Romans 10 - Outline of Romans (Book Notes menu page)
B. Israel's Present State- Rejection (9:30 - 10:21)
  1. They have Stumbled upon the Rock of Offence. 9:30-33
    (To review the Book Notes for ch. 9, go to the Outline of Romans, above.)
  2. They are Unsaved, in Zeal & Self-Righteousness. 10:1-4
  3. They are Unsubmitted to God's Righteousness:
    1. The Righteousness which is received by faith, v.5-10
    2. The Righteousness which is available to all, v.11-13
    3. The Righteousness which is proclaimed in their hearing, v.14-18
    4. The Righteousness which is refused and opposed, v.19-21
10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
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.
10:4 For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
my heart's desire and prayer...- Paul's prayer shows us three things:
  1. Israel was not saved - in spite of their many advantages (Rom 3:1,2; 9:4,5).
    They were religious but lost. In our day, this can also be said of many church members.
  2. Israel was salvable.- Some have wrongly taught that Israel is unpardonable. But if that were the case, Paul would not have prayed for their salvation. They are in a state of blindness, but there is a remedy for their condition (cp. 2Cor 3:14-16).
  3. Israel needs salvation.- There is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile (cp. v.12; Rom 3:23,24), except that God has promised eventual salvation to national Israel (Rom 11:26,27).
for I bear them record {ie., witness} that they have a zeal for God...-
Paul was moved to pray for Israel, because he was related to them (Rom 9:1-3), and
because he could relate to their religious fervency. cp. Acts 22:3-5; Php 3:4-6
...but not according to knowledge...- cp. 1Tim 1:13
for they, being ignorant {ie., without understanding} of God's righteousness...
  • and going about {ie., seeking} to establish their own righteousness...- cp. Isa 64:6
  • have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.- cp. Rom 9:30-33
    There are only these two types of righteousness. They are mutually exclusive.
for Christ is the end {GK=telos, ending, termination} of the Law for righteousness...-
3. They (Israel) are Unsubmitted to God's Righteousness:
a. The Righteousness which is received by faith, v.5-10
10:5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law,
That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
{Lev 18:5}
10:6 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] );
10:7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep
{GK=abussos, the abyss}?
(that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead).
10:8 But what saith it?
The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart:
{Deu 30:12-14}
that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
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.
10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Paul cites scripture passages, written by Moses (who received the Law from God at Mt. Sinai),
to differentiate between the two types of righteousness.-
  1. The righteousness of the Law, stated concisely is:
    ''The man who doeth those things shall live...'' or ''If a man do...'' (Lev 18:5)
    This is self-righteousness. It is based on my doing. v.3
    The problem is that no man can fulfill the demands of the Law. Rom 3:20,23
    A man may attain unto relative righteousness when compared to other men,
    but at his best, he falls short of the righteousness of God.
  2. The righteousness of faith...   [Paul cites Deu 30:12-14.]
    1. Does not require me to do that which is impossible for me to do.
      'Say not...who shall ascend... descend...', v.6,7
      (cp. Psa 24:3-5 - The Person, described by the Psalm, cannot be me, for my hands are unclean, and my heart is impure.)
    2. Says: ''The word is near thee... in thy mouth and in thy heart...''
      As air surrounds your body and fills your lungs, you know the ''word'' {GK=rhema, the specific message} that God has given for your salvation. This message is the ''word of faith, which we preach,'' ie., the Gospel concerning the Person and Work of Christ, in whom we are to trust. Christ Himself is the Word {GK=logos}, the full expression of God's Person and Purposes (Joh 1:1,2,14). He is the only One who was worthy to ''ascend into the hill of the LORD,'' to receive righteousness and salvation, for those who seek His face. Psa 24:3-6; Joh 3:13
      In Him, the demands of the Law have been satisfied, and are done. v.4
      All that remains is for me to rest my heart upon this Word, by believing. cp. Joh 6:28,29
How could Paul apply this passage, which seems to speak about Law keeping, to teach Righteousness by faith?
He has cited a few key lines from Deu 30:12-14, but he is thinking of the broader context.
These verses are from the final chapter of the 'Palestinian Covenant' (Deuteronomy ch. 28-30), in which the LORD set forth specific blessings and cursings for obedience or disobedience of His commandments. He warned Israel that they would be removed from their Land due to disobedience, but that they would be restored again to the Land when they would turn back to Him ''with all thine heart, and with all thy soul'' (Deu 30:1-3).
     In the lines cited by Paul, Moses says that the LORD's requirements were neither hidden, nor beyond reaching.
What requirements? The passage speaks of two categories:
  1. His commandments (plural) - They were ''to keep His commandments and statutes which are written in the book of the Law.'' (Deu 30:10)
    Yet, this was exactly what Israel could not do. Because of their repeated failure, they would frequently come under His cursings (eg. Deu 28:15-f; 30:16b-19). They knew the Law (it was not hidden), but they could not attain unto its righteousness (it was beyond their reach), because they could not do what it demanded. To place confidence in their own righteousness, was to choose death.
