What glorious truths are found in Romans 9-11! It’s like a treasure hunt, and the golden nuggets are invaluable! I hope you are enjoying this week’s study as we examine the Jewish roots of our Christian faith. We’re headed into Romans 10 today, but if you missed the previous two posts, I recommend you back up and catch them so that you get the fullness of today’s lesson.
Paul opens Chapter 10 driving home the idea that righteousness and salvation are attained by faith alone, not by works. Then, he cuts straight to the chase in verses 9-10:
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
That’s as plain and simple as it gets! In fact, if you are following this study (or you simply stumbled upon this post) and you have tried to gain God’s acceptance through anything but simple faith, it is not a coincident that you are here! He is speaking to you this very moment! Our Lord longs for relationship with you and you can do nothing to earn it. Salvation truly is simple: confess and believe! (Click here for more guidance about how to be saved.)
Salvation is the same for everyone…Jews or Gentiles. Paul goes on to explain that in verses 12-13 of Romans:
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
However, verses 14-21 allude to the difficulty of the Jewish people in understanding and trusting in faith alone. To call upon God, they must believe. To believe, they must they must hear. To hear, there must be a preacher. Preachers must be sent.
Well, throughout history, God sent “preachers.” They were called prophets in the Old Testament! Men such as Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah and others foretold of Christ the Messiah who would come to the Jews. The preachers came…and the Jewish people heard. Yet, they did not simply believe by faith. Instead, they tried to keep the law of Moses.
Verse 15 talks about the beautiful feet of those who bring good news (the Gospel). The Gospel is all about faith and nothing more. I want beautiful feet, how about you? I want to share the good news with others (including Jews). May we all yearn for beautiful feet!
Allow me to divert for a moment. Sadly, there are very large Christian organizations (such as Christians United for Israel [John Hagee, who denies Jesus as Messiah] and International Fellowship of Christians and Jews [Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein]) who wholeheartedly love Israel and care for the Jewish people, but WILL NOT “preach the Gospel” to them. (I’m not suggesting obnoxious “in your face” evangelism that is unnecessarily offensive, but about intentionally taking the opportunities God gives to share the love of Christ both in word and deed.) How sad that the very key thing Paul teaches about regarding Jewish-Christian relations is not innocently overlooked, but intentionally set aside. (You can find out about Jewish-related ministries and their sometimes veiled objectives here.)
Romans 10:19 compels us to be a nation (people group) willing to show the love of Messiah, in order to make the Jewish people jealous. Let’s practice what God’s Word commands!
We’re headed for Romans 11 tomorrow, and it gets REALLY good at that point! So, here’s your homework: go read that chapter, then join us here again tomorrow as we launch into that chapter!
UPDATE: Friends, I just watched a video that corresponds so closely with our study this week about Christian-Jewish relations. Tune into an interview with Eitan Shishkoff, an American-born “hippie Jew,” who now lives and ministers in Israel. He has incredible insight into Jewish-Christian relations. Catch the interview at the 1:19:50 mark here:
(Christ Revealed is a 9-part documentary, with a single episode released each day. This was Day 9, and I believe the video is available only until 6:00pm Pacific time today.)