Gracefully Truthful


Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Romans 10:8-15

8 On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: 9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, 12 since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 14 How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.

The Original Intent

1) To what is Paul contrasting when he states, “On the contrary”? (verses 8-10)

The apostle Paul was grieved by Israel’s rejection of Christ (Romans 9:30-32), apparent in his pleas for the Jewish people to receive the gospel he had come to confidently trust, believe, and preach. This chapter evidences his emotion regarding the lost condition of so many Jews. (verse 1)

As a nation, Israel had incorrectly rendered the Law as validation of a right relationship with God. Paul is writing to contrast that belief (that the Law saved) with the truth of the gospel (only Jesus saves). The salvation the Law offers is the realization no one can perfectly keep it! It is this recognition of our need for a Savior that helps us properly see ourselves. In verse 8, Paul quotes Moses (the one who gave God’s Law) as confirmation his teaching was not original to him. (Deuteronomy 30:14) Being made right with God only comes through faith in Him. It has always been this way.

This message was unpopular with Jews who believed the Law made someone righteous. At the time of his writing, a personal confession of Christ as Lord often resulted in persecution and/or death. A bold confession of faith in Christ was usually indicative of genuine faith. Paul did not intend to communicate that a condition for salvation was a public confession, but he was confirming that such a courageous declaration evidenced a change of heart. (verse 10)

The original Greek verbiage carries the idea of “confirming” with the mouth what has taken place in the heart and being thankful for it. ( A heart full of faith, and a confession of that faith, demonstrates an understanding of the inability of the Law to bring salvation.

The Everyday Application

1) To what is Paul contrasting when he states, “On the contrary”? (verses 8-10)

Studying a verse in its context is the essential element to rightly understanding all of Scripture. Digging into context (asking Who? What? When? Where? Why?) in the book of Romans is especially insightful and helpful. I’m so grateful for gifted teachers (Romans 12:7) who help us understand verses in their context.

But, friend, we can learn much about Paul’s purpose by simply reading and rereading the chapters ourselves. We can then pray for the Spirit to help us apply the truths we dig out of the passage. Reading through chapters 9 and 10 help us understand the intention of the apostle. We don’t need to make a public confession of Christ to earn our salvation any more than we need to do good works.

Confession of Christ and obedience to Him are the results of our genuine faith in Christ’s life, death and resurrection. The Jews confessed many things about God, but it is apparent from Matthew 27 that many of the Jewish leaders were in the habit of quoting the Scriptures while their hearts were far from God.

Shema (“hear”) is the Hebrew word that begins an important prayer in Judaism taken from the Old Testament. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7) How sadly ironic that the religious leaders of the day recited these verses without ever really hearing them in their hearts! Sister, may the desire of our hearts be like Paul’s, that our confession of Christ would be from a sincere heart that would inspire others to know God in their hearts and truly be saved!

The Original Intent

2) Paul had a very specific message to share everywhere he went; how is Paul’s purpose evident in verses 11-13?

Paul’s purpose for living was never far from his mouth or pen. God’s mission had become his mission. (Luke 19:9-10) There was only one condition for salvation, genuine faith in the LORD Jesus, specifically in His promises about our sure future. (Romans 10:9)

The promises of God are the basis of the believer’s assurance. In verse 12, Paul is referring to the blessing of being made right with God, a gift which was available to the Jew and Gentile. This reality was not based on a person’s religion or ethnicity but on God Himself! There is one LORD, the One who saves all who turn to Him in faith.

Notice Paul’s inclusive emphasis: everyone who believes, everyone who calls. Salvation is available to anyone and everyone who believes and confesses God is the only one who can deliver them.

Verse 13 is a quotation from Joel 2:32 and is also mentioned in Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:21. It is without doubt the apostle connects “calling on the name of the Lord” to Jesus Christ. It is one of many instances in which a New Testament writer confirms their belief in the deity of Jesus. Referring to the “name of the Lord” was a way Bible writers pronounced the authority and supremacy of God. (Proverbs 18:10, Psalm 20:1-5, 1 Corinthians 1:10)

“There is not one God to the Jews, more kind, and another to the Gentiles, who is less kind; the Lord is a Father to all men. The promise is the same to all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus as the Son of God, as God manifests in the flesh.” ( God’s mission and message is unchanging, THE LORD of all wants the world to be saved! (2 Peter 3:8-9)

The Everyday Application

2) Paul had a very specific message to share everywhere he went; how is Paul’s purpose evident in verses 11-13?

