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# 45: 1-11-13

Romans 10:1-13
Before we venture into chapter 10, I think we need to have firmly in mind what Paul has brought out so far,
concerning the nation of Israel. He began discussing Israel specifically in chapter 9.
Paul first outlined the many privileges and promises that God had given to Israel, the nation God had made
for Himself. The culmination of those promises would be realized in the nations inheritance of Life
everlasting a regenerate nation. Pauls lament was that from generation to generation, those promises had
remained unfulfilled.
But Paul wanted to make it plain that this did not mean that God was breaking His promise to Israel, or
giving what He had promised them, to others. Instead, Paul pointed out that those unbelieving generations
of the nation were not truly Israel; they were not Gods people, because they had never submitted to Him.
Pauls emphasis in chapter 9 is on Gods prerogative to choose whom He will for His divine purposes. God
never elects men for destruction, but always for salvation, in accordance with His gracious and merciful
character. And it is Gods right, as the Creator, to determine the basis for saving men; the way in which He
will do it.
What is the basis for Gods salvation or rather, who? His Son, Jesus Christ; the Father has sent the Son as
the Savior of the world (1 Jn 4:14). In His foreknowledge, God chooses to save those who will place their
faith in His Son. And that includes the members of the nation Israel.
Paul explained that it is not unrighteous for God to choose those to whom He will extend His merciful
salvation; it is perfectly just, because all men under time are given the opportunity to choose to believe and
be saved. God simply foreknows what it is that they will choose, because He is outside of time. And it is
the prerogative of the Creator to have the authority over His creation, just as a potter has the say over the
clay to say what he will design it to be.
Paul used this illustration to show that Gods plan, for His creation of mankind was to design a temporary
clay vessel for his spirit beings of humanity a vessel which man dishonored through sin but which God
would refashion into a vessel of honor, of glory, through His merciful salvation in Christ.
And because this is Gods plan for all mankind, He extends that salvation to all men; not only to the Jews,
but to the Gentiles. By this, Paul was showing that the basis for being saved, for being included as the
people of God, is not through natural birth, as into Gods privileged nation, Israel, but through being born
again, as a child of God.
Paul then continued with a series of OT Scriptures to support this, showing that the Gentiles, whom God
had laid aside after rejecting the LORD on the plain of Shinar, were now being included as the people of
God, based on their believing into Christ. On the other hand, Israel, Gods privileged nation, was now
being set aside, on the basis of them rejecting Christ.
Paul points out the irony of this. The Gentiles, who werent even trying to be righteousness, were the ones
who were being made righteous; but Israel, who was pursuing righteousness, did not attain it. Why?
Because Israel wouldnt come Gods way the only way through Christ. They stumbled over the
prospect that they needed a Savior; they thought they could save themselves, through doing the Law.

# 45: 1-11-13

It is on this note that Paul continues his letter into chapter 10; but as he does, he now turns his attention
from Gods right to choose whom He wills to save, to mans responsibility to believe and be saved; from
the calling of God, to the response of man, to the call.
Well read the passage first. Remember that in this discussion, when Paul speaks of Israel, he is talking
about the nation, as a collective whole; when he speaks of individuals, he uses the term Jew.
[Read Romans 10:1-13]
So Paul begins by explaining why the nation Israel remains unregenerate; why they have yet to be saved
(vv. 1-4). Then Paul uses the OT Scriptures to support his statement (vv. 5-8), leading into the
responsibility of man, in salvation (vv. 9-10). Finally, Paul continues using OT Scripture to demonstrate
that this salvation is available to all, on an equal basis (vv. 11-13).
Lets return to verse 1.
v. 1 We see that Paul begins here on a very personal note. He expresses his own hearts desire; what he
longs for, and prays for: that the nation Israel would be saved.
Now, you might remember that Paul began chapter 9, on a similar personal note. At that point in the letter,
Paul wanted to make it abundantly clear that even though Paul had become a Christ One, it did not change
the fact that he still had a heart for his own people, the Jews. And this was true, despite the fact that the
unbelieving Jews were his chief persecutors!
Paul loved his people; both with a natural affection, and with the love of God recognizing the great plans
that God has for His nation plans that have not yet been realized.
Paul is now restating his affections for his nation, and his desire for their welfare. He has just said some
hard things. The nation was being set aside by God, having rejected their Messiah, and was about to come
into judgment. The Gentiles and those few Jews who believed had become the new people of God.
And Paul had still more hard things to say, concerning the nation. All these things were the truth; a truth
that must be made known, so that the brethren the believers in the assemblies in Rome, and all believers
would understand what God is doing; and what His continuing plan is for Israel.
Paul wanted to make it clear that the nations judgment did not give him any satisfaction; his heart was
aligned with Gods, in love for Israel, in the desire that they would be saved.
But if Paul recognized that Israel was about to be judged by God for their unbelief, what is the point of Paul
praying for their salvation? Does Paul think that God will change His mind? No. What Paul understands
is that there will be a future generation of Israel that will believe and be saved, and God will finally have a
people for His possession out of the nation Israel. Well discover Pauls thought on this when we come to
chapter 11.
v. 2 Paul is testifying to the fact that those of the nation Israel have a zeal for God. This is to say that Israel
had a passionate fervor concerning things pertaining to God. That would seem like a good thing; it is good
to be zealous for God.

# 45: 1-11-13

But notice how Paul qualifies his statement; Israel had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
What does that mean? Well, the word knowledge here in the Greek is epignosis, which refers to the kind
of knowledge that lays claim to personal involvement; that is, an intimate, personal knowing;
understanding.
What Paul is saying is that Israel had no real understanding of who God is; they didnt know Him,
personally. That would mean that their zeal was misdirected; how could they be passionate about a God
they did not really know?
So their zeal was simply a religious fervor, which took the form of a legalistic conformity to the law, the
ritualistic performance of traditions, and fierce contention with those who opposed to their religious ways.
Their zeal without a true knowledge of God was essentially the religion of Judaism.
But why didnt Israel know God? Paul clarifies this next.
v. 3-4 Paul is bringing out that Israel didnt know God because despite their religious fervor, they had no
real desire to know Him personally. Men must come to God, in order to know Him; and they must come
in the way that God provided.
Paul says that Israel was ignorant of Gods righteousness; that is, they did not know Gods way of making
men righteous. Could they have known this? Of course their Scriptures tell them all about the way to be
made righteous. So that would mean that Israel was willfully ignorant of Gods righteousness; they made a
conscious decision not to come that way.
Why would they do that? Because they wanted their own way; so they sought to establish their own
righteousness instead, through the works of the Law. They chose a religious system of works, that allowed
them to remain impersonal with God, instead of coming to God His way, into a real, intimate relationship
with Him.
And why would they choose that? The same reason any man chooses that. If youre personally involved
with God, you are accountable to Him; and men want the freedom to do as they please. So Israel
maintained her religious distance from God, under the guise of her religious system of works; ever so
zealous, without ever really knowing God.
To know God, they would have to submit to His way of being made righteous the only way to be made
righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. They would have to cease all of their doing for God, and cast
themselves by faith on Christ, to save them. Thats something that their religious pride would find very
hard to swallow. And then they couldnt keep their religious distance!
In verse 4, Paul says that Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness. Now here, Paul is not using the
word end in the sense of termination that one must cease trying to do the law, and instead put their
faith in Christ to be made righteous. Thats absolutely true, but it isnt what Paul means here.
Here, Paul means the word end in the sense of goal or purpose. The purpose of the Law is not to do
its works in order to be justified as Israel tried to do. The purpose of the Law is to bring men to faith in
Christ, in order to be justified.
As Paul has already written in this letter, By the Law is the knowledge of sin (Rom 3:20); thats how men
become acquainted with the Sin, and its absolute power over them; by their inability to keep the righteous
requirements of the Law, men come to see they are sinners.

