The Law was "a schoolmaster" (Galatians 3:24) that should have led Israel to Christ because of The Scarlet Thread of Redemption throughout the pages of the Old Testament, but they rejected Him (John 1:11). Because they had the Law, they sought righteousness through it rather than through faith in the finished work of Christ who fulfilled the whole Law and ended the need for it. It is true that the Israel that returned after the Babylonian Captivity did not practice idolatry and were zealous for God, but they added traditions that were not in the Law. They were religious, but their religiosity could not save them. In addition, they practiced that religiosity with pride and self-righteousness.
Paul uses verses in the Old Testament to back up his claim that salvation is by faith: Leviticus 18:5 and Deuteronomy 30:12-14. Moses charged that God promised blessings for faith and obedience and discipline for rejection and disobedience to God. Christ had already come in the flesh (John 1:14), died, and had been resurrected. That was all they needed.
This section contrasts the difference between righteousness through the Law and righteousness through faith:
So, what is our only response to hearing this message? Paralleling the quote from Deuteronomy 30:14 in Romans 10:8 about the mouth and heart, Paul tells us in Romans 10:9-13 that if we . . .
- Acknowledge (confess, agree, admit) that Jesus is Lord (supreme in authority, master, owner) with our mouth,
- Believe (to be persuaded of, put confidence in) in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, and
- Call (appeal to in prayer) on Jesus the Lord, we will be saved. "Directing prayer to Jesus is a mark of faith in him as the Messiah" (The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 397).
As simple as ABC and not through works that no man can boast about or attain righteousness through (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
But believing comes because one hears the word preached to them by someone sent, and those bearers of Good New have beautiful feet!!! (Hug a messenger of God today! Be a messenger of God today!)
Even though this Good News was meant for both Jews and Gentiles (10:12), Israel did not heed ("to hear with a positive response") the Word when it was preached to them. He quotes many more Old Testament verses in Romans 10:19-21: Isaiah 53:1; Psalm 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:21; Isaiah 65:1-2. While God's salvation has always been for both Jews and Gentiles, He has continued to stretch His hand out to His chosen people, the Jews.
REFLECTION and APPLICATION
My REFLECTION from Isaiah 65 last year:
You might recall that I have said God's intention from the beginning has been for ALL peoples to come to know Him, both Jew and Gentile. Isaiah 65:1 gets at this point:
I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me;I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, 'Here am I, here am I,'To a nation which did not call on My name."
Even though the Gentile nations did not seek the Lord or experience the blessings He gave to Israel, salvation will go to the Gentiles!God wants us to share this Good New with both Jews and Gentiles alike! They cannot hear without us telling them. Put your "gospel of peace" shoes (Ephesians 6:15) on your beautiful feet (Romans 10:15) and share the good news of peace with God through Jesus Christ with someone today!
As further confirmation, Paul quotes Isaiah 65:1 in Romans 10:19-20. If Israel was rejecting God's offer, then He would give it to the Gentiles. For further study about this see Luke 14:16-24 and Acts 28:23-31.
Thank You God that You make this all so simple. We acknowledge Jesus as Lord, we believe that You raised Jesus from the dead, and we call on You Jesus for our salvation. Help us to be messengers of this Good News by leading us to those who are prepared to hear. We ask this in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.