Reading through the Bible together
This chapter continues with Paul’s concern for the lost condition of the Jewish nation. It is his heart’s desire that they should be saved. Unfortunately, they have a zeal for God that is not based on Scripture, and are ignorant of true righteousness of faith. They have tried to establish their own righteousness, and did not submit themselves to Christ when He revealed Himself to them.
Paul says, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (v. 4). This does not mean the law is done away with. In the previous chapter he made it clear when he said, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4). What this shows is that Christ fulfilled the law for us and we can experience His righteousness by looking to Him rather than the law.
Then he quotes from Deuteronomy 30:12, 13 to describe faith. The problem is that some say they would believe if they could go to heaven and see Christ there. Others say that they would believe if they could see the resurrected Christ for themselves (vs. 5-6). He then shows that true faith believes in the word preached that Jesus is real and that God raised Him from the dead. In our hearts we believe, and are fully persuaded of Christ’s righteousness, and we confess this with our mouth (vs. 7-13). Nobody will be ashamed for openly confessing their faith in Christ because He is the power of God unto salvation.
Next Paul makes an evangelistic appeal and calls upon believers to preach the gospel of peace to those who do not believe (vs. 14-18). Preachers are needed to take the gospel to the world, and he quotes Isaiah 52:7 to describe the beauty of the feet of those who take the tidings of this message to those who have never heard. This preaching leads to faith in those that hear the word of God. Evangelists today must continue to preach the simplicity and power of the gospel that leads to faith and transformation. Paul closes this section by quoting Psalm 19:4 to show that the words of the preachers have gone to the ends of the world.
In the last three verses of this chapter, Paul quotes Moses by showing that God will transition from the Jewish nation to the Gentiles due to their rejection of Christ. He did all He could to reach them, yet as a people they unfortunately remained disobedient and contrary (Isaiah 65:1,2).
Norman McNulty, M.D.
Neurologist, Lawrenceburg, TN, USA