God’s Sovereign Wisdom and Grace towards Israel.
Jews are without Excuse for their Unbelief: 10: 1-5.
Paul has shown that man alone is responsible for his lost spiritual condition. Unbelievers cannot hide behind divine sovereignty and election as an excuse for their unbelief. In the tenth chapter, apostle Paul talks about human responsibility. In the first three verses he expresses his feeling for his people. God has set aside Israel because they have rejected the gospel. They had opportunity to respond to Christ. They have zeal for the law of God but not according to knowledge. It was misguided zeal. They mistakenly thought that they can earn God's favor with their own obedience. Any attempt to get right with God other than by faith in Christ is an open rebellion against God. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Rom 10:5). He has accomplished the whole purpose of the law by fulfilling it (Matt 5:17). It is possible to be religious and yet to be lost. Christ is the end of the law. The salvation is only because of the grace of God (10:6).
Righteousness is by Faith alone: 10: 6-13. Jews attempted to earn righteousness by the deeds of the law. But by the deeds of the law no one will be justified in the sight of God ( Rom 3:20). Christ is the living proof of righteousness. The gospel is within the reach of everyone to believe. We cannot bring Christ down from heaven or raise Him from the dead. God did it all. The gospel is accessible to all. But Jews did not believe in Christ. Knowing the historical fact of Christ’s death and resurrection will not save anyone. First we have to believe in our hearts that God has raised Jesus from the dead. He is the living Savior. Also we should confess that Jesus is Lord (Rom 10:9). He is the exalted Christ. Confession is the evidence of genuine faith in the heart. We see a classic example of faith and confession in Luke 23:42. Paul validates the principle of faith by quoting from the Old Testament to convict the Jews (Rom 10:11). There is no distinction between Jews and gentiles when it comes to salvation. Paul quotes from Joel 2:32, "Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom 10:13). God is gracious to bestows his blessings on those who call upon Him. This is the only hope for humanity, regardless of our ethnicity or religious status. We must reject our self-confidence and place our confidence in Christ who died for us to be saved.
Gospel should be preached for the Obedience of Faith: 10:14-16.
We are told here why many Jews did not believe in Jesus. To be saved they must call on Jesus as their Lord (Rom 10:9, 13). But before they call upon Jesus, they should hear the gospel (10:14,15). It is our responsibility to preach the gospel to the world. People need to hear about Jesus to believe Him. How will anyone go and tell them if they are not sent? God asked Prophet Isaiah “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" Isaiah’s said “Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Church must encourage missionaries to go, but ultimately God is the one who sends them. If they are not sent by God they must not go (John 20:21). Believers are entrusted with the message of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19). We are commissioned to make disciples of all nations. Someone has said "World reconciliation demands world evangelism". God wants all to be saved (1 Tim 2:4). Sad to say, evangelism has taken a back seat in the church today. Jews heard the gospel but they did not believe (Rom 10:16). Jewish unbelief cannot be blamed on lack of opportunity to hear the gospel. The issue is not God's unfaithfulness but their rejection of Christ. This passage reminds us of the importance of sharing the gospel with others regardless of their ethnicity and what the result might be. How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!
Why we should Evangelize?
People might ask, if God is sovereign why we should evangelize? The answer is that Bible teaches about it and it is the great commission. Jesus said to the Jews, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst" (John 6:35) . This verse speaks of human responsibility. In John 6:37, 39, 40, we see both sovereignty and human responsibility in the salvation. God’s way of saving sinners is through the preaching of the gospel. Someone once asked a preacher "How do you reconcile sovereignty with human responsibility? He replied "I do not reconcile friends". How do we reconcile plain truth and clear truth? God’s revealed will is to evangelize the whole world. This truth is revealed in the parable of the wedding feast (Matt 22:1-14). The truth of sovereignty no way negates the urgency of evangelism. No one is shut out of the mercy of God. God offers salvation to all who chose to come to Christ. God gives people the opportunity to receive his grace when the gospel is proclaimed. Every believer must be thankful for God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. If salvation was earned by good works, why we should be thankful to God? Some would say, I can’t understand this doctrine, so I don’t believe it. Understanding is not a requirement for salvation but faith in Christ (Duet 29:29). "The doctrine of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility will go side by side until they intersect somewhere in eternity".
But not everyone obeyed the Gospel: 10:16-21.
Paul here shows the importance of human responsibility. Paul quotes Isaiah 53:1 here, to prove that Jews are without excuse for rejecting the gospel. The issue is not God's faithfulness but the unwillingness of Jews to receive Christ. The good news has gone out everywhere (Rom 10:18). Hearing alone will not bring salvation but faith in the Lord Jesus Christ does. What is faith? Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Heb 11:1). God is faithful to keep his promises to all who believe and come to him through Jesus Christ. Faith comes as a result of hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17). Some might say they have not heard the gospel. Paul uses the language of Psalm 19 to remind them of the testimony of stars and heavens. So gospel had gone out everywhere and therefore we are without excuse for ignoring the gospel. Paul also quotes Isaiah 65:1,2 here to reminds Israel that the Lord Has been patient with them but they did not obey Him (Rom 10:21). Gospel is open to anyone who believes and there is no excuse for rejecting Jesus Christ. People cannot be saved unless they hear about Christ. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel.