Romans 10

The purpose of these three chapters, 9, 10, 11 is to present the truth of the rejection of the natural Jews as the peculiar people of God, and the inclusion of all nations as God's peculiar people in the Gospel.

This chapter starts very similar to the previous chapter, with Paul professing his love and concern for the Jewish people.

Here is an outline of this chapter:

First, vv.1-3 Paul's prayer for Israel, who were misled by blind zeal.

Second, vv. 4-10 The difference between justification by the law and by
faith explained from Scripture.

Third, vv. 11-13 Salvation open to all that believe, both Jews and Gentiles.

Fourth, 14-18 The necessity of preaching to the Gentiles inferred.

Fifth, 19, 20 God's acceptance of the Gentiles revealed long ago to the Jews,

Sixth, , vv.1-3v. 21, the Jews also knew of their own refusal of God's offered mercy.

First Paul's prayer for Israel, who were misled by blind zeal.

Again, Paul expresses his love and desire for his own community, the Jews. He continually states his love and desire for their salvation to show he is not writing about their rejection out of anything but genuine love and concern for his people.

These first three verses follow the last 4 of chapter 9, showing that the Jews have not been completely rejected, but there was to be a remnant.

heart's desire and prayer... Though Paul has suffered many times at the hands of the Jews, he his hope was still that they might be saved.

No matter how hopeless a conversion of a hardened sinner might appear, we cannot give up.

Zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. They were very zealous for their misunderstanding of the law of the Lord. Their misplaced zeal caused them to try to kill the Savior more than once. We also know from Acts 13:50ff and Acts 22, that the Jews rioted when the Apostles preached the gospel to them.

They were very zealous for the letter of the law, the sabbath as well as the traditions of the elders. However, the Savior rebuked them for lacking the spirit of the Law, which is found in the gospel.

Zeal does not save, nor can it make up for false doctrine. I have heard preachers say that if you are not sure about what you are preaching, say it loudly. Zeal makes up for false doctrine.

V. 3. Ignorant... Paul dealt with their ignorance in 2:1 through 3:20. They could not understand God's righteousness by faith.

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Though the righteousness by faith was clearly presented in the Law and the Prophets, they could not or would not submit themselves to that righteousness.

Observe: This is a common problem today. It is impossible to get people to abandon the way they were raised in knowledge of religious matters. Thus, only the Spirit of God or the hand of God can cause them to see their errors.

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

I have encountered more than a few people who came to understand the fallacy of their religious upbringing, and then made a new profession based upon that new understanding. However, their profession was not based upon the Holy Spirit redirecting their hearts. Rather, their profession was based in an "intellectual" conversion, or change of mind about the gospel. However, that change was not brought about by Holy Spirit conviction and conversion. The result is they remain lost.

Wrong Conversion

What is wrong with the folloing?

When Christ and the apostles called upon a man to exercise faith, it was not a "blind faith" but rather an "intelligent faith." The apostle Paul said, "I know whom I have belived" (II Tim. 1:12). Jesus said, "You shall know the truth [not ignor] the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Problem: the truth is Chrst, not the truth about facts.

The belief of an individual involves "the mind, emotions and the will." F.R. Beattie is quite right when he says, " The Holy Spirit dies not work blind, and ungrounded faith in the heart... We believe in Christ because it is rational to belive in Him, not thought to be irrational ... that is to say ... it is just as that the Giver of faith should act creatively upon the heart." 1/25

Faith in Chrisianity, "Paul Little (Know Why You Believe, Scripture Press) justifiably writes, "faith is based on evidence. It is reasonable faith. Faith in the Christian sense goes beyond reason but not against it." 4/30 Faith is the assurance of the heart in the adequacy of the evidence.
(Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands A Verdict. p. 4. Campus Crusade for Christ, 1972.)

McDowel tells us here that facts will change one's mind, which results in conversion.

However, it is not the changing of one's mind about the facts of the gospel; rather, it is the convicting power of the Spirit of God that our sinful ways are leading us to destrucion, and we must turn to Christ that results in salvation.

I cannot tell you how many people I have met who felt that their change of mind about the facts, or the truth--they know and acknowledge the truth, was their conversion. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Ignorance... Many times people want to remain in ignorance, so they can remain in their own righteousness, or they way they are convienced is right. Knowing the truth about a matter forces a reconsideration and even change. And when it comes to religion, men hate change, and cannot change without the Spirit of God working.

