Romans 10:1-21

Romans 10:1-21

by | May 25, 2002 | Uncategorized

Romans 10:1-3 Paul now focuses on Israel’s failure he begins by declaring his love for kinsmen. Paul shows us the right attitude one should have for the lost, even if we are the most ardent Calvinist. He had like Yeshua had a heartfelt longing to bring his kinsmen back to a true and living relationship with God.

His deepest burden was that all of his kinsmen might be saved, and his prayer to God was for their salvation. The word that is translated “prayer” has the idea of pleading, a persistent petition to God, like the illustration our Lord used in Luke 18:1-6. Paul was not making a hopeless plea that he did not expect God to answer.

He prayed because he believed God could save all Israel, if they would place their trust in their Messiah. Even though Paul’s primary calling was to be the apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13) that did not minimize his unbounded love for the salvation of his kinsmen.

In fact he saw his ministry as being used of God to provoke his kinsmen to jealousy to come back to their God. Paul knew that Jesus had declared that “salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22) and that “the gospel … is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

Paul always preached the gospel first to the Jewish people in the synagogues or other places that the Jewish people gathered (Acts 9:20;13:14;14:1;16:13). Yeshua’s last words as He was dying on the on the cross was a prayer for those who placed Him there, saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Stephen prayed with his dying breath, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” (Acts 7:60). That, too, was a prayer for his kinsmen’s salvation.

So too Paul had compassion and interceded for their salvation. Paul clearly understood divine election that without God’s sovereign power and grace, Israel’s salvation was not possible. He didn’t try to reconcile rationally the seeming incongruity between God’s sovereign election and a man’s willing faith. The decrees of God are absolute and certain, but it is a secret choice that He alone knows.

It is not our responsibility to determine whom God has chosen, but to proclaim the gospel to every person who will hear it, praying that they will receive the Good News and be saved. Our calling is to proclaim, teach, witness, and pray, fully believing with the apostles that “God our Savior … desires all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:3-4;2 Peter 3:9).

Paul prayers were motivated in part because he knew that they had a zeal for God but lacked the right understanding of the truth about God. He knew from his own experience as a Pharisee that most Jews of that day were very religious but yet far from God. As far as legalistically fulfilling the outward demands of the law, Paul was blameless.

Yet with the other Jews of his day, he did not know what was required for genuine godliness. He not only didn’t know the way but fervently opposed it, persecuting the church. The Jewish leaders had a certain degree of knowledge, an intellectual awareness of the external demands of God’s law.

They had a superficial religious knowledge that causes pride and arrogance (1 Corinthians 8:1), but they did not have or know about the godly knowledge that both comes from and produces humility and holiness. Paul prayed that the Ephesians would have that kind of knowledge as well: (Ephesians 1:17-18). True salvation brings with it a true “knowledge of Him” that opens the door to spiritual wisdom and enlightenment. Lack of knowledge is tied to lack of faith. Paul has already made clear that Israel’s failure in righteousness was due to failure in faith.

(Romans 9:31-32). Israel rejected God before God rejected Israel. The tragedy in the history of Israel was their failure to take advantage of the privileges they had by receiving the Word of God, first His written Word and even more tragically the living Word, God’s only Son, Jesus the Messiah.

This ignorance came because she sought to establish her own righteousness and refused to subject herself to the righteousness of God. Such a charge was a terrible blow to a people who prided themselves in knowing the truth about God and in being His chosen ones.

Paul makes clear that Israel’s most serious ignorance was about God’s righteousness, the central nature of His personhood. In light of having received the full revelation of the Old Testament, it is shocking to think that the Jews would underestimate God’s holiness and righteous perfection. But they had brought God’s holiness and purity down to their own sinful level, and their basic spiritual and moral flaw was in thinking that God was less holy and more tolerant of sin than He had clearly revealed Himself to be.

Through Jeremiah, the Lord warned His people, “‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24, emphasis added). Man’s only cause for boasting is in God’s righteousness, never his own.

But most Jews of that day did boast in their own righteousness and considered themselves pleasing to God simply because they were His ancient chosen people. For that same reason they thought the many rabbinical traditions they had substituted for God’s Word were perfectly acceptable to Him.

Not only were they willingly ignorant of God’s righteousness, but they also had no understanding of their own unrighteousness. They thought they were more holy and righteous than they were and therefore fully believed that any deficit in their own merit could be met by their own good works—measured by their own standard of righteousness.

