The Gospel to the Gentiles Rom. 10:14-21 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Romans chapter 10 is a transition chapter from the end of chapter 9 to the full content of chapter 11. At the end of chapter 9 Paul concludes that Gentiles attained the righteousness of God because they received it by faith. Israel, on the other hand, tried to attain the righteousness of God by the works of the law and in so doing they stumbled [Rom 9:30-33].
In Chapter 10, Paul discloses his burden for Israel’s salvation [Rom 10:1] to let them know that in his ministry to the Gentiles [Rom 15:16] he has not neglected the Jews. Nevertheless, he also discloses that, in spite of his burden, God directed him to the Gentiles because Israel wouldn’t believe [Rom 10:16, 21] and the Gentiles would [Rom 10:20]. Furthermore, the Lord intended to provoke Israel by opening the way of salvation to the Gentiles [Rom 10:19; 11:11].
In Rom 10:14-21 Paul makes his case that he was sent to preach the gospel and that Gentiles were getting saved through his ministry because they believed the gospel. Many Jews, by contrast, were not getting saved because they did not believe the gospel. To the contrary, they were getting mad at Paul’s preaching and the Gentiles’ response, as the Lord had prophesied.
Paul quotes several Old Testament passages in the last third of Rom 10. By checking these references and the contexts in which they appear, we learn that Israel should have known to trust Jesus. And they should acknowledge that the gospel is definitely for Gentiles as well as for Jews [Rom 10:12].
Rom 10:14-15 – Paul was sent to preach [Acts 9:15-16; Acts 13:2-4], for it is through preaching that men hear and believe. Paul quotes Is 52:7 in verse 15. Reading the context of Is 52:7-15, you find that God’s salvation is for “all the nations” and “all the ends of the earth,” [Is 52:10]. Notice the reference to Christ’s crucifixion in Is 52:14 and the reference to “many nations” in Is 52:15. Verse 15 is obviously a reference to the opening of the gospel to Gentiles, “that which they had not heard shall they consider.”
Rom 10:16-17 – Paul quotes Is 53:1 to show that they do not all believe the report. By preaching the word of God they hear and by faith they believe. If they hear and don’t believe then they don’t get saved.
Rom 10:18 – Paul quotes Ps 19:4. Read the context from Ps 19:1-6. All the world knows about the Lord from the testimony of creation [Rom 1:18-21].
Rom 10:19 – Paul quotes Deut 32:21. Read the context from Deut 32:18-29. Israel is “a nation void of counsel,” [Deut 32:28] and they are “children in whom is no faith,” [Deut 32:20]. The word “faith” shows up in the Old Testament in only one other place, Hab 2:4. Paul quotes Hab 2:4 in Rom 1:17 and Gal 3:11, showing that salvation in the New Testament is by faith. And since Israel won’t accept the gospel by faith, God moves “them to jealousy with those which are not a people,” [Deut 32:21, i.e., Gentiles].
Rom 10:20-21 – Paul quotes Is 65:1-2. Read the context from Is 65:1-10. The trouble with Israel is self-righteousness, whereas they need God’s righteousness. Notice in Is 65:5 they say, “I am holier than thou.” Wasn’t this the problem between the Pharisees and Jesus? They are indeed a “disobedient and gainsaying people.” Nevertheless, notice the promise in Is 65:8-10 that God will “bring forth a seed out of Jacob.” See Rom 9:27-29.
Conclusion: From here Paul will go into chapter 11 to show us that God opened the gospel to Gentiles when Israel refused to believe. He will also show us how, when and why the Lord will save Israel in spite of their current unbelief. He is not through with Israel.