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Bible Studies For Life

One Great Commitment                  SESSION 5                2 OCT 16

To get the correct context, we must start here. Paul wrote Romans while in Corinth. He was hoping to make his first trip to Rome on his way to Spain. So he introduced his doctrines to them beforehand. After an extensive dialog with an imaginary Jew, Paul is now making some critical points.

ROM 9:30-31 (Rom 9:30-31 RSV) "What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; {31} but that Israel who pursued the righteousness which is based on law did not succeed in fulfilling that law." A good question, but a summary question that Paul had answered in detail previously. “It” is the Law of Moses. Certainly the Gentiles did not “pursue” the Law. First: Israel never evangelized them to do so. Second: Israel kept the Law to themselves as a mark and badge of uniqueness. (Rom 2:24 RSV)  "For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."" Third: Israel never looked at the Law as a basis for defining sin as sinful, but rather as things to do to keep God at bay. Any Gentile saved before the New Covenant was certainly saved by faith. (Rom 1:16-17 RSV) "For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. {17} For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "He who through faith is righteous shall live."" (Rom 2:11-16 RSV) "For God shows no partiality. {12} All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. {13} For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. {14} When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. {15} They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them {16} on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus." (Rom 2:25-29 RSV) "Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. {26} So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? {27} Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. {28} For he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. {29} He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God."

ROM 9:32- 33 (Rom 9:32-33 RSV) "Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, {33} as it is written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall; and he who believes in him will not be put to shame."" “Men” includes the Jews!

ROM 10:1-4 “Brethren” here means the Christians at Rome. “For them” refers to unsaved Jews. Paul has a sincere and deeply heart-felt for his fellow Jews. There was hardly a person who wanted lost people to be saved more than Paul. He would have gone to Hell to save all Jews, if this was possible [which it wasn’t.] (Rom 9:3 RSV) "For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen by race." The problem with the Jews was not a lack of interest in religion or God. “Zeal” means a burning desire.

IMAGINE: They were “on fire for God.” This brings to mind Jesus’ word in (Rev 3:14-16 RSV) ""And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. {15} "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! {16} So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth."

BUT: on fire for God in appearance only [works], so they were lost. Why? Because they were not doing it (Greek) “in full knowledge.” [Faith] This is critical to our lesson. [This is just what Judah (and Israel) did in Isaiah chapter 1.] They had a great amount of knowledge, as Paul had explained in Rom 3 & 9. But it was not complete. Paul said they were “ignorant” which in Greek means not knowing. It wasn’t an issue that the information was hidden or that they were incapable of knowing it. They chose to not know it! Instead, they sought to “establish their own....righteousness.” NOTE THE VITAL POINTS: (1) They did not believe the Plan of Salvation required by God. (2) Instead, they created their own version of it. (3) God’s requirements were plain to know but they chose not to “know” it fully. (4) This made them LOST PEOPLE! No one can change God’s requirements in any way and be saved by God. It is not what we think they should or could be, be what God says they are. In verse 4, “end” in the Greek means a goal. Jesus was always the goal of the Law. Paul said it best in (Gal 3:24-26 RSV) "So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. {25} But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; {26} for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith." So how can some of our leaders both allow and justify Calvinism in the SBC is beyond me. They are men not in full knowledge.

ROM 10:5-7 The Law makes no person saved. Moses did discuss what it would take for the Law to keep a person righteous before God. (Neh 9:29 RSV)  "And thou didst warn them in order to turn them back to thy law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey thy commandments, but sinned against thy ordinances, by the observance of which a man shall live, and turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey." The Law states numerous times: (Deu 8:6 RSV) "So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him." But James says (James 2:10 RSV) "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it." So a person cannot be saved by the Law. The best the Law can do is keep a person righteous from the moment the age of accountability begins. But only if a person never breaks any part of the Law. Paul then says that True Faith does not attempt to create its own definition and structure of salvation. One cannot setup one’s own Christ or raise a Christ from the dead out of Hades {not Hell}. Paul used the words of Moses here from (Deu 30:11-13 RSV) ""For this commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. {12} It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' {13} Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' There is nothing a person can do to create a man-made Plan of Salvation. The grace of God’s Plan of Salvation is he chooses to consider Faith People as righteous even when they are not. (Gal 3:6-7 RSV)  "Thus Abraham "believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness." {7} So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham." Faith is from the heart.