Own righteousness. Though Paul is talking about the Jews who had a misplaced zeal, his description fits the unsaved today.

They are acting in the way they are convinced is right, or that they have convinced themselves is right. They have established their own righteousness, and they live by their own standard.

They are unwilling to lay aside what they believe is right for what the Word of God has established as right.

They live by their own definition of Righteousness.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

In other words, it was not the Father who drew them. Rather, it was their own intellectual understanding that changed their minds. McDowell's book builds on this false premmis.

Have not submitted... The natural man not only hates the idea of submitting to the righteouisness of God, but he is unable to. He hates the righteousness of God, both as found in Christ and as found in God's righteous law. It is the Spirit who must bring about that submission.

Romans 10:4-10

Remember how this Epistle opened, 1:2. Paul said that the prophets pre-announced the gospel of grace through faith. So throughout this Epistle, Paul quotes the announcements of those prophets, and shows how they referred to the gospel of Grace through Faith.

Paul opens this section in the same manner he did in the previous chapter; in fact, throughout the book, Paul expresses his love for his people according to the flesh, his desire for their salvation, and his great sorrow that they rejected Christ. In the Jews rejection of Christ as their Prophet, Priest and King, they rejected the righteousness of God. This means that those who reject any of these three offices of Christ, reject God's righteousness, for his righteousness is found in the fullness of Christ. Reject him as Lord, and King, means rejecting his righteousness.

Those today who reject Christ's rule through his word over themselves have rejected Christ's righteousness.

He has pointed out that their great zeal for their understanding of the law and the prophets has only led them down the path to destruction.

The outline of this chapter goes something like this:

First, vv.1-3 Paul's prayer for Israel, who were misled by blind zeal.
Second, vv. 4-10 The difference between justification by the law and by
faith explained from Scripture.
Third, vv. 11-13 Salvation is open to all who believe, both Jews and Gentiles.
Fourth, 14-18 The necessity of preaching to the Gentiles
Fifth, 19, 20 God clearly told the Jews through the prophets of old that God would accept the Gentiles.
Sixth, v. 21, the Jews also knew of their own refusal of God's offered mercy.

Now we come to the second section, vv. 4-10.

Here Paul explains the difference between justification by the law and justification by faith as explained by Scripture.

Christ is the end of the law for righteousness... This cannot mean that before Christ, the law was a means of righteousness. Nor can he mean that Christ put an end to the law, and the law is no longer in effect in this Gospel Church age.

From the time of Abraham, the Word of God made it clear that "the just shall live by faith". The Old Testament Saints showed their faith by obeying the law, including the sacrificial laws. All of the New Testament authors, including Christ, made it clear that faith must be proved by works. As James said, faith without works is dead, which has been a true saying from the beginning.

The Jews were very zealous for works, but those works were empty, for they rejected the required faith in Christ.

Christ is the end... Three things:

First, Christ ended the sacrificial laws and ordinances that pointed to his own work on the cross. The law was never a means of justification; rather, it pointed to Christ.

Second, and more according to the context. The purpose of the law was and is to reveal Godfs holiness, and manfs sinfulness. Christ was and is the end result of the law---that is, the purpose of the law was and is to show men their need for Christ, as well as how to live to please God.

Third, Christ is the fulfillment of the law. He met all the vigorous requirements of the law for his people, both in his life and in his death.

Christ is the end... Christ is the end result of the law. All of the law pointed to him.

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

The law always pointed to Christ both before and after Christ. The law always shows God's holiness, and because of man's sinfulness, his inability to please God and his need for grace that is found only in Christ.

Romans 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

The end goal of the law is righteousness, but that righteousness is only available by faith in Christ.

V. 5, Paul starts his Old Testament proof that only Christ's substitutionary obedience provides salvation for his people. Paul quotes,

Leviticus 18:5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.

Those who depend on the righteousness of the Law will live or die according to its perfect requirements.

Vv. 6, 7. Again, Paul quotes the Law to describe the righteousness which is by faith:

Deuteronomy 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

The Lord did not place his law out of reach, nor make the law difficult to get to, nor difficult to understand. He put it on the level of fallen men. Who cannot understand the ten commandments?

Applying Moses to Christ, Paul tells us that there is no need for one to go to heaven to bring Christ down to earth. The incarnation did that. Nor can one ascend into heaven without Christ.

