’s come back around to verses 9-10 and 13-15. Verses 9-10 say this: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
The most necessary elements of spiritual salvation are summarized in these two verses. They center on belief in the lordship (the leadership and/or authority) of Christ and his bodily resurrection. Faith must be in the heart, which includes, the emotions, intellect and will, and it takes hold of the whole person. Faith must involve committing oneself publicly to Jesus as Lord, both in words and actions.
Dr. Tony Evans wrote these words about Romans 10:9-10 in his Study Bible notes:
When a person believes, he receives justification. But in order to receive deliverance from temporal wrath in history a believer must also publicly acknowledge the lordship of Jesus Christ and call on him for divine assistance. This, in fact, is why “confess” and “believe” are flipped here (10:10). When a person believes, he receives God’s righteousness (i.e., he is born again). But when he publicly acknowledges identification with Christ, he receives temporal divine intervention. Failure to do so results in the loss of that intervention (i.e., deliverance).
Verses 13-15 say this: “for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”
God has not made it difficult to receive his gracious gifts of forgiveness, spiritual salvation and eternal life with him, though there is a cost in following Christ in a world that rejects him and persecutes his followers. Yet, if a person recognizes his or her need for God, humbly acknowledges his or her sin and calls on God for mercy, he or she can and will receive forgiveness and spiritual salvation. As simple as this first step is, however, it cannot happen unless people believe in Christ, which will not happen unless they hear message. And in order for people to hear and receive the message of Jesus, someone has to tell them about him. The whole process starts with someone who cares enough to communicate Christ’s message. In many cases, the message will not even be communicated fully enough to people in others lands and cultures unless Christians send and support those whom God has called to deliver his message to these people and places. Those who help to send others are filling a major and privileged role in introducing people to Christ. We all can participate in the effort to “bring good news” to those who have not yet heart about Jesus. And that is where we will pick tomorrow as we finish Romans 10.
Tomorrow’s Bible Readings:
Isaiah 54:1-57:14, Ephesians 6, Psalm 70:1-5 and Proverbs 24:8
Make a one-time donation
Make a monthly donation
Make a yearly donation
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly