Category Archives: ROMANS 10

This chapter continues the teaching of chapter 9, and shows God’s provision for Israel in Christ.

ROMANS 10

STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER:

(a) Verses 1 -4 Israel going about.
(b) Verses 5-13 Christ coming down and rising from the dead.
(c) Verses 14-21 Preachers going forth.

SUMMARY OF THE  CHAPTER:

This chapter follows on from chapter 9, and shows God’s provision for Israel in Christ. Their national unbelief is not because of a lack of interest by God in their spiritual welfare, but rather because of their rejection of their Messiah.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS CHAPTER 10, VERSES 1 TO 4:

10:1  Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

10:2  For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

10:3  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

10:4  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

(a)   Verses 1-4   Israel going about

10:1  Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved- before, the apostle was prepared to be accursed for their sakes, if that were possible.  Now he indicates his interest in their welfare by praying for them.  In this he is in harmony with his Saviour, who sought their forgiveness when on the cross, Luke 23:34, and also continues to intercede for the nation, transgressors though they are, Isaiah 53:12.

10:2  For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge- as was true of the apostle before he was saved.  His zeal knew no bounds on the Damascus Road, but it was in ignorance, 1 Timothy 1:13, for he was rejecting the One who came to the circumcision for the sake of the truth of God, Romans 15:8.

10:3  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness- having rejected knowledge, they were necessarily ignorant.  They knew that God was righteous, for He had declared it to them, but they had no personal knowledge of what it was to be right in His sight through faith.
And going about to establish their own righteousness-
because the heart of man is full of pride, it prefers to work rather than rest in the work of another.
Have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God-
becoming righteous before God through the gospel necessitates submission to His word and will, and involves the surrender of our own will.

10:4  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth- Christ has, by His death, brought the law to an end as a possible means of gaining a right standing before God.  Paul wrote, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain”, Galatians 2:21. Since His death was not in vain, then it follows that all other means of being right with God, including attempting to keep His law, are of no avail, and are rendered obsolete.  Since there is no definite article before law, then we may read Christ is the end of “law for righteousness”; salvation is on the basis of “faith for righteousness”.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS CHAPTER 10, VERSES 5 TO 13:

10:5  For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

10:6  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

10:7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

10:11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.

10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.

10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

(b)    Verses 5-13    Christ coming down from heaven and rising from the dead.

10:5  For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law- how powerful is Paul’s way of reasoning here, for he quotes Moses the lawgiver himself!  “Of the law” means “on the principle of law”.  Of course there is only one righteousness, but Israel sought it by the works of the law, on that principle.
That “the man that doeth those things shall live by them”-
or as the Lord Jesus said to the lawyer after he had quoted a summary of the law, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live”, Luke 10:28.  The subsequent story of the Good Samaritan shows three things. 1. That those most zealous for the law, (the priest and the Levite), are unwilling to act unselfishly, and thus love their neighbour as themselves. 2. That man is incapable of working for God, because he has been rendered helpless by sin. 3. The one who loved his neighbour as himself was a Samaritan, who was not under the jurisdiction of the law, which came to Israel exclusively.

10:6  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise- Paul now uses the Old Testament in a way which may seem strange to us, but which would be familiar to those who were used to listening to the rabbis.  They, however, were unrestrained in the way they manipulated the scriptures, whereas the apostle applies the passage he is about to quote in a very disciplined way.  He needs a scripture that does the following things:

1. Quotes Moses.

2. Warns against ignoring the revealed will of God.

3. States there is no need for effort on their part.

4. Assures that there is blessing even for those who have rebelled against God, if they repent.

5. Emphasises the need for confession and faith.

The apostle finds the scripture he needs in Deuteronomy 30:11-14, which reads, “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.  It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, ‘Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it’?  Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it’? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it”. He quotes three excerpts from the passage, and then says “that is”, and then gives his application of the principle involved.
Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven- in his original statement, Moses simply cites an example of a supreme effort.
(That is, to bring Christ down from above)- here is the apostle’s application of the principle involved in the statement by Moses, with particular relevance to the nation of his day whom he longs to see saved.  Their Messiah has already come down from heaven, so they have no need to journey to heaven to bring Him down.

10:7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

Or, who shall descend into the deep? (That is, to bring up Christ again from the dead)-  Moses’ words were ‘Who shall go over the sea for us’.  The reference would be to the Mediterranean Sea, the Great Sea, beyond which lay the great unknown.  The idea is of extreme distance travelled with great effort.  Paul, however, uses the word for sea which emphasises its depth, and thus introduces a further direction to the upwards and outwards already mentioned.  Christ has not to be summoned up from the dead, for He is already risen.

10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

But what saith it?- having stated in verses 6 and 7 what men should not say, here is what faith personified says.
“The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart” that is the word of faith, which we preach- works personified would say “Strive to attain”, faith personified says through the preaching of the gospel, “Confess and believe what God has brought near to you”.  In that way the word would be both on the lip and in the heart.

10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus-  here Paul gives a summary of the minimum that needs to be believed for a person to be saved.  Christ coming down from heaven implies His Lordship and His Deity, which must be accepted if a person is to be saved.  “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4,5.  To confess means to say the same thing as God does about His Son, the One sent from heaven.  In this way the word is in the mouth of the sinner when he believes.
And shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved- just as Christ’s coming from heaven implied His Deity and Lordship, so His rising from the dead implies the acceptableness of His work upon the cross for sins.  Thus the person and work of Christ are believed in the heart or innermost being of a man, and there is full agreement with the truth that God brings nigh to us about His Son as the gospel is preached.

10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation-  note that in this context salvation is equivalent to being reckoned righteous by God. There are two aspects at least to this confession.  In the first instance it involves saying the same thing to God about His Son as He says to us with regard to His Deity.  In this way the word is in the mouth as we speak to God.  But there is also the need to confess Him before men subsequently, see 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Matthew 10:32.  Full salvation does not depend on this second aspect of confession, however, or else salvation would be through something we had done, rather than by pure grace. In verse 9 the order was “mouth…heart”, following the order in the quotation from Deuteronomy; here however it is “heart…mouth”. This guards against the idea that we do not need to confess Jesus Christ as risen, only believe it, nor have to believe He is the Jesus the Lord, only confess it.  Both must be believed, and both confessed.  Needless to say, this has nothing to do with confessing to a human priest, which has no basis in Scripture.

10:11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.

For the scripture saith, ‘whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed’- a verse already quoted in 9:33 to emphasise the availability of Christ to be believed on.  In Isaiah’s original statement, the wording was ‘shall not make haste’, we shall not need to hastily abandon reliance on Christ, whatever situation arises.

10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek- the whosoever” of his quotation in verse 11 has led the apostle to think of the universal application of this principle, despite the fact that he is dealing in the main with the question of Israel.  See 1:16,17, and 3:22,23.
For the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him- He is Lord over Jews and Gentiles alike, and is rich to both alike also.  The Jew must own his spiritual bankruptcy as much as the Greek, but when either believes, he is brought into the riches of God’s grace.

10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

For ‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’- whosoever means ‘every one that’, so any and every individual that calls shall be saved.  To call upon the name means to call to God for salvation on the ground of who the Lord Jesus is, and is the same as confessing with the mouth the Lord Jesus.  In the Old Testament the word for Lord is Jehovah, so this is a testimony to the Deity of the Lord Jesus.  The apostle will develop further the idea of calling in the next section.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS CHAPTER 10, VERSES 14 TO 21:

10:14  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

10:16  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

10:18  But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

10:19  But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

10:20  But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought Me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after Me.

10:21  But to Israel He saith, All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

(c)   Verses 14-21    Preachers going forth

10:14  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?- the apostle now addresses the question as to how “the word of faith, which we preach”, verse 8, reaches those who need it.  He has emphasised that Christ has come down from heaven, and has risen from the dead, and in that sense the word of faith has been brought near by Him personally.  But there is also the fact that Christ has returned to heaven, and is not available as before.  How are men to come into contact with Him now?  The answer lies in the work of the preacher.  His task is to present the truths of the gospel.  These include the fact that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God, and as such is equal with God; that He came into true, real and sinless manhood; that His death was for our sins; that He was raised from the dead bodily; that He is now at the right hand of God; that the benefit of these things is only known by those who own up to being sinners, and call upon God to show them mercy on the basis of the death of His Son. Having mentioned calling on the name of the Lord in the previous verse, the apostle points out that this can only be done meaningfully if there is belief.  But the belief can only happen if they have heard the gospel, and the hearing of that gospel is dependant on the preacher. So the preacher presents the gospel, the sinner believes it, and calls on the Lord for salvation, claiming His promise that all who call on the name of the Lord in this way shall certainly be saved.

There is a very great need in the days in which we live for those who are prepared to give themselves to the study of the scriptures, so they may be able to present to men a well-informed and accurate statement of gospel truth- what the apostle called “the word of the truth of the gospel”, Colossians 1:5.

10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

And how shall they preach, except they be sent?- those who go forth with the gospel must have the conviction in their hearts that the Lord is sending them.  He does not send those who are not equipped for the task, who are not leading spiritual lives, and who are not tested, see 1 Timothy 3:8-13.  Nor does He send those who are not willing to go, as Isaiah 6:8 makes clear.
As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’-  of course the beautiful feet are metaphorical, meaning they run to bring a beautiful message.  The expression ‘gospel of peace’ emphasizes God’s side of the gospel in that Christ has made the basis by His death for man to be at peace with God.  ‘Glad tidings of good things’ emphasizes the abundance of blessing which there is for those who believe.

