Sincerity is not a ground of safety; self-righteousness is not a ground of salvation. The design of the law was to lead people to Christ, Who is the end of it, and the only ground for salvation is to become interested by humble faith in Christ’s satisfaction of the law, and so be “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
Romans 10:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 10:2-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 10:4-8 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 10:9-11 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 10:12-15 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 10:16-21 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 10:1-10 – Missing God’s Way of Salvation
How earnestly the Apostle loved his own people! All their hatred of him could not extinguish the passionate devotion which he entertained for them. “Apostle to the Gentiles” he might be, but he was essentially an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin, Romans 11:1. The whole reason of their rejection of the gospel lay in their inveterate refusal to submit, Romans 10:3. Is not that the difficulty with us all? It is not that we cannot believe, but that we will not submit to God’s way of righteousness, so humbling is it to our pride.
If only God would allow us to scale the heights or plumb the depths, to do some great thing, to make some vast sacrifice, we should be satisfied to be saved, and His help in the process would not be resented. But it is intolerable to our proud hearts to be told that our own efforts are useless, and that the exclusive source of salvation is God’s grace.
Notice the distinction between righteousness and salvation, Romans 10:9. The one is objective; the other subjective. The first, our standing before God, the latter, the sanctification of our inner life, which not only depends upon the belief of the heart, but requires the confession that Jesus Christ has become Lord and King of the whole nature. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Romans 10:9—If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, etc.
Salvation here is evidently to be taken in its most extended meaning. It stands even more for the deliverance of the soul from the love and dominion of sin than for the removal of its justlyincurred penalty. That we should be pure in heart, holy in thought, consecrated in life, with all the range of our nature controlled by his indwelling Spirit—such is the Divine intention with respect to us, as suggested by this deep, great word Salvation. But there are two conditions, on our compliance with which this saving power is realized.
We must confess Jesus as Lord.—Throughout Scripture there is a close connection between Christ’s Royalty and his Saviorship. “Behold, thy King cometh unto thee… having salvation” (Zechariah 9:9); “Him hath God exalted… to be a Prince and a Saviour” (Acts 5:31). “Melchizedek king of Salem… priest of the most high God… made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually” (Genesis 14:18; Hebrews 7:3). We shall never know Christ as a Savior from inbred sin until we have definitely and absolutely enthroned Him in our hearts. A physician is not content with healing outbreaks of disease and fever when they occur; but claims leave to examine all the arrangements of the house, so as to deal with the sources of the mischief.
We must also steadfastly believe in the Resurrection.—The risen Lord, sitting at the right hand of God, in all the vigour of an indissoluble life: still working in the world, and energising the hearts of his own entering to indwell, to fill, to unite with his own eternal life—such is the vision offered to our faith. Let us look away to Him with a persistent, unwavering gaze, until sin ceases to attract us, and Satan finds a Stronger in possession. —Our Daily Homily
Romans 10:11-21 – Needing Messengers of Good Tidings
The Chosen People chafed, not only at the freeness of God’s justifying grace, but because there was no difference made, so far as salvation was concerned, between them and the Gentiles. Surely there ought to be a special doorway for them into eternal life, apart from that trodden by the feet of the ordinary heathen world! Were they not the children of Abraham, the friend of God? Here the Apostle was compelled to withstand them. No, said he, it cannot be! There is no difference between Jew and Greek. All have sinned, and the same Lord is over all, rich to those who call upon Him, of whatever nationality.
The guests for whom the marriage feast was prepared refused to come, and therefore it was decreed that the servants of the great King should preach the gospel to every creature, and scour the highways and byways of the world for guests. The remainder of the chapter, Romans 10:14, etc., therefore vindicates the Apostle in his determination to preach the gospel beyond the limits of his own people; and in doing so, he was acting upon the old words of Deuteronomy 32:21. God would provoke their jealousy by a no-people, as they had provoked His by no-gods, Romans 10:19. —Through the Bible Day by Day