The Jews rejected that idea that The Christ came to earth. There are those today who deny the same thing. There are those who say that Christ must come down again in order to secure the world to himself. They thus claim that the Spirit of God is not powerful enough to subdue the hearts of men to Christ.

Certainly, we are promised the return of Christ for his saints, but that is quite different than coming again to subdue this sinful world to himself.

In Leviticus 18:5, (Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.), Moses described the legal requirement of righteousness---that is, perfect obedience.

In Deuteronomy 30:11-14, Moses describes the righteousness which is by faith in the Messiah.

In Deuteronomy 30:6, Moses clearly preached the gospel of Grace:

And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

No love for the Lord and his law, then no circumcision of the heart.

In Paul's typical manner, he used the Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament, to preach the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. He was not presenting a new doctrine, but one well established in the law and the prophets.

If he had not preached the gospel of grace through faith from the then known Scripture, he would have had no influence in the society of his day.

Note the words, in thy mouth, and in thy heart. The doctrine, or law, of Moses is in the mouth and actions. The promise was that the grace of God would circumcise the heart to become a new man in Christ. The new man will love the love the law of God from the heart.

Moses foretold that the righteousness of God would not be far off, but placed in the heart by the grace of God. The new righteous desires in the heart results in the desire for pleasing God in all the doctrines of God.

If Moses spoke of the law alone, his words would be useless, for no man can do the law that is before his eyes without the grace of God.

V. 7, deep... The deep refers not to the place of torment, but to the realm of the dead, Hades or Sheol, which was the world where Christ went when he died.

In these two verses, 6 & 7, Paul deals with the two points of attack by the Jews of his day, and of the skeptics of our day:

One, the deity and resurrection of Christ.
Two, the validity of the Old Testament law and prophets in the gospel of Christ.

Vv. 6, 7, Paul presents the very essence of the Gospel from the Old Testament. That is, the incarnation of God, which is God with us in the form of human flesh, and his willing sacrifice of his human flesh for the sins of his people.

V. 8. What saith it--- "it" being the word of God. "It", or the word of God, says that "faith equals righteousness".

Word is nigh... The gospel message that faith equals righteousness is here, close at hand. It does not require a trip to some holy place as is required by Muslims and other strange religions. We do not have to cross the sea, climb a mountain, nor take a long and painful journey to some "holy land". In fact, those who know the truth are commanded to take the truth to those who know it not, rather than the seekers needing to travel to hear the truth.

Which we preach... Paul again uses the words of Moses, and applies them to the facts he has presented about the gospel message of the incarnation and resurrection of Christ. The message of faith is found in many places in Mosesf writings:

Deuteronomy 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

and in thy heart... That is, the gospel is not merely a word in the mouth, but a principle in the heart. And the Spirit placed it in the heart, that thou mayest do it. The gospel must include action, or it is not the Christian gospel. James said, faith without works is dead. A faith that does not result in a love of righteous actions is not the faith that Moses and Paul presented. It is not the Gospel of Christ, nor does it result in life eternal.

Paul's reference to Deuteronomy 30:11-14 is according to the context of the next verse.

V. 9, note the order here as Paul follows the order of Deuteronomy 30:14:

First, your mouth, and then the heart.

The mouth is mentioned first because our faith can only be observed by others in what they hear and see from us. Even the Lord told us that we cannot say someone is saved, if we cannot see godly action in their words and actions. By their fruit ye shall know them.

The confession of Jesus as Lord is what it's all about. It's just not possible to accept Jesus only as Savior, as Redeemer from sins.

Those who reject any of these three offices of Christ, prophet, priest and king, reject God's righteousness, for his righteousness is found in the fullness of Christ. Reject him as Lord, and King, means rejecting his righteousness.

The heart is what it's all about. With the heart, man believes unto righteousness. But it must become outwardly visible because it is with our mouth we confess unto salvation.

The outward actions of salvation obtained under the gospel, is the same as the outward life obtained under the law, if we had we been able to keep the law.

V. 9, presents us with some words that create problems with some people, Lord.

This brings us to a hotly discussed subject of our day:

Lordship Salvation

Theopedia, An encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity:

10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 1 John 3:10
Lordship salvation is the position that receiving Christ involves a turning in the heart from sin and, as a part of faith, a submissive commitment to obey Jesus Christ as Lord. It also maintains that progressive sanctification and perseverance must necessarily follow conversion. Those who hold to the doctrine of perseverance of the saints see this not only as a requirement, but an assured certainty according to the sustaining grace of Christ.
The doctrine of lordship salvation has implications for evangelism, assurance, and the pursuit of holiness. The grace of God in salvation not only forgives, but transforms, and a lack of obedience or transformation in a person's life is warrant to doubt that they have been born again. The grounds for assurance include not only the objective promises of God (like John 3:16), but also the internal testimony of the Spirit (Romans 8:16) and holiness the Spirit produces in our lives (1 John 2:3-4,19).
The non-lordship salvation position is popularly known by critics as "easy believism", and by adherents as "free grace". However, proponents of Lordship salvation frown upon this usage of the term "free grace", as the free grace spoken of in the Bible both justifies the sinner and transforms the heart unto obedience.

The above definition is totally Scripture, and is well in line with what Paul said in Romans 10:9.

In other words, genuine salvation produces a willing love for and obedience to the entire word of God.

However, overwhelming evidence is that many who have professed Christ do not see that a key part of spiritual conversion is physical conversion. Biblical conversion requires a new heart, as well as new actions. Turning form sinful actions to righteous actions is required by the gospel as presented in both Testaments.

Sadly, many seem to think that conversion is simply a change of ones opinion of Christ and the gospel, based up facts they now understand and believe.

Lord... No Jew would make such a profession if the had not truly trusted in Christ. No Gentile would do this unless he had ceased worshiping the emperor.

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

It was Peter's proclamation that Christ was both Lord and Christ, that resulted in the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Romans 10:9: Both Lord and Christ, that is, faith in Christ involves receiving him as Lord, or master or sovereign. God has exalted Christ as King over all things in the earth beneath, earth above and heaven above.

Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In the first few centuries, failure to offer incense to the emperor could easily lead to death. Even today, saying "Jesus is Lord" in a Muslim country will most certainly lead to death.

And let me say also, that the incorporation of a church denies Jesus as Lord, and welcomes the State as lord.

And Christ...Or as the Messiah promised by all the prophets of old.

Paul presents two necessary things for Salvation:

First, confession of Christ with our mouth and life: In spite of all persecution and danger, we must confess him with our mouth: We must declare that we will be ruled by him, and him only through his word.

In the South, this was called, "The Good Confession", and many times the hope of salvation is based upon that "Good Confession". However, when it is just that, a confession with the mouth of a good thing and no more, there is no salvation. Even a drunk can make a confession with his mouth with no understanding of and trust in the finished work of Christ.

Second, believe in our hearts that God hath raised him from the dead.

Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

This faith includes all the doctrines of salvation, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and total trust in his substitutionary death in our place.

V. 10. Paul totals up the Gospel.

Salvation takes place in the heart, as the "heart" turns in total confidence and trust in the saving power of Christ.

That faith in the heart results in confession with the mouth, which is proved by one's life.

V. 11,

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Romans 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

The next section is,

Third, vv. 12, 13 Salvation open to all that believe both Jews and Gentiles.

No difference --- whosoever of v. 11. Whether Jew or Gentile, there is no difference. There is no difference:

1. In the penalty of sin---life or death
2. In plan of salvation---whosoever shall call
3. In the earthly results of salvation---holy living
4. In the everlasting home of each---eternal life or eternal torment.

Same Lord... V. 10, whosover shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, for their is no difference between Jew and Gentile. Christ removed the distinction between Jew and Gentile. The distinction since Christ is saved and unsaved.

Same Lord over all the redeemed. There is not, nor ever has been a different Lord over the Jews and over the Gentiles. He is the only head not only over all the elect scattered world wide, but over all men and creation.

Rich unto all, but not all. He is only rich to those who call upon him. His bounty is not available to all the world, but only to those who call upon him.

V. 13, again, Paul calls forth the Old Testament law and prophets, showing that in Christ the gospel call is to all, regardless of their race, nationality, or religious upbringing.

Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Joel spoke during a time of great turmoil in Judah; days of darkness and gloominess, clouds and think darkness, probably very much like our day. But he speaks of the glorious kingdom of God being established and expanded in that turmoultous time.

Continually, Paul shows that the gospel he is presenting is not new. It was prophesied from the earliest times. Joel could not have been clearer in his prophecy:

It shall come sometime in the future.

