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Bible Commentaries
Romans 10

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


How I wish. His knowledge of the punishment God’s wrath will bring on unbelievers causes him deep grief. How I pray. Compare Romans 9:1-3.

Verse 2


They are deeply devoted to God. This increases the paradox of Jew versus Gentile. Not based on true knowledge. Only Truth promises to set you free (John 8:32). Devotion not based on Truth becomes fanaticism (compare Acts 17:5; Acts 21:27-31; Acts 22:4).

Verse 3


They have not known. Compare note on Romans 9:32. Because of their ignorance of Truth, their attitude and their motives were wrong. They tried to obligate God to save them. Their own way. They were actually guilty of substitution. See notes on Matthew 7:21-23; Mark 7:7-8. They set up the merit of their own experience and actions, and said: “Now, God, you are obligated to save me.” So they did not submit. This says that they could have done so, but did not. It is a paradox that only as we see we have no merit, can we submit to God and live our lives as a living sacrifice.

Verse 4


For Christ has brought. God gave the Law; and it pointed forward to Christ. But Jesus “closed out” the Law, “gave it real meaning,” “fulfilled it,” “satisfied its righteous demands,” and “nailed it to his cross.” Yet the Jew chained himself to the Law and would not believe in Christ. So that everyone who believes. The moment a man sees Christ and understands what He is and what He has done, he feels that legal religion is a thing of the past!!! [But see notes on law at the end of chapter 3, and the nature of faith, James 2:19. ]

Verse 5


This is what Moses wrote. The Law is self defeating as a means of being put right with God, because it demands perfect obedience (compare note on James 2:10). [The quotation is Leviticus 18:5.]

Verse 6


But this is what is said. Paul paraphrases what Moses said in Deuteronomy 30:11-14. Being “put right by faith” is God’s way. Human religion speaks in terms of what man must accomplish by his own efforts. Christianity is based upon God’s act in history through Christ – something that is already an ACCOMPLISHED FACT!!! Who will go up? “As is that were necessary to one’s believing on him” MacKnight.

Verse 7


Who will go down? “As if the crucifixion of Christ had proved him an impostor” MacKnight.

Verse 8


God’s message is near you. “The righteousness appointed by God . . . is easily understood and attained” MacKnight. It is not to be achieved but seized! See Romans 10:17.

Verse 9


If you declare. This shows the content of the message of faith that Paul preached. The duty of faith requires us to declare that Jesus is Lord (compare Acts 2:36-37). And believe in your heart. Paul here emphasizes faith in the Resurrection! The whole gospel stands or falls on this one fact (compare 1 Corinthians 15:17). See also 1 Peter 3:21.

Verse 10


For we believe in our hearts. Believing and declaring are opposite sides of the same coin. It is true that such a declaration was made at baptism (compare Acts 8:37), but it should not be limited to that. See also Matthew 10:32.

Verse 11


The scripture says. [Isaiah 28:16.] This proves that God’s Plan had salvation for both Jew and Gentile.

Verses 12-13


This includes everyone. [Greek = Gentile.] Paul has shown that no one can be saved by the Law, and that the prophets predicted God would put people right with himself through faith. But the Jew still believed the Good News was only for themselves, not for the Gentiles, and that Paul made himself a traitor by preaching to the Gentiles. God Is the same Lord of all. Christ is here identified as God, that is, has the same RELIGIOUS VALUE as God (see Acts 10:36; Philippians 2:10-11). Salvation depends upon the sinner invoking the name of Christ (Acts 4:12; Acts 22:16). See also Matthew 7:21-22 and notes. As the scripture says. See note on Acts 2:21.

Verse 14


But how can they call to him? Romans 10:14-21 form a continuous section. At least three ideas are involved here: (1) Paul is proving that he did the right thing by preaching the Good News to the Gentiles; (2) the Jews were given every chance to hear, know, and obey; (3) the chain of invoking, hearing, proclaiming, sending the channel through which man is brought to God.

Verse 15


And how can the message be proclaimed? Compare Acts 13:1-3. As the scripture says. He quotes Isaiah 52:7 to show the joy in the spread of the gospel. The Jews expected this prophecy to be fulfilled when the Messiah came.

Verse 16


But they have not all accepted. There never has been a universal belief in the gospel. But notice that “not all” means some did! Compare Acts 21:20. Josephus, the Jewish historian, says that by the end of the first century, more than one-third of the Jewish population did believe in Christ!!!

Verse 17


Faith comes from hearing the message. Preaching is the method of Jesus himself (see Matthew 9:35). As Paul has shown us, the chain of faith begins by someone being sent to preach the message.

Verse 18


But I ask? “They must hear in order to believe; do you mean to say they did not hear?” Of course they did. This is so clearly the case that there is a touch of irony in Paul’s voice. He quotes Psalms 19:4 from the Septuagint as proof, and he himself knew just how wide-spread the proclaiming of the Good News had been (Colossians 1:6; Colossians 1:23).

Verse 19


Again I ask? Yes, Israel did know what God wanted of her, but as a nation she did not put it into practice. Moses himself. He quotes Deuteronomy 32:20-21. The point is that if people outside the covenant (who were therefore non-people, not a real nation) could understand the Good News, a gifted people like the Jews had no excuse if they failed to believe it.

Verse 20


And Isaiah is bolder. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 shows how far away from God the Gentiles were, when God appeared to them. He sent Paul to them with the Good News of Christ (Acts 9:15). God “beat us to the draw!” He acted in history through Jesus Christ before we knew anything about it. But to Peter and the other Jewish Christians, what happened at the house of Cornelius was almost unthinkable (Acts 10:44-45).

Verse 21


But concerning Israel he says. The “hands held out” symbolize that love which pleads with Israel all through its history, and which they constantly despised and turned away from. Their problem was not lack of knowledge or intelligence, but of deliberate rebellion and disobedience. Compare Romans 10:3. But the reason they did not know, was that they made themselves blind to God’s Truth. But has God been “caught with his back turned?” God’s plans are never changed, since he knows the end from the beginning! The questions which may have been in Paul’s mind are brought up and answered in chapter 11.

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Romans 10". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/romans-10.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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