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Righteousness by the Law - Righteousness by Faith
10:1 Brothers and sisters, my heart's desire and prayer to God on behalf of my fellow Israelites is for their salvation.
Although he knew that Israel had rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah (Saviour) Paul also knew that God was gracious therefore he expresses the desire of his heart and backs it up with prayer that Israel may be saved.
10:2-3 For I can testify that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not in line with the truth. For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God's righteousness.
Like Paul himself before he came to know Christ the Jews had an enthusiasm for the things of God but it is without a knowledge of the truth. They are ignorant of the righteousness of God that is of faith, because they choose to be. They rather strive to obtain righteousness according to their own rules than submit to the righteousness of God.
10:4 For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes.
Christ came to fulfil the Law and this He did therefore making an end to the Law (Math. 5: 17) so making a way for all to come into a right relationship with God. The purpose of the Law was to lead men to Christ (Gal. 3: 24).
10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is by the law: "The one who does these things will live by them."
Righteousness by the Law can only be achieved if a man is able to keep all the Law. If he does then this will give him life (Leviticus 18: 5). We know that no man is able to do this. The only one to do so was Christ who was without sin (Heb. 4: 15).
10:6-7 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 abyss?" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
The righteousness that is of faith and given by God (Eph. 2: 8) says that Christ does not have to be brought down from heaven because He has already come. It does not say that He has to be brought up from the grave, that is, back to life (Deut. 30: 12 - 13), because He has already rose from the dead and lives forever more.
10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we preach),
The Word of God declares that the Word, which is the message of salvation, has come through Christ to everybody (Deut. 30.: 14 ; Tit. 2: 11). This is the Word of faith which Paul and his companions preach.
10:9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
What has to be done then to be saved and receive God’s righteousness? It is to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ, except Him as your Saviour. Confess Him as Lord with your mouth, that is openly before people. Believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead.
10:10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.
It is with the heart that a person believes, not with the mind (intellect) and is declared righteous and acceptable to God. With the mouth he makes confession of his faith and confirms his salvation.
10:11 For the scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."
The scriptures declare that whoever believes on Christ will not be disappointed (Ps. 34: 22; Isaiah 28:16; 49:23; Jer. 17:7).
10:12 For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him.
As far as God is concerned there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles. He is Lord over all of us and He liberally gives His riches to all who call upon Him. His riches consist of all that we have and all that we are in Him.
10:13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Salvation is not restricted to certain people but everybody who comes to Christ and calls upon His name shall be saved. God desires that all should be saved (1 Tim. 2 3 - 4, 2 Pet. 3: 9)
Faith by Hearing God’s Word
10:14-15 How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them ? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news."
In these verses Paul asks four questions.
1 How can anyone call on God if they do not believe on Him? .
2 How can anyone believe in Him when they have never hard of Him?
The answer to both of these questions is that they have to be told by those who already have heard and believed.
3 How shall they hear unless someone tells them?
4 How can men preach unless they are sent and anointed by God?
The answer to these two questions is that they cannot. Isaiah 52: 7 says “How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things” (Amp.Bible).
10:16 But not all have obeyed the good news, for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report ?"
Not everybody who hears the Gospel message response to it and accepts Jesus Christ as Saviour (Isaiah 53:1).
10:17 Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ.
How do we get faith? It comes by listening to what is told us concerning salvation through Christ. This comes to us by the preaching of God’s Word.
10:18 But I ask, have they not heard? Yes, they have: Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.
Paul turns his attention back to Jews and asks “Have they heard the Gospel message”? Yes, they have for God’s Word declares in Psalm 19: 4 that it has gone throughout the whole world.
10:19-20 But again I ask, didn't Israel understand? First Moses says, "I will make you jealous by those who are not a nation; with a senseless nation I will provoke you to anger." And Isaiah is even bold enough to say, "I was found by those who did not seek me; I became well known to those who did not ask for me."
Did the Jews not understand and were they not told that the Gospel message would go forth and embrace the Gentiles? Yes, they were told through Moses (Deut. 32: 21). Isaiah the prophet declared more boldly than this that God would be found by those who did not seek after Him and He would make Himself known to those who did not ask after Him (Isaiah 65:1)
10:21 But about Israel he says, "All day long I held out my hands to this disobedient and stubborn people!"
To Israel He stretched out His hands to them all the time. To a people who are unyielding, disobedient and self-willed and they rejected His Son (Isaiah 53: 3; John 1: 11)
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