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Salvation For All Who Believe

Romans 10:5-17

I. The Source of God’s Righteousness (Romans 10:5)

“The man which doeth those things shall live by them” is actually a quotation from Leviticus 18:5, which speaks of the righteousness to which Israel was called under the Sinai covenant (see also Deuteronomy 6: 25). Some understand Paul’s purpose in quoting this text as describing the way of obtaining righteousness (“shall live”) by keeping the law (see 2:6-10). Others think that the reference is to Christ, who perfectly fulfilled the law’s demands and thus makes salvation available to all who believe (note Hebrews 5:9). (Zondervan KJV Commentary)

II. The Availability of God’s Righteousness (Romans 10:6-8)

Paul quotes language from Deuteronomy 30: 12-14 to characterize “the righteousness that is by faith” (verse 6), which contrasts with “the righteousness that is by the law” (verse 5). The grace that characterized God’s gift of his law in the old economy is now decisively displayed in Christ. Just as Moses made God’s requirements accessible to the people of Israel, so Christ, who has come down from heaven and been raised from the dead, is accessible to all people by faith. (NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible)

III. The Reception of God’s Righteousness (Romans 10:9-10)

This confession and belief are more than simply mental acknowledgment that something is true. Rather, this belief refers to placing one’s whole trust in the resurrected Christ and living with Jesus as one’s Lord. Only the giving of the whole self to Christ is belief unto righteousness. (Orthodox Study Bible)

We would do well to key in on the terms “confess … believe … believes … confesses” to best understand the context of what is stated in verses 9 and 10. For in the parallelism of verse 10, Paul reverses the order of verbs in verse 9, and thereby indicates that heart-belief and mouth-confession belong together for justification (“righteousness”) and salvation. (Reformation Study Bible)

IV. The Scope of God’s Righteousness (Romans 10: 11-13)

Here, the scriptures indicate how faith can be transforming for one’s life, replacing fear and hesitation with bold confidence that rests on the sure promises of God. For this purpose, Paul uses Isaiah 28: 16 (reference the close of Romans 9: 33). This belief and its blessing are open to Jew and Gentile alike. Whatever “difference” there may be in the two groups in some respects, there is no difference when it comes to the need for Christ and the availability of his salvation (reference 3: 22). The source of their spiritual life is found in “the same Lord,” whose blessings (notably salvation) are richly bestowed on them without partiality. In support of this, Paul cites Joel 2: 32 (reference Peter’s use of this verse in Acts 2: 21). This calling on the Lord is the echo within the human heart of the call of God himself according to his gracious purpose (Romans 8: 28-30). God will hear the cry of any who call upon him for salvation. When verse 13 is compared with verse 9, it becomes evident that the Lord of Joel 2: 32 is being identified with the Lord Jesus Christ. (Expositor’s Bible Commentary)

V. The Presentation of God’s Righteousness (Romans 10: 14-17)

A brief commentary on verses 14-16 reveal that since it might be argued that Jews had never had a fair opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel, Paul, through a series of rhetorical questions, stated (in reverse order) the conditions necessary to call on Christ and be saved: (1) a preacher sent from God; (2) proclamation of the message; (3) hearing the message; (4) believing the message.

“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace” (verse 15) — This is a quotation from Isaiah 52:7, which refers to those who brought the exiles the good news of their imminent release from captivity in Babylon. Paul applied it to gospel preachers, who bring the good news of release from captivity to sin. For “obeyed the gospel” in verse 16, see Romans 1:5. Faith not only apprehends the content of the gospel, but responds submissively to the Lord of the gospel. The expression “not all” presents a contrast to the “Whosoever” of verse 11. The testimony of Isaiah verifies that resistance and rejection is based not on the message but on the absence of faith (see Isaiah 53:1). What was true in Isaiah’s day was relevant in Paul’s day and is still relevant today. (Zondervan KJV Commentary)

Christ in the Text: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. — Romans 10: 13

Church Supply Pastor and Christian columnist, Dr. Wayne M. Williams, presently resides in Athens with his wife of 39 years, Lita. For additional study notes, see the Facebook page International Sunday School Lessons.

Church Supply Pastor and Christian columnist, Dr. Wayne M. Williams, presently resides in Athens with his wife of 39 years, Lita. For additional study notes, see the Facebook page International Sunday School Lessons.

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