Romans 10

Reading for Monday, Feb. 13: Romans 10

In Romans 10, Paul continues his discussion on the state of Israel and the distinctions between law and faith. Verse 4 is a powerful summation of Paul’s argument: “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” The word translated “end” is “telos” in Greek. Telos means end, termination, completion, goal. The following note comes from the Key Word Study Bible (a great tool for biblical word studies, in my opinion): “In Romans 10.4, telos means either termination or goal. Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes. This means that the Law as a covenantally demanded obligation has come to an end because Jesus has fulfilled its demands and imparted His righteousness to those who believe. The standards of righteousness come to us now not from the outside by imposition, but from within by the Spirit who writes the Law upon our hearts.”

We’re reminded that Jesus says He came not to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but instead to fulfill them (Matt. 5.17). Earlier in Romans, Paul pointed out that faith doesn’t nullify the law, rendering it void (Romans 3.31). But a proper understanding of law sees Christ as its ultimate conclusion. Law is not a means of works-righteousness. Righteousness is imparted only through faith in Christ.

In a masterful use of Scripture, Paul uses Deuteronomy 30 as a springboard into this discussion: “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart.” Paul interprets this ancient text in light of the proclamation of the lordship of Jesus. Confession of Christ as Lord is the key to right-standing before God — a far cry from the teachings of those Judaizing influences Paul seems to oppose in the NT. Listen to these verses again:

v9 – “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
v12 – “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,”

Paul resolutely believes in the importance of sharing Jesus with others. In vv14-15, he spells out the importance of belief; which necessitates preaching; which necessitates sending teachers out into the world. Quoting Isaiah, Paul comments about the beauty of those who come bearing the Gospel message (v15).

The final part of the chapter will segue us into our discussion for Tuesday from ch11. Although Paul expresses a heartfelt desire for all Israel to be saved in the first part of chapter 10, he also says Israel is without excuse for her unbelief. He quotes the Psalmist as proof that Israel has heard the word of God. He quotes Deuteronomy, Isaiah, and Jeremiah to substantiate his claim that Israel is a disobedient, obstinate people, lacking in understanding.

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5 Responses to Romans 10

  1. Charlton Rhinehart says:

    You are not using the caution I spoke of, (2 Ptr 3:16). Sure your only talking about a certain chapter of Romans, but those who care would not explain the chapter in such a deceiving way. Again what good is knowing the truth if we teach in a way that implies what is false?

    • Jason says:

      Charlton, I’m really not seeing what you’re seeing here. I would hope you would know me well enough to know that I’m not trying to do anything “in such a deceiving way.” Let me try and explain more fully what I believe here.

      When Paul writes about “Law” in Romans, I take that to be a reference to the Old Testament Mosaic law. Paul seems to be quite clear that righteousness could never be achieved through law-keeping; in fact, according to his argument in Romans, the law simply makes us aware of our sinful state. However, Christ emerges as the “telos” of the Law: the ultimate aim, the goal, the end toward which the law was working in the first place. In Christ, every law has it’s ultimate fulfillment. In Christ, our means for righteousness emerges as the gracious gift of God.

      However, what we’ve failed to emphasize, at times, is the appropriate response to God’s gift. To accept Christ as Savior is to accept Christ as Lord. And as our Lord, Christ commands certain things from us. The word I like to describe this is “discipleship”. To follow Jesus is to willfully submit to His rule in your life. To me, this is where Paul’s “Law of the Spirit” comes into play. We are bound to another law, a higher law, as followers of Jesus. This is where I place His teachings like in the Sermon on the Mount where He repeatedly says, “You’ve heard it said…but I say unto you.” Jesus is giving a new command, a higher law. Think of what Jesus says in John 13 about giving His disciples a “new command” to “love one another”. In the Great Commission, Jesus gives the disciples their marching orders, telling them to go and make disciples by baptizing them and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you,” (Matt. 28.20). These are commands and they are binding on those who would claim Jesus as their Lord. This is part of what it means to take up our crosses and follow Him.

      I personally like the way Dallas Willard says it: “Grace is opposed to earning, but not to effort.” I believe Scripture is clear that we cannot earn our salvation through any sort of merit or work on our own. However, I believe Scripture is also clear that to follow Jesus is to submit yourself to His lordship and to live in obedience to His teachings.

