February 18, 2021 – Thursday
Romans 10:1-4 NIV
1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
As we return to Romans in the verses above we can feel Paul’s desperate desire for his fellow Israelites to know Jesus. Even while bringing Christ to the Gentiles, he wants the Israelites to be saved as well. He knows their zeal for God, but also that their zeal is not based on knowledge. To make this clear he states, Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. They sought to create their own righteousness based upon their own works.
As a result they could not accept that Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Matthew Henry wrote The Jews built on a false foundation, and refused to come to Christ for free salvation by faith, and numbers in every age do the same in various ways. And numbers in every aged do the same because they believe they have to create their own righteousness and want to do so. They refuse the free offer of salvation without works, they refuse such a gift from a loving and merciful God. They want to be worthy of something they cannot be worthy of – none of us can.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible says this about verse 4 above, Christ – This expression implies faith in Christ. This is the design of the discussion, to show that justification cannot be obtained by our own righteousness, but by faith in Christ. As no direct benefit results to people from Christ unless they believe on him, faith in him is implied where the word occurs in this connection. Then adds, Is the end [culmination] of the law – The word translated “end” [culmination] means what completes a thing, or renders it perfect. Jesus does not do away with the law, He completes it as the law ends or culminates in Him.
The wonder of it all is that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes, Jew and Gentile alike. Vincent’s Word Studies says, Paul is discussing two materially exclusive systems, the one based on doing, the other on believing. The law was never meant to be the end, it was only meant to show you that you were a sinner in need of redemption. That redemption comes through Christ and no other. Paul wrote of this very explicitly in Galatians 2:16 where he said, Know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
What does it mean to believe in Christ? It means to believe what we read in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-4, Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. As a result, we become saved by A) Admitting we are sinners per Romans 3:10 & 6:23, B) Believe in your heart as we learn in Romans 10:9-10, and C) Confess He is Lord per Romans 10:9-10 & 13. All too often we want to make it difficult and some sort of works. Instead, it is really simple. We have to know we are sinners in need of a savior if we are ever to please God. For, as Hebrews 11:6 tells us, Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Help me always remember and know it is my belief in Jesus that brings about my salvation and not any works on my part. – In Jesus name. Amen.