Romans 10:14-21

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Text: Romans 10:14-21

ISRAEL'S NEED OF SALVATION

INTRODUCTION:

We have noted the theme of Romans. It is the gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. In this gospel God's righteousness is revealed from faith to faith as it is written, the one who is justified by faith will live.

We have seen that all people lack righteousness

We have seen that God has provided righteousness for all when He sent Christ to die for our sins on the cross and raised Him from the dead. It is called Justification by Faith.

In Romans 6-8 we have seen God's provision for godly living - Sanctification

A question arises, however: what is going to happen to Israel? Since Israel as a nation has rejected Christ as Messiah, has the nation as a whole been set aside by God forever? Paul answers this question in Romans 9-11 .

As a nation, Israel has had opportunities to be saved; but those opportunities have been consistently rejected. In Romans 10 we see that Israel as a nation needs to be saved, but Israel is seeking to earn its salvation by keeping the law rather than to accept the means of salvation which God has provided.

We have already seen -

I. PAUL'S DESIRE FOR ISRAEL - 10:1

Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

We have also already seen that -

II. AS A NATION ISRAEL IS ZEALOUS FOR GOD, BUT THEIR ZEAL IS NOT ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE - 10:2

Romans 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

We are in the process of seeing that -

III. AS A NATION ISRAEL SOUGHT TO EARN ITS SALVATION, BUT SALVATION CANNOT BE EARNED - 10:3-17

Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Romans 10:5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

Romans 10:6 - But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Romans 10:7 - Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

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

We see that the word of faith must be proclaimed (vv. 14-17)

Romans 10:14 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?

Unfortunately, there is a problem in that not everyone can call upon the name of the Lord in order to be saved. Some have not heard about the Lord's death on the cross in order to atone for the sins of all humanity. Consequently, there is a logical progression which must be followed in order for someone to be saved.

In verses 14-15 we see that this progression is arrived at by working backwards from calling upon the Lord in order to be saved.

In verse 14 three questions are asked which are intended to draw the mind of the reader logically from finish to start in the presentation of the salvation message. Lastly, they call upon the Lord in order to be saved. The question, however, is asked, How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?

In what way, therefore, will they call on Him in whom they did not believe?

How? suggests it is impossible that or by no means.

Then is therefore.

Shall they call on him is will they call upon.

Him has been supplied by the translators. They may have instead supplied one or someone.

In whom they have not believed is in whom they did not believe, in whom they did not trust, in whom they did not entrust themselves, or in whom they did not commit themselves.

The implication of this question is that they will not call upon Him.

Thus, we see that belief is necessary before the calling on the Lord will take place.

Secondly, How shall they believe on him of whom they have not heard? They cannot place their trust in someone they have never learned about.

How? suggests it is impossible that or by no means.

Shall they believe in him is will they believe in (i.e. trust in or have faith in).

Again, him has been supplied by the translators.

Of whom they have not heard is of whom they did not hear or of whom they did not learn about.

The implication of this second question is that they will not believe in Him.

However, in order for them to hear or learn about Him, someone will have to go and tell them. This is the point of and how shall they hear without a preacher?

How? suggests it is impossible that or by no means.

Shall they hear is will they hear or will they learn about.

Without a preacher is apart from (someone) preaching or (someone) proclaiming or apart from a proclaimer.

Preacher should not be understood in the sense of someone standing behind a pulpit and preaching. Instead, it is used of anyone who proclaims or witnesses regarding salvation, whether the witness is public or private.

Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

In verse 15 Paul continues his reasoning and asks, and how shall they preach except they be sent? The reasoning is that, if they are not sent somewhere, they are not going to go there and proclaim the good news.

How shall they preach? suggests, It is impossible that they will preach (or proclaim) or by no means will they preach (or proclaim).

Except they be sent is unless they are sent or if they are not sent.

As indicated by as it is written, Paul appeals to Scripture to substantiate what he has been saying. The quotation is from Isaiah 52:7 .

What was written is, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and that bring glad tidings of good things!

How beautiful is an exclamation which means how attractive!, how fair!, or how lovely!

Are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace is are the feet of the ones who are preaching (or who are proclaiming) the gospel (or good news) of peace.

The reason their feet are beautiful, attractive, fair, or lovely is that it is their feet which bring those proclaiming the gospel to the place where they are proclaiming it.

The gospel of peace is the gospel which produces peace which is reminiscent of Romans 5:1 , Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

And that bring glad tidings is identical in the Greek text with the term translated preach the gospel, and both mean the same thing. Not only does proclaiming the gospel (or good news) bring peace, but it also brings good things, i.e. those things which are right, into the life of the individual who believes so that he begins to do good works.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:10 , . . . We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

In verse 16 Paul returns to the thought of the Jews and salvation when he says, But they have not all obeyed the gospel.

But introduces a strong contrast, and they is the Jews.

Have not all obeyed the gospel is certainly an understatement in the case of the Jews because, as a matter of fact, most of the Jews have not obeyed the gospel.

Obeyed is used with gospel in the sense of believed the gospel because the supreme act of obedience was regarded as believing the gospel (or the good news) that Christ died for their sins. Isaiah is quoted in support of this.

For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? The quotation is from Isaiah 53:1 , which says, Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? The implication of this quotation is that no one, or at least almost no one, has believed our report. Very few have believed our report.

Lord is a reference to Jehovah or Yahweh.

