Sunday School with Pastor, Dr. Theodis Acklin

Scriptural text: Romans 10:1-21

Lesson Context: Romans 10 reflects on Paul’s hope that the good news

Rev.Acklin that Jesus is the Messiah and Lord will also come to his fellow Jews. God promised salvation to Israel, and God keeps promises at all times. Therefore, the promise of salvation must come to Israel. The hard division between Jews and Christians did not occur until several generations after Paul’s lifetime.

A. Paul’s Prayer (Romans 10:1-4): A. Heart’s Desire (v. 1). “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” Here, Paul again feels compelled to relate his heart regarding his fellow Jews. Paul does not rejoice that they have stumbled at that stumbling stone (Romans 9:32). Paul’s heart’s desire also translated into concrete action. Paul didn’t just “care,” he prayed.

B. Zeal Without Knowledge (vv. 2-3). v. 2 “For I bear them record that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” This is where so many religious people- even sincere Christians-go astray. They have plenty zeal but little knowledge.

Zeal for God, but not according to knowledge: This is a perfect description of Paul himself before his conversion. Saul of Tarsus was a notorious persecutor of Christians before Jesus confronted him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-20).

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.”

Establish their own righteousness: This effort shows Israel’s lack of knowledge and that they are ignorant of God’s righteousness. Paul ably demonstrated in the first several chapters of Romans how futile this is. Plainly put, by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified (Romans 3:20).

C. Christ and the Law (v. 4).

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Jesus is the end of the law for those who believe. The law ends for the believer in the sense that our obedience to the law is no longer the basis for our relationship with God. The law has not come to an end in the sense of no longer reflecting God’s standard or no standard showing us our need for a Savior.

ll. The Word of Salvation (Romans 10:5-13)

A. Righteousness by Faith (vv. 5-8) v. 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.” Instead of having to go to great lengths to achieve righteousness by the law, we can immediately receive righteousness by faith, by trusting in the word of the gospel.

B. Trust in God (vv. 9-10) 9. “That if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” We do not gain God’s righteousness by works. Instead, we gain it by confessing and believing in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

lll. Preaching Leads to Faith (Romans 10:14-17).

A. How Will They Hear? (vv. 14- 15). 14-15a. “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? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” Paul rightly observes that it all goes back to the preaching of the gospel, and preachers must be sent-both by God and the Christian community at large.

How shall they hear without a preacher? Conceivably, God could have chosen any means for the message of salvation to come, such as angelic messengers or directly working without a human preacher. Nevertheless, God’s normal way of bringing people to Jesus Christ is through the preaching of the gospel.

Conclusion: Who May Be Saved? The offer of salvation comes through the preaching of the word as one of hope and expectation God is for us wishes to be with us. When we trust the reliability of that offer, we can enter into a life of joyful hope, which the Bible calls salvation. That life begins now and extends into eternity.

References: International Sunday School Lessons KJV 2023-2024, David Guzik, Blue Letter Bible Commentary