Romans 10:1-21- Godís Outstretched Arm

 

Intro The book of Romans divides rather neatly into 3 sections Ch. 1- 8 deal w/ the principles of Salvation- Sanctification & Justification

A) Ch. 12-16 deal w/ the practicals of salvation- or since we are saved - how shall we live

 

B) But that leaves Ch. 9-11 and I mentioned to you last week that some people have wondered why did Paul put these chapters in here

1) They really donít seem to fit - Paul diverts from his natural flow to talk about Israel - What is up w/ that

 

C) Actually these chapters fit very nicely in the book - they are not an interruption / but an illustration of Godís promise of Salvation

1) Paul uses the Jews the people of Israel as his illustration of the faithfulness of God

 

D) God has not given up on Israel - Saw last time - that ch. 9 reveals Godís faithfulness to Israel in His Past dealings w/ them - Showing Godís Sovereign.

 

E) As we come to Ch. 10 tonight Paul focuses on Godís Present dealings w/ Israel - showing His salvation

1) Next time look at Ch. 11 - Focuses on Godís promised dealings w/ Israel showing His sincerity

 

 

So Paul begins -V 110:1Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

A) Now this lies at the heart of the issue w/ any man in any culture - the main issue the main need is that He would be saved

 

B) Talked w/ a lady - having problems w/ her mother - answer - she needs to get saved .

1) Brother on drugs - uncle Joe who is depressed - your neighbor going through the divorce - what is the answer - they need to get saved

 

C) They need to come into a personal relationship w/ the living God -through His son JC /they need to know Him & give their lives to Him

1) We must never lose sight of the fact that this is mans greatestneed - greatest dilemma - Beg. Of the answer to all His problems

 

Cc) R. Stedman We can neverdeal realistically with life until we face up to this fundamental fact: People are not waiting until they die to be lost---they are already lost.

 

D) Man needs to Know Christ ! - Paul knew this & so he said I am continually praying to that end .

 

E) We need to pray along those lines as well - ( Hit list )

 

 

When I read the newspapers these days my heart is greatly grieved because of the violence & Heinous crimes committed by youths today

A) Sunday night I shared some stats w/ the Sun night group of how the US is the most violent civilized nation in the world For youths,.

 

B) The Homicide rate for teens in our nation is more than four times higher than the next highest country.

 

C) And the type of heinous crimes & murders taking place committed by teenagers is appalling

1) Read about the case of that 18 yr. Old High school senior - from Long beach Calif. Raping & killing a 7 yr. Old girl in bathroom in Las V

 

D) Or the family that was shot - by a group of teen age gang members in LA - wife & 2 yr. Old daughter were killed

1) Reason given for the shooting ? They shouldnít have been driving down our street. They were on our turf

 

The world tries to tells us what is needed is some type of reform - some type program - counseling - a change of environment

A) When we were living in Salem Oregon - small gang problem - minute in comparison to what we are experiencing here

 

B) City - contracted out to the group - Mer I Can - Led by Jim Brown ex football great - tune of 500,000 dollars bring their program to Salem

1) Consisted of having ex-cons who now worked for this foundation & were given open access on to high school campuses

 

C) They were to hold special classes - they were to be available to do counseling & mentoring w/ the students

1) What they ended up doing was showing R rated films in the class rooms & selling drugs to the students / not the answer

 

D) Remember yrs ago - Scared Straight - technique - again not the answer - You cannot scare a sin nature out of someone .

 

 

The answer is not to be found in any of those things - it is not in Changing a manís environment but it is in Changing the man !

A) C.S. Lewis - "No clever arrangement of bad eggs will make a good omelet."

 

B) So Paul says I am constantly praying for Israel - for the Jews that they will be saved !

 

C) Next Paul explains why the Jews are lost - v. 2-4 2For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

3For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

 

Paul gives 2 reasons why the Jews are lost - 1st They have a misguided religious passion / 2nd they have a misguided - religious purpose

A) 1st their misplaced passion - Paul says in v. 2 they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge

 

B) True even today that the Jews are an extremely Zealous group of people about their religion !