ROM 10:8 “It” refers to verse 5 and the Law of Moses. (Deu 30:14 RSV) "But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it." Why would Moses say that? Just what was the law’s Plan of Salvation if the law itself could not save? (Deu 10:12-13 RSV) ""And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, {13} and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I command you this day for your good?" (Deu 10:16 RSV) "Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn." How does one “circumcise” one heart? Actually God does it based upon faith. The phrase “fear the Lord your God” is the same as “have faith in God.” Old Testament people were saved by faith. But not just any faith; Not by a zeal without full knowledge. Paul covered this point in (Rom 2:28-29 RSV) "For he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. {29} He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God." So what was the full knowledge in the law? (1) Faith in (Hebrew) “Yahweh your Elohim.” Salvation comes only by PERSONAL faith in the True God. The True God is the Trinity. The Trinity is three distinct divine Persons who are totally unified. (Deu 6:4 RSV) ""Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD;" In the Hebrew “one” here is not the number one but means a unified oneness. Unless one believes [personal] in the Trinity, there can be no salvation. That is the Law and the Prophets. So if one had faith in “Yahweh your Elohim”, then (Deu 30:6 RSV) "And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Only saved people can love with all their heart Yahweh as Elohim.

ROM 10:9 But Jesus modified this. How? Instead of faith in Yahweh, we are to have faith in Jesus, a specific Person of Yahweh. He is the divine designated focal point for the Trinity. (John 14:6 RSV) "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." NO ONE! But the Law’s Plan of Salvation has not really changed. Jesus just made it specific. Again (Rom 10:4 RSV) "For Christ is the goal of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified." But it still is specific and no person can adjust it to make it easier or simpler and still become saved. It is either salvation by full knowledge or no salvation at all. What are the major specifics that Paul is stressing in the context of Jews (and to us since Jew and Gentile are saved the same way)?

1.      “Because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord.” In the Greek there is no definite article with Lord Jesus. It may read “Lord Jesus” or “Jesus is Lord.” Since the context is also the Roman Empire, citizens and conquered alike were expected to say “Caesar is Lord.” Thus it should be translated “Jesus is Lord.” The word “Lord” means one ruling over you. Paul says to say “with your lips.” This means an open and real commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life. This is not the same as saying “I accept Jesus as my Savior.” Lots of people want to stay out of Hell and would freely accept Eternal Life as a gift it that is what Yahweh offered. But Yahweh says confess Jesus is your Lord. Without Lordship there is no salvation. One cannot accept Jesus as Savior and at some later time think about making him Lord and really be saved. A lot of people in SBC leadership positions, be it Nashville and pulpits, think you can. But such is not Baptist Doctrine, let alone Bible Doctrine. Dr. Herschel H. Hobbs stated often: “Confessing Jesus as Savior and Lord are not two separate experiences; rather they are two parts of the same experience.”

2.      “Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” The Father raised Jesus from Hades. Jesus did not get himself out of death. (1 Th 1:10 RSV) "and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come." A person CANNOT be saved if they believe Jesus got himself out of death. How many times does the Bible have to say something to make it true? One time! “In your heart” is specific and personal belief. However, see Acts 20:21. First repentance then faith.

ROM 10:10 Faith justifies and confession saves because the faith is Greek faith. Remember that Greek faith or belief has three aspects to be real as Dr. Herschel Hobbs always taught that the Greek word for “believe” (pisteuó) also means to trust in and commit to Christ Jesus. Thus Greek belief (faith) means to believe with the mind, trust with the heart and commit with the life. All three must be present or it is not Biblical belief. If you do not have all three, you have not called with the heart.

