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Bible Commentaries

Henry Mahan's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament
Romans 10

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-10

The free invitation of the gospel

Romans 10:1-10

Those who are elected to life in Christ shall be saved (John 6:37-40), but they shall be brought to repentance and faith by the means which God has appointed (2 Thessalonians 2:13; Mark 16:15-16; 1 Corinthians 1:21). It is on this ground that Paul wrote 2 Timothy 2:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:19-21. A belief in sovereign grace that destroys prayer for sinners, evangelistic and missionary zeal and a sincere invitation to all men to bow to the claims of Christ and receive him as Lord and Saviour is not of the Lord and is false doctrine!

Romans 10:1. The Jews hated Paul and his gospel. They rejected the message of the cross, yet he expresses again and again his deep love for them and prays to God that they might be saved. We must never cease to pray for unbelievers and use God-ordained means to seek their conversion,

Romans 10:2. These Jews were not atheists. They were religious. They had a zeal for the law and the ceremonies, but they were ignorant! They did not know the Father or the Son. They did not understand the spirituality nor the purpose of the law and the ceremonies. How often do we hear people say, ‘If a man is sincere in his religion, his creed of no importance? This is not true! (John 17:3; Philippians 3:5-9).

Romans 10:3. They were ignorant of the purity and holiness of God's law, and they were ignorant of the strictness of God's justice (Galatians 4:21; Galatians 3:10). They were trying to merit acceptance with God on the strength of their works, deeds and religious duties! Is not this a picture of our day?

They refused to submit to the true righteousness of God, which is Christ! Christ in the flesh, on the cross and in glory is our righteousness. The divine method of acceptance and justification requires nothing but to be submitted to or received (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:6). God does not require you to produce righteousness, but to receive it. God does not require you to produce life, but to receive life in Christ.

Romans 10:4. There are several things suggested here.

1. The embracing of Christ for salvation means the end of the law as a method of justification. We abandon all hope in ourselves and look to Christ.

2. The goal of the law is to bring the sinner to Christ. This is the way it is given in Galatians 3:24-25.

3. The law contained terms of life: ‘Do this and live.’ Christ is the end of those terms. We are no longer under the law as a covenant or a curse.

Romans 10:5. The righteousness of the law lies in doing perfectly all that the law requires – not only in deed, but in thought, attitude and motive. The law requires not the best you can do, but the best God can do – perfect love to God and to all his creatures, a perfect heart! This cannot be done by a fallen creature (Romans 8:3).

Romans 10:6-7. The best help on these verses comes from John Brown: ‘Do not think that divine justification depends on something to be done by you or anyone else. There is no need to say ‘Who shall ascend to heaven to bring the Messiah down?' He has already come and performed the work for which he came. He has finished our righteousness and redemption. There is no need to say, ‘Who shall descend into the deep to bring him up from the grave?' He is risen! He is risen for our justification and intercedes for us. The gospel which reveals it tells you that they are all finished. The all-sufficient Saviour is to be believed and received.

Romans 10:8. The righteousness of faith is the gospel which we preach to you. This is all you need to hear and believe. The gospel is in your mouth and in your heart, and this is explained in the next two verses.

Romans 10:9. To confess Christ with the mouth is to make a sincere, hearty confession to God before men that Christ Jesus is our Prophet to reveal God, our Priest to atone for us, our Lord to reign over us! When this is our experience, we confess it in believer's baptism.

To believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead is to:

1. Believe that he came to this earth as ‘God in the flesh’ (John 1:14).

2. Believe that he truly died on the cross for our sins (1 Peter 1:18-19).

3. Believe that the sacrifice was effectual and sufficient, for God raised him from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:13-22).

Romans 10:10. The apostle explains the nature of faith. It does not lie in a bare mental assent or doctrinal position, but is a genuine heart work! It is a believing with the affections, the will and the understanding. It is to behold the Son in his glory, his fullness, his willingness and his sufficiency to save. Through this faith we are saved and we are justified (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:12).


Verses 11-21

Preaching the gospel to all men

Romans 10:11-21

Romans 10:11. Several things are evident in this one verse of scripture.

1. The perfect agreement of the Old and New Testaments (Isaiah 28:16). As in the case of Abraham, righteousness is not by works but by faith (Romans 4:20-24).

2. Whosoever (whether Jew or Gentile) believeth shall be saved. The Jews had a difficult time including Gentiles in the kingdom of God.

3. The certain connection between faith and righteousness (confession and salvation) is evident. Those who believe in Christ with their hearts and confess him as their Lord shall be saved.

4. Those who believe shall not be ashamed of him nor will they ever be put to shame. His robe of righteousness covers our nakedness.

Romans 10:12. Not only is the Gentile not excluded from the mercy of God, but there is not the slightest difference in God's sight between Jew and Gentile. All have sinned (Romans 3:22-23), and all are in need of the righteousness of Christ. God is able to supply the needs of all who truly call upon his name (Hebrews 7:25).

Romans 10:13. This is from Joel 2:32. The name of the Lord signifies the Lord himself. His name reveals who he is, what he has done, why he did it, and where he is now! And none other name can save (Philippians 2:6-11).

Jehovah-jireh ‘The Lord will provide’ (Genesis 22:13-14).

Jehovah-rapha ‘The Lord that healeth’ (Exodus 15:26).

Jehovah-nissi ‘The Lord our banner’ (Exodus 17:8-15).

Jehovah-shalom ‘The Lord our peace’ (Judges 6:24).

Jehovah-ra-ah ‘The Lord my shepherd’ (Psalms 23:1).

Jehovah-tsidkenu ‘The Lord our righteousness’ (Jeremiah 23:6).

Jehovah-shammah ‘The Lord is present’ (Ezekiel 48:35).

To call upon his name is to humble ourselves before him, to recognize his majesty, to believe his promises, and to hope in his mercy.

Romans 10:14. In this verse Paul insists on the necessity of preaching the gospel to sinners. None can be saved who do not call on the Lord. None can call upon the true name of the Lord if they do not believe he is willing and able to save. None can believe he is willing and able to save if they have not heard of his grace, his death, and his redemption; and none can hear these things unless these glad tidings are preached to him! (Mark 16:15-16; James 1:18; John 5:24.)

Romans 10:15. These ambassadors of Christ who preach the glad tidings of salvation are sent by the Lord. They deliver his gospel under his authority and by the power of his Spirit (Matthew 28:18-19; 2 Corinthians 5:20-21). The greatest blessing God can give to a people is a faithful preacher of the true gospel.

Romans 10:16. Though the gospel was to be preached both to Jews and Gentiles with the promise that whosoever believeth shall be saved, yet all who heard it did not believe it! This should not seem strange to those who are familiar with scripture. Isaiah said, ‘Who hath believed our report?’ (Hebrews 4:2; 1 Corinthians 2:8-10.) The gospel must be revealed by his Spirit (John 6:44-45).

Romans 10:17. So then faith depends on hearing. One cannot trust an unrevealed Christ. We must hear, not with the outward ear only, but with the heart. We must hear with desire, hear with understanding, hear with a need! (Matthew 13:15-16). Faith depends on hearing and hearing depends on the word of God. It is essential to hear the word!

Romans 10:18-21. These last four verses deal with four things:

1. The preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles (Psalms 19:4).

2. Old Testament prophecies of the call of the Gentiles (Deuteronomy 32:21).

3. Israel should have been aware of this (Isaiah 65:1).

4. The rejection of God's mercy by the Jews (Isaiah 65:2).

 


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Bibliography Information
Mahan, Henry. "Commentary on Romans 10:4". Henry Mahan's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hms/romans-10.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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