Paul’s calling was to bring the Gospel to the gentiles. With others of like mind, he began missionary efforts throughout the region now known as Europe. Paul was first to share Jesus with the people of Greece and ended his life preaching Christ to the people of Rome. That being said, the apostle had a great desire to see the Jewish people embrace their Messiah.
In verse two, Paul acknowledged the zeal of the Jews while recognizing their lack of true righteousness due to disobedience. They had been waiting for the Savior for 2,000 years and were in danger of missing His arrival because of their perceived faithfulness. They had such rigid beliefs about Messiah’s coming
that when He came, in a way not expected, they were unable to accept Him.
Many of the Jews, including the leadership of the church at Jerusalem, must have perceived him a race traitor. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Most of Romans 10 is Paul wondering aloud at the Jew’s missed opportunity. They had the teachings of Moses and the preaching of Peter and still they refused to listen.
I am sometimes as amazed as Paul at the stubbornness of sinners. The Holy Spirit convicts the lost that they are in danger and believing witnesses tell them how to be saved and they still refuse to believe. In Romans 10, Paul outlines God’s solution to the sin problem. All that is necessary for a person to be saved is to confess the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Gospel has been preached in our society now for better than 200 years. You would think everyone would immediately embrace Christ and be saved. Why is this not the case?
I. The Way Faith Comes
A. It is not by hereditary descent as some believe
1. Christening/baby baptizing has no more effect than baptism, speaking in tongues, or communion
2. Too many think belief sufficient
3. Salvation is never a natural progression
B. Not through eloquence
1. A simpleton can win the most brilliant through common language
2. It is the work of the Spirit to convict and save
3. Some think the Gospel too simple
C. Faith comes by hearing
1. There is nothing magical about the Gospel – it is a straight forward offer from a God with everything to a desperate sinner that has nothing
2. See how well it suits you? God knows exactly what we need
II. Why So Many Fail To Believe
A. They are distracted
1. We have too much
2. Many people are like bags with holes. No matter how much treasure you drop in they never get full
3. Many hear only the Bible stories and are never more than entertained – like those that see thistles and Johnson grass and speak of how beautiful they are
4. Some are prejudiced against the Gospel, refusing to believe no matter what
What does the Gospel require of those that hear it? First it requires faith to believe that God is making a legitimate offer. Secondly, the Gospel requires that a person act upon his faith – To reach out and accept God on His terms. To refuse the Gospel is far worse than breaking God’s Law. For disobedience to the Law there is remedy in the Gospel, but for disobedience to the Gospel there is no hope.