To Everyone Who Believes
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is an end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Father, we thank You for Your great word. We ask, God, that You would continue to teach us through it, God. And not only that You would teach us to give us understanding, but, Lord, You would us Your word to compel us to bring the Gospel to those who don’t yet know it or have not yet received it. Lord, we ask for open doors, open doors in our communities, open doors within our families where there are family members who don’t know You, open doors in our workplaces to bring this good news of salvation. We ask this in Jesus’ name. And all God’s people agreed saying, “Amen.”
You can be seated.
Without raising your hand this morning, I would like you just to think for a moment, how many of you have a friend or a family member, a co-worker or a neighbor who you would like to see come to know the truth about who Jesus is? Don’t raise your hand; I just want you to think about it for a moment. As you’re thinking about it, hopefully there is a person, an individual that comes to mind, maybe more than one, maybe several family members, maybe a few different friends that you think, “I would love for that person to come to know the truth about who Jesus is. To come to believe in Jesus.” Maybe you’ve even had the opportunity to share the Gospel with them at some point in the past.
In the section of Scripture that we’re in today – Romans chapter 10, it actually started back in Romans chapter 9, we’ve already seen it – we are able to have insight into Paul’s deep seated desire for the salvation of his countrymen, the people of his own nation, the children of Israel. And as we come here to Romans chapter 10 today, Paul sticks with that subject, where we read in verse 1: “Brethren, my hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” My heart’s desire and prayer… Would you note first there in verse 1 of Romans chapter 10 that evangelism begins with prayer, evangelism begins with prayer. If you’re taking notes, you may want to write that down. But I’d like you to do something else; look in the seat back of the chair in front of you, you’ll see that there are prayer cards. Of course we’ve put these prayer cards in your bulletin each week so that you can give us your prayer requests so that we would pray for them. But I’d ask you to take one of these out and on the back of it, where it says “Prayer Requests,” write down the name or names of those people that come to mind when you think, “I would like for ‘so-and-so’ to come to the knowledge of the truth, that they would be a believer in Jesus.” I would ask that you put that person’s name down, or those people’s names down, and that you’d stick that in your Bible as a bookmark, and that you’d begin to pray for their salvation, because evangelism begins with prayer.
In Romans chapter 9, Paul began by revealing his deep desire for his own countrymen, that they would know the truth. It says in verse 1 of Romans 9: “I tell you the truth in Christ, I’m not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites.” So, Paul says there, “My desire is for their salvation. I deeply long that they would come to the truth.” But Paul’s desire, it didn’t end at just an emotional zealous desire in his heart; but that desire compelled him to do something. And the thing that he did, first and foremost, was that he began to pray. And I think that there’s every single one of us today that have a desire for someone in our life – a family member, a co-worker, a friend, a neighbor – to come to the knowledge of the truth. We all have someone in our life who does not know the truth about who Jesus is. Or if they know, they’ve not yielded to receive His grace for salvation. And so Paul’s desire compelled him to pray.
And so we see four things here in verse 1: Number one – he prayed, Paul prayed. Many times we fail to recognize the importance and power of prayer. We fail to recognize just how powerful prayer is, and that God works by prayer. You see some of us have determined that “well God is sovereign, and He’s going to do what He wants, and so I’ve have no part in the work.” But the Scriptures don’t support that. Although it is true that God is sovereign; although it is true that, as we saw in Romans chapter 9, that God has a plan and He’ll work His plan and He’ll effectively fulfill His plan; He still involves us in that plan by prayer. In the book of Isaiah, I mentioned this last week, that the children of Israel, during the time of Isaiah, were facing a judgment of God at the hands of the Assyrians. And that judgment would ultimately overtake the northern ten tribes of Israel, they would become the lost tribes of Israel, but then that movement of the Assyrian army would come down into the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Forty-six cities of Judah were destroyed; only one main, great city was spared, it was the city of Jerusalem. And when you come to Isaiah chapter 36 through 39, you see that the Assyrian armies have surrounded the city of Jerusalem. And as they do, in Isaiah chapter 37, the king, Sennacherib of Assyria, sends a letter to the king of Judah, his name is Hezekiah, and it’s basically the conditions of peace: “If you want us to leave, this is what you need to do.” And there Hezekiah, in Isaiah chapter 37, he brings that letter and he lays it out before the Lord, and he prays. And then in verse 21 of Isaiah 37 we read this: “Then Isaiah the son of Amoz,” the prophet,” sent word to Hezekiah saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria…”’” And then he goes on to explain, “this is what I’m going to do.” You see, there was the nation of Israel facing destruction, facing their enemy that they could not, in their own strength, overcome. Deliverance could only come from God. And there Hezekiah cries out to God, and God says, “Because you have prayed, I’m going to deliver you.”
Not just there in the Old Testament, but also in the New. As you follow the life and the ministry of the apostle Paul, you know that Paul’s life ended in Rome, and there he was as a prisoner in the city of Rome. You may or may not know that Paul had two different imprisonments while he was in Rome. His first imprisonment is when he wrote the letter to the church at Philippi. And in Philippians chapter 1 he says to them, as he’s there writing from a jail in Rome, he says in Philippians 1, verse 19, “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” So he says, “I know that by God’s working and your prayer, I will be delivered from this situation that I’m in.” And you know that Paul was delivered from that first imprisonment because God had more work for him to do. But he told the church at Philippi, he said, “By God’s working and your prayer, God will deliver me.” D.L. Moody, one of the great American evangelists of history, once said, “Where prayer is focused power falls.” And so there King Hezekiah prayed and God’s power came; and there Paul said, “Church, pray for my deliverance,” and God’s power came. And yet there are people in our lives who, they are in bondage, they are facing destruction, they need deliverance and salvation. “Where prayer is focused power falls.” That’s why I say take out that card, write down a name or a few names, put them down, and begin to pray, pray that they would be saved, pray for an opportunity to share the Gospel.
But notice, not only did Paul pray, but we see also there in verse 1, he prayed to God. He prayed to God. Now, that may seem to you to be redundant, because in your mind you might think, “Well of course he prayed to God. Where else would he pray?” We pray to God. And yet when we are instructed by Jesus to pray in the Scriptures, He told His disciples when they came to Him and said in Luke chapter 11, “Teach us to pray, as John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray.”
Well, Jesus said, “When you pray, say: Our Father who art in heaven.”
Not only in Luke chapter 11, but also in Matthew chapter 6, there in the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus was instructing people how to pray, in verse 9 of Matthew 6, He said, “In this manner pray: Our Father in heaven.”
Jesus encouraged us to pray to God in heaven. He also encouraged us to pray in His name. In John 16, verse 24 He said, “Until now you’ve asked Me for nothing in My name. Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.” You see sometimes we need to recognize who it is that we’re praying to. Sometimes we just casually pray, haphazardly pray, not recognizing that the One that we’re addressing our prayers to is the One who said, “Let there be light.” The One that we are speaking with, petitioning, He is the One who grants life to those who are dead; He is One who makes something out of nothing. And so sometimes we need to recognize just in the addressing of God our Father in heaven, we need to recognize who it is that we’re speaking to, and that we have a relationship with Him. We’re not just writing a letter to the president hoping that he may pardon someone who’s on trial. We’re speaking with our God in heaven, who is our Father. And so Paul prayed to God.
Thirdly, Paul prayed to God for Israel. He prayed to God for Israel. Paul’s prayers were targeted; they were targeted. He knew who it was that he was praying for. And that’s why I say: Do you know who it is that you’re praying for that they would come to the knowledge of the truth? Do you have someone specifically in mind that you are regularly, on a daily and weekly basis, lifting them up to God? You know one of the other reasons why I would say “write it down,” is so that you can see a very clear, visible praise when they come to the knowledge of the truth. You can say, “That person, who I’ve prayed for for six months, two years, ten years, they’ve come to faith.” The reality is that there are people in our lives who we’d like to pray for for salvation, but we think they’re beyond the reach of God, they’re beyond the reach of God, they just seem like they’ll never come. Well, have you prayed for them?
Well not only did Paul pray, and not only did he pray to God, and pray to God for Israel, but fourth: He prayed to God for Israel that they may be saved, that they may be saved. Paul’s prayers were not only targeted, but they were focused and they were specific. Many times our prayers are ambiguous, but they need to be clear, they need to be targeted, they need to be specific – “Father God, I pray for Joe, that he would come to the knowledge of the truth. I pray for Kevin, that I would have an opportunity to share the Gospel with him.” And so Paul, he knew who it was he was addressing in his prayers, he knew who, specifically, he was praying for in his prayers, and he knew exactly what it was he was asking God for in his prayers.
