Note from Jesus
Paul was My apostle with a special commission to the Gentiles, but he deeply loved and was deeply concerned about his fellow Israelites who had not come to faith in Me. In Romans chapter 9, Paul powerfully and emotionally said these gut-wrenching words:
Now let me speak the truth as plainly as I know it in the Anointed One. I am not lying when I say that my conscience and the Holy Spirit are witnesses to my state of constant grief. It may sound extreme; but I wish that I were lost, cursed, and totally separated from the Anointed — if that would change the eternal destination of my brothers and sisters, my flesh and countrymen.
What Paul wrote was a display of overwhelming love — he was willing to be lost eternally if that would lead his fellow Jewish people to be saved. This commitment makes his words in this section of Romans (chapters 9-11) all the more poignant. He did not write out of anger or hostility, but out of love. He wrote these truths to heal the racial divide between Jew and Gentile in the church in Rome. He wanted to help the Christians there understand the message of salvation. That message was clear: All can be saved, both Jew and non-Jew. However, salvation comes only through the Father’s grace received through faith in My death, burial, and resurrection as God’s Anointed, the Messiah of Israel and Lord of all peoples.
While there were Jews in Paul’s time who accepted this message — “God has preserved a remnant, elected by grace” (Romans 11:5) — most rejected it. For these Jews, I was a “stumbling stone” (Romans 9:32-33). In fact, if you go back and re-read about Peter’s sermon and the events on Pentecost in the book of Acts (Acts 2:17-41), you will find the message of salvation Peter preached that day to Jews was the same basic message as what Paul wrote the Roman’s in today’s verses (Romans 10:9-13). That basic message from Peter and from Paul was:
- Believe in your heart the Father raised Me from the dead.
- Commit to living a life that’s right with God.
- Confess Me as your Lord.
- Call on My name as your Savior in baptism.
- Be saved.
Paul had experienced this same kind of conversion himself. If you read the accounts in Acts of his conversion, you will find these same things were emphasized (Acts 9:15-18; Acts 22:8-16).
Paul wanted believers in Rome to realize three truths that are so important for those who love Me and believe in Me. These are important for every generation of believers!
First, as I mentioned in My Sermon on the Mount, I AM the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 5:17). Paul said it this way:
You see, God’s purpose for the law reaches its climax when the Anointed One arrives; now all who trust in Him can have their lives made right with God.
Second, no one is going to be saved based on law-keeping. All who are saved, both Jew and non-Jew, are saved because they have been called by the Father’s grace that they received through faith in my crucifixion and resurrection (Romans 10:3-4; Romans 9:30-32).
Third, those who send others and those who share My good news with others are very important because people cannot be saved unless they believe. They cannot believe unless they hear about the Father’s love demonstrated by My incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection. People cannot go and share this message unless someone sends them. As Paul did so frequently throughout chapters 9-11 in Romans, he quoted the (Old Testament) Scriptures and wrote:
Because what Isaiah said was true: “The one who trusts in Him will not be disgraced.” Remember that the Lord draws no distinction between Jew and non-Jew — He is Lord over all things, and He pours out His treasures on all who invoke His name because as Scripture says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
So send those who will proclaim this message. Share this message yourself when you meet people who are open to receiving it. Know that the Father wants all peoples — Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, politically conservative and liberal, male and female, young and old — to hear His call to grace and to receive that message with faith!
Verses to Live
Paul wanted all people saved. He made clear in these verses how that salvation comes to people. I hope you will read these verses and not only be heartened, but also be motivated to send and share the message of the Father’s love demonstrated by My life, death, and resurrection.
My brothers and sisters, I pray constantly to God for the salvation of my people [the Israelites]; it is the deep desire of my heart. What I can say about them is that they are enthusiastic about God, but that won’t lead them to Him because their zeal is not based on true knowledge. In their ignorance about how God is working to make things right, they have been trying to establish their own right standing with God through the law. But they are not operating under God’s saving, restorative justice. You see, God’s purpose for the law reaches its climax when the Anointed One arrives; now all who trust in Him can have their lives made right with God.
Moses made this clear long ago when he wrote about what it takes to have a right relationship with God based on the law: “The person devoted to the law’s commands will live by them.” But a right relationship based on faith sounds like this: “Do not say to yourselves, ‘Who will go up into heaven?'” (that is, to bring down the Anointed One), “or, ‘Who will go down into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring the Anointed One up from the dead). But what does it actually say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the good news we have been called to preach to you). So if you believe deep in your heart that God raised Jesus from the pit of death and if you voice your allegiance by confessing the truth that “Jesus is Lord,” then you will be saved! Belief begins in the heart and leads to a life that’s right with God; confession departs from our lips and brings eternal salvation. Because what Isaiah said was true: “The one who trusts in Him will not be disgraced.” Remember that the Lord draws no distinction between Jew and non-Jew — He is Lord over all things, and He pours out His treasures on all who invoke His name because as Scripture says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How can people invoke His name when they do not believe? How can they believe in Him when they have not heard? How can they hear if there is no one proclaiming Him? How can some give voice to the truth if they are not sent by God? As Isaiah said, “Ah, how beautiful the feet of those who declare the good news of victory, of peace and liberation.” But some will hear the good news and refuse to submit to the truth they hear. Isaiah the prophet also says, “Lord, who would ever believe it? Who would possibly accept what we’ve been told?” So faith proceeds from hearing, as we listen to the message about God’s Anointed.
Response in Prayer
Father, open my eyes to those around me who need Your grace. Help me know when and how to share the story of Jesus with them. Forgive me for the times my heart has been closed toward those who need support in going to share your message, especially those who share Your message with other cultures. Be with those who are sharing Your message in places where they are persecuted and reviled. Thank You for Your great grace and Jesus’ willingness to accept the brutal consequences that have brought me this grace. I pray this in His sweet and mighty name. Amen.
‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.