Israel and the Gospel
We are to look at Israel and their attitude towards the gospel in this lesson for that is the subject of Rom., Chapter 10. The chapter opens with
1. Paul Longing That Israel Might Believe the Gospel, vv 1-4
The apostle’s heart yearns as he beholds his beloved people struggling on in a way that led ever farther from the goal they sought after. They were earnest and sincere in their efforts but they were on the wrong track. They were climbing in the way of Mount Sinai instead of looking away to Calvary. They were seeking to establish their own righteousness which is by the law instead of submitting to God’s Righteousness which is Christ.
2. The Testimony of Moses to the Gospel, vs. 5-7
Whenever one pleaded for the law they would refer to Moses. So Paul calls him to the witness stand. What has he to say concerning the righteousness which is by the law and that which is of faith? In one word he sums up legal righteousness; that word is DO. (vs. 5.) But then he contrasts the righteousness of faith; it rests upon a work that is finished, (vs. 6, 7.) I need not climb up into heaven to be saved, Christ is there for me. Nor need I descend into the depths for Christ was there for me and suffered the pangs of death. I need not work for the work is finished, I can rest in a work that is done; that gives peace.
3. The Simplicity of the Gospel, vs. 8-15.
How very simple is God’s Salvation. Israel was out on the search for it and missed it because they sought it afar off when it was so near. You have heard of the man searching for his spectacles when all the while they were on his face. God says “I will bring my salvation near.” “The word is near thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart.”
You see God puts the very words in our mouths, the word of faith that if we confess Jesus as Lord believing that the work is done for God has raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved. How simple the summing up in vs. 11
There we have:
· The grand word of the Gospel—WHOSOEVER.
· The grand method of the Gospel—BELIEVETH.
· The grand result of the Gospel—ASSURANCE.
Like the sun that floods the entire world with its light God’s salvation is for all. The wealth of the sun might be exhausted but God’s mercy never for He is “rich in mercy.” We call upon Him when we discover how poor we are and how very rich He is. And therefore God sends His messengers into all the world that all might know of His wealth and avail themselves of it by calling upon His Name. (vs. 13-15). The simple way in which God’s Salvation works is described for us in these verses. We will reverse the order in which the seven steps are given.
1. God has good news for the sinner, vs. 15.
2. God sends a messenger with these good tidings.
3. The messenger tells the story.
4. The sinner hears the good news. vs. 14.
5. The sinner believes the message.
6. The sinner calls upon the name of the Lord.
7. The sinner is saved, vs. 13.
4. Israel Refused the Gospel, vv. 16-21
Listen to the sad refrains that close this chapter. First ISAIAH laments the little response that there is to the wonderful message that works faith in the hearts of those who hear.
Then DAVID in his sunrise hymn (Psa. 19) sings of the wide range of the gospel message, the sound has gone into all the world.
And MOSES in his swan song (vs. 19. Deut. 32:21) sings of the bringing in of the Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy.
ISAIAH’S sad words close the chapter. Listen to Israel’s rejected Lover. How lovely His attitude pleading with outstretched hands. Israel nailed those hands to the cross. All the day long Jesus holds them out in grace, but Israel turns away, do you?
1. What was Paul’s prayer to God for Israel?
2. What proves the simplicity of the gospel?
3. Why did Israel refuse God’s salvation?