Well, continuing on about Israel, verse 2, Romans chapter 10, he says, “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” “They have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” Paul prayed targeted and specific prayers to God for the salvation of his countrymen, Israel, for they genuinely had a zealous desire and passion for the things of God. But their zeal was a misdirected zeal. They had a zeal for God, but it was a misdirected zeal. Why? Because, Paul says, “It was not according to knowledge.” For all that Israel had, for all that Israel knew, they lacked an exceedingly important understanding of something. Just what was it that Israel had? Well, again, go back to Romans chapter 9. Romans chapter 9, look at verse 4, Paul says, “My countrymen who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came.” Look at all the amazing things that were afforded to Paul’s countrymen, the children of Israel. They had the covenants, the promises, the patriarchs; they had all these great things afforded to them. They knew so much, and yet they were lacking in what was most important as it related to understanding.
What was it specifically they lacked in their understanding? Paul tells us in Romans chapter 10, verse 3: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” Israel’s zeal for God was mixed with ignorance; they’re zeal for God was mixed with ignorance. The Greek word for ignorance there is agnoeo. It’s the very same word or root from which we get the English word agnostic. So they were agnostic, about what? About God’s righteousness. Now the interesting thing is that like Israel 2,000 years ago, we are a nation filled with a whole bunch of really smart dumb people. Right? We’re a nation filled with a lot of really smart dumb people who know a lot of things about a lot of things. And they may even know a lot of things about religion, and they may even know some things about Christianity, and they may even own a Bible that they stole from the hotel that was marked Gideons. They may know all kinds of different things about the Bible; maybe even memorized a few verses, and yet they’re ignorant about the most important truth from the Bible, and that is God’s righteousness, God’s righteousness.
And not only was Israel ignorant about God’s righteousness, but they were religiously seeking to establish their own righteousness, by their own works, by their own religious things that they were doing. They were trying to establish their own righteous position with God. There in the 1st Century that was their way. But just as in the 1st Century, here in the 21st Century, that is the way in America as well. Many in our nation have refused to submit to receiving the free gift of God’s grace, the free gift of His righteousness in Christ. And instead they’re trying to establish their own righteousness by their own good works. And they may say to you, and they may say to me, as we share with them the Gospel, they may say, “Hey, that’s great for you. You have your truth, I have my truth. You have your way, I have my way.” But the Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is” what? Death. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by Me.” Yes, there are some people in our lives who, they have their own way, they have their own truth, they may have even heard the truth of the Gospel, maybe even they’ve come to church with you before, and yet they’ve not received grace for salvation. They have not been clothed in the righteousness of Christ; they’re seeking to establish their own righteousness by their own religious good works. And they say to you, “You know I’ve heard that Jesus thing; it didn’t work for me.”
And you may think in you’re mind, “They’re beyond the grasp of God’s grace.” They’re not. Have you prayed for them specifically, for their salvation? Or do you just think, “Well, I don’t know that God could do that.”
Again, this is the God who said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. He calls into existence things that were not. And so we need to recognize that we’re praying to Him on behalf of ordinary human beings who need the grace of forgiveness.
So Paul says of the children of Israel, but it could be equally said of our own nation in this day, “They being ignorant of God’s righteousness, seeking to establish their own righteousness, they have not yielded to the righteousness of God.” Verse 4, Romans chapter 10: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Even though Christ brought, through the Gospel, a new and better way through the new covenant, Israel had not yet yielded to being under God’s grace for righteousness. They’d not received that free gift, although it’s freely extended. And so Paul says Christ is an end of the law.
