Romans Chapter 10
Romans 10:1 “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”
We have been saying over and over in these lessons how important it was to Paul that the Jewish people would accept Jesus as their Savior. God actually called Paul to the Gentiles, but he could not help but desire his own people to come to Jesus Christ. We see that the Lord Jesus desired them to be saved as well as Paul, but they would not.
Luke 13:34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem , which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen [doth gather] her brood under [her] wings, and ye would not!”
Paul’s calling as an apostle to the Gentiles did not diminish his continual entreaties to God for Israel to be saved, or his own evangelistic efforts toward Jews.
Romans 10:2 “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.”
It is so strange to me that the people who were supposed to know the Word of God the best did not truly understand what that Word was saying, and they rejected their promised Messiah. The Scripture above says that it was for lack of knowledge. Perhaps, it was for lack of understanding what they were reading.
Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”
The Jews indeed had “zeal of God” which was demonstrated by their legalistic conformity to the law and their fierce opposition to Judaism’s opponents.
Romans 10:3 “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”
“Ignorant of God’s righteousness” means they were ignorant both of God’s inherent righteousness revealed in the law and the rest of the Old Testament (which should have shown the Jew their own unrighteousness), and of the righteousness which comes from Him on the basis of faith.
We see from the following Scriptures, the self-righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees and how it displeased God.
Luke 18:9-14 “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:” “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.” “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” “I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.” “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
God loves the humble in heart that are looking to Jesus Christ for their righteousness.
“Their own righteousness” means their beliefs were based on their conformity to God’s law which was often the less demanding standards of their own traditions.
Romans 10:4 “For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
“For Christ is the end of the law”, although the Greek word translated “end” can mean either “fulfillment” or “termination.” This is not a reference to Christ’s having perfectly fulfilled the law through His teaching or through His sinless life.
Instead, as the second half of the verse shows, Paul means that belief in Christ as Lord and Savior ends the sinner’s futile quest for righteousness through his imperfect attempts to save himself by efforts to obey the law.
Matt. 5:17-18 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
Romans 10:5 “For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.”
Leviticus 18:5 “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I [am] the LORD.”
There were literally hundreds of the Levitical laws that had to be kept to be righteous in the law. There was absolutely no way that a person could even keep up with them, much less keep them. Jesus came and fulfilled them for us that we might live by the grace of God.
To hope for a righteousness based on obedience to the law requires perfect conformity in every detail, which is an utter impossibility.
Verses 6-9: Paul skillfully weaves together quotations from (Deuteronomy 9:4 and 30:10-14), which speak of God’s initiative in grace and man’s humble obedience to it. He then applies this truth to the gospel of Christ.
Romans 10:6-7 “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down [from above]:)” “Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)”
Paul speaks of the righteousness based on faith as if it were a person and puts in its mouth a quotation from Deuteronomy. His point is that the righteousness of faith does not require some impossible odyssey through the universe to find Christ.
Deuteronomy 9:4 “Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.”
Deuteronomy 30:11-14 “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it [is] not hidden from thee, neither [is] it far off.” “It [is] not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it” “Neither [is] it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?” “But the word [is] very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”
Romans 10:8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;”
“The word is nigh thee” is quoted from (Deuteronomy 30:14), which was quoted in the previous scripture. The journey of (verses 6 and 7), is unnecessary because God has clearly revealed the way of salvation: it is by faith. The Word of faith is the message of faith and that is the way to God.
Matthew 10:32-33 “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
We can clearly see the importance of the things we say from all of this. Faith, we know is believing in things we cannot see. If you can see something, it takes no faith to believe. Jesus Himself said, blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.
John 20:29 “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.”
Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
This verse does not mean a simple acknowledgment that He is God and the Lord of the universe, since even demons acknowledge that to be true.
This is the deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is that person’s own master or sovereign. This phrase includes repenting from sin, trusting in Jesus for salvation and submitting to Him as Lord.
