Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


Romans 10:12-17
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 10:12
v12 (continued): When Paul reports his encounter with the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus he says Jesus instructed him to go primarily to Gentiles so they could receive two things: “forgiveness of sins” and “an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Ac 26:18). This “inheritance” to which Jesus refers includes all of the blessings promised to Israel over the course of biblical history (Eph 2:11-19), especially the promises made to Abraham (Gal 3:29), but Jesus is also pointing to an even greater source of blessing than this. He is saying that believers, whether Jew or Gentile, will inherit with Him the promises made by the Father to the Messiah Himself (Ps 2, 110; Isa 9, 11; Da 9; Zech 14… etc.).

Monday: Romans 10:12
v12 (continued): In other words, we will share in the rewards of His obedience which begin in this present age, the most wonderful of which is the indwelling Holy Spirit (Ro 8:11; Eph 1:19, 20; 2:18), but at the end of this age become so wonderful there are no human words to properly describe them. We are left to speak vaguely about the glories of eternity and marvel at the symbolic pictures John shows us in his Revelation (Rev 21, 22). So when Paul says Jesus abounds “in riches for all who call on Him” he is making a passing reference to an enormous truth (Ac 20:32; Eph 3:4-8; Col 1:12; 3:24; Heb 9:15; 1Pe 1:4).

Tuesday: Romans 10:14, 15
vs14-15: And yet only a remnant of Jews were calling on the name of Jesus. Even though salvation had become so easily available, most had not yet done so. In these two verses Paul anticipates the explanation someone might make for this widespread unbelief. Those looking for an excuse might say, “Paul, they probably didn’t understand what they heard, or no preacher has ever come to their community, so they haven’t had a chance to believe yet.” Paul admits that in order for a person to respond to the gospel there is a natural sequence of events which must first take place: before someone can call on Jesus they must believe in Him; and before a person can believe they must hear the gospel; and in order for them to hear, someone must first come and preach to them; and ultimately it’s God who, as “Lord of the Harvest,” must send out workers into His harvest” (Mt 9:37, 38).

Wednesday: Romans 10:15, 16
vs15-16: Paul rejects both excuses. He says the gospel has indeed been preached widely and thoroughly, just as Isaiah said it would be (Isa 52:7), and the widespread rejection of the gospel isn’t because people didn’t understand what they heard but because they refused to believe what they heard, just as Isaiah said they would (Isa 53:1). They refused to acknowledge that their Messiah had to suffer and die for their sins. To understand Paul’s answers here we must first understand the larger context of Isaiah’s prophecy from which he draws his quotes. Isaiah’s basic theme in chapters 48-53 is this: God will use Cyrus to bring Israel back to their land (Isa 48:20), but the Messiah will bring Israel back to God (49:5).

Thursday: Romans 10:15, 16
vs15-16 (continued): The first verse Paul quotes is from Isaiah 52:7 which describes the joy believers will feel when they are told that God’s glory has returned to Zion (Jerusalem) (Isa 52:1-12). The prophet said when this happened God would send His messengers to carry the good news to Israel. They will announce that at last God alone is our King and His glory has returned to dwell among us (“bring back Zion”). Chapters 49-52 are frequently misunderstood to refer to the return of the exiles from Babylon but they are entirely Messianic. Paul rightly understands this (of course!), so when he reads verse seven (Isa 52:7) he hears God promise to send messengers who will declare that the Messiah has come, and that promise is the basis of his answer. To those who claim that the Jewish community had not heard, he says, “Yes they have. Apostles, prophets, evangelists and faithful believers have carried the gospel to every region just as God said they would.”

Friday: Romans 10:15, 16
vs15-16 (continued): Isaiah’s prophecy that the glory of God (in the Person of the Messiah) would someday return to Zion (Lk 19:41-44) comes as a prelude immediately before his prophecy of the Suffering Messiah (Isa 52:13-53:12). In the midst of this passage he asks, “Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Isa 53:1), meaning, many people will not believe this. The glory of God would indeed come to Zion in the Person of God’s Son, but most of Israel would not believe because He would come in humility and would suffer and die to atone for sin (Isa 53:4-10). Paul also wants us to see that Isaiah had clearly predicted this unbelief and had explained why it would take place. He said many would not believe because they would not tolerate the concept of their Messiah dying violently for them because they were sinners who had hopelessly failed to keep the Law.

Saturday: Romans 10:17
v17: As we’ve seen, Paul’s purpose in these chapters (Ro 9-11) is to show that the widespread rejection of the gospel by Judaism was their fault, not God’s (“The Word of God has not failed,” 9:6). The gospel had exposed unbelief, but had not caused it. God had sent the Savior as He said He would and made the proclamation about Him understandable. Yet many refused to believe. By saying, “So faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ,” Paul is again removing any excuses. When the gospel is preached people can believe if they want to. The “word of Christ” (the message about Jesus and from Jesus) is accomplished by a work of the Holy Spirit which makes faith possible. Obviously, many had resisted that witness so faith didn’t come to them, but they could have believed were they willing. Paul had often seen this amazing process at work. When he preached Christ, spiritual eyes and ears were opened and faith filled hearts. God bestowed faith upon those willing to humbly listen. 


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