Whosoeve shall call on the name of the Lord. How could it be any clearer that salvation would be open to all who would believe and accept the gospel?

Whosoever shall call cannot stand alone. It must be based upon the context of v. 10, unreserved trust in the Son.

Moreover, faith and prayer are connected.

The next section is the necessity of presenting the gospel to the Gentiles.


Romans 10:14-31
Gentiles included

It should be noted that Paul used the Old Testament Scripture to present what has become known as Pauline Doctrine. Actually, Pauline Doctrine is simply Old Testament doctrine explained by Paul in the light of Christ and the gospel.

Romans 10 can be divided thusly:

First, vv.1-3 Paulfs prayer for Israel, who was misled by blind zeal.

Second, vv. 4-10 Using the Old Testament, Paul explains the difference between justification by the law and by faith.

Third, vv. 11-13 Again, using the Old Testament, Paul proves that salvation us open to all that believe, both Jews and Gentiles.

Fourth, 14-18 Paul presents the necessity of preaching to the Gentiles.

Fifth, 19, 20 Godfs acceptance of the Gentiles revealed long ago to the Jews,

Sixth, v. 21, the Jews also knew of their own refusal of God's offered mercy.

We are at the fourth point, vv. 14-18 The necessity of preaching to the Gentiles.

We saw last time that unlike the many false religions even of our day, the seeker does not need to make difficult journeys to far off lands in order to learn the truth. It is close at hand.

He does not need to go to the "Holy Land", Rome, Mecca, nor to some Guru on a mountain top.

As we read the account of the gospel going to the Gentiles, we see that the Jews were very upset that the Gentiles were now being accepted into the unique place that the Jews had held for many hundreds of years, as the chosen people of God.

Paul, tells the Jews that it had been prophesied from old that the chosen people of God would be expanded to include all who would call upon the Lord

Vv. 11, 12, whosoever, for there is no difference.

* all men are sinners
* all men are under the same penalty of sin, death
* all men are subject to the same gospel.
* all men are subject to the same results, peace or turmoil here in this life.
* all men are heirs to the riches of Christ through the gospel.
* all men are are under the same responsibility of the gospel, holy living
* all men are subject to the everlasting consequences of their decisions concerning Christ.
* all men are under the same Lord, for he is king over all of his creation, and all creation answers to him and him alone.

There are not nor ever will be exceptions, for every man will stand before the same judge and be judged by the same law.

In the previous section, Paul, again quoting the Old Testament, tells us that God's truth is close at hand.

Isaiah 29 has an interesting statement:

11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: 12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. 13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

In other words, people do not understand the word of God, not because it is to "deep" or "confusing", but because they do want to understand it

In this section, we will be told that all men have the opportunity to hear the gospel, so all are without excuse. Paul also said that in Romans 1.

V 13, whosoever shall call; the promise is the same to all. That are no restrictions, but he is available to anyone who desires to call upon him, identified as grace through faith. Paul proves elsewhere that the Spirit is the one who must give that desire to the sinner.

Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

V. 14, now a question: how shall the Gentiles call if they have not heard the gospel?

All the prophets spoke of the inclusion of the Gentiles into the gospel, but how could those prophecies be fulfilled unless someone preached the gospel?

How shall they hear without a preacher?

Here we are shown the necessity of Christian Preachers who will preach Christ everywhere, under all conditions and to all peoples.

In v. 14, we see that the lost are not to be expected to come to hear the gospel; rather, those who know the gospel are commanded to go preach the gospel to the lost.

The basic purpose of the Christian assembly is to equip the Saints to know their faith, and to equip them to reach the lost. Certainly, the gospel should be presented on the assembly, but the emphasis is spelled out in,

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

V. 15, Sent... Sent first by God and then by human instruments. Those sent must be able to speak by God's, authority. This is not to say that those sent without God's call will have no effect, for God honors his word, no matter who presents it.

Paul quotes

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feed 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?

(Isaiah 52 presents the context of Isaiah 53, which is probably the greatest salvation passage in Scripture.)

The context of v. 7 is Isaiah promising deliverance from temporal, or the physical bondage of the Jews under the Assyrians. The Old Testament prophets continually warned that sin would lead to captivity, and it did. First to the Assyrians, then to the Chaldeans, Babylon, which fell to the Persians.

Those same prophets who promised physical captivity also promised a physical return to the promised land, Palestine. That return was under Cyrus the Mede, as recorded in Ezra and Nehemiah.

