The Way - Day 117 (Romans 10)

Daily Reading:
Romans 10
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
If you care to share with your group, how did God work in your life to bring you to salvation? Why were you in special need of His mercy and patience?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 40:1-2
OPTION 2: Proverbs 16:9
OPTION 3: Matthew 6:1-2
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for Romans 10 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
Romans 10
Paul has mainly used his letter to the believers at Rome to instruct them about the salvation they have inherited by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Again, Paul's emphasis thus far has been on man's sinfulness (1:18-3:20), God's provision of righteousness through Jesus Christ (3:21-5:21), and the Spirit's work to change the believer (6:1-8:39). Beginning in Romans 9, Paul illustrates the nation of Israel's response to God sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to provide forgiveness of sin. Paul wrote that Israel rejected Jesus as the Savior from sin and rather trusted in their obedience to the law of Moses for salvation. They believed human effort could earn them favor with God, when in reality the law only brought further condemnation because of their inability to fully keep the law. Some of Paul's Jewish readers may be confused and wonder if God had abandoned His people, so Paul explained to them that salvation is a sovereign work of God in order to accomplish His purposes (Romans 9).
Even though the nation of Israel, as a whole, had rejected Jesus Christ as the One sent to save them from sin, Paul expressed his heart for Israel to return to God:

"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be
saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not
according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness,
and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the
righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness
to everyone who believes." (Romans 10:1-4)

Paul clearly stated that Israel must reject the notion that they can attain righteousness through their works (10:2-3) and embrace righteousness through the work of Jesus Christ alone (10:4). Digging a little deeper, Paul reminds them that God has made salvation accessible to them without obedience to the law. The law is only able to expose the sinfulness of man and was never meant to bring salvation. Paul then writes about how a person receives this righteousness through faith and apart from human effort, " ...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" (10:9-10). In order to receive righteousness, Paul gives two things which must take place - confession (repentance) and belief (faith). Confession is simply recognizing your sinfulness before a holy God and agreeing that breaking His law is offensive to Him. Confession or repentance is not a feeling of guilt for getting caught but an acknowledgment of wrongdoing. In addition to repentance, belief in Jesus' death and resurrection as payment for sin will bring salvation. Why must a person express faith in Jesus' death and resurrection? Jesus' death was the payment for sin and His resurrection was proof that God accepted the sacrifice in place of sinners; therefore, the sinner can rightfully be declared righteous and guaranteed eternal life. Paul is makes it clear that salvation is available to Jew and Gentile and "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (10:12-13). All those willing to repent and believe will be saved!

Following this simple call to salvation, Paul asks some piercing questions to his readers, "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?" (10:14-15). In these verses, Paul is emphasizing the necessity of providing clarity to the gospel and calling people to repentance and faith because "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (10:17). When the gospel of Jesus Christ is spoken clearly, others have a chance to repent and believe.

Israel had every opportunity to hear the truth, but they chose to reject God's provision for salvation through Jesus Christ (10:18-21). It is alarming that those who were so close to the word of God were so far away because of the hardness of their heart. Instead of accepting God's mercy on the basis of Jesus, they depended in their own efforts. There are many people today who mirror the nation of Israel's response to the gospel - they have created their own system of religion and ignored the truth. There is only one way to find righteousness and salvation from eternal damnation - repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. Without these two elements (repentance and faith), there is no hope of salvation. Is this unfair? In my mind, no. Christianity is the only faith which has an open invitation to all who recognize their sinfulness and hopelessness and realize their own efforts will never be good enough. This takes the pressure off of my performance and allows me to rest in the already accomplished work of Jesus Christ, who purchased my sin with His own blood so that I could be set free. Now that's not fair, but it's grace.

Dear God, I rest in the grace of God and have ended my quest to find righteousness on my own. Thank You for sending Jesus that I may receive salvation through His payment for my sin.