Now some people read those words: “Christ is the end of the law” – and they wrongly assume some sort of antinomianism. Antinomianism is a doctrine, it’s the belief that Christians are freed from being required to yield to any law. Because of what Christ has done in doing away with the law, they say, “We’re no longer under any sort of law.” And yet Paul, in this very same passage, the book of Romans, he’s not at all teaching antinomianism, because in Romans chapter 12, 13, 14, and 15, he’s going to give more than 40 exhortations about things that you and I as Christians should do. So Paul is not teaching antinomianism here. We need to read in context what it is that Paul says. He says, “For Christ is an end of the law for righteousness.” Those words are incredibly important – He’s an end of the law for righteousness. Why? Because Jesus, in His life and His ministry, He fulfilled all righteousness. That means everything that the law required, Jesus did. He was tempted in all points, like as we are, yet without sin. Even those things that maybe we would have looked at and say, “Oh, you know, You’re the Son of God, You’re King of kings, You don’t have to submit Yourself to that.” Even those things He submitted Himself to. Like what? Well, in Matthew chapter 3 Jesus met John the Baptist to be baptized, and as He came down to be baptized, John said, “I shouldn’t be baptizing You, You should be baptizing me.”
And Jesus said, “Permit it to be so, for thus we must fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus fulfills all righteousness. Therefore to be in Christ is to be clothed in consummate righteousness. What is that? To be a Christian is to be robed, as the prophet Isaiah foretold 700 years before Jesus came, to be a Christian is to be robed not in your own righteousness, but in the righteousness of God. And let me just clue you into something: God’s righteousness far exceeds our righteousness. Anything we could ever hope to do in the law doesn’t even come close to the righteousness of God. It’s almost comical to put our righteousness and God’s righteousness in the same sentence. It would be as if I came to you and said, “Scott, I want to give to you a hundred ounce bar of gold.”
And you looked at it and say, “Gosh, that’s really nice, but I have 101 ounce bar of pyrite, and I really think mine’s better ‘cause it weighs more.”
“Way… what?! They can’t even go together.”
And so God’s righteousness far surpasses any righteousness that we might bring to the table. But we read that Israel was ignorant of God’s righteousness. They were ignorant, unknowing, not because it hadn’t been revealed to them, but because their hearts had been hardened, and they refused to receive it. They were ignorant of God’s righteousness, and their ignorance is evidenced by their rejection of His perfect righteousness in favor of their own faulty righteousness. “I don’t want what He’s giving to me for free, that will be sufficient enough for salvation; I want to do it my own way, which will be insufficient.” You can only chalk that up to ignorance. That’s all you can say about it. And so they sought to make their own righteousness by the law.
But Paul, in Romans chapter 3, we’ve already seen this, verse 20, he says there, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be” rendered righteous, “justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The law only reveals just how sinful we are. How many of you have recognized that very personally? The law shows you how sinful you are. It cannot make you righteous; its whole purpose is to expose our unrighteousness. The law exalts the righteousness of God, and in light of His righteousness we see that we are not, we come nowhere close.
Paul continues there in Romans chapter 3, verse 21, “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.” That is the Old Testament looked forward to this; the Law and the Prophets looked forward to this. Verse 22, Romans 3: “even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.”
Well then how do I receive this righteousness in Jesus? Paul tells us there in verse 4 of Romans chapter 10, he writes: “righteousness to everyone who believes.” “…righteousness to everyone who believes.” Now, there are some people who read those words in Romans chapter 10, verse 4, and they say, “All right, that means universal salvation. That means that Jesus, because He died on the cross, salvation is for everyone.” But notice the condition – “everyone who believes.” And this belief is not just a mental recognition, it’s not just a mental assent to a fact, it’s actual trust. “I am trusting that what He did on the cross is sufficient for my payment of my sin and for my salvation.” So it is salvation, righteousness extended to everyone who believes.
So there’s one group within the church that fails to recognize the condition – those who believe – guys like Rob Bell, maybe you’ve heard that name. He’s one who tends towards a universal salvation position. But the Scriptures are clear, there’s a condition to receiving the free gift of grace. But there’s another segment of the church who fails to recognize something else in these words; there we read: “righteousness to everyone who believes.” There are others who fail to recognize the broad availability of salvation. Salvation is for all. The call goes out to all. And this is why it’s so necessary that we need missionaries like Larry. Men and women of God, the Gideons, who go out into the world, out among the people who have not heard yet, or maybe they’ve heard, they’ve not yielded yet to receive the righteousness of Christ. We want the call to go to all.
