Reading through Romans
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.
A reading from Romans: Romans 10:5-13 (NLT)
For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says,
“The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.”
And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Reflection: Romans 10:5-13 (John Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World)
The plan of God for Jews and Gentiles: (Romans 9–11)
The dominant theme [of these three chapters] is Jewish unbelief, together with the problems which it raised…. Each chapter handles a different aspect of God’s relation to Israel, past, present and future:
- Israel’s fall (9: 1– 33): God’s purpose of election
- Israel’s fault (10: 1– 21): God’s dismay over her disobedience
- Israel’s future (11: 1– 32): God’s long-term design
- Doxology (11: 33– 36): God’s wisdom and generosity
Israel’s fault: God’s dismay over her disobedience (10:1–21)
(10:5-13) Alternative ways of righteousness
Paul now summarizes the gospel in these terms: That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ (the earliest and simplest of all Christian creeds), and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Thus heart and mouth, inward belief and outward confession, belong essentially together.
Implicit in the good news are the truths that Jesus Christ died, was raised, was exalted, and now reigns as Lord and bestows salvation on those who believe. This is not salvation by slogan but by faith, that is, by an intelligent faith which lays hold of Christ as the crucified and resurrected Lord and Savior. This is the positive message of ‘the righteousness that is by faith’.
…The designation of saving faith as ‘trust’ shows that the ‘belief’ and the ‘confession’ of the two previous verses (9–10) are not to be understood as a mere subscription to credal formula.
It is a marvelous affirmation that through Christ there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile…. Between those who have been justified by faith and are now in Christ, all distinctions, not only of race, but also of sex and culture, are not so much abolished (since Jews are still Jews, Gentiles Gentiles, men men and women women) as rendered irrelevant.
What then, according to this section, is necessary to salvation? First the fact of the historic Jesus Christ, incarnate, crucified, risen, reigning as Lord, and accessible. Secondly, the apostolic gospel, the word of faith (8), which makes him known. Thirdly, simple trust on the part of the hearers, calling on the name of the Lord, combining faith in the heart and confession with the mouth. But still something is missing. There is, fourthly, the evangelist who proclaims Christ and urges people to put their trust in him. It is of Christian evangelists that Paul writes in the next paragraph.
Jesus is Lord
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen