Romans 10:1-11 Part 2By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, January 16, 2022.
V. Clearly, “the righteousness which is of faith” (v. 6) CANNOT be a righteousness which relies upon something that a person DOES so that he may live (i.e., ACQUIRE life and righteousness), for that would make it a “do and live” proposition: “the righteousness which is of the law” (v. 5). A. But the sinner’s faith is something he DOES. ACT 16:30-31; 1JO 3:22-23. 1. A man may be asked, “Do you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?” and, if so affirmed, the man would rightly answer, “Yes, I do.” 2. If the conclusion from such an exchange is that the man resultantly came into the possession of life and righteousness, then he did so according to “do and live!” 3. Since work means “something that is or was done; what a person does or did,” this formula of conditional life and righteousness is teaching righteousness by works, contrary to TIT 3:5. B. Faith was a requirement of Moses’s Law. DEU 32:20; MAT 23:23. 1. Israel under the Law was even charged with unbelief of the gospel! HEB 4:2. 2. Therefore, to make the sinner’s faith the instrument of acquiring life and righteousness is to land one smack dab in righteousness/salvation by Law, contrary to ROM 3:20; GAL 3:21. 3. Selecting one requirement of Moses’s Law (sinner’s faith) and making it the means of acquiring life and righteousness is to make one a debtor to all of Moses’s Law even as relying upon circumcision would do! GAL 5:3. a. One might say, “But faith and circumcision are different: circumcision requires action!” b. But the infant who was circumcised to keep the law was not the actor: what he had for a token of the covenant was not owing to his action either. In fact, the circumcised infant was even more passive than the adult who exercised faith. c. Both a sinner’s circumcision and a sinner’s faith were requirements of Moses’s Law. To build one’s hope of life, justification and righteousness upon the performance of either is errant. C. Whatever role the sinner’s faith has, it cannot be the means to acquire the salvation that God’s grace alone provides, even as Paul states, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES...” (EPH 2:8).
VI. Consider some other fatal flaws of a system which holds that life and righteousness is conditioned upon the unsaved sinner’s faith/belief which procures it. A. It must be assumed that God instituted a system that benefits only the saved since natural man has no capacity to believe. ROM 8:7-8; 1CO 1:18; 2:14. B. It must be assumed that God instituted a system which excludes all who do not believe, including those who have no opportunity to believe. Again, it is only a system that benefits the saved. 1. Thus, God is supposed to want unbelievers to be saved but deliberately set up a system which does not favor them. 2. Those who find fault with the doctrine of God’s election of only some unto eternal life through Christ nevertheless believe God elected to institute a system which automatically excludes some from eternal life. 3. They (knowing their time, ability and resources are limited) will even ask God to tell them which land they should evangelize. They are actually asking God to sovereignly choose some for salvation but not others! C. Under such a system, believers must be assumed to have the power of eternal life of the unsaved in their hands. 1. They by inefficient witness or by no witness to the unsaved can cause their eternal damnation. They could even willfully condemn the unsaved to hell by refusing to tell them about Jesus Christ. 2. But God will save the believer while damning the victims of their sloth and indifference. Huh? D. This system assumes that statements of fact concerning Jesus Christ and His work for sinners are only true if one believes them. This creates problems. 1. Example: Jesus Christ died for sinners to take away their sins. a. If one is a sinner for whom Jesus died, then his sins have been taken away. The unbelieving sinner thus does not need the gospel since unbelief is a sin which Jesus took away by His death. b. If the unbeliever is not saved, then Jesus must not have died for him to take away his sins, and this proves the statement above is not of a universal atonement. 2. This system assumes that a proposition becomes true upon belief of it when it is not true. a. Jesus is not the savior of the unsaved man. If Jesus was his savior, he wouldn’t be unsaved. b. The unsaved man is expected to believe Jesus is his savior when such is not the case. He is expected to believe a lie in order to get saved. E. This system assumes that Jesus Christ actually saved nobody from their sins by His death but merely made the sinner’s salvation possible. 1. Jesus is assumed to have died for all men universally and left the matter of salvation up to sinners. 2. On Judgment Day, some will be seen to be saved while others are not. 3. The difference between the two classes will not be owing to what Jesus did since He did the same for those in hell as for those in heaven. 