And then verse 5, Romans chapter 10, Paul says, “For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them.’” Now remember the context of Romans chapters 9, 10, and 11. They are seeded right in the middle of a book that is written to a predominately Gentile church in a very, very Gentile city, the city of Rome. And yet Paul, although he’s writing predominately to Gentiles here, he takes three chapters of this letter (although he didn’t make them chapters), but a large section of this letter, and he writes about the nation of Israel, and for the nation of Israel. Why? Because, although Paul recognized he was writing to a predominately Gentile group of people, he still longed to see his countrymen, those of his own people, come to the knowledge of the truth. And so he would patiently take the time to share the Gospel with those people who came from his own background, who knew about the law of Moses, who knew about the prophetic Scriptures, of the Hebrew Scriptures. And so here in this text, he wants to prove, from Moses and from the Prophets, that righteousness by faith and not by the works of the law, is Old Testament teaching as well as that which is taught in Christ. See, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 9, verse 20, “and to the Jews I became a Jew, that I may win Jews.” Paul spoke in the Jewish sort of language that they could understand, so that he might see them come to faith. But he also knew how to contextualize, and speak among Greeks and Gentiles. He would use among them their own philosophers, their own poets to seek to bring the Gospel to them as well. Why? Because he wanted to win as many people as possible. And there in Romans chapter 9, Paul makes very clear: his whole aim was to win. He was a good American. [laughter] We wanna win, don’t we?! I mean there’s no points for second place. We wanna win!! There are people in my life, people in your life, who they don’t know Christ yet. They, at this moment, are lost. We want them won to Christ. Amen?!
And so we see in this section, as we’ve already considered, Paul began with prayer. Next, a couple weeks from now, when we get into the second half of Romans chapter 10, because next week we’re going to partake of communion, a couple weeks from now, we’re going to see, not only did he pray, he preached. Prayer, evangelism begins with prayer, but evangelism cannot end with prayer, it involves preaching. It’s essential. And not just the word of the preacher, but all of us.
And so Paul, in seeking to win Jews, he says, “For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, that a man who does those things shall live by them.” Paul is quoting Moses from Leviticus chapter 18, verse 5 here, and what he’s saying, and what Moses was saying, is that if you want to live, then you need to keep the law – all the law. Do you realize that in the first five books of the Bible – the Pentateuch – there are, according to Jewish rabbis who actually have calculated these things, there are 613 commandments. You go, “Wait a minute, I thought there was 10?” No!! There’s 603 more!! And maybe you didn’t know 598 of those; there’s a lot of them. Moses says, “Hey, the man who’s gonna do the law, he’ll live by it, but he’s gotta keep it all.” The apostle James, in James chapter 2, verse 10, he said, “For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, is guilty of all.” You see this is why the law is so effective in revealing sin. Although we like to pick and choose which laws we like, and which ones we don’t stumble in, and we can keep those ones, we say, “Yeah, I can keep that first commandment, and that sixth commandment, but I’m having a problem with that eighth commandment.” You know, we pick and choose; you’re not allowed to do that, because if you trespass in one point, you’re guilty of all, and so by the law is the knowledge of sin. And by the law we recognize, man, we fall short of the glory of God, consistently and continually.
And Paul continues with the Old Testament to support this teaching that righteousness comes by faith and not by the works of the law. Verse 6: “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) or ‘”Who will descend into the abyss?”’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that),” Paul says, “(is the word of faith which we preach).” Paul again goes back to the book of Deuteronomy, Deuteronomy chapter 30, verses 11 through 14, and here he uses the words of Moses to show his own countrymen, the Jewish people, that Moses made it very, very clear: the way of salvation is not going up to bring something down from heaven, or down into the abyss to bring something up from there. The word for salvation is near to you, it’s in your heart and in your mouth, and Paul says, “This is the word that we preach.”
What is the word we preach? Verse 9: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be” what? You’ll be saved. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” This is good news!! It would not be good news if I came to you and said, “Listen, salvation’s available, but you gotta keep all 613 commandments to get it.” That’s bad news!!