In Acts 2:21, Peter made an appeal from Joel 2:32 in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost for the same reason Paul does. They both wanted to make known the gospel’s availability to everyone. Commissioned to take the good news of Jesus mainly to the Gentiles, Paul was well-qualified for the mission.

I have loved seeing how God uses certain people in situations that are suited just for them to share Jesus. Paul was an educated man, well-trained in Jewish Law while also possessing a working understanding of Roman and Greek culture so as to engage Gentiles. Paul’s training as a Pharisee, as well as his Roman citizenship, allowed him access and privileges that gave him opportunities to share the gospel everywhere! The Lord specifically chose Paul to be on mission to the Gentiles to show His offer of salvation to all people. Isn’t that beautiful?

Sister, can you see how God has shaped and equipped you specifically for a certain mission?  This passage challenges us to pray for a heart like Paul’s that desires people to call on the name of the Lord.

We plead with God for their salvation, and we trust Him to give us words to say as we engage in conversations about the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Our desire is for people to know the Lord as we know Him, so that on the day of judgment they will not be put to eternal shame and judgment. We also want to be faithful to honor Christ by sharing Him on every occasion God gives us! (Philippians 1:18-20)

The Original Intent

3) Is it essential for a person to hear the gospel message to be saved? (verses 14-15)

Paul sets forth these questions: 1) How can they call on Him they have not believed in? 2) How can they believe without hearing about Him? 3) How can they hear without a preacher? 4) How can they preach unless they are sent? Based on the context, these questions have an implied answer of “they can’t.”

Paul has previously stated in his letter to the Romans that people are accountable to God whether they have heard about Him or not. (Romans 1:18-21) So, it’s important to rightly understand Paul’s motive for asking these questions. As we have learned, all who call on the Lord Jesus are saved from being shamed (Romans 10:11) in God’s presence when He judges the world. (Hebrews 9:27-28) The reason for the emphasis on all is because all need saving.

Do you remember in the beginning when sin entered the garden and humans found themselves sent away from the perfect environment God had given them? (Genesis 3) Their understanding of sin was seen in their shame. The dilemma for humanity is that no one escapes the corrupt condition in which we find ourselves due to rebellion against our Creator. (Romans 3:21-24, 1 John 1:8-10)

If it were not for God’s grace, all would be separated from God forever. Only God could fix what was broken by sin and disobedience. Thankfully, He was willing to do so! (Romans 5:9-14) But it is essential we understand our need lies in the extreme deficiency in our own ability to save ourselves. Only in acknowledging our incapability to be our own savior will we see our need for God’s grace.

We must be told the bad news so we can receive the good news. And that’s why it is indeed essential to hear the gospel message for us to be saved from ourselves!

The Everyday Application

3) Is it essential for a person to hear the gospel message to be saved? (verses 14-15)

Scripture teaches that people are put in certain places, ordained by God, in order for them to seek and find Him. (Acts 17:26-27) Paul told us that many people have rejected God by dismissing what they have heard or what is clearly seen about Him in nature. (Romans 1:18-21) Sometimes this causes confusion about our mission.

But instead of using our efforts and time in debates about the end of time or the eternal destiny of those in nations who have never heard, we believers should be doing our best to make sure they do hear. Jesus left His disciples (that includes you and me) with a mission while also giving us His Spirit to empower us in that mission! (Acts 1:7-8)

Since the Scriptures tells us people reject the knowledge of God revealed in nature, may we be motivated to pray for unbelieving hearts to be open to His revelation. Dear Sister, if we have been saved by God’s grace, we will desire to see the salvation of others through Jesus Christ. Those who don’t know God personally will face an eternity separated from Him. We have a mission to encourage people to call on the name of the Lord.

unless we go, there will be no preacher;
and unless there’s a preacher, they won’t hear;
and without hearing about Jesus, they have not opportunity to believe in Him;
and if they don’t believe in Him, how will they call on Him to save them?!

As Isaiah the prophet first declared and then Paul repeated: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news! (Isaiah 52:7) Paul’s life’s purpose was to preach Jesus Christ to THEM! (1 Corinthians 9:16) May it be our burden and delight as it was his!

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