 

C) Perhaps the most noteworthy difference between an orthodox Jew

†††† and the average Gentile is right there. Jews take God seriously.

1) The Jewish way of life is built around God. God is the most important†† element in all their thinking.

 

D) They sacrifice anything and everything to the centrality of God in their national and community life.

1) Gentiles orNon Jewish people are a lot more casual about God

 

E) Even many Christians today are - very casual about their relationship w/ God - not much of a passion for Him or a pursuit of Him

1) Lack of Holiness / thinking I am in a relationship w/ the living God

 

F) But the Jews have an incredible zeal for God yet it is w/ out knowledge

1) Paul Himself was a good example of this†† Speaking of this zeal in his testimony before Aggrippa Paul said Acts 26: 9"Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10"This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11"And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

G) Then again in Phil 3 - rehashing his life w/ out Christ - Paul says v. 3For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,

4though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:

5circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;

6concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

7But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.

 

Paul had come to that Place where he finally realized that all his religious assets were actually his liabilities

A) He would need to take them from the profit side of the balance sheet and put them on the loss side

 

B) He needed to write them off as being worthless & put Christ in their place - He had a zeal but it wasnít according to knowledge

 

C) And there are many who we know who are the same way - they have such a zeal for their Church - for their religion/

1) they are sincere but they are sincerely wrong - Sincerity never replaces truth .

 

D) The Jews havea misguided religious zeal - they missed the whole point & they also have a misguided religious purpose

1) They are trying to achieve righteousness through keeping the Law

††††††††† Paulís point in v. 3,4

 

John Phillips sums up what Paul is saying here well Listen as I read this quote

The great enterprise of the Jew was to build for himself an edifice of righteousness in his own strength based on the edicts of Sinaióan utterly impossible task. Righteousness is to be found not at Sinai but at Calvary; it lies not in the acceptance of a precept but of a Person; not in servitude to commandments but in submission to Christ. To submit to God's righteousness means to lay aside one's own "righteousness" and acknowledge complete failure. This is something the Jew and all "religious" persons generally refuse to do. But without such submission a person is not only lostbut inexcusably lost since Christ has been revealed as Savior

 

Paul says that anyone who tries to come to God on the basis of some law is doomed to failure - because canít keep the law

A) Jesus made it even more difficult by saying it not just what we do outwardly that matters but also what is going on in heart

 

B) Anger - equivalent to murder - lust to adultery - so that we are all doomed - but PTL there is a righteousness of God apart from the Law - Through faith

 

C) Law was school master Gal. 3:24 - Shows us our need of a savior

 

 

Paul next shows that there is something that precedes an acceptance of Christ and something that follows it.

A) An acceptance of Christ is preceded by a coming to faith or believing the Truth and is followed by a confession of that truth V. 5- 10.

 

5For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them."

A) Now in v. 5 Before pointing usto Calvary, Paul would have us take one last look at Sinai and consider the problem of trying to acquirerighteousness by the law.

 

B) The quotation here is from Leviticus 18:5 and points out that in order to be saved by the law a person must live according to all the precepts of the law without violating a single one.

 

C) Should a person be able to do this, he would have earned his title to heaven.

1) The law said do this & live - Problem is men canít do it

 

D) Paulís point to his Jewish brethren is It is not the law that you must appeal to for righteousness,

1) it is the Lord. It is not Moses, it is Christóthe very One you have rejected.

 

Paul next quotes from Duet 30:11-14 to illustrate that although the law is very unattainable - Jesus is very accessible

V6 ††But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down from above)

7or, " 'Who will descend into the abyss?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).8But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

 

Kent Hughes - Rom. Offers a good interpretation of this verse ďSimply stated, we do not have to go to Heaven or into the world of the dead to find Christ. He is near us. Nor does salvation belong to the elite who have taken mystical journeys to Heaven or Hell. For those who knew something of the Scriptures (as the Jews knew the Law) the saving word was on their lips and heart. That is, the gospel of Christóthe word of faithówas (and is) available, accessible, and simple.

 

In v. 8 Paul says the word is in your mouth & in your heart- right there before you

A) The mouth is the outward man, the intellectual understanding of what has happened expressed in words;,

1) the heart is the inner man/the will, the mindthe spirit deep within us understanding the basis on which God saves.

 

B) And just in caseanyone miss it, Paul goes on with these clear words

9that 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.

10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 

Paul is pointing out to the Jews that Godís salvation is as readily available to them as it is to anyone - Simply through faith in Christ

A) All that is needed is to believe & to confess / believing comes before confessing

 

B) Heart = mind & understanding / but also our emotions

1) Our faith is an intellectual faith - based on true historic facts

 

C) Jesus is Lord - How Know? He said it ok / but then he proved it by rising from the dead .

1) Faith that leads to salvation is simply to believe that Jesus is Lord - God in the flesh & that He rose again

 

D) That is saving faith and it doesnít matter who you are it is the same for all and available to all

11For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."

12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.

13For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."

 

E) I love the simplicity of Godís Plan ! Paul says in order for any individual person to be salvaged from the wreck of humanity,

1) All he needs to do is to call upon the name of the LordÖ saved

 

But notice what Paul says next v.14 14How 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?

15And 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!"

 

Now, there are five steps involved in calling on the name of the Lord. Paul begins with that final step, the call itself.

A). Paul begins by stressing the fact that each person individually must call on God. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

 

B) The important thing, therefore, is to bring people to that place.

 

C) As we have already seen in the first part of this chapter, this is not just a routine matter. It involves the whole being.

1) The heart must be involved, that is, the inner consciousness, the deep conviction of the will.

 

D) Then the mouth must acknowledge it. There must be a willingness to consciously confess that Jesus is Lord,

1) there has to be a time when you personally call on the name of the Lord.

 

 

But behind the call is belief. Paul says, "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?"

A) So there has to be belief. That means the mind has to be engaged---the intellect is called into play.

 

B) I think this is important because so many times today we think it is enough to get the emotions stirred up.

 

C) Dr. Lewis Sperry Chaffer,great teacher"Men, remember, you have never preached the gospel until you have given people something to believe, something God has done that their minds can grasp, something they can use as a

basis for understanding what God has offered to them---their salvation."

 

D)NowBehind the belief, Paul says, is a message---something heard. "How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?"

1) Something has to be preached. Some message must come. Again, this is a very important aspect of Christian faith.

E) These days there are many new cults that are springing up on every side, dominating the religious field.

 

F) Often they make their appeal to some mystical feeling or philosophy, some idea that men have of what could work.

1)But it is notgrounded in any historic entity.

 

 

Now, the glory of Christianity is that it has a message that is grounded in history.

A) It is objective truth, not just something that happens inside of you.

 

B) It is not some feeling that you are following that you hope will work out;

it is the story of historic events.

 

C) Virgin Birth - miracles - triumphal entry - crucifixion - Resurrection - 300 prophecies fulfilled to the letter .That is our message.

 

 

Behind the message, of course, is the messenger. "How can they hear without someone preaching to them?"

A) There has to be a messenger speaking forth this message.

 

B) This is why I believe God has always used some object or person to convey truth and that this method will never be superseded.

 

C) Technology increases Godís plan of getting the word out will always involve men .

 

 

But behind the messenger,Paul says is the sender. "How can they preach unless they are sent?"

A) I don't think there need be any doubt as to who does the sending. Jesus himself said, "Pray the Lord of the harvest, that he may send forth laborers."

B)It is God who sends men. Great message of hope for the hurting .He calls out men and women and sends them into the far reaches of the earth.

 

C) I think that Paul has brought all this before us in order that we might understand what a wonderful and beautiful thing this is that God has done.

 

D) That is why Paul quotes Isaiah here "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!