You might say, “Yes, I will do that!!” The children of Israel did. Exodus chapter 19, three times they said, “All that You have said, we will do and be obedient.” It wasn’t 40 days, and they were dancing around a golden calf. And don’t think, “I woulda done better.” Right!! It would have been four hours. It’s good news. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
How does this work? Verse 10, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Well this just seems like a good New Testament teaching. Not so. Genesis chapter 15, verse 6, Abraham, the first follower of God by faith, he believed God and it was accounted unto him as righteousness. How do we receive the righteousness of God? Because we need the righteousness of God for salvation. The children of Israel said, “No, we don’t want the righteousness of God, we want to try and do it in our own strength.” Your righteousness will never, ever satisfy the righteous requirement of God’s law, so we need the righteousness of God. How do we receive His imputed righteousness to us? Well, “with the heart one believes unto” the receiving of “righteousness.” When we put our trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for our salvation, we are, as the Scriptures say, saved.
Well what’s so important about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus? Well, in Romans chapter 4, verse 25, Romans 4:25, we saw that Jesus was delivered up to the cross for our offenses. He died on the cross of our sins. And He was raised from the dead for our justification. That means He was raised from the dead to make us righteous. “He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be the righteousness of God in Christ,” 2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 21.
And so Paul says, “with the heart one believes unto righteousness,” but he says at the end of verse 10, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” and some people see there, “Wait a minute, that seems like what you’re saying is that there’s a condition that I need to confess something to receive salvation. That seems like a work of man. I thought it was just about faith.” Well, it is, because back in verse 4, we saw, in Romans 10:4, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” So what is this issue of verbal confession? Why is verbal confession necessary? Well I suggest to you that it’s necessary because the verbal confession is proof of faith. It’s not necessary to receive salvation, the verbal confession is proof of a new heart, the new birth. How so? Well, we’re told in the Gospels that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” And Ezekiel tells us, in Ezekiel chapter 36, verse 26, that when we’re saved we receive a new heart. And Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, verse 3 that no one can say with their mouth, no one can proclaim Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. So when you profess that Jesus is Lord, when you confess Him as your Lord, you are evidencing a work of God in the heart. Remember, Jesus asked His disciples in Matthew chapter 16, “Who do men say that I am?” And then He zeroed in on His disciples saying, “Who do you saw that I am?”
And Peter spoke up and said, “You’re Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus said, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, Peter, but My Father in heaven.” “That confession didn’t come from you, Peter.”
So with the heart one believes unto the receiving of God’s righteousness, with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Verse 11: “For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’” So again, it is emphasized in verse 11 that faith is the essential component – putting our trust in Christ for salvation is the essential component. “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Paul is now quoting the prophets; not only did he quote Moses in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, now he quotes the prophets there in Isaiah chapter 28, verse 16: “Whoever believes will not be put to shame.” But he goes even further, verse 12, Romans chapter 10: “For there is no distinction between Jew or Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For,” verse 13, “’whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved,’” now quoting Joel. He quotes Moses in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, he quotes Isaiah, he quotes Joel, showing that salvation is not by our works of righteousness. Salvation is extended graciously to us by receiving the righteousness of Christ. “There is no distinction between Jew or Greek, the Lord is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
One last thing before we close: Romans chapter 9 highlighted the sovereign calling of God. Romans chapter 9 reveals God working in the lives of human beings for salvation. There we saw, in Romans chapter 9, verse 24: “even us whom He called, not of Jews only, but also of Gentiles. As He says in Hosea,” God says, “’I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved. And it shall come to pass in the place where it is said to them, that “You are not My people,” there they shall be called the sons of the living God.’” So God’s sovereign call is seen in Romans 9, but here in Romans chapter 10, what do we see? “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And so we see God’s sovereign call, and we see man’s responsibility to call out to Him woven together in the Scriptures. And this call is for whoever calls upon the name of the Lord.
Evangelism, church, it begins prayer. Who are you praying for, that they would come to the knowledge of the truth? In a couple of weeks we’re going to see that evangelism doesn’t end with prayer, it goes from prayer to preaching. Just a quick preview; we see there in Romans chapter 10: “How then shall they call on Him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe on Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Would you stand with me as we close in prayer today?
Father, we thank You for Your grace that You’ve given to us for salvation. Without Your grace, Lord, we would be completely lost, but we recognize today that there are family members, neighbors, co-workers, friends who, they don’t know Your grace yet. They are ignorant of Your righteousness, and maybe to this point they’ve rejected it. But Lord, we ask that You’d stir our hearts, compel us to begin to pray for them, that they would come to the knowledge of the truth, and that You would stir us up, give us boldness to declare Your word.