Romans 9-10 (Part 3 of 3): God's Plan for Israel

#1   Romans 10:5-7   (from Deuteronomy 30:11-14)

For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them." But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, "'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).

Using expressions that were common among Jews to describe something that seemed impossible, Paul works toward showing them that believing in Christ is not impossible.

#2   Romans 10:8-10   (from Deuteronomy 30:11-14)

But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

After showing the Jews that salvation does not depend on their works, he then explains what salvation truly is all about-faith in Jesus Christ, who was raised from the dead.

#3   Romans 10:11-13   (from Isaiah 28:16 and Joel 2:32)

For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Here we find one of the most commonly misused verses in all of the Bible, because many people fail to consider its context. Romans 10:13 does not say that one must simply call Jesus "Lord" to be saved, for that would disagree with Matthew 7:22 as well as many other verses that speak of the fruit that will be evident in the life of a true believer. Sadly, this has led to many false assurances. Instead, this is a conclusion of what Paul has been saying, as he quotes a prophecy from Joel about salvation coming to the Gentiles. Thus, he concludes that anyone can be saved, whether Jew or Gentile.

#4   Romans 10:14-15   (from Isaiah 52:7)

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"

Paul explains why the gospel message must go forth into Gentile lands, for how will they know of the good news of salvation through Christ unless people go and tell them?

#5   Romans 10:16-17   (from Isaiah 53:1)

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Making a further conclusion, Paul points out that Gentiles must hear the Word of God in order to be saved. Many do not and will not believe, but still the Word of God must first be preached and taught, then God will use that to save whomever He will save.

#6   Romans 10:18-19   (from Psalm 19:4 and Deuteronomy 32:21)

But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: "Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world." But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: "I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation."

Why is God saving any of us who are not Jews? Our human pride gets in the way, and we think it has something to do with what He sees in us. No, it has nothing to do with us at all. God is saving some Gentiles in order to provoke the Jews to jealousy, because they provoked God to jealousy by wandering off and worshipping false idols. In their pride, Israel failed to realize what God had told them through prophets as far back as Moses-that He would provoke them to jealousy by saving others who are not Jews.

#7   Romans 10:20-21   (from Isaiah 65:1-2)

But Isaiah is very bold and says: "I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me." But to Israel he says: "All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people."

Time after time in the Old Testament, Israel disobeyed God. So God has now brought salvation to the Gentiles instead, making Himself known to us who otherwise would not know Him. That is the message of Romans 9-10. Praise God that He is saving Gentiles!