Chapter 10

Israel Needs Faith Righteousness

Summary

In Romans 9 Paul is sorry that Israel, who has had the advantage of choice, revelation, and privilege through God’s promises, has not accepted their Messiah Jesus. Why did they not accept Jesus Christ? Because they were intent on working for their own righteousness instead of believing God for his righteousness. Now in Romans 10 Paul’s desire and prayer for Israel is that she will accept Jesus as Messiah. Israel has no excuse. Israel has heard the message which requires only faith. The right response is to confess or admit that Jesus is Yahweh (the true Messiah) and believe that God raised him from the dead (Messiah’s death for sin, and his resurrection were true). For Israel at that time, to accept this was a break from their religious culture. Israel had heard the Jesus message. God will not disappoint anyone, Jew or Gentile, who believes the message. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But to call one must believe, and to believe one must hear, and to hear one must be sent to preach. Yet Israel has heard and has rejected the word about faith in Christ. God always has saved Gentiles who believe him, which angers the self-righteous Jews, but God continues to offer Israel salvation.

Outline

Romans Chapter 10, Israel Needs Faith Righteousness

  1. Romans 10.1-4. Paul wants Israel to believe in Christ so that the nation will be given God’s righteousness and then possess salvation, but their religious zeal, misunderstanding of God’s righteousness, and pursuit of human righteousness has blinded them to the person and work of Christ.
  2. Romans 10:5-13. Paul concludes that law righteousness, which is mankind’s own righteousness that is based on keeping the law is always inferior to faith righteousness, which is God’s righteousness given to mankind through faith. This message that Jesus is Yahweh (the true Messiah) and he has risen from physical death (Messiah’s death for sin, and his resurrection were true) has been available, and whoever will believe it and ask will be saved.
  3. Romans 10.14-16. Before one calls, one must believe that there is help. Faith righteousness is for anyone who wants it, but they must first hear God’s gospel in order to believe it, and to hear the message someone must be sent to preach it.
  4. Romans 10:18-21. God’s message has been available for all people through general revelation and special revelation. Israel heard the message and most did not believe it, which explains Paul’s great sorrow for his people Israel, that he expresses in the beginning of chapters 9 and 10.

Exposition, Israel Needs Faith Righteousness

  1. Romans 10.1-4. Paul wants Israel to believe in Christ so that the nation will be given God’s righteousness and then possess salvation, but their religious zeal, misunderstanding of God’s righteousness, and pursuit of human righteousness has blinded them to the person and work of Christ.
    1. Romans 10:1. Paul wants and prays for Israel’s salvation.
    2. Romans 10:2. Israel is zealous for God like Paul was as an unbeliever, but their zeal is misinformed and misdirected. Israel is very religious but that zealousness is not based on God’s word. Religious zeal is not enough. Need information.
    3. Romans 10: 3. Israel does not understand or accept about God’s righteousness so she tries to get righteousness by her own works. God’s righteousness is gained by faith. They reject faith and depend on their own woks—human righteousness. God’s righteousness includes his holiness, justice, demands, and his gifts.
    4. Romans 10:4. Israel tries to work for righteousness by keeping the law, but Christ is the end (τελος) of the law for righteousness. The law points to Christ and Christ fulfilled or completed the Mosaic Law’s righteous demands and everyone who believes in him gains God’s righteousness. (See Wuest, WSGNT Romans 10)
  2. Romans 10:5-13. Paul concludes that law righteousness is always inferior to faith righteousness. Law righteousness is mankind’s own righteousness that is based on keeping the law. Faith righteousness is God’s righteousness given to mankind through faith. This message that Jesus is Yahweh (the true Messiah) and he has risen from physical death (Messiah’s death for sin, and his resurrection were true) has been available, and whoever will believe it and ask will be saved. Paul’s theology does not require one to ask for salvation. He is using the Joel 2 passage to emphasize the deliverance for one in need.
    1. Romans 10:5. Moses writes in Leviticus 18:5 that the person who follows and obeys the Law will please God and have a good life in time, because God has designed the law for that purpose, to provide an excellent life here on earth. Moses said that whoever follows the law shall live by that law righteousness in time.
    2. Romans 10:6-7. The contrast to works is faith. Don’t ask who will bring Christ down from heaven. And, don’t ask who will bring Christ up from the grave. Both of these events are history. Paul first gives the questions the Jew would ask—who is Christ, and is he alive. The truth is right in front of each of them. God is near each one of them and us already, as Moses indicates for Israel in Deuteronomy 30:11-14. The Hebrews did not need to search for God’s commands, for God had made them plain to them. In the same way Paul says that righteousness that comes by faith has been provided. One does not need to search out Christ and ask him.
    3. Romans 10:8-11. Israel has already heard this. Paul is preaching it. Paul continues his argument and follows Moses word order. Moses’ word order is mouth and then heart. Paul uses that order in his modified quote. As Moses said, one talks about the message and one thinks about the message. The message is available. One must not only hear with the intelligence but believe in the heart.
    4. Romans 10.8. Israel has already heard this. Paul is preaching it. The word of faith is probably an objective genitive, the word about faith. `ρημα, Romans 10.8,17,18, emphasizes the spoken word. Paul and his fellow ministers are preaching the message of righteousness by faith. Vincent says this: “Christ has accomplished the two great things necessary for salvation. He has descended to earth and has risen from the dead. All that is necessary is to accept by faith the incarnate and risen Christ, instead of having recourse to the long and painful way of establishing one’s own righteousness by obedience to the law.” (Vincent, Marvin Richardson. Word Studies in the New Testament. Vol. 3. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887. Print)
    5. Romans 10.9. In verses 9-10 Paul uses a literary style to emphasize his application from Moses to his writing, confess:believe. It is called chiasmus: a b:b’a’. Paul follows Moses’ word order to amplify "the word of faith which we are preaching." Romans 10.8-9 have the same word order. It follows the word order of Deuteronomy. Christ is God and Christ is alive. The message is to confess that Jesus is Yahweh (he came from heaven and must be Yahweh God, the Messiah), and believe that God raised him from the dead (he has already come up from the grave as only Yahweh God can do). He must be alive to be Messiah.
    6. Romans 10.10. Paul now emphasizes and clarifies his point about believe and confess. He now changes the OT quote order and stresses faith first as he has done throughout Romans and in his other letters. Faith is the important point, but faith must be in Jesus Messiah. One believes with one’s heart and one confesses Jesus is Yahweh with one’s mouth. Paul is not saying that one must first confess to others Jesus to be Lord, nor is he saying that one must confess Jesus with the mouth to be saved. He is saying that if one does not accept that Jesus is Messiah, one’s faith has no saving object. Paul’s theology in the book of Romans is faith first and faith alone saves. Paul, in his other writings, John in his writings, Peter, and Luke all stress faith. Jesus in his messages to unbelievers stresses faith. The subsequent expression by mouth results from that inner faith which precedes it.
    7. Romans 10:11. Faith is Paul’s point. Whoever believes in God’s Messiah will not be disappointed. This statement confirms that faith or belief is the requirement. He loosely refers to Isaiah 28:16 to show that faith in Him (Jesus Christ) will not disappoint the one believing. God will accept faith.
    8. Romans 10:12. Messiah Jesus is Lord for all who call on him, whether Jew or Gentile. God equally responds to the faith of a Jew or Greek (Gentile). He is Lord of both who call on him.
    9. Romans 10:13. Paul concludes that whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Jewish background is Joel 2.32, Acts 2.21. In Joel the interpretation is to call on the name of the Lord to be delivered out of their trouble. Romans 10 Paul brings an inspired application for his audience. To call on the name of the Lord to be delivered out of the predicament of sin and unrighteousness. The LORD Yahweh is open and willing to save those who call on him.
  3. Romans 10.14-16. Before one calls, one must believe that there is help. Faith righteousness is for anyone who wants it, but they must first hear God’s gospel in order to believe it, and to hear the message someone must be sent to preach it.
    1. Romans 10:14-15. Send preach hear believe. Before one calls, he must believe that there is help. To believe one must hear. To hear one must listen to a preacher. The preacher must be sent. Paul now emphasizes the importance of the one who preaches (ke̅russo̅, κηρυσσω, to announce, declare, proclaim). People cannot believe on the Lord without first hearing about Him; and they cannot do that unless someone preaches the gospel to them; and they cannot hear unless one is sent to tell them. Paul quotes Isaiah 52:7 to declare how wonderful it is to bring good news to those who need to hear it. See 1 Thessalonians 2.13.
    2. Verse 16. Not everyone who hears will believe it. Some did not believe then in Deuteronomy, and some will not believe now.
    3. Romans 10:17. The word of Christ is the word about Christ (objective genitive)–the good news message which must be heard and before it can be believed. One hears God’s word and then believes it.
  4. Romans 10:18-21. God’s message has been available for all people through general revelation and special revelation. Israel heard the message and most did not believe it, which explains Paul’s great sorrow for his people Israel, that he expresses in the beginning of chapters 9 and 10. See 1 Corinthians 1.23 and Deuteronomy 21.23.
    1. Romans 10:18. Psalm 19:4 refers to general revelation that is available to all creation. The word has already gone out to the civilized world. People have heard it. They have not not heard. The Greek double negative expects a yes answer. What about Israel? Israel has heard.
    2. Romans 10:19-21. Though Israel knew God’s special revelation from Moses and from Isaiah, but the nation was disobedient and obstinate.
    • Romans 10.19. Israel did know the message. The Greek says, Israel did not not know, did she? No, she knew. Gentiles will anger Israel. God, through Moses in Deuteronomy 32:21, says that he will use Gentiles to make Israel jealous and angry when they see God blessing another people.
    • Romans 10.20. Paul quotes Isaiah 65:1 which says that God will accept Gentiles who seek him.
    • Romans 10:21. Paul quotes Isaiah 65:2 which shows Israel rejecting God’s continual offer to return to him.
  5. Select doctrines from Romans 10.
    1. Salvation (Romans 10:1,9,10,13).
    2. Righteousness (Romans 10:3,4,5,6,10).
    3. Faith (Romans 10:4,6,8,9,10,11,14,16,17).
    4. Israel (Romans 10:1,12,19,21).
    5. Preach and preacher (Romans 10:14,15).
    6. Rejection and unbelief (Romans 10:16,19,20,21).
    7. Zeal without knowledge (Romans 10:2).
    8. General revelation (Romans 10:18).
    9. Special revelation (Romans 10:19,20,21).
  6. Key words
    1. Salvation σωτηρία Romans 10.1,10; saved σῴζω. Romans 10.9,13
    2. Righteousness δικαιοσύνη. Romans 10.3,4,5,6,10
    3. Faith πίστις. Romans 10.6,8,17; believe πιστεύω. Romans 10.9,14
    4. Word ῥῆμα. Romans 10.8.17
    5. Preaching, preacher, preach κηρύσσω. Romans 10.8.14,15
    6. Call. ἐπικαλέω. Romans 10.12,13,14
  7. Main points
    1. Israel—her special opportunity and failure.
    2. Forgiveness and God’s righteousness is available to all people by faith in Messiah Jesus.
    3. The person of Messiah, Jesus, and faith in Messiah are necessary for forgiveness. The Jew must understand this. Jesus is Yahweh, God. Faith in him is the only solution to one’s sin problem.
    4. Proclaiming Jesus is our job.
    5. The Bible, Jesus’ incarnation, death, and resurrection, Paul’s ministry, and general revelation all point to Jesus as the Messiah.