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Romans Lesson 8: 10.5-15

Romans Lesson 8: 10.5-15 - SAVED

LAST WEEK: We heard Paul explain how saved Christians who fall away and live according to the flesh and can "die" to God and lose fellowship with Him in this life. Instead, we are now called to live in the Spirit of God in such a close personal relationship that we are entitled to call Him "Abba Father." We also learned that because of our position as God's Children, we suffer along with Christ, and indeed, suffer along with all creation while we wait for God to reveal us-in glory-as His sons. Finally, in vv. 12-25 Paul described our position as Gods Children and how we are presently participating in the everyday suffering experienced by all of creation.

THIS WEEK: Throughout chapters 9 and 10 of Romans, Paul talks about the salvation of Israel and the broadening of God's redemptive plan to include the Gentiles. In today's lesson passages, Rom. 10:5-15, we must keep in mind how they relate to the theme-Paul's desire that that Israel will accept Jesus Christ as Messiah. In summary, Paul says that Israel is ignorant of God's righteousness and has tried to establish their own righteousness by works of Law. He declares that Israel has no excuse because she has heard the message which requires only faith and has failed to understand that Jesus Christ has fulfilled the Law for everyone who believes.


Comment: This verse grows out of vv. 1-4, where Paul spoke his "hearts desire and prayer to God that his fellow Israelites might be saved" and sets the stage for his argument contrasting the righteousness of trying to keep the Law with the righteousness which is based on faith.

For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness - In this statement, Paul sets up the contrast between the righteousness of the Law versus the righteousness which comes from faith. While the command, "shall live by that righteousness," might seem simple on its face, it actually establishes an all-encompassing standard under which a person can only prove his or her righteousness before God by keeping the entire law perfectly-an impossibility. However, that, in itself, would not have been fatal had Israel been able to appreciate the role of faith in salvation, but they did not, and the Law, intended as a guide, instead, became a stumbling block when Israel chose to completely rely on works of the Law rather than faith.

TRUTH 1: Since people cannot meet the demands of the Law, they need a savior. A person who chooses to attain salvation by works will be required to keep the entire law perfectly in order to be saved. What such people fail to grasp is that they need God's grace to be saved, not works.


But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "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)." But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"-that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,

v. 6a: "But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows:" - With "But," Paul introduces the contrast of salvation between (1) keeping the Law and (2) by faith offered through grace.

v. 6b: "Do not say in your heart" - This phrase comes from Deut. 9:4-6 in the form of a revelation of God gave to Moses to warn the Israelites that they weren't taking possession of the Promised Land because of their own righteousness but by the grace of God. The point Paul makes is that human righteousness can never surpass God's revelation of grace.

v. 6c: "Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down)" - This phrase and the next two verses allude to Deut. 30:10-14. The initial phrase quotes Moses' charge to the Israelites before they would enter the land of Canaan. The main idea here is that God will promise blessings for obedient faith and discipline for disobedience. To the Israelites of Moses' day, the idea of ascending into heaven was impossible to accomplish, an exaggerated figure of speech. The point Paul makes is that the Jews should not look for someone to ascend to heaven (to bring the Messiah down). In fact, the Messiah had already descended from heaven in the form of Jesus Christ and walked among them.

v. 7: "or 'Who will descend into theabyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)" - This comes from Deut. 30:13. The "abyss" is a term for the place of the dead. Paul's point is that the Jews should not look for someone to descend into the abyss to bring the Messiah up. There was no need to bring someone from the dead because Jesus Christ, the Messiah, died on the cross, descended into the abyss, and then was raised from the dead by God. He's alive-right now!

v. 8: "But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"-that is, the word of faith which we are preaching" - Now Paul alludes to Deut. 30:14 with the point that the revelation was near the Jews of his day-Jesus Christ was available to them. The "word" he refers to was the spoken word of the Gospel and the term "near you" means its readily available, and all that's necessary to obtain it is "faith" as explained by Paul as "the word of faith which we are preaching."

Truth 2: The plan of salvation does not require anyone to do what is impossible. Unlike the impossible idea of salvation by works, there are no miracles or other extraordinary human measures required in order for a person to become a Christian. When a person hears the "word of faith"-the Gospel- all that God requires is for a person to respond by faith.


that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord  is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."

v. 9a: "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus asLord" - In v. 8, from Deut. 30:14, Paul said, "The word is near you, in your mouth." Here, Paul begins to develop the content of what we believe, that is, what constitutes genuine faith. It not only matters who we believe but what we believe about Him. Confession with your mouth is the open and audible public identification with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, namely that Jesus is fully God and as Lord, fully sovereign. In general, this is what we call a "profession of faith." This was a serious matter for Romans, who could be charged with treason for proclaiming anyone but Caesar as their lord and indeed, some early saints were martyred for it.

v. 9b: "and believe in your heart" - Both the OT and NT consider the word "heart" to be the core being of a person, the inner self that defines who you are. It is much more than mere intellectual agreement but is a belief that not only determines what we think but also how we act and live.

v. 9c: "that God raised Him from the dead" - Belief in Jesus as God and belief in His resurrection are simultaneously one and the same truth. You must believe both.

v. 9d: "you will be saved" - We are saved by the grace of God, but our faith and confession of that faith with our heart makes His grace available.