Though there were other great empires that controlled the Jews, Greece and Rome, the Jews remained in the land until soon after Christ came. After Christ, the Hebrew or Jewish nation was completely removed from history, to be replaced by the Gospel Church.

The temporal captivity of Godfs people also pictured spiritual captivity under sin. The promised future deliverance into the physical land of promise included the deliverance from spiritual captivity. The promised land for the Elect was and is Christ.

In other words, Godfs people, or the elect, were carried off into captivity to sin, and through the preaching of the Gospel, they are delivered from that bondage into the freedom of Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:17-31

The original prophecy given through Isaiah concerned the whole of the Messiahs's kingdom. This prophecy includes all the temporal deliverance of God's people. But the promises of temporal deliverance are secondary to the promised spiritual deliverance. The return from Babylonian exile, to which there are many references, is only symbolical of something far greater, to which St. Paul here refers.

However, the vast majority of Christians today have followed the Jewish false teachers who have said that temporal deliverance of the "Jews" is taking place today, and people are being convinced to move to Palestine to live under the Jews' Christ rejecting religion, and continue to displace the honest owners of the land. Big money is being made with the false teachings concerning the Jews of our day.

The messengers, such as Isaiah, who announce the good news of the end of the temporal captivity, are typical of the gospel messengers who announce the end of the spiritual captivity. (William Shedd, Commentary on Romans, p. 321, 322. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1879. Klock and Klock 1978 Reprint.)

V 15, beautiful are the feet... Isaiah 52:7, referred to those who brought the news of the release from temporal bondage in the past. Paul applies v. 7 to those who take the message of spiritual deliverance world wide. They are advancing the Messiah's kingdom world wide.

V. 16, not all...

Paul has proclaimed the universal preaching of the gospel from Isaiah 52, but continuing in Isaiah 53, he tells us that there is not universal belief in the gospel.

He givens a very negative report of the receptiveness of the gospel and the preachers, laymen or preachers, go: Lord, who hath believed our report? It seems as though no one does.

Here we are reminded of manfs hardness in sin, and the absolute necessity of the converting power of the Spirit of God.

In these three chapters, 9, 10, 11, Paul presents the doctrine of Election. The gospel is only believed by those chosen by God, whether they are Jews and Gentiles.

In v. 16, we see the doctrine of Election applied. Though the message of freedom should be welcomed and received by all, it is not. People believe not because of sin; unbelief is not caused by prophecy.


Wherever faith is, there is also the word, but not the opposite, namely, wherever the word is, there may not necessarily be faith: for many refuse and reject the word.

But we are encouraged by our Lord's words:

Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

V. 17, saving faith normally depends upon the knowledge of the gospel truth. But knowledge of that truth does not result in universal faith, v. 16.

Christ not only appoints his preachers, but he also appoints those who will hear and respond to the preachers.

Faith comes through preaching the truth, and the truth is preached by the command of Christ.


I do not know how many I have talked with who admitted their gsalvation experienceh was not based in hearing and understanding the truth. Rather, it may have been the thing to do at the time, or it was because of the pressure put on them. When I would ask them what they heard and understood of the gospel then, it was nothing like the truth that leads to salvation.

Upon close questioning, I have found that most of those gsalvation experiencesh were simply experiences, with no salvation.

Paul quotes the astonishment expressed by Isaiah. Men refuse to hear and belive the good news. They gladly welcome and even seek good news about sports, about business, ambition, physical health. Go to the stock exchange, and watch the excitement over what is considered good news.

People watch and listen to the news reports in hope of hearing good news---that is, something favorable to them.

But Paul mourns with Isaiah, Lord, who hath believed our report Who has believed the good news of salvation?

My wife and I have been reading through Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 44:16 As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. 17 But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.

People go to the preacher looking for good news; that is, news that is favorable to them. If it is not favorable, then they go their own way.

Or they go to church looking for good news. Not the good news of God's truth, but something favorable to them. When they find a favorable message, the keep going there.

It should not seem strange that men are hardened to the truth. Their hardness was prophesied many years ago by men such as Isaiah:53:1.

The rejection of the report, the good news, is the result of the hardness of sin.

Who hath believed our report? Very few, but the kingdom of God continues to advance regardless of sinfs stronghold on the human soul.

Let me note that it was not lawful to preach to the Gentiles until God commanded it. Peter was called into question about preaching to the Gentiles. His defense was the letting down of the sheet with various unclean beasts in it.

Vv. 18, 19, in his typical manner, Paul deals with objections before they arise. "How could the Jews believe? They have not heard."

But the gospel has been published to the whole world.

Psalms 19:1-4 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,

Paul is stating again what he said in 1:20,

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

The call went out to all men, so the fault is with man. As Isaiah said, gWho hath believedch

Modern man might say, gI do not see nor understand the gospel from the heavens.h

Remember, both Davidfs and Paulfs words were given before the gospel was made clear by Christ and the Apostles. So we do not know how God used nature to preach the gospel without the word to the seeker back then, nor even now. But we do know that it was and is clear enough from creation, particularly from the heavens, that men were without excuse.

Today, with the truth in our hands, God has no need to reveal himself so clearly through Creation, though he is still clearly seen.

Paul tells us that the Jews were without excuse, for the truth was published throughout the world, even in the most remote parts. Romans 1 tells us that all men are without excuse for the same reason.

The next section,

Fifth, 19, 20. The inclusion of the Gentiles into the Kingdom of God was clearly presented to the Jews long ago. Here we see that * all men are subject to the same gospel.

The Jews could not protest against God for cutting them off, for they had been warned in the scriptures they knew so well.

Did not Israel know that the Gentiles would be included? This is more of a statement of fact that a question. "Didn't you know what the speed limit was?"

Paul points out that their own scripture told them of the inclusion of the Gentiles along with the Jews in the Gospel. Again, he quotes the Law of Moses:

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.

That is to say, "I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. As you have provoked me to jealousy with worshipping those that are no gods, I will provoke you to jealousy by those which are no people." (Clarke)

Moses predicted that by calling or inviting the Gentiles into the benefits of the Gospel, the Jews would be given to jealousy, envy and rage. And they were. The book of Acts, particularly records that rage.

No peoplec idolaters who were not worth being called a people in contrast with the people of God.

Foolish nationc they foolishly worshipped idols.

We might point out here that throughout the ages, God has provoked his people to anger by exalting pagan, idol-worshiping nations over them.

Remember, Paul is laying the foundation for chapter 11 where he explains the cutting off of the Old Testament covenant people, the Jewish nation.

V. 20.

Isaiah boldly and without any fear, foretold of the inclusion of the foolish idolatrous nations:

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. 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;

Paul seems to be dealing here with the Jewish thought that he confronted back in chapter two: "God would not dare to lay aside us, who are his chosen people, for the Gentiles. After all, we have worshiped the true God over the years. We have been given the Law of the Lord. We are the heirs of his promised blessings. Why would he lay us aside as his special people in exchange for a nation who has worshiped idols of gold, silver, stone and wood for all these generations?"

Acts 14:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. 50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost. 1 ÷ And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.

Acts 7:51 ÷ Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

I am found not because that pagan nation sought me, but because I sought them.

Isaiah's boldness cost him dearly. Jerome says he was sawn asunder with a wooden saw.

Hebrews 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

What we might have to endure here in the US for the truth cannot hold a candle to what the saints of old had to, and even do today, endure, not only at the hands of the Jews but at the hands of the Papists and the followers of Mohammed.

Sadly, even at the hands of fellow Christians. The early reformers persecuted and even killed many who refused to baptize their babies.

V. 21, God's offer to his people of old was not a one time offer. As one reads the Old testament prophets and what they spoke against Israel for his sin, he will find a great many offers of mercy. I am reminded of great storms rolling across the sky. Great, black clouds of thunder and streaked lightening striking the ground, and even tornadoes bringing all kinds of destruction. Yet even in the midst of that destruction, there are rays of sunlight, and patches of clear sky.

From the beginning with Israel, God continually offered them mercy if they would only return to him.

Proverbs 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
Isaiah 5:25 Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
Isaiah 9:12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
Isaiah 9:17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
Isaiah 9:21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
Isaiah 10:4 Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
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; 3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; 4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swinefs flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
Jeremiah 25:4 And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.
Jeremiah 35:15 I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.

disobedient and gainsaying people. Disobedient--unbelieving, or refuse to believe. Gainsaying--speak against or contradict, declare one's self against...

Compare with Romans 10:9, 10 where one must believe in his heart and confess with his mouth the Lord Jesus.

The message to the sinner is this:

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Because his hand is stretched out still to whosoever will.