Consequently, they felt no need for a Messiah to save them from sin but rather a Messiah to deliver them from their earthly oppressors, namely Rome. That heinous misjudgment and ignorance about God’s righteousness and their own unrighteousness was the basis for their whole system of legalistic self-righteousness. Through their rabbinical traditions they had brought the infinitely holy standards of God, which no man can achieve by his own efforts, down to a man-made level which they could achieve without divine grace.

Despite the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Old Testament, Jews chose to establish their own standards of holiness and righteousness and thereby did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God. They knew that Moses declared, “Who is like Thee among the gods, O Lord?

Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11). But they chose instead to submit themselves to the much less demanding standards of their own traditions.  Jews knew of the earnest entreaty that the godly King Jehoshaphat made to his people:

“Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the Lord your God, and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed … Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (2 Chronicles 20:20-21). They probably often intoned, “Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name” (Psalm 30:4), but in their hearts they praised themselves for their own presumed worthiness.

Righteousness and holiness are basically synonymous, but they can carry slightly different connotations. Someone has said that righteousness is “transitive, manifest holiness.” In other words, holiness can be said to be the standard and righteousness its active fulfillment. Or it might be said that God’s holiness is His complete separation from all that is evil and sinful, and that His righteousness is the manifestation of that holiness. He is “majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders” (Exodus 15:11).

It is not that any man can begin to fully understand God’s holiness or His righteousness. Yet that very inability to comprehend God’s perfection should be reason enough to fall down at His feet in awe and praise. Men are able at least to acknowledge that God’s holiness and righteousness are absolutely perfect and flawless, because He has revealed that truth about Himself.

As Paul declared earlier, “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:18-21, emphasis added).

God has also clearly revealed that His perfect holiness abhors all evil and that He therefore hates even the smallest manifestation of sin. That realization alone should drive a person to his knees in repentance, knowing that God’s divine righteousness stands in judgment of his own sinfulness.

The Jews of Paul’s day were not much different than most people of any day, including our own. Because men think God is less holy than He is and that they are more holy than they are, they believe they can achieve acceptance with Him. They measure both God and themselves by human standards of right and wrong and are deceived in both regards. The psalmist Asaph wrote of such self-deception:

To the wicked God says, “What right have you to tell of My statutes, and to take My covenant in your mouth? For you hate discipline, and you cast My words behind you.

When you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you associate with adulterers. You let your mouth loose in evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I kept silence; you thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you, and state the case in order before your eyes.” (Psalm 50:16-21)

The true God is not like the gods that men invent to accommodate their sinfulness. The boastful self-righteous “shall not stand before [God’s] eyes; [who hates] all who do iniquity” (Psalm 5:5), because “God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day” (Psalm 7:11).

The natural man abhors such a God, just as he abhors the idea that he is inherently sinful and stands condemned under God’s holy wrath. He much prefers a lesser god of his own making that will tolerate his moral and spiritual shortcomings. Tragically, much Christian teaching and evangelism today proclaim God’s love and mercy at the expense of His perfect holiness and His righteous judgment. People do not like to hear that, in His perfect righteousness, God condemns all unrepentant and unforgiven men to eternity in hell.

Not surprisingly, a weakened understanding of God’s righteousness brings a weakened view of His judgment. When we do not see God as He really is, we cannot see man as he really is. When Isaiah came face-to-face with the holy God, he cried, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).

When Peter witnessed Jesus’ miraculous filling of their nets with fish, “he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’” (Luke 5:8). When he saw Jesus’ awesome deity manifested, Peter became terrified of his own sinfulness.

When a sinner comes into the presence of a holy God, he becomes fearfully aware of his own unholiness. In fact, man can never be aware of his own unholiness apart from an awareness of God’s perfect holiness.

All other attributes of God function in concert with His divine perfection. He is love, and His love is perfect love. He is wise, and His wisdom is perfect wisdom. He is all-powerful, and His power is perfect power. He is omniscient, and His knowledge is perfect knowledge. He is just, and His justice is perfect justice. He is gracious, and His grace is perfect grace.

Not only is God Himself perfect, but He demands perfection of all men. Jesus’ said, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Quoting from Leviticus, Peter wrote, “It is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:16;Leviticus 11:44).

Only the most arrogant fool would claim to be perfectly holy. Yet perfect holiness is the only standard acceptable to God. For that reason it becomes obvious that, apart from God’s graciously granting that holiness, no man can hope to achieve it.

Romans 10:4 Because of their contentment with their own self-righteousness, Israel was blind to the truth of the New Covenant, that Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness. Yeshua taught an important truth in (Matthew 9:12)…”It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick; those who think they are already righteous and acceptable to God will be miss God’s true provision for righteousness.