This is the volitional element of faith.
We studied this in the first chapter which I’ll repeat again here:
Believeth: To trust, rely on, or have faith in. When used of salvation, this word usually occurs in the present tense “is believing” which stresses that faith is not simply a one-time event, but an ongoing condition. True saving faith is supernatural, a gracious gift of God that He produces in the heart and is the only means by which a person can appropriate true righteousness.
Saving faith consists of 3 elements.
- Mental: the mind understands the gospel and the truth about Christ
- Emotional: one embraces the truthfulness of those facts with sorrow over sin and joy over God’s mercy and grace
- Volitional: the sinner submits his will to Christ and trust in Him alone as the only hope of salvation.
Genuine faith always produces authentic obedience.
“God hath raised Him from the dead”: Christ’s resurrection was the supreme validation of His ministry. Belief in it is necessary for salvation because it proved that Christ is who He claimed to be and that the Father had accepted His sacrifice in the place of sinners. Without the resurrection, there is no salvation.
This leaves absolutely no doubt at all what we must do to be saved.
Romans 10:10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
“Confession is made unto salvation”: One is not saved by his mouth’s conversation, (meaning many, who by their head knowledge say they are saved, but really are not), but rather, the mouth testifies readily of the grace of God in Christ which has been received by faith (for those who have been truly saved and their words are coming from their heart).
Confession is the Greek word which basically means to say the same thing, or to agree with someone. The person who confesses Jesus as Lord, agrees with the Father’s declaration that Jesus is Savior and Lord.
Romans 10:11 “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”
Let me read this scripture from Isaiah and tell me who it is talking about and how it relates to (Rom: 10:11).
Isaiah 28:16 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”
“Haste” means disturbed. The Hebrew word is hurry. The Greek Old Testament interprets this Hebrew hasten for “hurry” in the sense of “put to shame”, furnishing the basis of the New Testament citations of this verse.
Isaiah 49:23 “And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with [their] face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.”
Of course this speaks of our Cornerstone, Jesus.
1 Peter 2:6 “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”
If you have really made Jesus the Lord of your life, you want to tell everybody you see. Christians are the bride of Christ. Have you ever seen a new bride that can keep quiet about her groom?
Zion or Sion are terms that most often designate the Land of Israel and its capital, Jerusalem.
Romans 10:12 “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”
“There is no difference”. A parenthetical comment explaining that God can bestow His righteousness on all who believe, Jew or Gentile, because all men, without distinction, fail miserably to live up to the divine standard.
Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Paul here quotes (Joel 2:32), to further emphasize that salvation is available for people of all nations and races.
This familiar Old Testament expression does not refer to some desperate cry to just any deity but to the one true God as He has revealed Himself. A revelation which now includes recognition of Jesus as Lord and of the One who raised up Jesus from the dead.
As chapter 9 stressed divine sovereignty in salvation, this passage stresses human responsibility. Scripture does not view these two principles as paradoxical or contradictory, but as mutually compatible truths.
“Saved” is speaking of salvation which is the most common biblical expression used to identify the subjective changes in people’s lives, when by faith they have received the benefit of Christ’s death and resurrection. The term implies deliverance, safety, preservation, healing and soundness. It occurs in three phases. First, the Christian has been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin. Second, the Christian is being saved from the habit and dominion of sin in this life. Finally, when the Lord returns, the Christian will be saved from all the physical results of sin and of God’s curse on the world.
Romans 10:14 “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?”
In presenting the universal proclamation of the gospel, Paul presents the reasons why a universal proclamation is necessary. First, because the call must be preceded by faith and second, because faith must be preceded by hearing. This shows that knowledge is essential to belief. Faith must have a valid content.
Third, because hearing requires a preacher, and fourth, because preaching requires being sent. The One who sends is God. Salvation is completely from God.