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And the ceremonial Law paints an elaborate portrait of the Coming Christ to men the One whom God
would send to save them from condemnation for their sin. It is in this sense that Paul means Christ is the
end of the Law. As Paul said in his letter to the Galatians, the Law was our tutor (our guardian slave) to
bring us to Christ (Gal 3:24).
In this way, Paul was emphasizing the misuse of the Law, by Israel; trying to use it as a means of making
themselves righteous, to attain the kingdom of God, instead of understanding Gods true purpose in it to
lead them to their Savior.
We can think of the Law like a rope attached to a helicopter, sent out on a rescue mission at sea. Israel saw
the rope, and was trying to climb it, to save themselves. But the ascent was too great, the wind was too
strong, and they were too weak; they just couldnt do it.
Their vision of how to be saved failed to consider that there was a seat at the base of the rope. If they had
simply cast themselves into that seat, the pilot would have reeled them in. That seat is Christ; it is by
resting in Him, trusting in Him to save you, that you are made safe from perishing; and its the only way.
Paul could well bear witness to Israels zeal for God, without knowledge, and their trying to justify
themselves through the works of the Law. That is exactly how he had lived, as a Jew.
Turn to Philippians chapter 3. In this passage, Paul is relating a bit of his personal testimony. He begins
with how he used to live as a religious Jew according to the flesh.
[Philippians 3:1-10]
v. 1-2 Paul was referring here to false teachers Jews who professed to believe in Jesus, but whose real
intent was to bring the Gentiles under the Law including circumcising them. Paul calls them here the
mutilation; those who mutilate the flesh, conforming to religious ritual.
v. 3 Paul is saying that those who believe into Christ are the true circumcision, for they have put off the
body of flesh through the circumcision of Christ (Col 2:11); they are no longer in Adam, but in Christ.
Paul now sets himself in contrast to these false Jewish teachers.
v. 4-6 Paul had the perfect pedigree, as a religious Jew. As a Pharisee, he knew the Law inside and out,
and kept all of its requirements at least, all of its external aspects. No one could find any fault in him
except of course God, who knew his heart! Paul exactly knew the mindset of the religious Jew for he had
that mindset, as well until his personal encounter with the risen Jesus.
v. 7-9 All those religious credentials which Paul had been collecting like trophies on his belt all of his
self-righteous doings meant nothing to him, once he came to know Christ.
In fact, there wasnt one aspect of his life that had value to him anymore, compared to what he knew of the
Lord. He had forfeited his position in Jerusalem. He had lost his standing among the Jews. He had
forfeited a stable home, steady relationships, security in life, his health, even freedom at times. It was
nothing to him, in light of gaining Christ.

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Rubbish is trash; that which is discarded because it is worthless. The word can also be translated dung; that
which the body eliminates, because it has no nutritive value; it is useless in promoting vitality. Only Christ
had value to Paul now; Christ was his vital life. He counted all things as loss that he might gain Christ and
be found in Him in union with Christ, through faith; made the righteousness of God, in Him.
v. 10 See how personal the Lord Jesus Christ was to Paul; that I may know Him. Not know about Him,
or of Him; but the Lord Jesus, Himself. There is Pauls union with Christ, by faith.
and the power of His resurrection the power to raise a dead body to new life through union with
Christ, Paul became a new creation.
and the fellowship of His sufferings the sufferings of the cross, by which the world has been crucified
to Paul, and Paul to the world (Gal 6:14). The afflictions of a Christ One, with whom the world is at
enmity.
being conformed to His death thats Pauls know-so hope, that his lowly body will be transformed,
conformed to His Lords glorious body (Phil 3:21).
[Return to Romans 10]
So Paul well-knew the experience of the religious Jew and their futile quest to establish their own
righteousness through the Law. Paul now turns to the OT Scriptures to drive home his point, that
righteousness is only by faith in Christ.
v. 5 Paul is drawing heavily on the OT Scriptures in the next few verses to support his statement
concerning righteousness through faith in Christ. This tells us that Paul is primarily targeting his Jewish
audience here which makes sense, as it was the Jews who needed convincing that righteousness and
salvation did not come through the works of the Law.
Paul is not particularly concerned with the original context of the verses in the OT, as we shall see, but with
their general meaning, and even with the wording of them. He begins in verse 5 with a quote found in the
book of Leviticus.
Leviticus is a record of commandments given to Moses for the children of Israel, with particular emphasis
on the ceremonial worship of Jehovah. In this passage, the LORD was commanding the children of Israel
not to follow the practices of those in the land of Egypt or in the land of Canaan, but to instead keep His
statutes, judgments, and ordinances; which, if a man does, he shall live by them (Lev 18:1-5).
Pauls point here draws on the actual wording of the verse. He is showing that in order to be made
righteous by the works of the Law, a man would have to do all the doings of the Law perfectly. He would
have to conform to the Law in absolutely every detail, in absolutely every circumstance.
Deuteronomy 27:26 says, Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this Law; as James
interprets, For whoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all (James
2:10).
And what is the penalty for transgression? Death. We have seen Paul visit this idea already in this letter;
by the deeds of the Law, no flesh will be justified in Gods sight (Rm 3:20). The commandment, which
was to bring life, Paul found to bring death (Rm 7:10).
Now Paul contrasts this with the righteousness of faith.

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v. 6-8 We see that Paul is continuing to draw on the OT Scripture. Here he is personifying the
righteousness of faith; it speaks, like a person. What does it say? It is telling a man what he is not to say.
Now, the three quotations in verses 6 through 8 are mainly taken from the book of Deuteronomy; but Paul
strings one little part to the beginning of them, which is from a different section of Deuteronomy. That part
is, Do not say in your heart.
Did Paul do this on purpose? Of course he did; and a Jew would pick up on it, immediately. In the OT
passage, it says that the Jews were not to say in their hearts that because of their own righteousness the
LORD had brought them in to possess this land speaking of the land of Canaan (Deut 9:4). Three times,
Moses says to them it was not because of their own righteousness.
Men dont have any righteousness of their own; theyre lawless. In fact, Moses described them in the OT
passage as a stiff-necked people; they would not submit to the LORD their God (Deut 9:6).
So when Paul begins with what the righteousness of faith says, it is saying, essentially Dont say you have
any intrinsic righteousness of your own; or that you can make yourself righteous.
Men cannot make themselves righteous; they must be made the righteousness of God, through faith in
Christ. And this is what Paul is bringing out from the next part of the quote from Deuteronomy. Were
going to look at these verses in their context, which is back in Deuteronomy chapter 30.
Moses was exhorting the second generation of Israel, who were about to enter into the land, to be obedient
to the voice of the LORD, and to keep His commandments.
[Deuteronomy 30:11-20]
v. 11-12 There is the first part, that Paul quotes in Romans.
v. 13 This is the second part, although Paul modifies going over the sea to descending down into the abyss
well see why later.
v. 14 This is the third part of the quote in Romans.
Were just going to read through the remainder of the passage to see why Moses is saying this, to the
people.
v. 15-20 What Moses was impressing upon the people is that the commandments of God for Israel were
straightforward and that they had been given to the people. There was no need for the people to seek out
Gods will; God had revealed His will to them. There was no need for them to obtain the commandments
for themselves; God had given the commandments to them.
And as the people took the commandments of God into their thinking, as they meditated on them, and
talked about them, one with another, the word of truth was very near to them; it was actually within them.
Therefore, having been given the commandments of God, the people were now responsible for obeying
them.

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But obedience would take righteousness and that would take Christ which was exactly Gods plan. The
word was very near to them; they had taken it into their thinking. But the word must penetrate to the very
spirit of their being; they must understand what the word means, in order to be made righteous.
As Moses said in verse 17, their hearts must not turn away, so that they do not hear what the word is really
saying. Its a life or death choice; to cling to the LORD, by faith; or to perish.
[Return to Romans 10]
What Paul has done here is to add a parenthetical statement to each of the three clauses from the passage in
Deuteronomy 30. He does this to adapt the OT passage to what he is saying about the righteousness of
faith. But it still follows the general significance of the OT passage.
Just as God had to send the commandments to the people they could not obtain them for themselves so
God had to send the One who would make them righteous they could not obtain righteousness for
themselves. And just as the word of the commandment was near them, right inside them, with its lifegiving message, so the word of faith was near them now.
So now that we have seen how Paul is applying the OT Scripture here, lets consider his specific meaning,
here in Romans.
In verse 6, Paul is pointing out the absurdity of man ascending into heaven, to obtain a Savior from God.
Could any man do this? No. Yet this is exactly what men needed; they needed a Savior, to come down
from heaven. But it is God who had to do the doing.
God chose to come down; to take on a body of flesh, in order to bring the life of God down to mankind.
Here is the incorruptible Seed, the Word of God; His body, a seed coat, containing the life of God; the very
life that men need; Life everlasting. Man could not possibly do this; God alone could do this. But by faith,
man must believe it.
In verse 7, Paul changed the OT passage to reflect the idea of Christs death; descending into the abyss.
The abyss is an extremely deep place; here it means the abode of the dead.
Again, Paul is pointing out an absurdity. Could any man descend into the abode of the dead, and bring
Christ back to life? Of course not. But that is exactly what men needed, in order to be made alive
forevermore; they need resurrection life. God had to do the doing.
By His mighty power, God raised Jesus from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenlies
(Eph 1:19-20). Through death, the seed coat released the heavenly life that it contained; through
resurrection, it was brought to bear upon all men, to any and all who would believe, bringing forth much
fruit (Jn 12:24); many sons of glory (Heb 2:10).
The personified righteousness of faith tells men, Dont you say that you can do this. It is most apparent
that only God could have done this. And it is the only way in which men can be saved.
But what does the righteousness of faith actually say to men? In verse 8 the word is near you its in
your mouth, and in your heart. It was right within them.