ROM 10:11 I must disagree with the Advance Bible Study quarterly and the Herschel Hobbs Commentary (and most commentators and reference chains) that Isa 28:16 is used by Paul in this verse. (Isa 28:16 RSV) "therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am laying in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: 'He who believes will not be in haste.'" “In haste” in the Hebrew is 2363. chuwsh, koosh; a prim. root; to hurry; fig. to be eager with excitement or enjoyment:--(make) haste (-n), ready. In other words the believer will not have made a wild act in the heat of excitement that turns out badly if the believer does believe in short order in the “precious cornerstone.” God calls the lost to have a thinking faith, not an emotional faith. Something like the old idiom “marry in haste, repent at leisure.” The main thought is a lost person may actually repent and have Greek faith shortly after hearing the truth about Jesus, rather than spending years in finding multiple excuses for not repenting and having Greek faith. “In haste” and “ashamed” are totally different ideas. The believer will not make a bad decision for repenting and believing quickly and living the One Great Commitment to Jesus as Lord Messiah.

            Paul used the word “shame” instead of “haste” for a special situation of his day. (Rom 10:11 RSV) "The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame."" Paul’s thought was that to make the decision for Jesus was not a shameful act as the Jews proclaimed. A Jewish family member who became a Christian was thought of a shaming the family by accepting Jesus as a man who proclaimed himself to be divine. The Jew who became a Christian was usually rejected from the family and the nation. Some pagans did the same. Paul’s thought had nothing to do with being in haste but to stand tall in the face of family and national abuse.

“Whosoever” translated the Greek to mean every single person, Jew or Gentile. "Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved." But is not merely calling for Jesus to save. As Jesus said in (Luke 14:33 RSV) "So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." No Lordship: No discipleship: NO salvation!  If one is not a disciple, one is LOST! Note carefully (Mat 7:21 RSV) ""Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." The word “Lord” is not magical. Without Rom 10:9, there is no calling.

ROM 10:12 But also note “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek”! Peter had earlier agreed to this at the Jerusalem Conference (49A.D. in Acts 15) when he declared (Acts 15:9 RSV) "and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith." But even more definitely and emphatically he said (Acts 15:11 RSV) "But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will."" Peter said Jews had to be saved LIKE GENTLES! He did not say Gentiles had to be saved like Jews. Fantastic! Truly Peter and Paul taught that for God “there is no distinction between Jew and Greek”! Peter meant that both Jew and Gentile will be saved through grace without the yoke of the law or the rite of circumcision. Paul said the same thing! (Rom 2:25 RSV) "Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision." Paul’s fantastic statement was (Rom 2:26 RSV) "So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?" And the precepts of the Law is summed up in (Deu 10:12 RSV) ""And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I command you this day for your good?"

ROM 10:13 Note “everyone who calls”; EVERYONE! But just not with the right words! (Mat 7:21 RSV) ""Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

            This calling is in the light of ACTS 20:21 and ROM 10:9-10. A real confession has to be totally honest and heartfelt. (John 3:16 RSV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

ROM 10:14-15 “Preach” is not a preacher preaching as in pastor, etc. The Greek means to herald (as a public crier), espec. divine truth (the gospel):--preach (-er), proclaim, publish. It is (Mat 28:19 RSV) "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"

ROM 10:17 Only by hearing and doing what the Bible says, will there be any salvation for anyone. Jesus is the only way to Salvation and ONLY AS HE STATES IT! It is to an individual as a personal action of repentance and faith. It is not something Jesus does for them.

We must reject Calvinism and any other deviation to what Jesus declares. (Acts 20:21 RSV) "testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance to God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

 

            A note about Rom 10:18. This is not a verse about people in Hawaii in Jesus’ day or any other place without the Clear Gospel. Paul is addressing the Jews of his day. The immediate context is from verse 19: “Again I ask, did Israel not understand?” Then Paul restated the idea in verse 21: “But of Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people."”

 

            The One Great Commission is to proclaim the truth and details of the One Great Commitment: (Mat 28:19 RSV) "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.""

 

Marvin Ganote, Hobbs Study Class, Adult Teacher. ganotemd@outlook.com Home Page: http://dma1.org/~ganotemd/lesson.htm