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.