Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Notes on Romans--Part Thirty Eight

Here is my translation of Chapter 10:
My family, my innermost desire, reflected in my prayers to God, is that the Israelites may be rescued. For I would swear in a court of law that they are passionate for God but their passion is not based on a true understanding of God, since they did not know the way God makes people right with Him. Refusing to accept God's way, they cling to their own way of "getting right with God" by trying to keep the Mosaic Law even though our King has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in our King are declared to be in right relationship with God.
For Moses wrote that the law's way of making people right with God requires to obedience to all of its commands but faith's way of getting right with God says, "Don't say in your heart 'who will go up to heaven (to bring our King down to earth) and don't say 'who will go dead to the place of the dead (to bring our King back to life again).'" In fact, it says:
"the message is very close at hand'
it is on your lips and in your heart."
That is the very message about faith that we preach: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is King and believe in your innermost being that God raised him from the dead, you will be rescued. For it is by believing with everything you have that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are rescued. As the Bible states, "anyone who trusts in him will not be disappointed." Jew and non-Jew are the same in this respect--they have the same King who gives generously to all who appeal to him. For "everyone who appeals to the King will be rescued."
"But, Paul, how can they appeal to to him to save them unless they already believe in- or trust in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? and how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? Isn't this why the Bible states, "the messengers who bring good news is always welcome!"
But remember, not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the Prophet said, "My King, who has believed our message?" So you say, "belief and trust comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about our King, but I ask you, haven't the people of Israel heard the message? Yes, they have:
"The message has gone throughout the earth,
and the the words to all the world."
And then I ask you, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said,
"I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation.
I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles."
and later, Isaiah spoke boldly for God saying,
"I was found by people who were not looking for me.
I showed myself to people who were not asking for me."
But regarding Israel, God said,
"All day long I opened my arms to them,
but they were rebellious and stubborn."
Comments tomorrow. God bless,