Summary: God wants our confession of Faith so we don’t have a failure to communicate.
What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate
Text Romans 10:1-10
I love that old movie, Cool Hand Luke, staring Paul Newman. He was a man with problems—one of which landed him in a southern prison. He kept breaking out of the prison—and he kept getting caught and being brought back.
Now, the warden of this prison was a real mean man; and when they brought “Luke” back each time, the warden (Strother Martin) would explain why trying to break out was a really bad, bad thing to do.
After the warden expressed his displeasure with Luke, he would end each of these lectures with the following comment:
Oh—and “Luke” would be all beaten up and sweaty by this time-lying in the dirt at the warden’s feet, huffing and puffing; but with that “Luke-smile” on his face—anyway; he’d end the lecture telling Luke-in a very Southern drawl
“What we have here—is a failure to communicate!”
That became a “catch phrase” at the time. And you can almost feel sorry for the warden, because Luke really was a trial! “What we have here, is a failure to communicate!
The failure to communicate is still a problem. You would think if there were ever a place where you could communicate, it would be in a court of law. You would think that because, in a court of law, everything is defined. It has been defined for centuries—all the way back to the Roman Empire and Roman law—up thorough English law—then on to American law, which is based on precedent.
If a judge doesn’t know how to rule on a case, he refers back to past rulings on similar incidents. We should be able to communicate when all the terms are defined. But, you know, that is not always the case. Let me tell you about the case of a woman who came to court and told the judge she wanted a divorce.
The judge asked: “Do you have any grounds for divorce?”
The woman replied, “Grounds? We just have 2 acres.”
The judge says, “Lady, that’s not what I’m talking about. What I mean is, do you have a grudge?”
The woman thinks for a minute
and then replies, “Garage? No, we park our car in front of the house.”
By now, the judge is getting a
little frustrated! He sort
of snaps at her, “Ma’m, does your husband beat you up?”
She replies, “No. I wake up way before he does ever morning.”
The Judge practically
yells at her, “Lady, why do you want a divorce?”
The woman looks at the
Judge and replies, “Judge, me and my husband just don’t seem to be able to communicate!”
Now, for several years, the apostle Paul has had a failure to communicate with his brethren of the Nation of Israel. He’d tried to convince them to quit trying to earn their own righteousness—it just wasn’t possible.
But Israel rejected God’s righteousness as revealed in the Scriptures and in the Son of God, the Messiah.
Paul’s heart is in the right place. The desire of his heart and his prayers offered in Israel’s behalf dwell on her salvation.
---1---Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.”
The Israelites kept saying—and Paul kept telling them. So, what they had, was a failure to communicate. The things they kept saying were based on their understanding—not fact—of what the Law of Moses said.
Paul could take the high ground because he spoke by the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Everything Paul said was correct—regardless of how the Nation of Israel wanted to receive it.
The inability of Paul and Israel to communicate was not the fault of Paul—it was the fault of Israel. Paul continued to try to communicate in Romans, chapter 10.
---2---For I bear witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
---3---For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
---4---For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Paul knew of the great zeal Israel had for God; but, Israel was misinformed. And zeal, without the proper knowledge of the Will of God for our lives, can be disastrous. Israel’s misdirected zeal led them to persecute Paul and other Christians. Paul wrote to the church in Philippi to Beware!
---1---Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.
---2---Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision,
---3---For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh.