Romans 10 vv 1-17
Israel and the Gospel
Bible gateway link to refer to the verses in the NKJV
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Here Paul makes known his heart’s desire for the salvation of his fellow countrymen, the nation of Israel. He prays for his nation that they may be saved. He once was a Jewish zealot himself and has learned the truth about salvation for himself. Direct from the mouth of Jesus, so to speak. This man has turned from one complicit in murder to having a heart heavy for Israel. What a turnaround!
Paul recognises the zeal of the Israelites in their Jewishness. If anyone here knows anything about Israel, their zealous attitude towards their religion is still very evident. From sunset on Friday evening to sunset on Saturday evening is “Shabbat” the Jewish Sabbath day. There are no buses or trains and the national airline El Al does not operate flights. In fact they need the permission of the “Haredim” the orthodox Jews to operate any extra flights. They also regulate the food on the aircraft ensuring that it is all “kosher”. Recently El Al had a strike and the airline tried to catch up with flights on Shabbat to find that the Haredim threatened to withdraw their kosher meals certificate. If this happened there would be far reaching consequences of course. Even places that we stayed in which were run by Christians had kosher certificates, because without them, they reduced their operating base to exclude all practising Jews, a large proportion of the population.
But the point Paul makes here is that their zeal is not based on knowledge. Therefore it is all in vain. I will come to why this is later.
The Jews have failed to recognise the Messiah, and are still waiting for Him to come. For this reason they continue to attempt to obey the Jewish law in the Pentateuch and the traditions of the “Oral Torah” – which is considered as the authoritative reading of the written law. The observance of this law is considered to keep them pure and close to God.
Paul says that Christ is the end of the law. The reason he says this is because we are now justified through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Our righteousness can never come from ourselves, only through Christ for everyone who believes. There is only one way to Salvation, which as Jesus said is through Him. He said “I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except by me”. There are not many ways to God and salvation, there is only one way through faith and Paul understands this and grieves for his fellow Israelites. He knows that their eyes have been temporarily blinded. He writes in Chapter 11 verse 25-26 that “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved…” A view back in prophecy in Isaiah 45 v 17 “Israel will be saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation”
…Remind us that it is not for us to ask or decide who will go to heaven or hell. What is for us to do is to proclaim the word of faith:
…and I come to the very important verses 9 and 10 which I have printed out to put up on the notice board today.
This is not just about Israel’s salvation. This is about your salvation and my salvation. I am asking all of us today, where do we think our salvation comes from? If we think it comes from ourselves we are wrong. If we think that having a Holy Attitude on a Sunday brings us salvation – forget it. If we think that giving money to charity helps – forget that. If we think its about helping in the community – forget that. Volunteering for community service, like St John’s Ambulance, giving money to a beggar forget them all. They all might be laudable but they are all from the humanitarian church. The church that has been created by man, without spirituality to make us feel good about ourselves. There is nothing that we can do ourselves to save ourselves from eternal damnation. That is because the price has been paid by Jesus’ tortuous death in our place. We deserved death, but since putting our faith in the resurrection we now have life.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” These verses are paramount to the Jewish nation as the background is the good news, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Without this Gospel and individual belief they will never understand and commit themselves to God through the Messiah. There is no second way to salvation for the Jews – as v.12 says there is no difference between the Jew and the gentile and therefore the only way to God is through Jesus Christ their Messiah.
Make no mistake the Orthodox Jewish position is no friend to Christianity. It is as hostile as the Pharisees and Sadducees were to Jesus in His time on earth. The orthodox Jews resist Christianity and there is great persecution of bible believing Christians in Arad especially but in virtually every other place where Christians are known to meet. Tel Aviv has less of this attitude, but that is because it is a secular city and the people there are less zealous than in other parts of Israel.
Says that not all the Israelites accepted the Good News. That’s very true.
Faith comes from hearing the message. We cannot direct people to the Lord through showing love to them by good works. We have to tell them the way to God. We have to know what that way to God is for ourselves. We need to understand it clearly and not be swayed by denominational traditions about what does and does not sanctify us. Sanctification, that is our cleansing from our sins, comes only through the blood of Jesus Christ.
How many times when we talk to others about spiritual matters, and eternal life do we hear “I hope I have been good enough to get to Heaven”. This is because the enemy has spread a lie that we can be good on our own account and get a ticket to Heaven. There is not an iota of biblical backing for this notion. We have to get it out of our heads.
Only One Person has the “ticket”, holds the keys to death and Hades. Revelation 1 v 18 “I am the living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
To sum up I want us to ask ourselves where our assurance of eternal life comes from. If it is in our minds that we must follow a set of rules to find our way to Heaven, then we have got it so wrong.
These are the requirements: Repent and be sorry for – confess your sin. Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised by His Father God on the third day. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. Turn away from sin and live by the Holy Spirit who is God’s helper, promised to all who believe in Him.
3rd March 2007