4. The ones who end up in heaven must be assumed to be there on the basis of what they as sinners had done. They are their own saviors by their belief, will, resolve. F. This system also assumes that the love of God through Christ is both universal and eternal. 1. It cannot be both unless all mankind end up in heaven but Scripture denies this. MAT 25:41-46. 2. If the love of God is both universal and eternal and some end up in everlasting punishment, then it must be concluded that they are feeling the eternal love of God there: that is how He shows them love. But the reality is that the damned experience God’s wrath, not His love. ROM 9:22 c/w 1TH 5:8-9. 3. If it be countered that God’s love therefore must be universal but not eternal, then what security does that give the believer? Sadly, many professing Christians are burdened by this false oxymoronic concept of temporary eternal love/life. G. This system also assumes that a debt paid off for someone by another is not really paid off until the beneficiary acknowledges it. 1. It sets forth Christ as the sin-bearer Who redeemed sinners with His blood, accepting their debt of sin as His, and paying it for them. 2. But at the same time this system maintains that all of Christ’s work of redemption is ineffectual unless the sinner believes in it. 3. In fact, this system actually makes Christ into a debtor by obligating Him to the sinner’s faith! It expects Christ to pay twice for what He purchased once in full. 4. NOTE: A debt paid for someone by a benefactor relieves that person of the bondage whether or not he realizes it. a. Such a person would be blessed to hear of the benefactor’s intervention on his behalf. b. And this is why the gospel should be preached, for it exposes those who don’t even care about their sin debt (or don’t think they have it), and relieves those who perceive that a great power has shown them mercy. 1CO 1:18. H. What has been said here of classic Arminian (and even Calvinist) soteriology which both ultimately hang the life and righteousness of men upon the action of their faith may also apply to any system of professed Christianity which assumes that sinners must somehow finish what Christ has already finished by Himself. ROM 5:19; HEB 1:3.
VII. Life and righteousness is therefore NOT a result of, or a trusting in, something that sinners DO. A. The believer’s righteousness is the LORD Himself, a fact about which the bulk of Israel was ignorant, as Paul had just stated (ROM 10:1-3), and which the prophets had proclaimed. ISA 45:24; 61:10; JER 23:5-6. B. The flawless obedience demanded of men by the Law was finally satisfied by Jesus Christ Who fulfilled it according to His own declaration in MAT 5:17. C. Christ’s perfect obedience unto death (PHIL 2:8) redeemed a countless multitude from out “...of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues...” (REV 7:9), being made their righteousness (1CO 1:30) and they being “...made the righteousness of God in him” (2CO 5:21). But only believers “see” this reality, per ROM 10:4. c/w 1PE 1:8-9. D. The gospel, far from declaring something that fallen sinners can do to ACQUIRE life and righteousness, reveals the power of God to save through HIS righteousness, “...for therein [the gospel] is the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD REVEALED [not 'offered']...” (ROM 1:17).
VIII. Paul utilizes a passage from DEU 30:11-14 and adapts it to his argument about what message the righteousness which is of faith presents. ROM 10:6-8. A. The commandment by Moses was not hidden, was present and available, and even inward. How much more the word of faith which Paul preached?! B. NOTE: the righteousness which is of faith has a message which in no way implies that the work of Christ to provide righteousness is unfinished and depends on the work of sinners! vs. 6-7. C. The righteousness which is of faith says that the word of faith which Paul preached, that word of the faith of the gospel which reveals the righteousness of God (ROM 1:17), is a plain promise of salvation to believers. ROM 10:9-10. D. Of believers, we can plainly conclude: 1. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for them. ROM 10:4. 2. They are made righteous in Christ. 2CO 5:21. 3. They are born of God. 1JO 5:1. 4. They have eternal life. JOH 6:47. 5. They shall not come into condemnation. JOH 5:24. 6. They are justified by Christ. ACT 13:39. 7. They are owned by God: body, soul and spirit. 1CO 6:20; 1TH 5:23-24. 8. They are indwelt of God’s Spirit. GAL 4:6. 9. They shall be with God when they die. PHIL 1:23. 10. They shall share in Christ’s bodily resurrection. ROM 8:11; 1CO 15:23. 11. Their faith in God’s promise is counted for righteousness. ROM 4:24-25. 12. They are empowered to conquer this life. 1JO 5:4. 13. They are the objects of God’s grace and work. EPH 2:8-10. 14. They shall be saved from establishing their own righteousness (v. 3), confessing Christ their righteousness. vs. 9-10. 15. They will not be ashamed. ROM 10:11. a. This verse obviously applies to those whose faith/trust/reliance is in God, not in something that they did. b. Make sure your faith is not “faith in your faith” but “faith in God.”
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