The truth about God can be known by correctly understanding the teaching of the Bible. Those who place their faith in Jesus Christ will never be put to shame. No one can earn salvation but all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Romans: The Glory of the Gospel Part 24
Righteousness through Christ – Romans 9:30-10:4
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – March 18th, 2018
- The truths we are going to examine today are important for you to know, because how you live your life and where you spend eternity are based upon these things.
- Through the book of Romans Paul systematically reveals the eternal truth of God. Who He is, what He had done, what He is doing, and what He will do in the future. He tells us how these things impact everything and our place and part in His plan. God is powerful, and majestic, and merciful, and compassionate, and loving, and wise, and righteous, and just, and sovereign. There is no one like Him, and what He does, no one can do.
- He reveals Himself to us by what He has created, what He has communicated, what He has conceived in sending His one and only Son into the world. God continues to call to us and work through us for His glory and for the good of all things. His sovereign plan is continuing and has extended to us as children of the promise that comes through faith in the righteous one who has justified us and made us righteous in Him. He is just and the justifier to all who believe, first to the Jew and then to the Gentile (non-Jew).
- In the last part of chapter 9, Paul continues to explain God’s promise and His plan by highlighting how the Gentiles are included in the plan of God and how in believing in Christ, the “stumbling stone” we are righteous through Him.
Righteousness is by faith
Rom 9:30-32a ESV
What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.
- People of non-Jewish heritage who did not have the law nor were trying to obtain righteousness by obeying the law, had faith in God and believed in Christ therefore became righteous because of their faith in Christ.
- Jewish people who had been pursuing righteousness by trying to live up to the demand of the law did not succeed in obtaining righteousness because they were trying to earn it by their behavior verses receive the goal of being righteous by faith in God. They thought that righteousness could be earned (which no one can or could do except Christ).
- So, one must have faith in the righteous one in order to be declared righteous by the just judge. This means that all people everywhere who are trying to become accepted by the one true God cannot do so unless they have put their faith in the Son of God. This is the same for “Christians” who think that they need to become something or do something to be good enough for God. The truth is that no one is justified and declared righteous by their own merit but only through having faith and being found in the righteous one, Jesus the Christ.
Christ is the stumbling stone
Rom 9:32b-33 ESV
They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
- Christ is the “stumbling stone” – to the religious people who think they can earn their way to heaven by their own efforts. If this is true, then Christ did not have to come, live a perfect life and die for the sins of the world. They stumble over their need for atonement – they stumble over the life and teachings of Christ. They stumble over Jesus being “the way, the truth and the life” that no one comes to the father except through him (John 14:6).
- Christ is the “rock of offense” – to people who think that they don’t need a savior. Their pride is offended at the notion that they are sinners and will give an account to a real, living, just and sovereign God. It is offensive thinking that they are not good enough or that they will be judged.
- Those who believe in Christ “will not be put to shame” – this is such a great and rich promise. Because in many ways we are “shamed” into believing in Jesus and claiming Christ as our Lord. And if we do, it is “okay” if we keep it to ourselves and don’t judge others or don’t become too “radical” with it – and go “too far”. In the end those who believe in Christ will be justified and not ashamed because of our faith and allegiance to Him. If anything, we will have wanted to be more “all in” and given ourselves more fully to Him. There is not a thing of being “too committed to Christ”. If these things are true than the wisest people live “all in for eternity”. These things are either true or they are not. If they then are true, we then need to fully align ourselves to them.
Ignorant spiritual zeal is poison
Rom 10:1-3 ESV
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
- There are plenty of people who have religious zeal and who are misguided and ignorant. Zeal by itself without knowledge is poison that will destroy our living and effect our eternity.
- There is a right and wrong when it comes to God, spiritual and religious teaching and practice. You just can’t believe what you believe about God and think that all thoughts about God are true or all paths lead to God. There are things that are true about God and things that are not true about God and it is worth praying, studying, talking and debating about. There are truths that are worth giving our lives for. Because how you think about these things translates into how you live out your life which translates into your eternal state. Theological truth matters.
- When it comes to righteousness there are two choices, either you establish your own righteousness by your own merit or you submit to God’s righteousness and are made righteous because of Christ. There are no other ways than these two ways. If you are not in Christ then you are on your own, and if you are on your own, you are under the wrath of God.
Christ is the end of the law
Rom 10:4 ESV
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
- Christ is the end of the law – Christ perfectly fulfilled the law – which means that we don’t have to do the things of the law (like the movement for Christians to observe the Old Testament law). As Christians this is our commandment:
1 John 3:23-24 ESV
And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
- Jesus is the end of the law. Jesus is the righteousness of God. Everyone who believes in Him is made righteous in Jesus. This is why belief in Christ is so important . . . for there is no other way.
- And if you have not committed yourself to Christ, today is the day. And if you have, then recommit your life to Him, to live “all in” for Christ and His kingdom.
Questions for the week ahead:
- What theological truths did you learn today?
- How are these things going to impact how you think and how you live?