Summary: Continuation of the Study of the Book of Romans
Book of Romans
Romans 10:1 – 10:11
For the last several chapters we have read the letter of Apostle Paul as he dealt with his own countrymen, the Jews, concerning the relationship between Law and Grace, or salvation through faith and not by obedience to the Law of Moses.
If one is not careful, it may become easy to think that Paul was against the Jews and thought that they just were never going to be converted to Christianity. Perhaps we might even think that he was about ready to throw in the towel and just the chips fall where they may concerning the Jews and their rejection of Jesus Christ.
But make no mistake about it; Paul loved his own people and was simply trying to say or do anything he could to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
In the first verse of chapter 10, we can see the nature of Paul’s heart toward Israel. No one could have cared for them more, except the Lord Himself.
Romans 10:1, Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Can you sense the heart-cry of the Apostle as the calling of God inside of him to reach the lost at any cost had become the battle cry of his life in Christ? Paul had taken up his cross and followed Jesus. He wanted desperately to reach out and get the Jews to accept their Messiah.
Just as much as he had fought against Christianity before his conversion; now Paul fought hard, laying his life on the line many times, for the sake of the gospel while preaching to the Jews. Yet it was always the Jews themselves who were his worst enemy in the flesh. Everywhere Paul went, the Jews were there to try and destroy his ministry. Even when he was sent to preach the gospel among the Gentile nations, the Jews were there, trying to keep the Gentiles from believing on Jesus as well, or else trying to cast the bondage of obedience to the Law of Moses on them, weakening their faith.
You see, it is in Christ alone, and the atoning power of his blood that salvation is gained through faith. Nothing else is needed, and nothing else should ever be added to the power of the blood when preaching the gospel.
Yes there are things we must learn about sanctification of the flesh; and yes there is a life of holiness that Christians should live, but these are only the reflection of the light that is already in us. Obedience to a law never results in salvation of the soul. It only serves to the sanctification of the body. The heart is sanctified, cleansed, washed and made perfect through faith in the blood of Jesus alone. It’s only when we lose faith in Christ; or we turn away willfully, spurning again the power of the blood; that we can lose our way in Christ.
None of the threats, the arrests, the beatings, the cursings or being left for dead at least separate times in his ministry, would deter Paul from fulfilling the call of God on his life. Paul understood the eternal consequences of failing in your assigned mission(s).
Romans 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
What a dilemma the Jews found themselves in. In their limited understanding of the spiritual things of God, there is no one on earth that carries more zeal for what they know than the Jews. Even today, after thousands of years of being treated as outcasts in society, Israel still clings to the One True God. The nation still displays the Star of David on their official documents and their national flag as a symbol of their faith and belief in a coming Messiah. They are the most zealous people on the planet when it comes to holding on to their beliefs.
They alone had the Law and the Prophets for many years; and they alone even had a very personal visitation of the Son of God in the form of a man. They alone had the awesome privilege of having their leaders and high priests come face to face with the very presence of Almighty God in the glory cloud above the Mercy Seat.
Still they didn’t recognize, and refused to be taught about Jesus being God in human form among them, and they failed to accept the Messiah, and their Deliver. They had accepted the man called Moses who was the Messiah of the Exodus; but now One greater had come and Jesus was summarily rejected as a false teacher who deserved only to die for his sin of blasphemy
They had all of the head-knowledge of God they needed, but they had not allowed that knowledge to become real in their hearts and allow the fullness of his resurrection power to be made manifest in them. Their zeal was undeniable, but their spiritual understanding was darkened by sin, and all of their zeal would only serve to create their preconceived ideas of salvation. Zeal for God will only produce right fruits when that zeal comes from the heart and not just the head!