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Remember that Paul was speaking in particular to his Jewish audience, here. They knew their OT
Scriptures by heart the Law and the Prophets. They talked about it to one another; it was in their mouths.
The Word had long been planted in their hearts in the mind of the inner man. Paul is telling them, thats
the same Word that he preaches.
Paul is saying the gospel of Jesus is good news to Israel He is the One who their Scriptures are all about;
their Messiah. And if they will follow their Law to its rightful end, its goal, they will come to that very
understanding; that Jesus is their Messiah; and then they will be willing to come by faith to Him. Then
the Word within them will germinate into Life everlasting which is what Paul speaks of next.
v. 9-10 We need to understand what Paul is saying and not saying here. First of all, these are not two
conditions for salvation; confession, and believing. If that were so, Paul would not have put them in the
order that he did; one would first believe, and then confess.
Paul is talking about two different aspects of a single action of the will; the decision of faith. The Greek
word for confession here carries a somewhat different meaning than it does in the English. It means
literally means to say together with, simply meaning to agree with; and here it means to agree with
God.
Paul is tying this back to the verse from Deuteronomy 30:14 the word is near you, in your mouth and in
your heart. When the decision is made to put your faith in Jesus, the word in your mouth is now in
agreement with what God has declared about His Son Jesus; that there is no other name under heaven given
among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
And there is agreement with God that Jesus is Lord; your Lord, personally. That involves a submission of
your entire life to Him; you give your soul into His possession; you agree, that He is your rightful master
and owner.
To believe in the heart reflects more than a mere intellectual assent to the facts. This is knowledge that you
have now become personally involved with, through the understanding, in the spirit of your being. The
facts of Christ coming, His death, His resurrection have become real to you, resulting in your union
through faith with Christ, by which you are made the righteousness of God in Him.
Paul firmly stresses the Lord Jesus using His personal name emphasizing the humanity of Jesus, God
coming in a body of flesh and Paul likewise stresses the resurrection; the raising of that body from the
dead because this is the heart of the gospel, which must be believed, in order to be saved; in order to be
made righteous. And these were the very things that the unbelieving, religious Jews so vehemently
resisted.
Paul continues to draw on the OT Scriptures to verify that the basis of salvation is faith in Christ.
v. 11 Paul has already quoted this verse from Isaiah at the end of chapter 9 (verse 33). In the original
Septuagint text, it says, He that believes on Him shall by no means be ashamed (Is 28:16, Septuagint).
This means that those who believe into the Lord Jesus will be saved; they will be delivered at the time of
judgment. Paul emphasizes here whoever believes, as he returns to his point that the Gentiles are
included in this salvation by faith.
v. 12-13 When Paul says there is no distinction between Jew and Greek (meaning Gentile), he is not saying
that they are identical; he is saying that there is no distinction in how they are made righteous; how they are
saved. It has been said that the ground at the foot of the cross is level.

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Both Jew and Gentile must come by faith; and both can only come by faith. Faith is willing to call upon the
name of the Lord, to be saved. This is a cry for help; the one calling understands that he is perishing;
understands that he cannot save himself; and he calls upon the One the God sent to save men the Lord
Jesus.
The last quote, in verse 13, is from Joels prophecy concerning the day of the LORD. That is a prophecy that
pertains to the Tribulation; that terrible day of judgment, that will come upon the whole earth. Peter also
used this verse, to urge men on, to make a decision concerning the Lord Jesus; to be saved out of that fiery
trial. Perhaps Peter and Paul were thinking, Why wait?
The Spirit of God has been poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28); the word of God has been taken to the ends
of the earth. The word is now very near to every man; we, the ministers of reconciliation, we bring it near.
Why would anyone want to wait, to be saved? Men are perishing now. Men need to be saved now.
And now can be the time of salvation, for any man; if a man is just willing to hear.
Reading: Romans chapter 10; Isaiah 52:7; Nahum 1:15; Isaiah 53; Psalm 19; Deut 32:21; Isaiah 65:1-7.