That is why we need to understand the Law of God and the judgment that we are under so that we can turn to the one who can forgive and impart His righteousness to us. Messiah is the end of the law, or the goal of the Law for righteousness. Some interpreters believe Paul is here referring to the fulfillment of the law of which Jesus spoke of in Mattthew 5:17-18. Others maintain that the apostle is speaking of His fulfillment of the Old Covenant through the New Covenant of the Gospel.

Paul cannot be speaking here of Messiah’s fulfillment of the law because that does not provide anyone with God’s righteousness. He is saying that belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord brings to an end our quest for righteousness through our own attempts to fulfill the law. Instead we have come to the truth of (2 Corinthians 5:21) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (Romans 3:20-22).

Romans 10:4-5 The whole passage from Romans 9-11 is a criticism of the Jewish attitude to the Scriptures, yet there is no anger in it just a longing and heartfelt yearning for Israel to see. It is Paul’s one desire that his kinsmen may be saved. If ever we are to bring men to faith, our attitude must be the same. Because of their contentment with their own self-righteousness, Israel was blind to the truth of the New Covenant, that Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness.

Yeshua taught an important truth in (Matthew 9:12)… “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick; those who think they are already righteous and acceptable to God will be miss God’s true provision for righteousness. That is why we need to understand the Law of God and the judgment that we are under so that we can turn to the one who can forgive and impart His righteousness to us. Messiah is the end of the law, or the goal of the Law for righteousness.

Some interpreters believe Paul is here referring to the fulfillment of the law of which Jesus spoke of in Matthew 5:17-18. Others maintain that the apostle is speaking of His fulfillment of the Old Covenant through the New Covenant of the gospel. Paul cannot be speaking here of Messiah’s fulfillment of the law because that does not provide anyone with God’s righteousness. He is saying that belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord brings to an end our quest for righteousness through our own attempts to fulfill the law.

Instead we have come to the truth of (2 Corinthians 5:21, and Romans 3:20-22). Believers receive as a gracious gift from God what they never could have achieved by their own efforts. To verify the place of faith in God’s plan of redemption, Paul reminds us of Moses words in Torah that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.

The Lord also declared through Moses: “You shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them” (Leviticus 18:5). In other words, whoever relies on obedience to the law for righteousness is held accountable for everything that the law requires. Quoting again from Deuteronomy, Paul testifies that “as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them’” (Galatians 3:10;Deuteronomy 27:26).

The righteousness which is based on law demands absolute perfection in every detail of the law. For that reason, James says, “Whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (James 2:10). A person who fails in only one point of the law is just as lost as a person who fails in every point of the law.

Because of the traditions that had been developed over the years those practices had replaced God’s standard of righteousness that many Jews actually believed they lived in obedience to the law. We see this in the response of the rich young ruler who replied with all sincerity that he had kept all the commandments (Matthew 19:20).

Romans 10:6-10 – In His law, God set the standards for holy living which always required
heart obedience the promises to Israel were contingent on faith, evidenced by seeking the Lord “with all [her] heart and soul.” Paul spoke about this earlier, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3; Genesis 15:6).

The commands in Torah were not primarily a call to external obedience, but a call to faith in the God of mercy and loving kindness (Deuteronomy 6:4-5,7:7-9). Paul’s point in Romans 10:6-7 is that, even if it were possible we would not come to salvation by searching for Messiah in heaven and trying to bring him down, or by descending into the depths of the earth or seas to raise Him up from the dead.

The faith that God seeks does not require an impossible journey through the universe. Paul then tells us “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” In other words God’s way of salvation has been clearly revealed. God’s way of salvation is found in Romans 10:9-10.

Salvation and righteousness are received by confession and by faith. First, it is from the heart that we believe and trust in God and His Word concerning the Messiah and as a result are granted righteousness. Flowing from that when we confess with our mouth that we have trusted in Messiah and the righteousness that comes only through faith in Him, we are granted salvation.

Righteousness has to do with what we become, and salvation has to do with what we escape. The first has to do with the eternal life we receive but don’t deserve, the second with the eternal punishment we deserve but don’t receive. Our faith must be upon something not just a “faith in faith”. Two truths must be believed in order to be saved.

The first is that Jesus is Lord, the second that God raised Him from the dead. To confess Yeshua as Lord is to confess that He is the sovereign, ruling Lord, creator and sustainer of the universe. James teaches that even demons acknowledge the truth about God. They are orthodox in their theology. “You believe that God is one,” he writes. “You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder” (James 2:19).

