Rom_10:1-3. Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
A fault — a pitiable and grievous fault — that men should be in earnest and very zealous, and yet nothing should come of it, because they spend that zeal in a wrong direction. Men would make themselves righteous. They would come before God in the apparel of their own works, whereas God has made a righteousness already, which he freely gives, and for us to try and produce another is to enter into rivalry with God — to insult his Son, and do dishonour to his name. May God grant that any here who are very zealous in a wrong direction may receive light and knowledge, and henceforth turn their thoughts in the right way.
Rom_10:4-5. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
That is the righteousness of the law. We are not under that covenant now. We shall never attain to righteousness that way.
Rom_10:6-9. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
How very simple! No climbing, no diving, no imagining, no long reckoning of the understanding, no strangling of the mental faculties. It is just believe God’s testimony concerning his Son, and thou shalt be saved.
Rom_10:10-11. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:
[Gentile] in this matter.
Rom_10:12-13. For the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
This was the old prophecy of Joel. The Jews knew it. It is the new teaching of the gospel. The Gentiles know it. Oh! who would not wish to be in that broad “whosoever,” that he might find salvation?
Rom_10:14-15. How 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! And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
So that, rightly looked upon, the humblest preacher of the gospel stands in the most solemn relationship towards mankind. His Master sends him. He tells his message. Men hear it, believe it, and by it are saved. Happy is the messenger. Well may his heart rejoice, even when his soul is heavy, because he has such work to do in his Master’s name.
Rom_10:16. But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
And what Isaiah says, many and many a preacher since has had to say. “Woe, woe to us for this.”
Rom_10:17-19. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know?
Did not the Jewish people have a time of hearing and instruction? Certainly they knew, and they knew also that the gospel was not to be confined to them. They had a warning that it should even be taken from them and sent to other nations.
This exposition consisted of readings from Isa_42:1-17; Isa_43:18-25; Rom_10:1-19.