Romans 10:15 “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Paul’s main point in this series of rhetorical questions is that a clear presentation of the gospel message must precede true saving faith. True faith always has content, the revealed Word of God. Salvation comes to those who hear and believe the facts of the gospel.
“How beautiful are the feet” comes from Isaiah or;
Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”
It is the message of good news which those feet carry that is so welcome.
Romans 10:16 “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?”
The good news is not only a gracious offer but a command to believe and repent. “Believed our report” is a scripture quoted from (Isaiah 53:1).
The report Isaiah described was of the substitutionary death of Christ, the good news of the gospel (Isa 53:5).
Romans 10:17 “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
“The Word of God”: or better, the word of Christ. The reference is to the oral communication of the gospel. (The word translated “report” in verse 16 is translated “hearing” here). Notice that it is not faith in what is heard, but faith that comes about by what is heard. This is what Paul meant (in Rom. 1:16), when he said the gospel “is the power of God unto salvation.”
Saving faith is not man doing his part in response to God’s having done His part. Saving faith can come about only through the gospel. Salvation is God’s work alone. This also shows that there is no other way to be saved but by the explicit gospel of Christ.
Luke 11:28 “But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”
It is the Word of God that is powerful, that convicts us of our sin and sets us on the road to salvation. Look at the next Scripture and see just how powerful this Word is.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Romans 10:18 “But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.”
Paul cited this quotation from the LXX which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament’s version of (Psalms 19:4), to show that even David understood that God’s revelation of Himself has reached the entire earth.
Romans 10:19-20 “But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by [them that are] no people, [and] by a foolish nation I will anger you.” “But Isaiah is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.”
Israel was ignorant of the salvation truth contained in their own Scriptures, including that the gospel would reach the Gentiles (as promised in Deut. 32:21 and Isa. 65:1-2).
“No people”: The Gentiles. God would provoke the Jews to jealousy by the Gentiles who are not a part of Israel, God’s special, chosen nation.
(Verses 20 and 21 are quotes from Isaiah 65:1-2).
Romans 10:21 “But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.”
“Disobedient”, means “to contradict” or “to speak against.” As throughout her history, Israel once again had contradicted the Word of God. This time it was the truth of the gospel.
Romans Chapter 10 Questions
- In verse 1 Paul’s desire for Israel was what?
- In Luke 13:34, who did Jesus say killed the prophets?
- Paul said the Jews had a zeal for God, but not to what?
- In Hosea 4:6, the people were destroyed for what?
- What was wrong with the righteousness of these Jews?
- In Luke the 18th chapter, which of the two men who went to the temple pleased God?
- Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to whom?
- In Jeremiah 23:6, what name is the Lord to be called?
- Where do we find the Scripture that says our righteousness is filthy rags?
- How do the Christians fulfill the law?
- Explain what is intended in Romans 10:6.
- How close is salvation to us, that we read about in Deuteronomy 30:14?
- What did Paul say he preached in verse 8?
- Who will Jesus confess before the Father?
- In John 20:29, who are the blessed?
- What was counted unto Abraham as righteousness?
- With the ________ man believeth unto righteousness.
- What happens to your heart when you repent of your sins?
- Have you ever seen a bride who can keep quiet about her groom?
- Is there a difference between the Jew and Greek?
- What is the only thing that can keep us from receiving Christ?
- Where do we find the Scripture that says, whosoever will can come to Christ?
- What is the greatest desire of Jesus toward us?
- Romans 10:4 says, how shall they hear without whom?
- It pleased God by the foolishness of _________ to save them who believe.
- How shall they preach except they be _______?
- What part of the body is mentioned as being beautiful of those who preach the gospel?
- Matthew 28:9 explains to baptize in whose name?
- It is not profitable to just hear the gospel, we must do what?
- How does faith come?
- Luke 11:28 says who are blessed?
- What Scripture tells of the power of the Word?
- When shall the end come?
- When the Jewish people rejected Jesus, who was the salvation message brought to?