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Sunday, December 10th, 2023
the Second Week of Advent
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Bible Commentaries
Romans 10

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

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Verse 1

Rom. 9 = Israel’s Past

Rom 10 = Israel’s Present

Rom 11 = Israel’s Future

Brethren -- An expression of tenderness and affection, denoting his deep interest in their welfare. This expression seems intended particularly for the Jews, his ancient friends, fellow-worshippers, and kinsmen, but who had embraced the Christian faith.

my heart’s desire -- The word “desire” εὐδοκία eudokia means benevolence, and the expression, “my heart’s desire,” means my earnest and sincere wish.

prayer to God -- He not only cherished this feeling but he expressed in a desire to God. He had no desire that his kinsmen should be destroyed; no pleasure in the appalling doctrine which he had been defending. He still wished their welfare; and could still pray for them that they might return to God.

for Israel -- For Paul’s Jewish nation.

that they might be saved -- This refers to salvation from their sin of unbelief; and the consequences of sin in hell.

It does not refer to the temporal calamities which involve Jerusalem’s destruction (A.D. 70) that was coming upon them, but to preservation from the eternal anger of God. Romans 11:26; 1 Timothy 2:4.

Verse 2

For I bear them record -- witness, ESV. To bear record means to be a witness; to give evidence. Paul was well qualified to do this. He had been a Jew of the strictest order Acts 26:5; Philippians 3:5, and knew well the extraordinary exertions which they put forth to obey the commands of the Law.

a zeal for God -- John 2:17; Psalms 69:9; Acts 21:20, Acts 22:3. Zeal for God here means passionate ardor in the things pertaining to God, or in the things of religion.

not according to knowledge -- Not founded on truth. Knowledge without zeal usually becomes cold, abstract, calculating, and formal; Misplaced zeal that becomes enthusiastic often becomes persecuting.

Verse 3

For they being ignorant -- Theirs was willful ignorance and not voluntarily, and therefore criminal. The apostle affirms that they could have known the plan of God; for he says Romans 10:18-21 that they had full opportunity of knowing.

God’s righteousness -- Not the personal holiness of God, "but of God’s plan of justifying people, and declaring them righteous by faith in his Son," See note at Romans 1:17.

God’s definition of what is righteous; what God demands of one to be counted righteous. Here God’s plan stands opposed to their efforts to make themselves righteous by their own works of the Law.

seeking to establish their own righteousness -- Endeavoring to validate their own self-righteousness as a ground of justification. This stands opposed to the justification by grace and forgiveness through Jesus’ sacrifice according to God’s plan.

Verse 4

For Christ -- This expression implies faith in Christ.

is the end of the law -- The word translated “end” means (1) termination, (2) fulfillment, (3) aim or purpose, - PC

It means what completes a thing, or renders it perfect; also the boundary, or termination of anything, as the end of life, the result of a prophecy, etc.; John 13:1; Luke 22:37.

It also means the completion of the design which is had in view; the principal purpose for which it was undertaken; 1 Timothy 1:5,; 1 Peter 1:9, Romans 14:9, “To this end Christ both died,” etc. For this design or purpose. This is doubtless its meaning here.

end -- 1) goal ( telos) to which law points (Romans 3:21) OR

2) Christ marks an end of legalism. NEB.

τέλος νόμου = an end of law, as an instrument of righteousness. - CBSC

for righteousness -- The meaning is that the whole law pointed to Christ, and his righteousness. They were its object. Yet the Jews clung to the law, and refused to believe upon Christ, in whom the law met its fulfillment. - PNT

To every one that believeth . . As long as the Jews remained in unbelief, they were cut off from righteousness (justification). He who believes submits to God’s plan of righteousness that is found in Christ. Romans 1:17.

Verse 5

For Moses writes -- This is found in Leviticus 18:5.

about the righteousness which is of the law -- [the man who practices ...] The righteousness which a perfect obedience to the Law of God would produce. That consisted in perfectly doing all that the Law required.

The man that does those things -- But Paul has elsewhere shown that no one can keep the law perfectly. That righteousness, then, requires a perfect obedience, a sinless life. What Jew could say that he had never sinned?

live by them -- Law-righteousness meant keeping the Law perfectly.

Verse 6

Vs. 6 Many consider this an early church hymn or chant.