Demons are monotheistic believe in creation and know all about Messiah. They know exactly what heaven is like and know that they are destined for judgment, and, knowing something of what judgment means, they “shudder.” In much the same way people may be well aware of their sin, be under deep conviction about it, and even have a great emotional sense of guilt from which they long to be delivered. But until they repent and trust in Yeshua as Savior and Lord they will not experience the forgiveness and reconciliation that only comes through Him.

The second truth that must be believed in order to be saved is that God raised Jesus from the dead which was the supreme proof of His ministry. At the beginning of this letter, Paul states that Jesus Christ “was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness…(Romans 1:4).

The resurrection demonstrated that He was victorious over sin, death, and Satan. We need to believe the resurrection of Messiah because it proved that He accomplished our salvation on the cross. Had Jesus not been raised, sin and death would have been victorious then we would have no hope of receiving the perfect righteousness that God requires. Without the resurrection, there could be no salvation (1 Corinthians 15:14-17).

Romans 10:9-10 both clearly state that true belief in Christ’s lordship and in His resurrection comes from the heart. The Hebrews considered the heart to be
the core of personhood and the residence of the soul, the deepest, innermost part of man—where thought, will, and motive are generated. That is why the ancient writer admonished his fellow Israelites, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

It is with the heart that man believes, and it is therefore with his heart that man determines his eternal destiny. Early in His ministry Jesus spoke the beautiful words, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Later He declared, “I am the light of the world; he who follows [believes in] Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

In both instances the positive and the negative aspects of the gospel are again clearly seen. In John 3:16, “eternal life” is the positive and “perish” is the negative. In John 8:12, “the light of life” is the positive and walking “in the darkness” is the negative.

John’s very purpose for writing the fourth gospel was that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). Belief in Christ brings an entirely different kind and quality of life—a holy life, a righteous life, an eternal life. It is with the mouth that man confesses, Paul says. Homologeoô (confess) has the root meaning of speaking the same thing, of being in agreement and accord with someone. The person who confesses Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9) agrees with God the Father, and that confession mixed with genuine trust brings salvation.

Israel misunderstood the place of this saving faith. So do many people today.

Romans 10:11-14 – Paul continues to explain the scope of salvation. The idea that God would have anything to do with Gentiles apart from adherence to Torah and the leadership of the Jewish people was completely rejected by them.

They believed that salvation was only by becoming part of them and their system. The Gentiles that had come to faith had always come to God through them, Ruth, Rahab, the Queen of Sheba and so on. As the leaders of Israel rejected the teaching of Jesus because it threatened their authority over matters of faith and practice so they rejected the teaching of Paul.

The idea of accepting Gentiles apart from their approval and oversight was just as, if not even more threatening. But Paul message that God’s salvation to all Gentiles was nothing new. Paul had already quoted in Romans 9:33, the Word of God through Isaiah from Isaiah 28:16 That the invitation was to whoever would call upon the Name of the Lord not just Israel; in fact Israel was to have been a nation calling the Gentiles to God as part of Israel’s covenant with God in Exodus 19:6.

God is sovereign and no one come to God apart from His call yet that truth is a balanced with His promise that whoever believes in God will not be disappointed. The barrier to eternal life is not racial or cultural but a personal rejection of the God who offers it. People perish because they refuse to “receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

But that kind of universal invitation was abhorrent to the leaders of Israel. This failure to be a light to the nations would be their undoing, just as our hard and unforgiving hearts are our undoing as well.

This hostility at the time of Messiah caused Jews to shake the dust from their robes and feet, when they came from foreign lands lest they carry any defiled earth into their land. They would not enter a Gentile house, eat or drink or eat with Gentiles, and avoid even touching them.

Every morning many Jewish men would pray, “I thank God that I am not a woman, a slave, or a Gentile.” So the work of Paul was really the work of Israel, and it still is, the Gentiles have been grafted in to Israel and are doing the work that Israel was and still is called to do. Then Gentiles are to share the Gospel with all peoples but as Paul points out it should be to the Jew first as Paul stated in Romans 1:16.

The Jewish people today see Christianity as a religion of the Gentiles and while they will acknowledge that it is fine for the Gentiles since it brings them to the Noahic laws as cited by the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15:6ff, they see it as something not for the Jewish people as is evident by the reaction of the modern state of Israel, where most Jews, still strongly resent and oppose Christian missionary work, they view Christianity as a Gentile religion that is specifically “against [their] people, and the Law” (Acts 21:28).

