Romans10:11 opens with the words, "For the scripture saith." Paul is showing here that salvation by faith in Jesus is no new thing, that is, justification by faith has always been God's way of salvation. Jesus was not yet born during the Old Testament era, but the Old Testament saint looked forward to the day when Jesus would be born as the Lamb of God. The New Testament saint looks back, timewise, to Jesus for salvation. Paul quotes from the Old Testament to prove his point: "For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed." Paul takes these words from Isaiah 28:16. Then he quotes from Joel 2:32, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
The natural man, because he ignores God's demands, attempts to establish his own righteousness according to his own thinking. Adam and Eve attempted to correct their mistake by making themselves aprons of fig leaves. Things were fine until God appeared and they ran and hid. Of course, their covering was condemned by God and He provided a blood covering for their sin. (Genesis chapter 3).
By nature the natural man goes about to establish his own righteousness because he doesn’t accept God's righteousness, however, all man’s righteousness are as filthy rags in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6).
The only way for man to establish his own righteousness is by his own works, and the Bible condemns that: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Titus 3:5.
The righteousness which is of the law requires this, "The man which doeth those things shall live by them." It doesn't say to try to live by them, but live by them. Doing our best isn’t enough.
The law says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy might," and not only that, but "Thou shalt-love thy neighbor as thyself!" That is the command of God and His commands are righteous.
There is nothing wrong or unrighteous about loving God with all your heart, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. It was the duty of Israel to do that even before God issued the law. If the people of Israel were to establish their own righteousness, they could do it only by doing those things, there was no other way. The same principle applies to the Gentiles. They were to love the Lord with all their heart and soul and might, and love their neighbor as themselves.
It’s impossible for the natural man to keep the law in every detail. Christ alone kept God's law perfectly, but it’s not possible for any man to keep the whole law and by doing so establish his own righteousness. Man just cannot keep the whole Law of God!
We know that man is unrighteous and ungodly by nature, then how can man do righteous things? "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one!" Job 14:4.
Again, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil" Jeremiah 13:23.
Isaiah wrote, "We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags."
Solomon, with his God given wisdom, gives us these words: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" Proverbs 14:12.
Samuel adds this word: “for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" I Samuel 16:7.
Before the flood, men no doubt were making great progress: "There were giants in the earth in those days." There were "mighty men which were of old, men of renown," but God looked down and "saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:4-5. God said, "I will destroy all flesh." In God's eyes, the works of the natural man are not righteous. Man can’t attain righteousness through works.
Galatians 5:19-21 gives us a list of the works of the natural man: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like."
Righteousness can’t come from a heart described in those terms. The holy law of God could only condemn mankind and that is exactly what the law does.
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20.
“The law is not a ministration of righteousness, but of condemnation.” 2 Corinthians 3:9.
The law demands a flawless life, perfect obedience from birth to death. And anything less can’t be accepted by God. James 2:10 tells us that “If a man keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he is guilty of all.”
The scriptures say, "As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them." Galatians 3:10-12.
Israel tried to be righteous by keeping the Law, but it’s impossible to establish man’s righteousness by works, but Christ in you makes the believer righteousness. (I Corinthians 1:30).
God's righteousness in Christ Jesus is possible for any and all men. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" 2 Peter 3:9. The gift of God is for everyone. Jew and Gentile are welcomed alike in God's sight.
"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference." Romans. 3:21-22).
Salvation is “unto all and upon all them that believe,” no matter how ungodly, no matter what you’ve done in the past or what you haven’t done.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3:16.
No man can ever stand before God and accuse Him of not providing salvation for him; or accuse God of leaving him out.
God has only one way of bestowing righteousness upon unrighteous man. It is by faith in the finished work of Jesus the Christ.
Man is helpless to attain righteousness by means of the law, or works. The law could only show him that he needs righteousness, but the law couldn’t produce the righteousness. Only God, in Christ can meet man's need: "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:3-4. What the law couldn’t do, God did by grace. Grace is unmerited favor. All that we receive from God is unmerited. The unsaved person deserves hell, and apart from Jesus Christ he will suffer in hell forever.
"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:4-9.
