Romans 10 Study Notes
Here are my study notes with a video from Romans chapter 10. Enjoy!
Now we’re in chapter 10 which has some amazing and well-known verses. We finished chapter 9 where Paul vindicated the righteousness of God in rejecting Israel and taking up believers of all nations into His church.
Now in chapter 10 we see the open invitation of the Gospel to all individuals.
Frederic Louis Godet says, “The apostle has summarily enunciated the real solution of the enigma in Romans 9:30-33. The proud claim of the people to uphold their own righteousness caused them to stumble at the true righteousness, that of faith, which God offered them in the person of the Messiah. Chap. 10 develops and establishes this solution of the problem.”
1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Similar to the beginning of chapter 9, Paul earnestly desires the salvation of his kinsmen.
2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
The Jews are zealous for God, but they have corrupted the truth of who God is by their love for their Law. In Matthew 15:3 Jesus says, “But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” And in verse 9 He said, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
The Jewish understanding of God was not in accordance with the truth of God.
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.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
The Jews pursued a SELF-righteousness by following their Laws, but have rejected the Gospel.
Adam Clarke perfectly states, “Where the law ends, Christ begins. The law ends with representative sacrifices; Christ begins with the real offering. The law is our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ; it cannot save, but it leaves us at his door, where alone salvation is to be found. Christ as an atoning sacrifice for sin, was the grand object of the whole sacrificial code of Moses; his passion and death were the fulfilment of its great object and design.”
This verse 4 is a great verse to refute those who believe in a works salvation. It was the work of Christ, and specifically NOT our works that grant us salvation.
5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
This is quoted from Leviticus 18:5, and isn’t implying that this COULD be done (following the Law perfectly) but rather, that it is never done!
Look at Deuteronomy 27:26 which is quoted in Galatians 3:10, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” If you ever break one law you’ve blown it (James 2:10).
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:)
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
So there are various explanations of the meaning of these verses. One sense is to say that proper faith doesn’t argue about the facts of Christ’s incarnation (verse 6) or His resurrection (verse 7). These things happened and are a matter of historical record.
However, I think Godet captures the meaning more precisely. He writes, “All the doing asked of man by the law (Rom 10:5), and which he could never accomplish otherwise than imperfectly, is now accomplished perfectly by the Christ, whether it relate to the conquest of heaven by holiness, or to the abolition of condemnation by expiation [to extinguish guilt; propitiation]. All, therefore, that remains to man in order to be saved, is to believe in this work by applying it to himself; and this is what is commanded us by the righteousness of faith, after it has forbidden us to pretend ourselves to open heaven or to close hell.”
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;
By the way these past 3 verses are quoted from Deuteronomy 30:11-14 and applied here differently.
The meaning here in verse 8 is that salvation by faith is here; it is available to you, right now, right where you stand. Christ does the work and we do the believing.
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.
This is the gospel message. This is how one becomes saved whether Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.
Henry Alford adds, “Here we have the two parts of the above question again introduced: the confession of the Lord Jesus implying his having come down from heaven, and the belief in His resurrection implying His having been brought up from the dead.”
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Verse 11 is quoted from at least a couple places in Isaiah and is contrasted with several other places in Isaiah where it says those who trust in idols WILL be ashamed. You don’t have to be in doubt when you trust in the Living God.
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.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
This is a big point in this 3-chapter section of Romans as well as the entire book. As far as salvation is concerned and the means of salvation, the terms that God has set, there is no difference for anyone. Which, by the way, was a very upsetting thing for the Jews to hear, that they stood on the same level ground as Gentiles before God.
Who is “the Lord” in this verse? Jesus Christ whom Paul has just been writing about. In Joel 2:32 where this verse is quoted from, you would think God the Father. In Isaiah 43:11 we read, “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.” Yet Jesus Christ is our Savior. How can this be? Jesus Christ is God.
Also note these verses say “ALL” that call upon Him, and “WHOSOEVER” shall call upon Him. Calvinism is false and denies the availability of the Gospel to ALL people.
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?
Another great verse refuting Calvinism. This is the Great Commission to tell people about Jesus! This further establishes the doctrine of Faith Alone, and the necessity for godly preachers and biblical preaching!
If your pastor spends his sermon telling stories and making cheesy jokes he’s not doing you any good.
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!
This “being sent” was first to the apostles, and that Greek word, literally means “a sent one.” Preachers today are sent by God the Holy Spirit in moving them towards that mission. There are no Apostles today though, that was a title specifically for THE Apostles of the First Century that saw Jesus Christ.
Paul quotes in this verse from Isaiah 52:7 and if you don’t have a King James Bible you’ll likely see “preach the gospel of peace” omitted, but I do believe it should be there.
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Another quote from Isaiah, this time from 53:1. All this Old Testament quoting tells us at least two things: 1) the Gospel and faith alone to all the world was always part of God’s plan, and 2) it shows the continuity and cohesion of all Scripture which we should expect since it all has the same Author.
This verse tells us that God offers salvation to all but doesn’t force anyone to believe it. Another refutation of Calvinism.
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Your Bible might have “word of Christ” instead of “word of God” but that doesn’t change the meaning. Faith comes by hearing about the good news, so we need to tell people about it!
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.
So the Gospel spread very quickly and this is quoted from Psalm 19:4. It’s interesting that Psalm 19 opens with, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” So in the original passage we see creation as making God known like back in Romans 1:20 and here the Gospel is being spread through preaching to make God known so that people might believe on Him.
The “ends of the world” more precisely means the inhabited world, οικουμένη. And that expression in non-Biblical Greek writings would mean “the portion of the earth inhabited by the Greeks.”
Adam Clarke says on this verse, “As the celestial luminaries have given testimony of the eternal power and Godhead of the Deity to the habitable world, the Gospel of Christ has borne testimony to his eternal goodness and mercy to all the land of Palestine, and to the whole Roman empire.” He continues, “There is not a part of the promised land in which these glad tidings have not been preached; and there is scarcely a place in the Roman empire in which the doctrine of Christ crucified has not been heard: if, therefore, the Jews have not believed, the fault is entirely their own; as God has amply furnished them with the means of faith and of salvation.”
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.
This is quoted from Moses in Deuteronomy 32:21, and here Paul is answering an objection of whether or not the nation of Israel knew about God opening the door of salvation to the Gentiles. Israel really doesn’t have room to complain because their highly esteemed law-giver, Moses, told them so roughly 1400 years before.
By Israel’s rejection of their Messiah, the Gospel is available to the Gentiles and God is using that to make the Jews jealous to the end that some of them will hopefully turn to Christ. We see this talked about more in Romans 11.
The Pulpit Commentaries has here, “The idea involved in ‘provoke you to jealousy’—in the sense of moving to emulation, so that Israel itself as a nation might, through the calling of the Gentiles, in the end be saved—is pursued, as will be seen, in the chapter that follows.”
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.
So Moses warned the Jews in a subtle way, but Isaiah spoke even more plainly in Isaiah 65:1-2 where these verses are quoted from (and it would be good to read the first 7 verses of Isaiah 65 that cover this topic). God has made Himself known to the Gentiles, but the Jews were disobedient and rejected God the Father just as they rejected God the Son when He came and they crucified Him.
C.H. Irwin comments on these last three verses and says, “The history of the Jews is a solemn warning against the neglect of opportunities. It is a solemn warning to all those who, though brought up in Christian homes and in a Christian land, make light of the blessings of the gospel, resist its invitations, and set at naught its counsels.”