S227-062208 Ro 10a
Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ 062208 ~ Romans 10a
Romans 10:1- ~ 1Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
1) Prayer here is de>hsiv, meaning to beg, i.e. beseech fervently.
2) The word is ejpi>gnwsiv, partial knowledge not full – like the fly on the pitchfork.
Misplaced zeal not only does no good it actually does great harm.
3) The Jews quickly turned to idols and as a result were conquered by Assyrians in the north and neo-Babylonians in the south.
When they returned from captivity they put aside idols and then turned right around and created new ones.
This time the idol was the Scripture.
In chapter 7 Paul said SIN found a means of deceiving him through the LAW
From the Scripture they learned about God’s perfection and they learned about Messiah.
Instead of realizing, like Abraham, Moses and David did, that God requires the heart; they began to legalistically follow the commands out of their own efforts.
They failed to realize it is God who makes people worthy
It says, “establish their own,” i[sthmi i]diov
Stand in my own rather than stand in God’s own!
Scrupulous people, when following a code of conduct, will qualify and quantify every point in an ever increasing depth.
Enter the Pharisaical (fare-uh-say-ih-kul) Rabbis and their followers of which Paul was a former member.
Now I am good so what is the point and purpose of a Savior?
A Savior will make the unscrupulous Jews as wonderful as I am and then He can give the Romans and any other Gentiles the boot and we’re going to have a nirvana right here, right now! God Save us now; yasha na!
The substituted God’s righteousness for their own and had no need of a suffering servant to take away their sins – what sins?
I don’t need God’s help – I don’t need mercy.
Mercy is for the weak and lost and humble; not me
I don’t need God to fix me - I need God to fix everyone else!
Therefore I am not going to submit to salvation because I don’t need Jesus – I just want Him to work for me – get me what I want.
I hope you can see that the Jews were not unlike you and me.
So many of us will take a little Jesus for our salvation, but what we really want is Jesus to get us what we want – not to change us, but to change people and circumstances around us.
Notice that their lack of knowledge was self-inflicted
We need total capitulation – unconditional surrender
Romans 10:4 ~ For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
End is te>lov and it means the finish line, completion or goal – the whole point of the exercise. If we play chess the te>lov is checkmate at which point that game is finished – we don’t try to replay it expecting a different outcome; we start a new game.
The positive summation of the entire Old Covenant was to love God with all you have and to love your neighbor like yourself – that is selflessness the opposite of selfishness.
The negative summation of the whole deal is, “thou shalt not covet.” Coveting is strictly to do with self-interest.
How do we show our love for God?
How do we show our love for our neighbor and who is my neighbor?
Legalism leads to coveting not to love.
Total reliance on God’s mercy leads to love not coveting.
The purpose of the Law was to show people their need for a savior, not to save themselves.
Romans 10:5-9 ~ 5For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6But 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), 7or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8But 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, 9that 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;
5) (Leviticus 18:5 [Nehemiah & Ezekiel]) You want to establish your goodness, then you are required to obey the entirety of the law – I know some who actually think they can do that. If Paul couldn’t I don’t think you can.
On judgment day you will be judged according to faith or according to works – you choose.
6) (Deuteronomy 30) Christ has been incarnated – you don’t have to go find the Messiah or even ascend into heaven to acquire Him – He has already appeared.
7) Nor does anyone have to go into the abyss, a]bussov, to bring Him back because He has been resurrected and has ascended into Heaven.
The going up and down means what verse 8 says – you don’t need any herculean efforts to find God – He has found you!
8) The Word of God is accessible and it is synonymous with Christ – the totality of God’s revelation of Himself to man has been completed in the personage of Jesus.
It is His Gospel which now constitutes the Holy Message.
9) oJmologe>w here in the subjunctive omologh>sh|v along with a third class conditional eajn – This is a big IF
Speak the same as that which is in our heart
This is the first half of a chiasm
Believe is pisteu>w and is subjunctive
Confess that He is Lord for the Jew meant that He was God (6,000+ times in the Old Testament for YHWH – Paul quotes from the LXX) and for the Gentile meant a possible death-sentence due to renouncing Caesar.
There can only be 1 Lord! Today, we think we can serve multiple Lords – why? Because we are Lord!
The 3 primary things haters of God have tried to cast doubt on…
1- Jesus was not God
2- Jesus was not bodily resurrected
3- The Bible, which clearly teaches 1 & 2, is wrong.
To say He is Lord is to say that God came from heaven and dwelt among us as a man.
To believe He is resurrected means that God stamps His ministry as valid.
Understand the 2 are inextricably linked. Savior means God – only God can save us Biblically!
The resurrection proves Jesus was accepted as Savior – therefore God –therefore Lord.
Slide: 2 ways – Trust in self to please God or just trust in God
Romans 10:9b-13 ~ 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; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 12For 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; 13for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Verse 9 again to show the Chiasm
10) Believing in your heart produces righteousness and confessing produces salvation
Everything is about faith
11) (Isaiah 28:16) Whoever is pa~v, and means, all individually and collectively – nothing can be more inclusive.
12) In regards to our status with God there is no distinction.
Jews and Gentiles are both condemned by unbelief
Jews and Gentiles are both saved by believing
13) (Joel 2:32) Whoever again plus a subjunctive “might call upon,” equals an absolute fact, i.e. salvation/rescue/deliverance.
Last week we saw how the Scripture seemed to say that we have no role whatsoever in the salvation/sanctification process and here it seems to depend totally upon our faith.
Here is another rule of Biblical hermeneutics: Never ever become confused or unstable in what you do understand because of something you don’t understand.
We must carefully test our assumptions and be ready for a new understanding from God – we cannot be puffed up in our own knowledge, BUT we cannot allow a difficult passage rob us of the Truth we can see clearly from many other passages.
Here’s another principle: God’s Word is never contradictory
It isn’t even so much a tension as it is a different perspective.
Faith and works isn’t a contradiction and it isn’t even a tension – it is a perspective. I am saved by faith alone and that not of myself – Yet faith without evidence is a lie and I therefore am unsaved.
It isn’t Calvinism versus Arminianism creating a negation of the two – it is more like (although not totally) Calvinism from God’s perspective and Arminianism from our perspective.
Total depravity, unconditional selection, limited atonement, irresistible grace, perseverance.
Imperfect analogy of Professor David Needham (Multnomah)
I’m going to embellish a little so don’t hold it against Needham.
SLIDE: You were born a crab apple tree
God, the great gardener, has actually done everything, but from your perspective…
One day you realize your fruit is worthless.
I mean compared to other crab apple trees you’re dandy but compared to what you can be under the gardeners touch…
You choose something radical – you choose to cease to exist as you were born and yield to a rebirth as something wholly different.
SLIDE: God slices off almost everything above ground and splits you open to reveal your heart and then grafts a part of Him – we’ll say Golden Delicious – into the heart of you.
From that very moment you are no longer a crab apple tree; you are a Golden derived from His likeness.
SLIDE: We don’t realize we are no longer crab apples and so we continue to try to produce crab apples diverting energy into futile endeavors – called suckers.
The gardener prunes the suckers, but if we persist, the top withers and we become consumed with suckers – we can eventually produce crab apples again at the expense of not producing golden delicious apples.
SLIDE: The top dies, the suckers take over and the top is good for nothing but firewood.
We do this because we don’t know who we are
We react in various ways depending on various things – legalism – liberalism – emotionalism – etc.
All based on a failure to understand who we are in Christ – all from a lack of faith – all producing suckers!
What have we learned about legalism here?
Great desire to establish our own worth – it is pride! So many works-based religions exist because Sin has found a way to deceive those who are zealous for some kind of God or heaven or self-betterment.
Sin has already got the blatantly godless – it gets those who are more willing to accept God by substituting false gods, i.e. idols and gets people who better understand the true nature of God by substituting work for grace.
(1) Sincerity and genuine devotion in religion will not save you – only acceptance of God’s plan will do.
(2) As long as we are trying to save ourselves we cannot submit to God’s salvation.
(3) The way to salvation has always been the same – God’s mercy, period.