Romans 10

Romans 10:3

For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

(a) Not knowing about God’s righteousness. The gospel that Jesus preached reveals a righteousness that comes from God (see entry for Matt. 6:33).

(b) Seeking to establish their own. The Jews understood that the Law was righteous (Rom. 7:12) and they believed they could become righteous by keeping it (Rom. 2:13). What they did not appreciate was that no one could ever succeed (see entry for Rom. 3:20).

(c) They did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. Their obsession with the law made them self-righteous and resistant to the righteousness of God that comes by faith.

Romans 10:4

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

(a) For Christ is the end or the goal of the law. He is the ultimate reason for the law.

(b) The law is a signpost, and like any signpost, it only has value in that it points us to a place we need to go. The law does not restrain or guide us but it points us to Jesus who is the way, truth, and the life.

(c) The law for righteousness. Like some people today, the Jews believed that keeping the law would make them righteous. However, no one was ever justified by keeping the law (Gal. 3:11).

Romans 10:6

But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down),

The righteousness based on faith is the righteousness of God that is received by faith (see entry for Php. 3:9).

All of God’s blessings, including forgiveness, salvation, righteousness and sanctification, come to us freely by grace and are received by faith. Faith does not compel God to forgive us or sanctify us. But faith is the conduit through which grace flows. See entry for Eph. 2:8.

Romans 10:8

But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,

(a) The word of faith is synonymous with the word of Christ because hearing the word of Christ is how we receive or strengthen our faith (Rom. 10:17).

(b) Preaching. The original word (kerusso) means to herald as a public crier. This is one of three words that are commonly translated as “preaching” in the New Testament. See entry for Acts 5:42

Romans 10:9

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

(a) If you confess. Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.

In the New Testament, there are more than 200 imperative statements linked with faith. Some of these statements exhort us to: receive Jesus (John 1:11-12, 5:43), receive the message of Jesus (John 17:8), obey or heed the message or good news of Jesus (John 17:6) and turn to God in repentance (Acts 26:20). Other scriptures encourage us to accept the word (Mark 4:20), confess Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9), call on the name of the Lord (Act 2:21), eat the bread of life (John 6:50-51), be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20), submit to God’s righteousness (Rom. 10:3), and be born again (John 3:3, 7). But the one imperative that appears far more than any other, is the instruction to believe. We are to believe in Jesus (see entry for John 3:16).

(b) You will be saved. All of God’s blessings, including forgiveness, salvation, righteousness and sanctification, come to us freely by grace and are received by faith. Faith does not compel God to forgive us or sanctify us. But faith is the conduit through which grace flows. See entry for Eph. 2:8.

Romans 10:11


Whoever believes; see entry for John 3:15.

Romans 10:12

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;

(a) No distinction. The world of Biblical times was highly segregated. The Jews were prejudiced towards women, Gentiles, and sinners; the Greeks were prejudiced towards barbarians (non-Greeks), and the Romans were prejudiced towards slaves and non-citizens. In contrast, Jesus received everyone without regard for their race, gender or status. He said his kingdom was like a dragnet cast into the sea gathering fish of every kind (Matt. 13:47), and he commissioned his disciples to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19). In contrast with the fallen kingdoms of this world, the kingdom of God welcomes people from every tribe and nation (Acts 2:5, 10:35, Gal. 3:28, Eph. 2:13, Col. 3:11, Rev. 7:9, 14:6).

(b) All who call on him. In the first half of Romans, Paul highlights the call of God. “You are the called of Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:6), “called as saints” (Rom. 1:7). God’s call goes out to both Jews and Gentiles (Rom. 9:24–26). But in the second half of Romans, Paul highlights our call to God. “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13). The Lord abounds in riches for all who call on him (Rom. 10:12), but how will they call if they have not heard (Rom. 10:14)? Believers are those who having heard the call of God call to God and are saved.

Romans 10:14

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?

(a) Whom they have not heard? Faith comes from hearing the good news of Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:17).

(b) How will they hear unless somebody speaks? We are called to teach and proclaim the good news because the gospel has to be spoken before it can be heard (Matt. 28:20, 1 Pet. 2:9). The word for preacher means herald. It does not mean “go to seminary for three years and earn a spot on the preaching roster.” In context, it means “let your voice go out into all the earth and your words to the ends of the world” (Rom. 10:18). Use whatever means God has given you to tell your good news story to any and all who will listen.

Romans 10:15

How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”

(a) They are sent. To fulfill the Great Commission requires people to go and others to send them. To send someone implies meeting their practical needs for support. Paul expected the churches he visited would help fund his onward travels (Rom. 15:24, 1 Cor. 16:6; 2 Cor. 1:16).

(b) Good Things refers to Jesus; see the entry for Heb. 10:1.

Romans 10:17

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

(a) Faith comes not from within but from hearing the good news of Jesus Christ. It is something to receive, not manufacture (2 Pet. 1:1).

It’s the unfailing love of God that inspires us to trust him (see entry for 1 John 4:16). Since the love of God is revealed in Jesus Christ (John 17:26), faith comes from hearing about Jesus (Acts 15:7, 28:24). See entry for Faith.

(b) The word of Christ is synonymous with the word of God (Acts 6:7, Heb. 13:7) and the word of his grace (Acts 14:3, 20:32). These are all different labels for the gospel of grace; see entry for Acts 20:24.

Romans 10:19


Anger. The original word (parorgizo) is related to a word that means enrage. Just as the Jews were angered by Jesus (Luke 4:28), they will be enraged by the grace shown to the Gentiles. When religious people hear their dead works count for nothing in the kingdom of grace, they often get angry.

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