Truth 3: What the heart believes the mouth will confess. Confession is the inevitable result of believing. The Bible never confirms faith without content, because it's not real faith. Paul's teachings confirm two items of content that we must believe: (1) That Jesus Christ is Lord and (2) God raised Him bodily from the dead. The resurrection of Christ validates the Christian faith by (1) proving that salvation from Him is true and (2) God the Father approved of all of His work by resurrecting Him.

v. 10: "for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation" - Here, Paul simply reverses the order of v. 9, putting belief before confession. The "heart" represents the entire soul, whereas the "mouth" represents the body. Confession is not the cause of salvation but the result of believing. There is nothing incomplete about our salvation after belief; however, when a Christian believes, it gives him or her the natural desire to share or express this belief in the form of confession.

v. 11: "For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." - A literal translation of this partial quote of Isa. 28:16 from the Greek would read that "whoever believes in the Messiah won't be put to shame." The term "whoever" represents that this salvation is freely available to both Jew and Gentile alike-every race, culture, nationality, in short, everyone with faith.

TRUTH 4: The Christian's belief, confession, and hope in Jesus Christ will never be disappointed. Those without Christ will face utter humiliation before God Himself. They will attempt to stand before God with all of their charity, honesty, and general goodness, but God will tell them it isn't enough. Faith and confession are two sides of the same coin and all who believe have the guarantee that they will spend eternity with God in heaven.

v. 12: "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him" - The availability of salvation can also be expanded to mean that it doesn't matter whether you were the most loathsome sinner who ever repented or whether you're weak or strong, young or old, rich or poor, attractive or homely, etc.-all who believe are saved eternally. There is no penal judgment for the saved Christian-it's a "come as you are" party. Those who believe are declared to be righteous because Jesus Christ is righteous.

v. 13: "for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." - Here, Paul paraphrases Joel 2:32. In the OT context of this Joel, this was a petition to God for protection or to meet a specified need but in Paul's Christian context, the "call on the name of the Lord" is the repentant sinner's prayer accepting Jesus as Lord and asking if He will come into his or her life.

TRUTH 5: God is open to all people at all times. This is a universal truth. God is easily accessible to anyone who makes a positive and sincere approach to Him, that is, in Spirit and truth. And based on this truth, there is no valid excuse for rejecting Him.


14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"

Comment: The four questions posed by these verses explain why it's necessary to preach the Gospel.

Let's go back and look at the wonderful promise of v. 13; however, many have not "called on the name of the Lord" for a variety of reasons. In a lot of cases, some have heard but rejected the message in rebellion against God; or they have neglected to do so because they are totally consumed by the things of this world; yet, there are many, many out there who have not called on His Name because they know nothing about the Lord and need someone to tell them. The four questions that follow are progressive and deal with what's needed if people are to call on the name of the Lord.

v. 14a: "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?" - "Call" in this phrase follows believing in reverse of v. 13. So, the answer to the first question is the requirement that they believe. Think about this: No one will call on someone that they don't believe in. Hold onto that.

v. 14b: "How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?" - As we know from the Gideons ministry, someone can pick up a Bible, read it, and be brought into belief and salvation based on reading; however, in this phrase, Paul's focus is on "hearing" the Word, because in his day and time, most people were illiterate. So, the answer to the second question is that they cannot believe in the Lord unless they hear about him.

v. 14c: "And how will they hear without a preacher?" - This question tells us that something more than simple hearing is required; people need a messenger to proclaim the Good News, and God uses a human agency-i.e., "preachers"-to do His bidding. So, the answer to the third question is that they cannot hear about the Lord unless someone proclaims Him.

TRUTH 6: People who know nothing about the Lord need someone to tell them. There are many people in this world, billions maybe, who have not "called on the name of the Lord" because they have never heard of Him and don't know His name. They need sometime to tell them.

v. 15a: "How will they preach unless they are sent?" - Preaching is based on sending, and the idea of being sent comes from higher authority, a divine commission. Since the Gospel doesn't originate with the one who proclaims it, the emphasis here is on the one who sends him or her-Jesus Christ. Missionaries and evangelists proclaim in the name of another. So, the answer to the fourth question is that no proclamation can be made unless the one who proclaims it is sent.

v. 15b: "as it is written, 'HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!'" - Here, Paul is paraphrasing language taken from Isa. 52:7. In the OT context, Isaiah was talking about messengers who brought news of release from the Babylonian captivity and the joy of those who received the news of the messenger.  In Paul's context, those who proclaim the Gospel have a welcoming message that is a joy to those who believe it. The reference to the messenger's "beautiful feet" stems from the idea that they are required to travel in order to deliver a message of Good News.

TRUTH 7: God calls every Christian to proclaim the truth of the Gospel. This is true for all believers, whether or not they are in full-time ministry. There's really no distinction between a neighborhood or a foreign mission. While God may call some to travel far afield to proclaim the gospel-the concept is simply missions, no matter where they're located. There is both beauty and necessity in mission work: there's a breathtaking beauty in the wonder of seeing souls saved from hell to spend eternity in heaven. Whether the messenger's feet move a mile or across oceans, no one will hear and understand the Gospel unless someone is sent to carry the message to him or her.