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 Romans Chapter 10 – Part Two

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PostSubject: Romans Chapter 10 – Part Two   Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:43 am

Romans 10:14-15

After proclaiming God’s gracious offer in Christ, Paul confronted the natural questions that arise, each additional question building on the key verb from the preceding question. God’s promise of salvation to “everyone who calls” on Him (Rom_10:13) begins the process. How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? Previously, to call on the Lord was equated with trusting Him or believing in Him (cf. Rom_10:11 and Rom_10:13), but here it follows the believing. When one believes in Christ, he “calls” on Him. Believing, in turn, is based on hearing, and hearing is based on someone preaching… and how can they preach unless they are sent? In presenting the universal proclamation of the gospel, Paul presents the reasons why a universal proclamation is necessary: First, because the call must be preceded by faith and second, because faith must be preceded by hearing. This shows that knowledge is essential to belief. Faith must have a valid content.
Third, because hearing requires a preacher and forth because preaching requires being sent. The One who sends is God. Salvation is completely from God.
(Since the Gr. word kēryssō, “preach,” means “to be a herald, to announce,” it is not limited to proclamation from a pulpit.) Carrying God’s gracious offer involves human beings whom God has brought to Himself and then uses as His heralds. They share God’s message of salvation because He will save everyone who calls on His name. Paul quoted from Isa_52:7 concerning the eagerness of the bearers of good news. Paul’s main point in this series of rhetorical questions is that a clear presentation of the gospel message must precede true saving faith. True faith always has content, the revealed Word of God. Salvation comes to those who hear and believe the facts of the gospel.
“How beautiful are the feet” comes from Isaiah 52:7 "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"
It is the message of good news which those feet carry that is so welcome.
Those who bear it have beautiful… feet, that is, their message is welcome. In Isa_52:7 the messenger announced to Judah that God had ended their Exile in Babylon (cf. Isa_40:9-11). But Paul applied Isa_52:7 to the Jews of his day to whom the gospel was being given.


Romans 10:16-18

Israel’s Rejection
Paul had made it clear that God’s gracious offer of righteousness by faith was given to all, Jews and Gentiles alike (cf. Rom_10:12). His focus in this chapter, however, has been on the people of Israel and their response to that offer (cf. Rom_10:1). Therefore when he wrote, But not all the Israelites (the Gr. text simply says “all”) accepted the good news, he obviously had in mind the Jews’ failure to respond. (“Accepted” translates hypēkousan, a compound of the verb “to hear.” It means “to hear with a positive response,” and so “to obey, to submit to.”) This is borne out by Paul’s confirming quotation of Isa_53:1 : Lord, who has believed our message? The good news is not only a gracious offer but a command to believe and repent. “Believed our report” is a scripture quoted from Isaiah 53:1.
The report Isaiah described was of the substitutionary death of Christ, the good news of the gospel. (Isa 53:5)
This failure of the Jews to respond to the good news was true in Jesus’ days on earth (Joh_12:37-41) and in Paul’s day as well. However, the indefinite “all” of the Greek text (Rom_10:16) is appropriate, because the response to the gospel among the Gentiles was also far less than total. Paul explained, Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message (lit., “is out from hearing”; cf. Rom_10:14) and the message is heard through the word of Christ (lit., “and the hearing is through the saying [rhēmatos; cf. Rom_10:17] concerning Christ”). “The Word of God”: or better, the word of Christ. The reference is to the oral communication of the gospel. (The word translated “report” in this verse 16 is translated “hearing” here) Notice that it is not faith in what is heard, but faith that comes about by what is heard. This is what Paul meant in 1:16 when he said the gospel “is the power of God unto salvation.” Saving faith is not man doing his part in response to God’s having done His part. Saving faith can come about only through the gospel. Salvation is God’s work alone. This also shows that there is no other way to be saved but by the explicit gospel of Christ.
Luke 11:28 "But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it."
It is the Word of God that is powerful, that convicts us of our sin and sets us on the road to salvation. Look at the next Scripture and see just how powerful this Word is.
Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
The Greek word akoē (“hearing”) can mean the thing heard (the message; Rom_10:16) or the act or sense of hearing (Rom_10:17).
Someone, however, might insist that the Jews were not given adequate opportunity to hear the message. So, Paul said, But I ask (“say”), Did they not hear? He then quoted Psa_19:4, concerning God’s general revelation in the cosmic heavens (cf. Rom_1:18-20). However, that psalm also discusses God’s special revelation in the Old Testament (Psa_19:7-11). Paul cited this quotation from the LXX which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament’s version of Psalms 19:4 to show that even David understood that God’s revelation of Himself has reached the entire earth.
Paul’s obvious answer to his question is that Israel had ample opportunity by both general and special revelation to respond to God. Certainly she heard.

Romans 10:19-21

With these verses the argument takes a turn. The apostle anticipated another objection. Someone might argue, “Yes, Israel heard but she did not understand that God purposed to offer righteousness by faith to all mankind, including Gentiles.” So Paul wrote, Again I ask (lit., “But I say”), did Israel not understand? (egnō, “know”) His answer this time was from two Old Testament quotations, one as early as Moses (Deu_32:21) and the second by Isaiah (Isa_65:1). Both Old Testament leaders wrote about God’s turning to the Gentiles, whom the Jews thought had no understanding (asynetō, “senseless”; cf. Rom_1:21, Rom_1:31). Israel was ignorant of the salvation truth contained in her own Scriptures, including that the gospel would reach the Gentiles, (no people (those who are not a nation) and by a foolish nation) as promised in Deut. 32:21 and Isa 65:1-2.
In verse 19 God would provoke the Jews to jealousy by the Gentiles, who are not a part of Israel, God’s special, chosen nation.
And yet concerning Israel, God has been gracious in spite of her disobedience (a quotation of Isa_65:2). “Disobedient”, means “to contradict” or “to speak against.” As throughout her history, Israel once again had contradicted the Word of God. This time it was the truth of the gospel.
Israel’s continuing rebellious and unbelieving disobedience was judged by God’s turning to the Gentiles (Rom_10:20; cf. Act_8:1-8, Act_8:10). At the same time God has not withheld salvation from Jews. He has held out His hands, imploring them to return to Him.
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Romans Chapter 10 – Part Two
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