10:16  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

But they have not all obeyed the gospel- because the Lord Jesus is the Lord from heaven, He should be obeyed.  God expects the obedience of faith when the word is preached, 1:5, 16:26.  Preachers should not be downcast if those to whom they preach do not believe.  Ezekiel was sent to preach ‘whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear’, (refuse to hear), Ezekiel 2:6,7; 3:10,11; 3:18,19; Acts 20:26,27.
For Esaias saith, ‘Lord, who hath believed our report?’- Paul wants us to be clear that Isaiah was addressing the Lord when he used these words. This emphasizes that the preaching of the gospel is the joint work of the One who sends and the one who is sent. As the Lord Jesus said, when He sent forth His apostles, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations…and lo, I am with you”, Matthew 28:19,20.  As a result, we read,  “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them”; Mark 16:20.  And Paul could write to the Ephesians that “Christ Jesus…came and preached peace”, Ephesians 2:13,17.  Not only does the Lord pledge His presence at the side of those who preach His word, but He is the originator of the message, as the next verse shows, which is based on Isaiah’s word “report”, something to be heard in the heart.

10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So then-  summing up the reasoning of verses 14-16.
Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God- the word for hearing has the idea of a report, so it might be thought of as “Faith cometh by a report, and the report by the word of God”.  Both ends of the chain from God to man are here.  On man’s side, there should be faith, which may be defined as “a firm persuasion about the truth of God, and a reliance wholeheartedly upon that truth”. This is put into practice when we rely entirely upon the Lord Jesus and His work on the cross as He dealt with the question of sins.  On God’s side there is a report. But the report that preachers bring from God is something they have gained from God in the first place, as they listen to His voice before they go forth.  The word of God is His spoken word or saying to the preacher, giving him the right message for those the Lord knows he will be addressing.  See Jeremiah 1:7-9.

10:18  But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

But I say, have they not heard?- perhaps some would argue that the reason why people have not believed the report is not that they are unbelieving, verse 16, but that they have not heard it.  After all, verse 14 says “how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Yes verily- that argument is now refuted; it is not true that they have not heard.  it is verily or certainly true that they have. At this point the apostle again quotes the Old Testament and deepens the meaning of the words, as he did in verses 5-8.  This shows his equal authority with David as a Spirit-inspired writer.  The psalmist in Psalm 19 is thinking of the way the glory of God is made known through creation.  Paul uses his words to illustrate the fact that the gospel of the glory of God is widespread too.
Their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world-
there were present at Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost devout Jews out of every nation under heaven, Acts 2:5, and Luke details those nations in verses 9-11.  Those that were saved that day would return to their homes and spread the gospel there.  See also Colossians 1:6, “come unto you, as it is in all the world”; Colossians 1:23, “preached to every creature which is under heaven”.  All this was in obedience to the command of the Lord Jesus, Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15,20.

10:19  But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

But I say, Did not Israel know?  perhaps the Jews did not realise that the gospel was relevant to them, seeing they had the Law of the Old Testament.
First Moses saith, “I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you”- note the mention again of “no people”, a term for the Gentiles, but which God applied in judgement to Israel, as we have seen, 9:25,26.  It is clear that the Jews were aware of the gospel, and some were angered, e.g. Acts 17:5-8; 18:4-6.  Some however were provoked to jealousy, and wanted to have the blessing that Gentiles were receiving, e.g. Acts 13:43; 18:8. The original significance of “by a foolish nation I will anger you” would be that when the Assyrians came to carry them into captivity, the Jews would be angry at being delivered into the hands of those who were foolish, because they were  ignorant of the true God.

10:20  But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought Me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after Me.

But Esaias is very bold-  makes a very daring statement.
And saith, “I was found of them that sought Me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after Me”- this is a daring statement because the usual principle is that men must seek the Lord to find Him, as Paul himself said, “that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him, although He be not far from any one of us”, Acts 17:27; here it is the Lord Himself who takes the initiative through His sent preachers.  To ‘ask not after Me’ means they did not consult God in prayer.  Those who were characteristically uninterested in God have been sought out by Him, whereas Israel, who were by profession seekers and consulters, have largely ignored the gospel.

10:21  But to Israel He saith, All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

But unto Israel He saith, “All day long have I stretched out My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people”- despite their unbelief of the gospel, and their arguing against it, God assures them that He still stretches out His hands to them, ready to embrace them in love, as the father did to the prodigal.  This is the ultimate reason why Paul desires the salvation of Israel, verse 1, because it is God’s desire too.  It is well for us to have the same  attitude to things as our God.