Our report, where our is a remnant of saved Jews, is our news, our preaching, our account, or our message.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

As indicated by so then, verse 17 draws a conclusion from verses 14 and 15. So then is used in the sense of consequently or you see.

Faith cometh by hearing.

Faith is belief or trust. It is the particular faith which believes that Jesus is the Lord and that God has raised Him from the dead after He died on the cross, shedding His blood in payment for the sins of all humanity.

Cometh has been supplied by the translators.

By hearing indicates that there will be no belief, faith, or trust apart from a report, a hearing, or a message. The word twice translated hearing is the same word translated report in verse 16.

Hearing also has a source as and hearing by the word of God indicates.

This hearing comes by (i.e. through) the word of God, i.e. through the things spoken by God which are, in turn, proclaimed by believers. God Himself spoke it, and it is found in the Scripture, the very Word of God. Apart from its proclamation, it will not be believed.

IV. THE GOSPEL HAS BEEN PROCLAIMED TO THE JEWS AS A NATION, BUT THE JEWS AS A NATION HAVE REJECTED THE GOSPEL - 10:18-21

Romans 10:18-21 - (18) But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. (19) But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. (20) But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. (21) But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

Romans 10:18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

I say introduces a question Paul is asking. Have they not heard?, where they refers to the Jews, is Did they not all hear?

In the Greek text, this question expects a negative answer; and it is understood as, They have not heard, have they? No, they have not all heard.

However, in reality, as indicated by yes verily, which means rather or on the contrary, they have indeed heard the gospel.

Paul then explains why he knows they have all heard the gospel message. In doing so, he uses words from Psalms 19:4 , which says, Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.

In Psalms 19:1-6 these words are speaking of general revelation as given by the heavens, the firmament, and the sun. Later, in Psalms 19:7-11 the psalmist speaks of special revelation, referring to the law of the Lord.

In Romans 10:18 , Paul is speaking of the proclamation of the gospel.

Their sound went into all the earth.

Their refers to those proclaiming the gospel.

Sound is a term which means voice.

Went is went out, and into all the earth indicates the extent of the proclamation of the gospel.

Into all the earth has been placed in a position of emphasis in the Greek text, which reads literally, And into all the earth went out their sound (or their voice).

And introduces a second way of saying the same thing: their words (went out) unto the ends of the world.

Their words, where their again refers to those proclaiming the gospel, speaks of their spoken words, which were also spread as far as the inhabited world extended.

Went out must be supplied in the mind of the reader from the previous phrase.

Unto the ends of the world is unto the boundaries of the inhabited earth.

Thus, Israel did know.

Romans 10:19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

Once more, but introduces a statement in strong contrast to faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

I say introduces a second question Paul is asking.

Did not Israel know? also expects a negative answer. Israel did not know (or understand), did he? No! Israel did not know (or understand).

However, in reality, Israel did indeed know in the sense of understand.

First Moses saith again refers to the Scripture and indicates the Mosaic authorship of this particular portion of Scripture. The quotation is taken from Deuteronomy 32:21 but is adapted by Paul for his purposes.

Deuteronomy 32:21 - They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

I is the Lord and is emphatic, and you refers to the Israelites.

I will provoke you to jealousy is I will make you jealous.

By them that are no people means by the Gentiles who did not constitute a people of themselves.

And by a foolish nation I will anger you is again a reference to the Gentiles, and it is the Jews that the Lord will anger.

Foolish is senseless and implies a lack of high moral quality.

I will anger you is I will make you angry.

Romans 10:20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

In verse 20 Paul refers to more Scripture. This time it is in Isaiah as indicated by but Esaias is very bold and saith.

Esaias is Isaiah.

Is very bold, and saith suggests is so bold as to say. The quotation comes from Isaiah 65:1 .

Isaiah 65:1 - I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.

I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. The reference is again to the salvation of the Gentiles, and it is the Lord Who is the speaker.

I was found of them that sought me not indicates that, although the Gentiles did not seek the Lord, they found Him. It was the Lord Who sought them.

I was made manifest is I became visible, I made myself known, or I revealed myself.

Unto them that asked not after me refers to those who were not inquiring for the Lord; yet, He revealed Himself unto them.

Romans 10:21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

By contrast God said something different to Israel.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

Whereas verse 20 speaks about the Gentiles finding Him, verse 21 indicates what the Lord said to Israel. This is quoted from Isaiah 65:2 .

Isaiah 65:2 - I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.

He saith refers to the Lord and indicates that the Lord is the speaker in Isaiah 65:2 .

All day long is throughout all the day or throughout the whole day.

I have stretched forth my hands, where I is the Lord, is an imploring gesture and understood in the sense of I stretched out my hands, I spread out my hands, or I held out my hands. This was done to give Israel an opportunity to repent and to return to Him.

Unto a disobedient and gainsaying people refers to Israel.

Unto is to or toward.

A disobedient people suggests a people who had not obeyed the gospel, which was viewed as the supreme act of disobedience.

Gainsaying is a term which means to speak against, to contradict, to oppose, or to refuse. Hence, here it means an obstinate or rebellious people. As a nation, the Israelites were hard-hearted, unbelieving, and obstinate and wanted nothing to do with the Lord on His terms.

CONCLUSION:

Paul desired that Israel be saved. Israel had had ample opportunity, but continued to reject the gospel as God's means of salvation.

Now this situation is only temporary. Eventually Israel as a nation will be saved.

Have you trusted Christ as your personal savior, or are you continuing to reject Him as Israel did?