In the opening verse of Romans 10, Paul revisits his sorrow over Israel. God’s covenant of salvation was with Abraham. His descendants, the Israelites, had direct claim to it. The Law was supposed to prepare them for (and serve as a precursor to) Grace, yet when Grace came they rejected it. Why? Paul tells us the reason was a lack of understanding:
“I bear them witness that they have a [certain] zeal and enthusiasm for God, but it is not enlightened and according to [correct and vital] knowledge. For being ignorant of the righteousness that God ascribes which makes one acceptable to Him in word, thought, and deed and seeking to establish a righteousness (a means of salvation) of their own, they did not obey or submit themselves to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him.” Romans 10:2-4
Your ideology and mindset will define how you see God and his gifts. You must open your mind and broaden your heart. If you assume God is a hard taskmaster, if he extends mercy to you, you will reject it. It gets even more serious. Paul warns us that if we insist on practicing the Law and serving God through works, instead of accepting his Grace, we place ourselves under a curse. Invariably, we will fail to keep all 613 Old Testamen laws and according to the dictates of the Law, once we break one, we are guilty of all.
“And all who depend on the Law [who are seeking to be justified by obedience to the Law of rituals] are under a curse and doomed to disappointment and destruction, for it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed (accursed, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment) be everyone who does not continue to abide (live and remain) by all the precepts and commands written in the Book of the Law and to practice them.” Galatians 3:10
Salvation is so easy! You imagine how you can live a life of debauchery and yet God will accept you and cleanse you? He says: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
This is how incredible Grace is. All you need is to do is to believe and to acknowledge that belief with your words. Simple.
“For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation.” Romans 10:10
As a side note, I’d like to comment on the “doctrine of confession”, where individuals are asked to repeat something over and over again until they “catch a revelation”. From scripture, I see it the other way. (I’m still studying though). It is when you are deeply convinced about something that you acknowledge it with words. The true power is what you believe in your heart, not empty repetition. Meditation takes place internally. Faith springs up internally. When you gain understanding, you have no choice but to shout, “Eureka! I’ve found it.” There is power in the tongue but only the power that is released from a deeply convinced and passionate heart. If you read James 3, not only was James speaking in context to teachers of the word, but he uses fountains and trees as illustrations. The tongue draws from a source just like a fountain springs from a large body of water and a fruit from a tree. It is “out of the abundance of a man’s heart that he speaks.” Luke 6: 44 – 45 uses the same context of “source and product” by referencing a tree and a storehouse.
Now, let’s return to Romans 10. From verse 13, we catch a glimpse of God’s heart. He wants all men to be saved, not some. Salvation is not reserved for a special group. It is open to all. God uses many ways to get the message of hope to mankind. He sends preachers and he makes his word readily available in books, apps and online. He also uses the wonders of nature. He is actively revealing himself to mankind.
For me, the last verse of Romans 10, though seemingly focused on Israel, is proof of how God keeps wooing mankind. Even when we reject him, he keeps at it:
“But of Israel he says, All day long I have stretched out My hands to a people unyielding and disobedient and self-willed [to a faultfinding, contrary, and contradicting people].”
Such is the power of God’s love and his eternal condescension. He comes to our level and appeals to us to have a relationship with him. I am most fortunate to know this person called God! My prayer is that you may discover him too.
If you would like to know God, simply say a short prayer now asking Jesus to walk with you and acknowledging him as your Saviour. Then, begin to read the Bible for yourself to become acquainted with God’s thoughts. (My Study Notes on my website may help.) Inbox me if you have questions.