Summary: Why Sincerity and Morality are Not Sufficient – Rom. 10:2-4
Why Sincerity and Morality are Not Sufficient – Rom. 10:2-4
There is a widespread belief in America that if people are sincere and moral that they will somehow be acceptable. We see many commendable examples of people who sincerely try to be good, but fail to realize that they are still unable to please God with their own righteousness. In reality, people like the Mormons, who are sincere in their pursuit of a moral life, are at enmity with God because they are trusting in their own righteousness instead of that which is found through faith in Jesus Christ. In our passage today we learn how the Jews learned from Paul that zeal not based on scriptural knowledge, is insufficient for salvation. Israel’s zeal was an element of strength, but Paul taught that zeal without Biblical knowledge is a weakness. Many earnest people believe that a good person will eventually find their way to heaven, but they are sadly mistaken. Such faulty thinking is based on a wrong understanding of the nature of Christ, The Bible’s teaching and especially the gospel. Let us examine some of the reasons why sincerity and morality are insufficient for salvation and the accomplishing God’s will.
1. Emotional fervor is not sufficient in helping a person please God in all respects. Enthusiasm is a great thing, but on its own will not provide a person with a everlasting relationship with God. Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Paul made it clear in this passage that the Jews had a zeal for God but not according to Biblical knowledge. Many religious people earnestly desire to do the will of God but fail to understand that they cannot attain the righteousness of God through good works. When I was in Nigeria I observed thousands of sincere Muslims who thought their prayers, fasting and keeping to the five pillars of Islam would someday earn them a way into heaven, but they are sadly mistaken. Over 1.2 billion Muslims in the world are sincerely wrong about their understanding of how to get their sins forgiven. Only through saving faith in Jesus Christ can one find the righteousness of God and forgiveness of sins.
2. Do not pursue anything that is out of sync with God’s will. There are many fine projects or relationships that we can work on but may be out of God’s kingdom priorities for your life. The best way to know if something is in the will of God is to determine if your desires are in line with the Biblical and Christ centered way of God. Paul wrote, “Do not be ignorant, but understand what the will of God is.” (Eph. 5:17) So many people naively pursue good things without basing their decisions upon scriptural criteria for what is the best of God’s will. If you really want to base your decisions upon God’s will seek godly counsel from those who can help you discover from the Bible the essential criteria for being filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Col. 1:9) Many are out of harmony with the will of God because they are too proud to ask godly people for help in tuning into the exact frequency of God’s will for their lives.
3. Only God’s righteous plan revealed in Jesus Christ will be sufficient to please God. It may seem just and fair to give a person an A for their efforts, but that is not God’s way. Romans 10:9,10 says, “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.” Only by trusting in Christ’s righteousness are we able to find forgiveness and exoneration from our sins. Accept no other substitutes.
4. Those who ignore the revealed will of God are still in rebellion against His will for their lives. People who fail to read God’s word are living in rebellion because of their ignorance of the revealed will of God found in the Bible. We have all heard the phrase, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Similarly, ignorance of the revealed will of God found in the Bible is an excuse that God will not accept. Help people realize that they are responsible for believing, acting and obeying the revealed will of God written in His holy word. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Read His word at least fifteen minutes everyday and plan to obey what it says or you will be deceiving yourself into thinking that your sincere efforts are enough to please God.
5. The Lord wants to see our entire being transformed not just our emotions. Some think that if they are just able to think positively they will find the solutions that are buried deep in their soul – that is a false assumption. God’s righteous standard is perfect holiness. The only way that we can be holy in the eyes of God is through the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from all sins. As we trust in Christ through faith, His grace makes us holy and acceptable to God because of the finished work of Christ on the cross. His atonement offers us complete purification, sanctification and holiness in the eyes of God because of what Christ did for us in His atonement. What a wonderful Savior – wrote Charles Wesley. He paid the entire price for my sins and cleansed me from all unrighteousness through His shed blood and the power of His resurrection from the dead. Allow Christ to transform your mind, emotions, attitudes, relationships, and every aspect of your life through the transforming power of His word and His Holy Spirit.