[Moses, near the end of his life, having given God’s commandments to the Israelites exhorts them to obedience. To do this, he assures them that his commands are reasonable, plain, intelligible, and accessible.] - BN

But the righteousness of faith -- Apparently Paul meant this as in contrast with Moses’ "righteousness of the law". Righteousness, or justification, that comes by faith (trust) in Christ speaks this way ...

do not say in your heart -- The expression to say in the heart is the same as to think. Do not think, or suppose, that the doctrine is so difficult to be understood, that one must ascend to heaven in order to understand it.

Who will ascend into heaven? -- This expression was used among the Jews to denote any difficult undertaking. To say that it was high as heaven, or that it was necessary to ascend to heaven to understand it, was to express the highest difficulty. See Job 11:7,

(that is, to bring Christ down) -- Paul is saying, poetically, that it was God’s plan for the Christ to be incarnate; for God to come down in the flesh (John 1:14) to save men, and asking, "Who would every have thought of this plan, but God!" It is so far above man’s reasoning to have every considered something like this! Job 11:7.

Christ has come down from heaven and revealed God’s plan of righteousness by faith!

We believe in a living Savior, presently with us in Spirit.

Verse 7

v. 6-7 Χριστὸν καταγαγεῖν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναγαγεῖν. The reference is to the Incarnation and Resurrection. These are the fundamental acts of GOD by which His righteousness is revealed, and made possible for man. - Cambridge Greek

Or "Who will descend into the abyss? -- [the deep] -- These words are also a part of the address of Moses, Deuteronomy 30:13. But it is not literally quoted.

The words as used by Moses refer to what is remote, and therefore difficult to be obtained.

Paul uses the word “deep,” ἄβυσσον abusson - “the abyss.” This word is applied to anything the depth or bottom of which is not known. It is applied to the ocean (in the Septuagint), Job 41:31, Genesis 7:11; Genesis 8:2; to a broad place Job 36:16; and to the abyss before the world was formed, Genesis 1:2.

In the New Testament it is not applied to the ocean, unless in the passage Luke 8:31 (see the note on that place), but to the abode of departed spirits; and particularly to the dark, deep, and bottomless pit, where the wicked are to dwell forever. Revelation 9:1-2, “Greek, “The pit of the abyss.”

Revelation 11:7; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:1, Revelation 20:3. In these places the word means the deep, awful regions of the nether world.

descend into the abyss? -- In context the word stands opposed to heaven, and to descend there to bring one up.

that is, to bring Christ up from the dead -- Jesus did descend into the hadean world of departed spirits (Acts 2:27) and did come back from that place (Acts 2:24; Acts 2:30-32).

"ascend. . .descend" -- Humans do not have to go seeking Christ; God has sent Him publicly for all. Human searching is not necessary. - Utley

Verse 8

But what it does it say -- --continuing the quotation from Deuteronomy 30:14. What is to be done according to God’s word?

The word is near you -- --easily accessible. The truth is not difficult to be understood and embraced. What is near us may be easily reached.

in your mouth -- --when you confess Him. From the Septuagint, Deuteronomy 30:14. The meaning is, that the doctrine was already so familiar, and so well understood, that it was actually in their mouth, that is, their language, their common conversation.

The facts were so well known by the preaching of the apostles, that they might be said to be “in every man’s mouth.” - BN

and in your heart -- --when you believe on Him. It seems to mean that his truth was in their mind, and a subject of meditation and reflection.

that is, the word of faith, which we preach -- --that is, the word which men were to believe and obey for salvation (compare 1 Timothy 4:6).

the word of faith -- The gospel peached by the apostles. The "word of faith" is the message of justification by the system of "faith" as opposed to the Law.

Verse 9

that if you confess -- Confessing the Lord Jesus is the righteousness of faith (v.6 Romans 10:6) described.

confess -- The word here rendered “confess” ὁμολογέω homologeō is often rendered “profess”; Matthew 7:23, Titus 1:16; Titus 3:14; Romans 1:22; 1 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 6:12-13, 1 Timothy 6:21; Hebrews 3:1, etc. It properly means to "say the same thing"; to “speak what agrees with something which others speak or maintain."

Lord Jesus -- That is, "Jesus to be Lord" Acts 2:36; Acts 10:36; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11; Colossians 2:6; (1 John 4:15;)

The use of "Lord" related to the rabbinical substitution of YHWH with Adon when reading Scripture. - Utley [Hence it means confessing the deity of Jesus Christ.]

with you mouth -- That in spite of all persecution and danger you own up to your faith (trust) in Jesus as your Savior, the sacrifice for your sins, your mediator before the Father.

To openly confess Christ in those days of persecution was a trial of faith of the severest kind.

and believe in your heart -- A genuine faith that is not pretending, but a belief that brings the whole man into loving trust and obedience to Christ. Such a faith is referred to in Romans 1:5, where the "obedience of faith" is described. (See the note there and also Romans 16:26)

that God has raised Him from the dead, -- This article is put for all the rest, the incarnation, the sinless life, the sacrificial death, the resurrection and ascension back into heaven to be seated on the right hand of God making intercession for the saints. Romans 4:25

In a skeptical world this was then and now the heart of gospel preaching. (Proclaimed in every sermon recorded in Acts.)

you will be saved -- Forgiven of sins, and stand justified before God, and an inheritor of heaven.

Verse 10

For with the heart -- Such a sincere faith that influences one’s whole life in all manner and conduct of life.

one believes unto righteousness -- Believes, (Romans 1:5; Romans 16:26, trusts and obeys) so that justification is obtained. (Romans 4:5; Romans 9:30)

with the mouth confession is made -- Public acknowledgement. From both the New Testament scriptures and early church history believers made a public statement of teir faith before baptism. Matthew 10:32; Matthew 25:34-46; Luke 12:8. (See Acts 8:37, present in most early MSS, absent in others; Acts 2:36; Acts 10:36; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11; Colossians 2:6; 1 John 4:15;)

See note "What Does God Want From Us?" at Hebrews 11:6.

unto salvation -- εἰς σωτηρίαν. Paul is talking about how a sinner initially receives the gift of God’s righteousness, which is the same as entering into the state of salvation. - CPNIV

Paul says the sinner believes “unto (eis) righteousness” and confesses “unto (eis) salvation.” Eis expresses purpose (and therefore result). I.e., the sinner believes for the purpose of receiving the gift of righteousness, and that is indeed the result of his faith. The sinner likewise confesses for the purpose of receiving the gift of salvation, and that is indeed the result of his confession. - CPNIV

Verse 11

For the scripture says -- Isaiah 28:16; Romans 9:33; A prophecy concerning the Savior indicated a plan of salvation for those trusting in the Christ (the Messiah).

Here, as in Romans 9:33, the quotation is from the Septuagint, which renders those words of the original, "shall not make haste" (that is, fly for escape, as from conscious danger), "shall not be put to shame," which comes to the same thing. - JFB

Whosoever -- [Everyone] -- Paul emphasizes the universal offer of salvation. Whoever in vv. Romans 10:11, Romans 10:13 means “all.” Verse Romans 10:12 explains that this includes Jew and Greek (Gentile).- NNIBC

believes -- Trusts, put their faith in "him", i.e. the Messiah, the Christ.

Verse 12

For there is no difference -- In the previous verse Paul had quoted a passage from Isaiah 28:16, which says that “everyone” (Greek, πᾶς pas) that believeth shall not be ashamed; that is, everyone of every nation and kindred.

This implies that it was not to be confined to the Jews. This thought he now further illustrates and confirms by expressly declaring that there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek.

This doctrine it was one main design of the Epistle to establish, and it is fully proved in the course of the argument in Rom. 1–4. See particularly Romans 3:26-30.

When the apostle says there is no difference between them, he means in regard to the subject under discussion. In many respects there might be a difference; but not in the way of justification before God. There all had sinned; all had failed of obeying the Law; and all must be justified in the same way, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jew -- The Israelite nation which professed to following the Law of Moses

and Greek -- Literally, those who dwelt in Greece, or those who spoke the Greek language. However it came to denote all who were not Jews; that is, the same as the Gentiles.

Paul’s point is that there is no difference among people about the terms of salvation; they are the same to all.

for the same Lord over all -- This is the reason why there is no difference now between Jew and Greek.

The title Lord is referring to Christ Jesus who was called Lord in Romans 10:9.

is rich unto all -- The Lord is bountiful to all so that the Jews nor Gentile need to be evnious of the other. The Lord has an inexhaustible store of grace and mercy, Ephesians 1:3; Romans 11:12; Romans 11:33; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 2:7; Ephesians 3:8; Ephesians 3:16; Philippians 4:19; Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:2.

who call upon him -- See Romans 10:13 for the way men may "call" upon the Lord.

Verse 13

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says . . Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21

whosoever -- This verse proclaims the universality of the Gospel. The Gospel is for all Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16.

calls . . "Call" here is not teaching salvation by prayer alone. To "call" here means to look to the Lord for where salvation is to be found, and not in any philosophy or religion of man. Call is now explained in the following three verses.

It is an erroneous doctrine to interpret "call" to mean that "prayer alone" is all that needed for salvation. The case of Cornelius in Acts 10:1-6 alone refutes this false doctrine, Acts 11:14. See Hebrews 11:6 for what the Lord wants from us today.

calls on the name of the Lord -- Genesis 4:26; Genesis 21:33. This is more than saying "Lord, Lord,", etc. Matthew 7:21-23. The language implies coming to the Lord and obeying his appointed way. Compare Acts 22:16; Acts 2:21; Genesis 12:8. (Hebrews 5:9)

be saved -- Acts 4:12.

Verse 14

a) They could never say the gospel was never preached to them.

How shall they call on Him -- Paul here proceeds to show the importance of preaching and particularly going to those where the gospel has not been heard.

call on him -- Genesis 4:26; Genesis 21:33, See the significance of "call" in Romans 10:13.

whom they have not believe -- Men must come to faith in Jesus as the Christ. Romans 1:16; Hebrews 11:6.

of whom they have not heard -- Paul will proceed to say that faith comes from hearing the word of God Romans 10:17.

preacher -- In the context probably the reference is to an inspired man of God who will reveal God’s message to them.

People must be exposed to the Word of God in some fashion in order to come to know about Christ and come to Him in faith. Today this can be done by various kinds of media. Paul is using the written media of this epistle to help also in this way.

Verse 15

how shall they preach unless they are sent -- The Lord commission his apostles and them that heard them to go into all the world with the gospel message. Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47; John 17:17-18; John 20:31; John 21:24; 2 Timothy 2:2

An example of a church sending out missionaries is found in Acts 13:1-4.

Peter and John were missionaries of the Jerusalem church in Acts 8:14.

Barnabas was sent out also by the Jerusalem church Acts 11:22.

be sent -- Isaiah 52:7. Jeremiah 1:7; Jeremiah 7:25.

be sent -- These preachers were sent by the Holy Spirit, as Philip was in Acts 8:29 Heaven still sends men to preach the word. 2 Timothy 4:2. (2 Timothy 2:2)

beautiful feet -- A metaphor saying how good it is to see those coming with good news.

those who preach -- Literally, “that evangelize peace". That proclaim the good news of peace; or bring the glad message of peace.

good tiding -- Good news, the Gospel. Particularly here the message seems to be "peace" with God. The Gospel is the message about how man can be reconciled with God. Good news! Peace! (Cf. Luke 2:10; Luke 2:14;)

Verse 16

obeyed the gospel -- A good scriptural term for describing the process of one repenting and turning to the Lord in obedience. Hebrews 5:9; cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 "obey not the gospel", 1 Peter 4:17; Romans 1:5; Romans 16:26;

Obedience comes from believing. and believing comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:2 (Rev.); and hearing of faith, i.e., message of faith, Galatians 3:2. (See Acts 18:8 for the process of obeying.)

[Another good scriptural description of the process of becoming a Christian is given in Colossians 2:6 "As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord -- ."]

Isaiah says -- Isaiah 53:1

Who has believed our report? -- While the gospel was first for the Jews, not all believed. (John 3:32) So then the gospel was preached to the Gentiles. Romans 10:12.

But they did not all hearken -- (ou pantes hupēkousan). They heard, but did not heed. - RWP

report -- (akoēi). Literally, “hearing” (Matthew 14:1; Mark 13:7). - RWP

Verse 17

faith comes by hearing -- The desired response of preaching is faith.

When it is said that faith cometh by hearing, it does not mean that all who hear actually believe, but that faith does not exist unless there is a message, or report, to be heard and believed.

The context of v. 17 is the oral preaching about Christ (see RSV)

Obedience comes from believing. and believing comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:2 (Rev.); and hearing of faith, i.e., message of faith, Galatians 3:2. (See Acts 18:8 for the process of obeying.)

hearing by the word of God -- KJ (Majority Text) haramtos theou is found many times elsewhere. (dia rematos Christou, through the word of Christ, in some texts is only found here and is not conclusive.) see RSV, NIV, etc.

And the report, or the message (η ̔ἀκοὴ hē akoē), is by the Word of God; that is, the message is sent by the command of God. It is his word, sent by his direction,

word of God -- The word from God, originating with God. cf parallel expression Luke 3:2; John 3:34; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 6:5; Hebrews 11:3.

For authority of what one is to preach, see 1 Peter 4:11.

See James 2:24 note "Being Saved" Justified by Grace.

Verse 18

have they not all heard? -- Who is they? Apparently both Jews and Gentiles. Romans 10:19 indicates Paul is speaking of Israel also as hearing.

The main design seems to be to show that the same scheme of salvation is extended to both Jews and Gentiles.

Yes, indeed -- In the original, a single word, μενοῦνγε menounge, compounded of μέν men and οὖν oun and γέ ge. An intense expression, denoting strong affirmation.

Their sound went -- These words are taken in substance from Psalms 19:4. The psalmist employs them to show that the works of God, the heavens and the earth, proclaim his existence everywhere. By using them here, the apostle does not affirm that David had reference to the gospel in them, but he uses them to express his own meaning.

Verse 19

did Israel not know? -- Some one may try to object by saying Israel did not understand. This question is an emphatic way of affirming that they did know.

First Moses -- Moses, lawgiver and prophet had given warning that Israel would reject God’s word. Deuteronomy 32:21; Deuteronomy 18:15 Deuteronomy 28:15; see Deuteronomy 28 for what would happen when did.

I will provoke you to jealousy -- Deuteronomy 32:21. A quote to show that God would turn to the Gentiles.

In these verses, God spoke to His covenant people about the inclusion of the Gentiles. This shocking inclusion of the Gentiles was meant to stimulate (through jealousy) the Jews to faith (cf. Romans 11:11; Romans 11:14).

that are not a nation -- Those whom the Jews regarded as unworthy of a government, laws, or regular organization, and just barbarians. Evidently the Jews regarded all ancient nations in this light.

In context of Deuteronomy 32:21 the declaration refers to the idolatrous and wicked conduct of the Jews. God says that they had provoked him, or excited his indignation, by worshipping what was not God, that is, by idols; and he, in turn, would excite their envy and indignation by showing favors to those who were not regarded as a people; that is, to the Gentiles.

Verse 20

But Isaiah is very bold -- Expresses this doctrine openly, boldly, without any reservation. The word ἀποτολμάω apotolmaō means to dare, to be venturesome, to be bold. The quote is from I 65:1-2.

Both Moses and Isaiah wrote about God’s turning to the Gentiles, whom the Jews thought had no understanding, asynetō, “senseless”. (cf. Romans 1:21, Romans 1:31.)

I was found of them that did not seek me -- Compare this with Romans 9:30, and see the note there.

those who did not ask for me -- Gentiles to whom the Law had not been directed. cf. Ephesians 2:1-2.

Verse 21

Rom 10.21

to Israel he says -- The preceding quotation established the doctrine that the Gentiles were to be called. But there was still an important part of his argument remaining - that the Jews were to be rejected. This he proceeds to establish; and he here, in the language of Isaiah Isaiah 65:2, says that while the Gentiles would be obedient, the character of the Jews was, that they were a disobedient and rebellious people.

All day long -- It presents the figure of a parent, with hands extended, appealing to a wayward child. That child was the Jewish nation.

It was cast off because it refused to listen to appeals. See Matthew 23:37. The apostle is far from ascribing the rejection of Israel to a divine decree, but he assigns the cause to Israel itself. Just so the Savior says in the passage (Matthew 23:37) "How often would I have gathered, etc., . . . but ye would not." The divine wish was that Israel should be saved, but Israel stubbornly refused. cf. 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4;

to a disobedient and contrary people -- The prophet Isaiah hath but one word, rebellious, and the apostle renders it by these two words, disobedient and contrary [gainsaying] they were disobedient in heart, and gainsaying with their tongues,.

[gain-saying] Speaking against; resisting, opposing. This is not in the Hebrew, but the substance of it was implied in Isaiah’s word rebellious. The prophet Isaiah proceeds to specify in what this rebellion consisted, and to show that this was their character; Isaiah 65:2-7.

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Romans 10". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/romans-10.html. 2021.
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