      I feel like you and I are on the same page here. But maybe you see things differently. Let me know what you think, brother.

      • Charlton Rhinehart says:

        I can tell you have the right idea of grace, law, the Spirit and other issues here. And I think you can see that I have a similar view as yours, other than I would not say the appropriate response to grace is obedience but rather I would say the necessary response is obedience. Because without initial and continual obedience we have no part of saving grace. It is not just the desired reaction to grace, it is the required action for grace. But I believe that is just a difference in how we word that.
        Apparently however you understand grace and law the way I do, and you understand it in ways the denominations around us do not. But you teach on the subject the exact same way a denomination would and they exact opposite way most concerned preachers of the church would. Just look back at this post and read it as though you are not from the church, listen to what it says.
        First you say that the law has ended, that is true, but what do you think those weak in the faith understand when you say that? All they hear is there is no more law – in other words no commands matter once we are in Christ, because there is no law. I will never say a statement about how the law is ended without emphasizing that is the old Law, the Mosaic Law, and I specify we have a new law. I know you understand that, but you are not teaching that. You then reafirm your stance by quoting the verse 4 that says our rightouseness is for everyone that believes. Again that statement does not contradict what is being taught in Romans, but a careful preacher in the Lord’s church would never go around quoting that without explanation, understanding that many are hearing him to be saying something he does not believe, and that scripture by itself can mislead.
        Then you post the qoute from your commentary that sumerizes by saying “the law is now written on our hearts”. While I understand this again does not contradict Romans, it completly implies what I was countering when I responded to the idea of the law of the Spirit. How many believe that we have little need for the Word because the law is now within us. No careful preacher in the church would leave this idea the way you have.
        You then emphasize again that rightouseness is by faith only. As you know, many know a “faith only” doctrine, you are not teaching that intentionally, but you are accidentally. No you do not teach it in every lesson or writting, but you do in many, probably most, it is by accident, if you do not believe me just read what you wrote above while imagining you have a worldly understanding of God.
        You then quote verse 9, to affirm all we have to do is believe. Sure you and I understand if we call Jesus Lord that means we obey Him, (Luke 6:46), but many in the church and world do not. A careful preacher in the church would never write a summary of any chapter (even Romans) without carefully choosing his words to avoid the wrong impression. Nor would they qoute certain versus without balancing the common misunderstandings of the majority.
        Would we go around quoting 1 Cor 1:14 without any countering explanation? Of course not, and neither will we qoute verses about grace, freedom from law, salvationby faith and other topics with out explanation. You do not have to write a book each time explaining everything possible, but we never word things that teach what the common misunderstanding and false teachings believe. Nor do we qoute scriptures that imply those most common misunderstandings without some countering explanation.
        Seeing the way grace was taught at NE and seeing the results that came from that, has caused me to seperate myself from any church or school that teaches in such a way, and there are plenty that do not teach in that deceiving way.
        A article or lesson from time to time that explains the truth is not sufficient for all the misconceptions that are taught when we accidentally confirm the false teachings of the day.

  2. Jason says:

    Charlton, I think there’s a lot you and I agree upon, but we may just have to agree to disagree on some of the issues in your last comment. As you’ve pointed out, my writing may lack in clarity from time to time. But I can assure you that I choose my words carefully. And I stand by everything I’ve written here. I hope we can continue to have fellowship even though we don’t see eye to eye on everything.

    • Charlton Rhinehart says:

      Just something to keep in mind, denominations agree to disagree, and everyday they drift further and further from the truth as no one seeks to correct it. I do not believe that is a good way to look at how to teach God’s word.
      I will not say that you are not my brother, but at the same time I cannot show any approval for how you teach God’s word. Either how you taught it 10+ years ago, or how you teach it today. You teach what is technically true, but in a way that implies what is false, when saints choose to be so blind to see how their words support the common false teachings I have to wonder if they really care about the truth being their main message. As 2 Jhn verses 10 and 11 say, we have no choice but seperate ourselves from those who refuse to correct. I am sorry but though I see you differ from many in that you do not argue for what is false, you still find a way to teach it. I cannot approve but hope you see the error this mistake leads to and make effort to change.

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