Sunday, March 11, 2012

Romans 10 – Salvation belongs to God

[If you have ever shared the gospel using Romans Road, chapter 10 is the finale', the big finish, when you get to look someone in the eye and ask "are you ready to trust in Jesus as your savoir"?

My first experience with this came at age 20. I had spent my first year of college mostly out of church, and my second year slowly being drawn back to God. Hallmark then had a revival with an evangelist named Jerry Johnston. He had a powerful testimony of being delivered from drug addiction and attempted suicide, when he was saved at youth camp. Since he could speak about drug abuse and teen suicide, Jerry was allowed to present his story in several local schools and invite those kids to church for a special service Friday night, and each evening during the week he was preaching our revival at church.

That week the Holy Spirit had me under great conviction not only for my lifestyle apart from God, but he also made it clear that I was to begin serving God. One evening I realized I needed to equip myself to be a witness for Jesus, and this conviction was so strong that I stayed up all night reading through the gospels and writing down every verse pertaining to salvation in one of my college spiral notebooks. I had no idea what I was going to do with those notes; I just knew I needed to know more.

When the Friday night service came many young people from local schools came to hear the evangelist, and when he gave the invitation the isles were filled with over 100 people wanting to get saved. As you might guess, this response overwhelmed our supply of workers and within a few minutes the pastors were begging for anyone who could share the gospel to come forward and help. After resisting the first few pleas, I finally went forward Bible in hand to try and help. I figured I could manage to talk to one person with my newly acquired knowledge, but I was totally unprepared for what came next. They assigned me to a group of three 10 year old boys, who needed to know how to be saved. When I sat down with those boys I was so nervous I could barely speak and fumbled with my Bible so much it was like my hands had become solid blocks of wood. I found myself unable to locate or remember any of those verses I had copied into my college notebook. Though I knew you could share the gospel using Romans Road, I had no way to find it. And in my panic that night the only verse I could find in my Bible to share with those boys was Romans 10:1]

1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

[You may recall from Romans 9 Paul said he would do anything humanly possible for the salvation of his kinsmen Israel. Here he continues that thought sharing his passion and prayer for their salvation. It's not that these were bad people, or even ignorant of God; but they were ignorant of the righteousness that God had provided in Christ Jesus. They continued to toil under the hope that if they just tried hard enough the Rabbis could show them how to attain righteousness through the Law. But Paul has unraveled any possibility of self-righteousness through the Law in Romans 4 and 6. Righteousness comes by the grace of God and only through faith in Jesus; that is why he says that "Christ is the end of the Law". In Matthew 5 Jesus said he was not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. Every righteous requirement of the Law was met and satisfied by the sinless life of God in the flesh.]

5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them."[Leviticus 18:5] 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'"[Deuteronomy 30:12] (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, "'Who will descend into the abyss?'"[Deuteronomy 30:13] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"[Deuteronomy 30:14] (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

[So if a doer of the Law can live by them, would that not give another path to righteousness? Deuteronomy 27:26 says that 'Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them.' So a good man who kept most of the law and fell short in even 1 or the 613 laws would still fall short of righteousness (God is Holy). This is why Romans 3:10 asserts that "There is none righteous, no, not one". But Jesus having fulfilled the Law, became accursed for us so that we might take up His righteousness by faith.]

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."[Isaiah 28:16]

[Verses 9-10 I always tell people that there are no magic words in the sinners prayer. If you believe in your heart Jesus is the resurrected Son of God, and confess him as your Lord, you will be saved. This is the sinful will of man surrendering to the sovereign grace of God. Verse 11 recalls Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus"; where there is no condemnation there is no shame. The full illustration from Isaiah 28:16 is one of a builder, a hasty builder will throw up a house anywhere but that house will not stand the storm, ruining the house and shaming the builder. Where the patient builder lays a strong foundation with Jesus as the cornerstone; that house will stand the storm and its builder will not be ashamed.

Some people build their lives on the hasty things, the temporary things of this material world. Those people justify their choices with the hidden belief that they will not be judged. 1 Corinthians 3:11 says "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ". First be careful what you build your life on; then be careful what you build. 1 Corinthians 3 goes on to teach that our works will be judged or tried by fire, and the temporary things will be burned. Salvation is the beginning of a life refocused from the temporary to the eternal.]

12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."[Joel 2:32]

[No matter your ancestry the gospel is the same, those who repent and turn to the Lord, calling Him savior by faith, will be saved. Salvation belongs to God; it is not earned by man. Ephesians 1:7 "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace"]

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? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,

Who bring glad tidings of good things!"[Isaiah 52:7]

[Here is a call to action; we must answer the four "how's" of this passage. This abundant grace is available to those who call on Christ Jesus but How? How will they call on him? They must first believe so that they can call on Him in faith. How will they believe in Him? They must hear the gospel so that they can believe. How will they hear without someone to preach? They won't, it's that simple; but thank God He is still calling preachers and missionaries to preach. And the final how is ours as the church; How will they preach unless they are sent? It is God who calls but the church who sends, as long as God is still calling we must keep sending. Some people stay away from church during our missions week because they don't want to talk about money. Even if you avoided the missions conference, Romans 10:15 is still there waiting for you when you get back. How will they preach unless they are sent?]


16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"[Isaiah 53:1]

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:

"Their sound has gone out to all the earth,

And their words to the ends of the world."[Psalm 19:4]

19 But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says:

"I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation,

I will move you to anger by a foolish nation."[Deuteronomy 32:21]

20 But Isaiah is very bold and says:

"I was found by those who did not seek Me;

I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me."[Isaiah 65:1]

21 But to Israel he says:

"All day long I have stretched out My hands

To a disobedient and contrary people."[Isaiah 65:2]


[This passage is Paul's lamentation for the people, of Israel, who have not been saved. He quotes from Isaiah 53 a great messianic prophecy and asks why have they not believed? Since faith comes by hearing, they should be saved because I know they heard God. He quotes Psalm 19 where all creation declares the glory of God and reveals His marvelous plan.


In verse 19 he seems at a loss to understand why so many of Israel have rejected Jesus. He quotes Moses from Deuteronomy 32 where God says Israel left Him for idols but God will give grace to the nations. And finally he quotes Isaiah 65 as a condemnation of Israel. Loosely paraphrased it says for generations God reached out to Israel and was rejected, but to the gentile nations all He had to do is crack open the door of grace and the nations came rushing in to God. We don't control who will believe. Salvation belongs to God. All we can do is witness faithfully, and trust in God's grace.]



Name the 6 verses of Roman's Road and the theme of each verse?

Rom. 3:10 – No one is personally righteous before God

Rom. 3:23 – Everyone is a sinner (by birth and by choice)

Rom. 5:8 – God showed His great love to sinners when Jesus died for us.

Rom. 6:23 – Death is the cost of sin, salvation is the gift of God

Rom, 10:9&10 – We receive the gift of salvation by faith, trusting only in Jesus and confession him as Lord.


Does Romans 10:9-10 leave any wiggle room for Rob Bell's "Love wins", everyone is saved, faith is not required gospel?


In response to verses 14-15, How does the church send preachers and missionaries?

[According to the evident call of God, in the authority of the local church, with the prayers and giving of its people]

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