Let us continue our journey through the book of Romans. I want to thank you for the significant and positive response to our study. I pray that these emails are beneficial to your walk with the Lord and help you on your journey.
Read: Romans 10
Romans 10 is a passage of hope. We see how the chapter begins as one of hope for people to come to know Christ. I pray that you would glean great hope and truth from Romans 10. Join with me in praying that our hearts would be like the Apostle Paul.
1. Prayer for the Lost (1-4). The beginning of Romans 10 is not a new section; instead, a continuation of the previous. Paul here is speaking of the Jews. Verse one has always pierced by heart. Remember that the Jews had done awful things to Paul. It could be said that they were his enemies. What is his prayer? I pray that they would be saved. His heart was that they would turn to Christ. Is that our prayer? Do you pray for your lost sheep to come to Christ, let alone your enemies? Paul goes on to describe their lostness. They have a zeal for God and righteousness; their righteousness is found in and of themselves. If you’ve been reading, you know that is no righteousness at all. They seek to find their hope in another place, a place that was not meant to spark hope. Friends, does this not sound like our situations today? We have people who have hope in religion. They believe that if they go to church, don’t drink or chew, do good things that they are good at. That is not the teachings of scripture. Others who have hope in the things of this world that this life is going to provide them with the happiness they want and desire, friends let us pray that they would turn to Christ.
2. Multiple Religions (5-9). In our culture today, it is not acceptable to say that one faith is right, and others are incorrect. Instead, we are to say that all truth is acceptable. Paul does not share this sentiment. Paul presents three different religions in these verses.
A. The religion of Works. We call this legalism. It is about what you do and what you’ve done. Everything is based on your works. I would be remiss in telling you that this is not found in our circles today, but that is simply not true. Even in baptist churches, many want to try and add things that make someone saved. Paul talks about the Jews that their faith is based on keeping the Law.
B. The religion of signs. Here we see Paul referring to an ascending and descending. This was a statement still pointed at Jews; rather, these were some that claimed to be Christians and yet still believed that they had to live out the Jewish commands. They thought that they had a special revelation on top of their obedience to the Law.
C. Faith. The one that we see Paul trying to convince them to follow is faith. Faith in Christ alone. Faith in the work that He has done. Faith in the signs and miracles that He did, raising from the dead. That we are a people of faith in another, not faith in what we’ve done, but what’s been done for us. It is by faith that we put our hope in Christ. It is by faith that we trust that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected from the dead. Faith that Jesus is Lord.
3. Confession. (10) Paul says that it is with the heart that we believe and are justified and with the mouth that we confess. We confess that Jesus is Lord. The question that I want to pose to you today is this if you confess Jesus is Lord, who is not? In a society that prizes the individual and their wants, we have an idol of self. The Christian says that Jesus is Lord. That confession that we are not and that He is! Confess that every day. Jesus is LORD!
4. No Distinction (11-13). Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. What great words to read, to call upon the Lord, will not fall upon deaf ears. Instead, to call upon the Lord is to call upon the one that is there already. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you’ve done, or who your parents are. What matters is what name are you calling upon?
5. How will they believe if they’ve never heard? (14-17) It is a remarkable question that you and I must wrestle with. How are they to believe if no one is there to tell them? One of the worst statements that have plagued the church, a comment that I truly despise, “Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary, use words.” This is the dumbest statement. I can not express enough the ignorance of this statement. YOU CAN NOT PREACH THE GOSPEL WITHOUT USING WORDS! The Gospel is a message that is proclaimed. The Gospel is a message that is told. Yes, we are to do great and wonderful things to show love, but deeds do not save, the proclaimed Word of God does. How are they to believe if all you do is simply do good works? People will give a lame excuse; I am doing good things, so they will ask me. Stop it! You do good things because you are commanded, you preach the Gospel because you are commanded and love them even more. Paul writes how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news? Are your feet beautiful? Or do you keep stepping in the horse dung that you call good works without the proclamation of the Gospel? I’m sorry if this offends you, but this needs to be removed from our thoughts and minds, this is false. Let your feet be beautiful because you proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
6. Don’t make excuses (18-21). It’s like Paul can almost hear what people are going to say in response to him. So he answers some excuses that are likely to be posed. The first being, what if they don’t hear? Paul says they have heard. We see this also in Romans 1. They are without excuse. They know that God exists and yet they have decided to worship false idols rather than the true creator. The second one, well maybe they just didn’t understand. Paul goes to the scriptures to reveal that this is not a valid argument. Paul writes that if anyone understood, it would be the Jews. They have the Law, the prophets, the Old Testament. Today we see people who do understand the message of the Gospel, and yet they are offended by it. Remember, the Gospel says that you and I are unworthy on our own merit to enter into God’s presence. Instead, we deserve Hell. We earned and chose it. It is only by the actions of another that we get anything, you can do nothing. You can’t even choose God; you choose yourself every time. Friends, that message is offensive, that message saves.
I love you, and I truly miss being with you.