Romans 10:1­-4

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, August 17, 2015 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:1-4)

What is your heart’s desire? Is it that your fellow people may be saved? That’s what the apostle Paul shares from his heart in the passage we’re looking at today.

He is continuing the theme of righteousness here. Each verse of this passage builds on the previous one, in sort of a stair step order. In verse 1, Paul longs for Israel’s salvation. In verse 2, he emphasizes that they have zeal but not knowledge of God’s salvation. In verse 3, he explains that this is shown by them seeking their own righteousness instead of God’s. Finally in verse 4, he explains why this is wrong, because they don’t have faith in Jesus Christ.

In verse 2, Paul talks about the Israelites having zeal. But what is zeal? That’s not a word I tend to use in my daily vocabulary. Google’s dictionary defines zeal as “great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.” In Paul’s context, the Jews have great enthusiasm for God, but they lack the knowledge of the change in salvation history that happened through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

As I wrote about last week, the Jews are still trying to use their own deeds to earn salvation, rather than having a relationship with Jesus Christ and receiving salvation as a gift from God through their faith. We see this in another contrast here: God’s righteousness versus their own righteousness in verse 3. Their own righteousness means here that they wanted to keep God for themselves, and not share Him with the Gentiles. After all, they are God’s chosen people, right? In their minds, God didn’t choose any other nations. But, He did! When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, that salvation became available to anyone who believes, regardless of nationality or any other factor. God has already done the hard work through Jesus; all we have to do is have faith in Him!

The Jews were guilty of two things: missing the change in salvation history through Jesus, and relying on their own works instead of what God had done for them.

What about you? Are you missing out on salvation through Jesus? Are you trying to rely on your own works, rather than what God has done for you? Don’t miss the boat like the Jews were; contact us today and we’d love to share with you about God’s righteousness and how you can have a relationship with Him.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.