The idea that God makes no distinction between Jew and Gentiles and that the Lord is abounding in riches for all who call upon Him is not something fully understood or embraced. The Good News was that Gentile believers were now part of the commonwealth of Israel through the blood of Messiah, who made both groups to be one” (Ephesians 2:11-13). This was the great mystery of God that was entrusted to Paul to (Ephesians 3:1). Paul cites the prophet Joel to further establish this truth (Joel 2:32 NIV) And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.

Romans 10:14-17 Paul then asks the logical question of how can faith come unless they know what to place their faith in? The message must be clear if saving faith is to come. We are not asked to make a leap of faith but to understand what we are to believe.

This is why we should do all that we can to prepare ourselves with the message that brings life. This preparation and response by us is accompanied with a promise of blessing from the Scriptures (Isaiah 52:7 NIV) How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”.

The message was going out through Paul and the disciples and sadly reports the response of those who were hearing the message in Romans 10:16. He quotes from Isaiah 53 who prophesied the response of the message of Good News. They have chosen not to respond to the message and have placed themselves under God’s judgment. We have a responsibility in experiencing eternal life and that is to be believe the Good News both sides are involved as John 3:16 so beautifully tells us.

Romans 10:18 – The natural question that is on the lips of everyone is what if they never hear, how can they be condemned? But Paul’s response is that everyone has heard their voice has gone out into the world, to the ends of the earth. This is spoken of in the Psalm 19:1-4 where David declares that “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; that creation speaks the message of the Good News that holds men just as accountable.

Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard” (Romans 10:1-3). Their voice and their words refer to God’s revelation of Himself that has gone out into all the earth and has been proclaimed to the ends of the world—to all men and women who have ever or will ever live. That is the same truth Paul emphasizes so strongly in the first chapter of Romans.

For “those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they [unbelievers] are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20). All men have both internal and external evidence of God. Just as the heavenly bodies touch all the earth and extend to the ends of the world with God’s natural revelation, so His gospel touches all the earth and extends to the ends of the world with His special revelation. God cannot be unfair or unjust.

Those who refuse to trust in Him do so because they “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romanshe way of salvation has always been offered to all men everywhere. As the Lord graciously promised through Jeremiah, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). God’s absolute and universal assurance to all men is that no person who sincerely seeks for Him will fail to find Him.

The incarnate Christ “was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man” (John 1:9, emphasis added), and the incarnate Christ Himself declared that “this gospel of [His] kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations” (Matthew 24:14). Even in the first century Paul could therefore declare, “the word of truth, the gospel … has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing” .

(Colossians 1:5). Although the apostle was probably speaking here only of the part of “the world” to which the full gospel had been proclaimed, the benefit of the gospel was available to all the earth and the ends of the world. In Romans 10:11-18, Paul affirms that the Gospel is not just one more local invention or one more pagan mystery religion but is the good news of salvation that God always has sought to be proclaimed to every nation and to every person, Jew and Gentile alike.

It is that universal extent of the gospel that caused many Jews to reject Jesus as their Messiah. The Pharisees reprimanded the officers who reported Jesus’ authoritative teaching and work, arrogantly saying, “No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he?” (John 7:48). In other words, an ordinary Jew was presumptuous to believe and trust in a Messiah who was not recognized by their religious leaders. Tragically, many Jews today reject Jesus as their Messiah for the same foolish reason.

When Galileo was summoned before the Roman Catholic inquisition for teaching that the earth revolved around the sun rather than the sun around the earth, he was charged with heresy. When he offered to demonstrate the truth of his findings by having them look through his telescope, they refused. Their minds were already made up, and they refused even to consider evidence to the contrary. With that same obstinacy, most of Israel, from New Testament times to the present, have refused even to consider the claims of the gospel. Consequently, they have failed to know God, Jesus Christ, and saving faith.

Romans 10:19-21 – Finally, Paul points out that Israel ignored the truth found in their own Scriptures. Quoting another part of the Torah, Paul tells how Moses had prophesied that God would . . . “make (Israel) you jealous by that which is not a nation, by a nation without understanding will I anger you” (see Deuteronomy 32:21).

This is also alluded to in the parable that Yeshua taught in Matthew 21:33. Then Paul gives us another quote from Isaiah 65:1, which also speaks to this same thought. Israel’s rejection of her Messiah came as no surprise to God. The Lord states further that He has continually stretched out His arm to lost Israel. Still another parable alludes to this same truth in Luke 14:21-24. God’s steadfast love for Israel is stated by Messiah as He came to Jerusalem for the last time before his crucifixion in Matthew 23:37.

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