 

E) High school - tight shoes / senior wall - Phil / Jerry / Ugly feet - God says I have beautiful feet

 

 

But what if all this is provided, but still men do not respond? That is the problem Paul is facing here, with regard to Israel in verses 16-17):

 

A) Though some of the Jews believed but not all the Israelites responded to the good news. For Isaiah says, 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"

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

 

B) Paul saying that " faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

1) In other wordsa strange reaction occurs when people hear this message.

 

C) The word of God is Powerful - But men have to put their faith in it - so do but some donít -

 

D) For those who donít does it mean they havenít heard - that is the question Paul answers in v. 18 18But 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."

 

E) Well did Israel just not know is that the problem no. v.19

19But I say, did Israel not know? know? No that is not the problem I sent the Prophets 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."

 

Also Isaiah

20†† 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."

 

God sent the prophets to Israel. He sent Moses and Samuel, Elijah and Elisha, Isaiah and Jeremiah, and all the other prophets in the Old Testament.

 

Through many years and centuries he sent them to this people---and

he did it in order to arouse them to jealousy through the fact that although they often rejected the prophets, the nations around would believe.

 

This would be true more fully in the day when the Gentile nations would

suddenly turn to God in large numbers while the Jews remained in their unbelief.

 

This, of course, is exactly what has happened in history. Paul singles out the specific principle here that God uses to arouse belief, even when people tend to reject truth---jealousy.

 

Amanda w/ toys - gets bored - but the minute Aaron of Amy come & pick it up she tries to take it says mine !

 

She wanted to play with it only because she was made jealous by someone else having it.

 

 

You see, God understands this principle in fallen

human nature. He even uses it at times to make people wake up.

 

This is why God pours out blessings upon an individual or a family, with one member of the family receiving spiritual insight.

 

He does it in order to make the others jealous so they will listen to him.. But God is using these events to arouse people to jealousy. Paul gives two instances of this.

 

First, he points out that Moses said that God would use a people far less intelligent than the Jews.

 

One of the striking things about Jewish history is the brilliance of the Jews. It would be impossible to list the many Jewish leaders in the fields of science, philosophy, literature, art, and music in our day. They dominate the field.

 

Over 12 per cent of the Nobel Prize winners have been Jewish.

 

Yet God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise

 

 

Then Isaiah came along. Not only will God use those who are less intelligent, he says, but God will use people who are less motivated:

A) The Jew is zealous toward God & the Gentile is not even looking for God yet He reveals himself to them

"I was found by those who did not seek me: I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."

 

But in v. 21 we see that God is long suffering w/ the people of Israel

 

There is a final stage of divine pursuit that is described in verse 21:

 

†††† But concerning Israel he says, "All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people."

 

What a beautiful picture of the character of God. Here is his patience---all day long! That day has stretched now for almost 4000 years of human history.

 

A) Four thousand years ago Abraham set out. Four thousand years later, God is still holding out his hands to this stubborn people, wanting to draw them to

himself.

 

He is not only patient, but loving. He held out his hands. This is the stance of God toward those who resist his will---with wide open arms, all day long he is waiting to draw them back.

 

Remember how Jesus put it to the Pharisees of his day? "You will not come unto me that you may have life."

 

And looking over the city of Jerusalem, he wept as he saw the stubbornness of this people. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How often would I have gathered you under my wings, as a hen gathers her chickens, but you would not."

 

With those sorrowful words, he comments on the stubbornness and the pride of people who will not admit their need.

 

This is being repeated again and again throughout the world today. God longs to draw men to himself.

 

He must somehow arouse faith in the individual. In order to do so, he sent messengers with a tremendous message, and still there is resistance to the will and purpose of God.

 

So the chapter closes with this picture of God standing with his arms open, longing to draw men to himself, admitting that the problem is a disobedient and contrary people.

 

I think the most amazing thing from this account is to realize that in order to perish, i.e., in order to go to hell, you must resist the pleas of a loving God.

You can go to hell but it will be over the dead body of My son !