Journey through the Book of Romans
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Paul announces Israel Rejection of the Gospel
Romans 10:14-15 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” NKJV
Paul begins now to explain how the previous great truth of salvation being received by anyone who calls on our Lord Jesus Christ for help and healing from sin by asking four important questions for the rejecting Nation Israel and its individual citizens. Paul (being a former Pharisee) knew how actively the Jewish religious leaders hated and despised our Lord Jesus Christ and they taught the common Jew to do likewise and threatened the people with expulsion from the Synagogue for disobedience, listen to what was said in this discourse over the man born blind healed by our Lord Jesus Christ, John 9:18-22 The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight, and questioned them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?” His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. NKJV Paul was directing these four questions directly at the Jewish leadership for their stubborn rebellion and reckless religious zeal that so blinded them that they were guilty of blocking the common Jew from hearing the gospel of Christ and having an opportunity to be reconciled to God the Father.
Paul is here making a case against them by these four questions of being not in service to God the Father, but at enmity (opposition and warfare with Him) by denying the majority of the Jewish Nation access to those who preached the gospel of grace through the death, burial, and resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Paul also posed these four questions to the Jews because of their hostility for him going into foreign Nations preaching the gospel of Christ to them, but Paul has already earlier declared that it was our Lord Jesus who commissioned him with this authority and to this task (Romans 1:5-6). Paul had gone to many Synagogues proclaiming the gospel of Christ and met with stiff-necked and stubborn rejection from the Jews and he said this to them on one occasion, Acts 18:4-6 And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” NKJV Paul understood the vehement opposition he would receive from the Jews because he never forgot how zealous he was to persecute the followers of Christ and how only a few weeks after his conversion his own Jewish brethren tried to kill even him for turning to Christ (Acts 9:20-25).
Paul knew that unless someone was sent to proclaim the gospel of Christ and people heard that gospel and then believed that gospel that no one would be saved or born again whether they were Jew or Gentile and this is why when Paul was in Corinth that he reasoned with the Jews in their Synagogues preaching Jesus as the Christ, but when he saw their continued rejection and opposition he left there and turned to the Gentiles and the results were as described here, Acts 18:7-11 Then he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, whose house was next to the synagogue. Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized. And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.” And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. NKJV
Romans 10:16-18 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” NKJV
Paul has already confronted opposition to the message of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ from Jews in Corinth and other places he sojourned on his missionary trips. Israel as a Nation has rejected Christ as their Messiah, but there are some Jews like Aquila and his wife Priscilla who were true believers in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 18:2). Despite the fact that Paul had established Churches in many cities like Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi, and others still the majority of even the Gentiles were still steeped in their pagan idolatrous worship. Remember these words from our Lord Jesus own lips, Mark 4:23 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” NKJV When our Lord said these words on this occasion as recorded by Mark, it was right after His proclamation of the parable of the sower. Everyone present on that day heard His story, but not all understood it or even believed it and so is the case with the gospel of grace, many will hear it on the surface and not have their heart in such a condition that they are ready to receive the truth of the gospel and they will continue being under the dominion of their sin.
It is the proclamation, presentation, and power in the gospel as God the Holy Spirit energizes and awakens the soul of the spiritually dead in trespasses and sins sinner to the truth of their sinful condition that faith to believe is granted to the sinner and then the new creation is formed (2 Corinthians 5:17). However, Paul is confirming the words of our Lord Jesus in another place where He said this, Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” NKJV Paul just as our Lord Jesus says here that despite the beauty in the gospel of grace and the power in it, still almost all of Israel at that time (and still today) rejected, refused, or resisted it and in so doing walked and then ran in the direction of that wide gate that seems so surely to lead to God, but in the end will lead instead to hell. Even the Gentile people were not any different.
Romans 10:19-21 But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, By a nation without understanding will I anger you.” And Isaiah is very bold and says, “I was found by those who did not seek Me, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” NKJV
Paul knew that the Pharisees and the other Jewish leaders (though intelligent men and well versed in the Old Testament) did not discern the Gentiles being brought into relationship with YAHWEH because Paul before his conversion was like all of the Jewish leaders believing they could stamp out these few delusional followers of this dead Jew Jesus Christ and that would be the end of it. Surely all of the Jewish leaders knew what Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 32:21, yet if they did not see our Lord Jesus Christ coming as a suffering Savior surely they likewise missed the true meaning of this passage. Israel’s ignorance or inability to discern the truth of the Old Testament writings of Moses and Isaiah as well as all the other Prophets became for them part of God’s judgment against them for their idolatry and going after Baal and all the other false gods. They were blinded to the truth and in that blindness could not even see the very God (YAHWEH) whom they worshiped in the Temple as He stood before them in the Person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
How ironic that the One True God came to His Own and they did not receive Him nor could they even discern Him (John 1:11), but those pagan Gentile people in Philippi, Corinth (prostitute central), Thessalonica, and Crete ,who even a Cretan prophet said of his own people this, Titus 1:12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” NKJV many of them heard the gospel, believed the gospel, and received Christ and were born again not of the corruptible seed of their fleshly birth, but of incorruptible seed by the Word of God (1 Peter 1:18-23). The Jews only perpetuated the stiff-necked and stubborn heart as their forefathers did over many past generations leaving the comfort, care, and constraining hand of YAHWEH to go off and worship Baal as they were led by many of their Kings like Ahab, Manasseh, Amon, and others who turned to looking to the stars and other occult practices. When our Lord Jesus Christ appeared on the scene after 30 years of living in obscurity, He met with the same resistance the Prophets He sent to Israel over the many centuries and even as He taught and preached the Kingdom of God to them in their Synagogues day after day and week after week for 3 years they only grew more spiritually blind and hated our Lord all the more and when they could not refute or dispute His Miracles they attested that His Miracles were done by Him under the power of satan. No wonder the words from the Prophet Isaiah here in verse 21 (given to him by our Lord Jesus) were so true of every generation of the Jewish religious leaders.
“Christ was crucified with His hands stretched out. Stretched forth my hands as offering reconciliation - come let us shake hands and be friends; and our duty is to give the hand to Him, (2 Chronicles 30:8). His patience in making these offers: All day long. The patience of God towards provoking sinners is admirable. He waits to be gracious. The time of God’s patience is here called a day, lightsome as a day and fit for work and business, but limited as a day, and a night at the end of it He bears long, but He will not bear always.” Matthew Henry
“The idea of preaching the gospel to all nations alike, regardless of nationality, of internal divisions as to rank and color, complexion and religion, constituted the beginning of a new era in history. You cannot preach the gospel in its purity over the world, without proclaiming the doctrine of civil and religious liberty,--without overthrowing the barriers reared between nations and clans and classes of men,--without ultimately undermining the thrones of despots, and breaking off the shackles of slavery,--without making men everywhere free.” Albert Barnes
“Israel before God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldeans did not even exist as a Nation and despite being the only Nation of people privileged to have the very Oracles or Word of God spoken to them, they went off time after time serving the false gods of the pagan Nations, and because they rejected Christ, the gospel has come to all of us who are descendants of those pagan Nations.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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