"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer"
Paul returns to the theme which opened chapter 9--his strong desire
that Israel come to understand the gospel. The untranslated particle
men correlates his statement with the previous passage recognizing that Israel
has stumbled at the rock of offense:
"Brothers, [men = surely, nevertheless] the desire of my heart . . ."
A Passionate Prayer
DEhsis meaning a
-- a passionate prayer.
This topic is near and dear to Paul's heart!
10:2 - Zeal without Knowledge
"not according to knowledge"
ePIgnōsis:"intense religious or moral knowledge that is true."
The zeal of the Jews was not in accordance with real knowledge.
A Double-Edged Sword
God wants us to have zeal
( John 2:17 )
, but not apart from knowledge.
10:3 - Righteousness of God
"they being ignorant"
"While being ignorant"
agnoOUntes: an ongoing, present-tense ignorance. They were remaining ignorant.
This is the word from which we derive
"God's righteousness . . . their own righteousness"
The Greek text compares the
"of God righteousness"
"of own righteousness."
The righteousness in both these phrases is best understood as the
self (objective genitives).
The righteousness pertaining to God is
whereas the righteousness pertaining to man is
nonexistent ( Isa. 64:6 )
. Righteousness involves not just
Man's righteousness fails on both counts.
"seeking to establish their own righteousness"
Ignorance of God's righteousness is a
for even presuming to put forth our own righteousness!
Those who trust in their own righteousness have not even begun to see God
10:3 - Have Not Submitted
"have not submitted"
hypoTASsō, a compound word made up of
HYpo (under, beneath)
TASsō (to appoint, order). This was a Greek military term meaning
"to arrange in divisions."
In non-military use it indicated a voluntary
"the righteousness of God"
This speaks of righteousness
God (subjective genitive). This righteousness, true righteousness,
cannot be provided by man!
This is the dividing line between Christianity and every other religion!
Christianity alone recognizes man's total inability to please God requiring
that righteousness, which cannot be earned, be given to man as a free
gift by God.
10:4 - End of the Law
"Christ is the end of the law"
The order of wording in the Greek emphasizes
by promoting it to the beginning of the sentence:
"For the END of the law [is] Christ . . ."
TElos which can mean:
- that to which the law leads
- Christ fulfilled the law
- the law has come to an end as a means of righteousness
The immediate context, and the fact that the Mosaic Covenant was broken and
has become obsolete
TElos to mean that the law has been
as a means of righteousness.
The law is not a means of obtaining righteousness before God. However, the
"holy and just and good"
( Rom. 7:12 )
. Even after Christ, freedom remains to
the law. For example, the Apostle Paul took a Nazirite vow
( Acts 18:18 )
, he was purified and paid vows for four men
( Acts 21:24 )
, and for practical ministry reasons he circumcised Timothy
who had a Jewish mother but a Greek father
( Acts 16:3 )
The freedom to practice the law is clearly set forth in the NT
( Rom. 14:5-6 )
"to everyone who believes"
Believers, those who trust in Christ Who kept the law,
will not be judged by their ability to keep the law.
the works of unbelievers are still judged by the law( Rev. 20:12-13 )
Lacking true righteousness
, they will be condemned
by their inability to keep the law.
This is why the Ark of the Testimony, containing the tablets of the law,
is highlighted during God's final outpouring of wrath
of man's unrighteousness.
10:5 - Righteousness of the Law
"righteousness which is of the law"
"righteousness which is of the law"
is contrasted with the
"righteousness of faith"
in the next verse.
The righteousness of the
is unattainable by all men except one: Jesus Christ!
The righteousness of
is attainable by all men simply by trusting in the work of
"the man who does those things shall live by them"
In context, this speaks of
Righteous living involves
but because of the weakness of our sinful flesh, we cannot keep the law and
therefore it cannot save
How were People Saved Prior to Christ?
Men have never been able to attain righteousness and be justified before
God based on keeping the law. Therefore
salvation has always been by faith and never by works
10:6 - Ascent to Heaven
"righteousness of faith speaks in this way"
This is righteousness which results from faith in God.
It is not based on difficult works or mysterious knowledge, but is easily
understood and completely accessible
( Deu. 30:9-14 )
God has removed all man's excuses for claiming God's will is unknowable.
"to bring Christ down from above"
for that which is to be fetched from heaven to be heard and obeyed:
"the commandment . . . the word . . ."
This echoes Jesus' title as the
). In His incarnation, Jesus is the revelation of God
). He is
-- spanning between God and man. He conveys the revelation of the Father
down to man and atones for sinful men in His ascension to God.
He is the
by which man may rise to stand before God
( 1Ti. 2:5 )
10:7 - Descent into the Abyss
"who will descend into the abyss?"
Abusson, a compound word made up from
bathos (depth). It is
Paul is contrasting the deepest possible place, corresponding to the place
of departed spirits, with the highest possible place--heaven. This contrast
is a frequent theme found in the OT
uses the same term for the
"darkness over the face of the DEEP"
( Gen. 1:2 )
"the fountains of the great DEEP"
( Gen. 7:11 )
In the NT, it is said to be the abode of demons
and the location from which the Beast ascends
and where Satan is bound during the millennial kingdom
( Rev. 20:1-3 )
"to bring Christ up from the dead"
Paul emphasizes both ends of Christ's ministry in His first coming
( Rom. 1:1-4 )
His descent to earth at His virgin birth.
His ascent back to heaven at His resurrection and ascension.
These events constitute communication between God and man -- the
theme of Jacob's Ladder
( Gen. 28:12-13 )
10:8-9 - The Word is Near You
"the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"
Emphasis is placed on the
(accessibility) of God's commandments.
There is an intimate connection between the heart and mouth.
The mouth speaks forth that which is in the heart
Our problem is not one of
to God's will, but
"if you confess with your mouth . . . believe in your heart"
homoloGĒsēs, a compound word made up of
homo (same) and
LOgos (word). Coming to faith involves agreement with what God has declared
concerning His Son--that He is
. Jesus is not a
"that God raised Him from the dead"
His resurrection is a declaration of His identity as the Son of God
and His acceptability to God as the sinless sacrifice
( Rom. 1:1-4 )
. Our salvation is only as good as His resurrection
10:10 - With the Heart One Believes
"With the heart one believes unto righteousness"
The moment we believe, we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
Our sins are
by His righteousness.
"with the mouth confession is made unto salvation"
True conversion will eventually result in outward manifestation in the life
of the new believer. Faith (in the heart) without works (e.g., what we
say) is not true Biblical faith
( Jas 2:18-26 )
It is with our mouth that we speak forth:
that which we believe,
that which we call upon in time of need,
that which we praise.
Yet there is no fixed formula with specific outward signs or steps
10:11 - Not be Put to Shame
"will not be put to shame"
Those who believe will not be embarrassed or disappointed as when having
trusted in something which proved to be vain or futile.
In the passage Paul quotes
( Isa. 28:16 )
, the Hebrew word for
"put to shame"
conveys the idea of
Trust in Christ will prove to be a reliable decision which brings peace.
It will not result in panic when the believer
stands before God and all is laid bare.
10:12-13 - No Distinction
"there is no distinction between Jew and Greek"
This statement concerns
the accessibility and manner of salvation.
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free,
there is neither male nor female; for you are all one
in Christ Jesus"
( Gal. 3:28 )
Paul is not saying that all distinctions between Jews and Gentiles
) or between men and women
have been done away with in Christ.
"whoever calls . . . shall be saved"
Anyone and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Nationality, age, sex, race, and station in life are all immaterial
in attaining salvation.
Self-Righteousness is No Righteousness
- To be saved, we must jettison our
which is really no righteousness and place our faith in Jesus
Who provides the righteousness of God. We must reject
-- our own puny efforts to justify ourselves to God --
in favor of
with God through trusting in His Son.
Only Jesus Bridges the Gap between God and Man
- Jesus is the only ladder between God and man. The ultimate revelation of
God made understandable to man is found in the incarnation of Jesus: the
God-man. Conversely, the only sufficient representation we have before
God is standing in the righteousness provided by Christ. We will find no
alternate avenue for salvation
( 1Ti. 2:5 )
Salvation is Near
- The way of salvation is neither esoteric nor distant. It is not found
in a mountain cave in Tibet, by acts of deprivation, or by
"always learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth"
( 2Ti. 3:6-7 )
It is so simple that
even a child can grasp it( Mark 10:15 )
. It is within our reach if we will but reach out and grasp God's free
Equally Available to All
- All people have equal access to the salvation of God. All that is
required is agreeing with what God has said by placing faith in Jesus
"All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."