Call to Faith
Explore the Bible Series
Background Passage: Romans
Lesson Passage: Romans 10:1-4; 8-18;21
Like all great writers and teachers, Paul returned to his thesis statement in Romans 1:16-17. Romans 9-11 expand on this grand theme.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
The apostle states at least three principles in these two critical verses.
The Present Condition of
A. The Gentiles, who did not seek righteousness, have received justification by faith in Christ (v. 30). God’s sovereignly opened Gentile eyes to the glories of Christ and savingly drew the nations to genuine faith.
B. The Jews did not receive the righteousness of God by faith; rather, they sought God by means of law-keeping (vv. 31-32a).
C. Ultimately, the Hebrews stumbled over the person and work of Christ (vv. 32b-33). These verses reminds one of Isaiah 8:14 and I Peter 2:4-8.
II. Christ Is the End of the Law for All Who Believe (10:1-4)
A. The Jews made four errors in their quest for salvation (vv. 2-3)
1. Misguided zeal (vv. 2-3): Their spiritual quest had a proper object; that is, they had a zeal for God. The quest was earnest and passionate; nevertheless, it lacked one essential ingredient. It was not, by Paul’s reckoning, according to knowledge. They failed to understand the nature and purpose of the Law. The Law did not affirm their righteousness; it pointed out their sinfulness before God’s perfect standard. They sought God with ardent passion, but ultimately they failed to understand the way to the righteousness of God. They failed in spiritual discernment.
2. Spiritual blindness (v. 3): The particular kind of blindness that characterized the Jews related to their ignorance of God’s righteousness. They closed their eyes to God’s means of saving sinners. This verse draws the reader’s attention back to Romans 1:18-19, “…who suppress (hold down) the truth…”
3. Self-righteousness (v. 3b): They sought to establish their own righteousness by law-keeping.
4. Rebellious (v. 3c): They refused to submit to the righteousness of God.
B. Christ is the end (Greek word “telos”) of the Law (v.4): This could mean one of three things.
1. “Telos” could mean Christ is the fulfillment of the Law. Christ fulfills all the demands, symbols, types, promises, and ceremonies of the Law. The Law reveals and points to Christ, and he perfectly fulfilled the Law.
2. “Telos” could mean Christ is the goal or purpose of the Law. The Law, according to this view, revealed the holiness and sacrifice of Christ. Many of the Reformers and Church fathers held to this view.
3. “Telos” could mean that Christ brought an end to the demands and indictments of the Law toward those who believe.
III. Christ is the Object of Saving Faith (vv. 5-13)
A. Only those who live perfectly by the Law will be saved by the Law (Paul alluded to Leviticus 18:5).
B. Christ has brought the gospel near to mankind (See Deuteronomy 30:11f).
1. Christ has come near in his incarnation (v. 6).
2. Christ has come near in his resurrection (v. 7).
3. Christ has come near in his exaltation and lordship (vv. 8-9)
C. Men receive salvation by faith and confession (vv. 9-11).
1.”with the heart one believes”
2. “with the mouth confession is made”
D. Salvation is offered, without distinction, to all who believe (vv. 11-13)
IV. Christ Will Be Preached in All the Earth (vv. 14-21)
A. The centrality of preaching (vv. 14-15): Paul raised four rhetorical questions.
1. “How shall they call on him whom they have not believed?” (v. 14a)
2. “How shall they believe in him whom they have not heard?” (v.14b)
3. “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (14c)
4. “How shall they preach unless they be sent?” (v.15): Paul referenced Isaiah 52:7-10.
B. The response to the preacher (vv. 16-21)
1. Some will harden their hearts and will not hear (vv. 16-19). They are stiff-necked, disobedient, and contrary. The sending of the preacher seals their judgment. The preacher’s presence is the final “nail in the coffin.” They hear, but they will not listen.
2. Others, often among the least likely, will find God and his salvation. The herald’s message comes to them like food and water to a dying man.
Conclusion: Perhaps this is a fitting occasion to review a brief summary of the message the preachers must proclaim. I offer this with all humility as I attempt to express the gospel in this fashion.
You may receive the righteousness of Christ by repenting of your sins and trusting in Christ alone for your salvation.