  2. This commandment (singular) - ie., ''to love the LORD thy God...'' Deu 30:11-16a
    • This is not a matter of performance, but of relationship.
    • This is not something to do, but Someone to trust.
      • Christ came down from heaven, bore our sin and death, and ascended victorious over the enemies which held us bound. Rom 8:33,34
      • Because of His victory, true righteousness is no longer beyond our reach.
    To those who reach out to Him in faith...
    • the LORD gives a heart to obey Him. Deu 30:6
      (This is prophetic of the 'New Covenant.' cp. Jer 31:31-34; Heb 8:8-13)
      The means by which New Covenant righteousness is imputed and imparted to believers was explained in Romans ch. 1-8.)
    • the LORD Himself becomes the essence of life and the focus of love. Deu 30:20
    It is this message, of faith in the LORD for righteousness, that Paul is proclaiming:
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 (v.9,10).-
The essence of the Gospel message is:
  1. Jesus...- ie., Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), the man by whom God has made righteousness and salvation available to sinners. cp. Joh 20:31; Rom 3:23-26
  2. Lord...- ie., Jesus is the Lord. cp. 1Cor 12:3
    What does it mean to confess Jesus as Lord? ( be discussed shortly.)
  3. raised...- Jesus' bodily resurrection from the dead is essential to the Gospel. cp. Rom 4:25; 1Cor 15:1-4,14
The essential response to the Gospel message:
  • confess {GK=homologeo, to say the same thing as..., to agree with...} -
    To 'confess with thy mouth' is a public acknowledgment of faith in Christ, and in the facts of the Gospel.
  • believe {GK=pisteuo, to be persuaded of, to place confidence in, to trust} -
         To 'believe in thy heart' is to be fully persuaded of the truth of the Gospel facts,
         and to fully entrust yourself to God's complete provision for your personal salvation.
    - - The order of these verbs is not important. (The order is reversed in v.9 and v.10.)
    However, it is important, that one's mouth and heart be in harmony.
    Our life (words & deeds) will demonstrate the reality of our heart faith.
    The thought of these two words ('confess' and 'believe') is combined into the single word 'believe' in v.11.
What does it mean to ''confess... the Lord Jesus {lit., Jesus as Lord}''? (v.9; cp. 1Cor 12:3)
  1. To make Him Lord and Master of your life? (or)
  2. To acknowledge Him as the LORD God?
In the context, the latter is primarily in view.
The word for Lord, in v.9, is GK=kurios. This word was used, in the LXX, more than 6,000 times to translate the Covenant Name of God (Yahweh, trans. LORD). Certainly, this is its meaning in v.12,13. Furthermore, the ''word'' of v.8 is the message of Christ's divine nature and of His triumph over death. The ''word of faith'' is that God's righteousness is communicated by faith in Him, not by human merits.
     However, this is not to imply that a believer has license to live licentiously. If, in his heart, he has truly ''believed unto righteousness'' (v.10), his life will be increasingly yielded to the lordship of Christ. The believer's submission to the Lord, is not a prerequisite for salvation (which is received as a gift from God), but rather, is a demonstration of the reality of his new birth (Rom 6:19-23).
3. They (Israel) are Unsubmitted to God's Righteousness:
a. The Righteousness which is received by faith, v.5-10
b. The Righteousness which is available to all, v.11-13
10:11 For the scripture saith,
{lit., he who} believeth on him shall not be ashamed. {Isa 28:16; Rom 9:33}
he who believes...- Salvation is on the basis of faith, apart from works.
believes on Him...- The trusted One is the security of the transaction.
The emphasis, here, is upon the trustworthiness of the One believed.
Isaiah speaks of the Messiah, whom the LORD would give to provide salvation for all peoples. Isa 49:1-6
10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: {Rom 3:22,23; John 14:6}
for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
{Joel 2:32}
whosoever...- ie., 'everyone whoever.'
Here, the emphasis is upon the universal availability of salvation by faith.
all that call upon Him...- are not only answered (cp. Acts 16:30,31),
but answered richly. v.12; cp. Eph 2:4-7
Verse 13 quotes Joel 2:32. The context, of that chapter, is the Day of the Lord,
the time of great Tribulation, at the end of the age, when the Lord returns to judge the world.
Salvation will be available, to the very end, to all who call upon Christ in faith.
Yet, even now, the free gift of salvation by faith, is a time limited offer. Isa 55:6; 2Cor 6:2; Heb 9:27
3. They (Israel) are Unsubmitted to God's Righteousness:
a. The Righteousness which is received by faith, v.5-10
b. The Righteousness which is available to all, v.11-13
c. The Righteousness which is proclaimed in their hearing, v.14-18
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?
{GK=kerusso, a proclaimer, a publisher}
10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent?
{GK=apostello, to send with a commission}
If salvation by faith is truly a message from God, then we should expect that...
[A] It should be proclaimed widely,
since even ''the elect'' can not be saved apart from hearing and believing.
God's sovereignty in election (emphasized in ch.9) does not eliminate personal responsibility.
  • I am responsible to hear and believe. Heb 11:6
  • Having believed, I am responsible to go and tell. Mark 16:15,16
[B] It should be proclaimed by messengers sent by God.
[C] Its proclamation should be predicted in Scripture. And so, it was...
as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace,
and bring glad tidings of good things!
{Isa 52:7}
The message of good news, anticipated in Isaiah 52,
proclaims Israel's salvation and restoration, by God's servant, the Messiah (Isa 52:12-15).
The basis of this salvation is His sacrifice, as described in Isaiah 53.
How beautiful are my feet, to those who need to hear the Gospel?
[D.] But if this message, and these messengers are truly sent by God,
Why do so few believe?
This also was foretold in the Scriptures...
10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel.
For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
{Isa 53:1}
God's messenger was heartbroken:
God's message, of salvation through the Lamb, was dismissed in unbelief.
''The Gospel is confirmed as God's Word -- both by the few who believe, and by the many who reject it. A gospel universally accepted would not be of God. cp. John 5:43'' [Stifler]
10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Though it is dismissed by the many who prefer the religion and philosophy of men, it is God's Word that brings men to saving faith.
''All men hear (and believe) something, but saving faith comes from heeding saving doctrine.'' [Stifler]
Luk 16:31; 1Cor 1:18-24; 1Pet 1:23-25
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.
{Psa 19:4}
God's message is proclaimed broadly. No one can claim they have not heard.
Psalm 19 speaks of God's revelation of Himself both through His creation (Psa 19:1-6),
and through His Word (Psa 19:7-11).
  • The creation declares God's glory to an unbelieving world. Rom 1:20
  • God's Word declares the Way of Life, even to those who refuse to hear.
    What will you do with God's Word to you? cp. Mat 7:13,14; Joh 14:6; Psa 19:12-14
3. They (Israel) are Unsubmitted to God's Righteousness:
a. The Righteousness which is received by faith, v.5-10
b. The Righteousness which is available to all, v.11-13
c. The Righteousness which is proclaimed in their hearing, v.14-18
d. The Righteousness which is refused and opposed, v.19-21
10:19 But I say, Did not Israel know?
They were 'ignorant' (v.3), but it was willful ignorance.
The truth of the Gospel came first to Israel (Rom 1:16).
They knew the basic elements of the Gospel message, but they refused to know the power of God unto salvation. (cp. the use of the word 'know' in Joh 7:28; 8:19)
This refusal was also foretold by Scripture. Paul cites three passages...
First Moses saith,
I will provoke you to jealousy by [them that are] no people,
[and] by a foolish nation I will anger you.
{Deu 32:21b}
them that are no people {GK=ethnos}... a foolish {ie., without understanding} nation...-
This refers to the Church, which is composed largely of Gentile believers, who are...
  • drawn from various backgrounds, with no common ethnicity. cp. 1Pet 2:10
  • drawn from godless backgrounds, with no heritage in God's Word. cp. Eph 2:11-13
I will provoke you to jealousy {GK=parazeloo}...-
The basic word for jealousy is GK=zeloo (translated 'zeal' in v.2). The word can be negative or positive in effect (eg., 'to burn with anger,' or, 'to be passionate with commitment'). The word form used here ('parazeloo') suggests 'intense zeal.'
ie., God would use the Gentile reception of the Gospel (which is based on things pertaining to the Jews, Rom 9:4,5) to enflame Israel's zeal -
  1. first, to anger against those they perceived to be enemies of God (eg., Paul's zeal, Acts 22:3,4). Their anger was misdirected, since they themselves were not in proper relationship with the LORD, the Rock of Israel (cp. Deu 32:15-18,21 and entire chapter).
  2. later, to passionate desire for the things that belong to them. cp. Mat 23:37-39; Luk 19:41,42
10:20 But Esaias 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.
{Isa 65:1}
10:21 But to Israel he saith,
All day long I have stretched forth my hands
unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
{Isa 65:2}
I was found of them that sought me not...-
ie., The Gentiles, who were in spiritual darkness were finding Christ.
What excuse could the Jews, who had the oracles of God, offer for their unbelief? cp. Rom 9:30-32
...I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.-
Israel's unbelief was not a failure on God's part.
He continuously extends His offer of salvation by faith.
But Israel, as a people {GK=laos, a tribe, a group with common race and language) was--
  • disobedient {GK=apeitheo, unbelieving} - ie., disobedient to the truth.
  • gainsaying {GK=antilego, lit., to say against, to contradict} - ie., opposed to the truth. cp. Acts 7:51-53
Yet, even in unbelief and rebellion, Israel remains uniquely "His people" {GK=laos}. Rom 11:1

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