The only way to get a gift is to receive it. The only way to receive the gift of God is by faith. The only way to be saved is to receive the Lord Jesus. John 3:18, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
Let’s look at what it means to believe in God. It simply means to believe God:
1 John 5:9-12. "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
God’s Word plainly states that salvation is "By grace, through faith, the gift of God, not of works,"
"not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saves us,"
"that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Jesus said, “It is finished.” John 19:30. We’re not saved by understanding. We’re saved by faith, and faith accepts what God said, simply because God said it.
The writer of Hebrews asked; "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" Hebrews 2:3.
All you need do is believe in your heart that He died for your sins, confess Him as Lord with your mouth. ". . and thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:10.
Verses 14-15: "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!"
Paul is putting the ball squarely back in Israel’s court. They rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they refused to believe He was the Son of God, so Paul asks how they expect to call on God for anything when they haven’t believed in Him.
Then he asked them how they hope to believe in someone they haven’t listened to. They refused to listen to Jesus when He came to them in the flesh. Furthermore, they refused to listen to the Old Testament prophets and even killed several of them for their preaching.
Then he asks them how they could be informed of God’s plans if they rejected those sent to preach God’s word. This would include all the apostles and Luke, Steven, Mark, Paul, Barnabas, Timothy and many others. Then he says, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!"
Verses 16-17: "But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."
The Nation of Israel and many of the Gentiles haven’t “obeyed the Gospel.” Individuals from all nations have believed and are saved but there still are many who have not “believed our report.” Faith only comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
We have two different uses of the word “hearing” in this scripture. The first ‘hearing’ is the physical hearing-hearing the Gospel. The second ‘hearing’ is accepting the Word of God unto salvation. This ‘hearing’ is like when we say, ‘I hear you,’ meaning we have heard what you are saying and we agree with you.
Jesus told the disciples and Paul also wrote "Have faith in God."- "Without faith it is impossible to please God!" "They that come to God must believe that God is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Again, "The just shall live by faith," and last but by no means least, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin!"
God deals in faith. The only place to get faith is from the Word of God, the Bible. The reason some believers don’t have any more faith is that they don’t feed on the Word of God.
Verses 18-21: "But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, the sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Isaiah is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel He saith, All day long have I stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people."
Here is what Moses wrote, in Deuteronomy 32:21, "They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation."
Isaiah wrote, in Isaiah 65:1-2: “I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;”
Old Testament scriptures show that God did warn Israel through the prophets, and the entire 19th Psalm proves that nature itself reveals God to man.
Man has absolutely no excuse to doubt God. The Heavens declare the glory of God and the skies show forth the work of His hands. Everywhere on this earth, nature declares that a Supreme Being made and controls this great universe; therefore, man is without excuse. Moses, Isaiah, and Psalm 19 leave the people of Israel and everyone else without an excuse.
The Gentiles (called a people who were not a people) were aliens from the common wealth of Israel, strangers to the covenants of promise, referred to as "dogs" by the people of Israel.
Surely, if these Gentile nations were held responsible before God, Israel should be held even more responsible! God gave His commandments, His laws, His righteousness, and the Oracles of God to the Israelites, so they are all the more responsible. Furthermore, the prophets repeatedly warned that if they continued to disobey God, God would turn to a people who were not a people, namely, the Gentiles.
Moses and Isaiah gave sufficient evidence that God warned Israel that if they rebelled against Him, He would turn to another people. Israel failed to accept their Messiah. Israel cannot be excused for their ignorance of Who He was, they had the pure truth, and they turned their backs on it. Even the heathens discover God. Israel is inexcusable and they will be judged by the God who would have saved them if they had only listened to Him and followed His will.
God has not rejected His chosen nation. Israel has been set aside because of un-belief. At the culmination of the Great Tribulation period, Christ will return and establish the Nation of Israel again, this time it will be made up of the faithful who are “sons of Abraham” both in the flesh and spiritually. They will live and reign with Him for a thousand years, just as God promised.
At the present time, the Jews do not accept the New Testament scriptures, but, at Christ’s return, this scripture from the book of Acts will be fully accepted by the believing Jews.
Acts 13:38-39: "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by Him all that believe are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."
Their righteousness, “which could not be justified by the law of Moses," will come through faith in “THIS MAN,” Christ Jesus, and they will be “justified from all things” by the sacrifice He made for them when they crucified Him on Calvary’s cross.
The next message, message #5, will be from Romans 11, the final chapter of this 911 series.