Big Idea: Jews & Gentiles come to Faith by hearing the gospel
Introduction: Hello my name is Tomer and I am a member hear at South Sydney Anglican church. Recently Matt our pastor has been training and helping me prepare and deliver a sermon at church. This is my second message and I am grateful to be able to talk on the topic of faith and I hope that it’s nothing to hard to communicate. So thanks again Matt for this opportunity and all your support and encouragement you have given me.
So as we jump right into let me give you a quick recap of the book of Romans
It’s addressing all the believers, followers of Jesus in Rome, he is appealing for help to bring the gospel to further parts of the world. As an apostle, Paul has been set apart to make the royal announcement about the Lordship of Jesus. God’s plan for the world has been revealed through the descendant of king David – Jesus the Messiah. This message demonstrates that God has been faithful to his covenant with Israel.
This letter follows the pattern of the ancient Jewish story of slavery and rescue. Humanity is in exile due to the entrance of sin and death into the world. Even the Jewish law could not defeat death and bring life. But God has come to rescue both Jews and Gentiles through the death and resurrection of Jesus. A new worldwide family is being created. Baptism into Jesus breaks the power of evil and brings freedom. The Holy Spirit leads the way into this new life that will be complete in a new inheritance – a redeemed creation.
Although many in Israel had failed to believe in the Messiah, this ended up bringing life to the rest of the world. The offer of life through Jesus remains for all, however, and in the end God’s mercy triumphs over judgement. The closing emphasis is on the practical shape of a redeemed humanity’s new way to life
When I was studying this passage for myself it made me think… how did I come to faith?
Explain that I myself am a Jew, abandoned faith, ended up and a bad way.
I believe it is exactly how this passage describes it. Through other people that God sent into my life at a certain time with a certain message. Like I said there was a point in my life where I stopped believing in God and abandoned my Jewish faith…and you know what my life was like before and how I use to live…I had no hope and because of this my life changed for the worse.
But it all really began when I started hearing God’s word through an encouraging and supportive group of family and friends, through a bible study fellowship I joined and also I started being discipled through a father in the faith who led me in a prayer dedicating my life to Christ. He was always very supportive of me and reassured my faith with any questions I had and he also clarified a lot of things that I didn’t know of as a messianic Jew. My close friend and brother Mark is still decipleing me to this day and I’m eternally grateful for all the seed he sowed in my life before believing and how he even continues to helps those seeds grow to this day.
God had his hand and plan through it all but I came to realize this by listening to his word and gospel message for me. And over time I realized that I really did have faith in Jesus and a messianic faith that I didn’t have before growing up in a Jewish home, and that the Holy Spirit revealed to me the truth about Jesus for the first time in my life!
The Word of God is a living, creative force – Jesus Himself – and He is actively at work when you read God’s written word – the Bible – and also when you hear the gospel message preached. This is how Jesus makes God’s words come alive for you and others through which He sends His thoughts, faith, and love into people’s hearts. When you listen to what He communicates to you it will begin to transform your life.
One can come to faith only through hearing the gospel, and the specific message that must be heard is the word of Christ, that is, the good news about Jesus Christ as the crucified and risen Saviour.” Romans 8:33 says (Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.) reminds us that it is only God who justifies, or makes people right with himself, so faith is not something we can accomplish on our own.
Point 1 – We should not pass judgement on the Jews fate. (Romans 10:5-7)
5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”[a] 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”[b] (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’”[c] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
Something to consider is that We see in Verse 5: Paul quotes Liv 18:5 It says…You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God. 5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.
This is regarding the righteousness that is based on the law to show that those who keep the law will attain life. Hypothetically, if we all obey the law perfectly it will produce a perfect life and we will all make it to heaven. But as Paul has already shown earlier in the book of Romans chapters 1 -3, life will not come in this way since all violate the law.
And in Verses 6-8 in Romans 10 Paul quotes Deuteronomy 30:12-14… It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
This is to show the contrast between righteousness based on faith and the righteousness that comes from the law. The righteousness based on faith reinterprets the OT statements and sees them now fulfilled in Christ. There is no need to travel to heaven to bring Christ to earth, for God has already sent him into the world. Nor should anyone think they must bring Christ up from the realm of the dead, for God has raised Christ from the dead. What God requires is not superhuman works but faith in the gospel Paul preaches. And this kind of faith is similar and not foreign to the Old testament. Everyone is looking for the secret or purpose in life or how to be made right with God or how to get to heaven. The answer is exactly what we have been talking about, through Jesus… Jesus is the fulfilment of the law and by believing in him and his death and resurrection is the true way of being saved and made right with God through faith.
When Paul talks about people ascending to heaven or going to the deep he is talking about heaven and hell. Paul is saying it’s not in our power or knowledge to know people’s ultimate destiny and then rule them out of God’s kingdom. Only God knows. We may think a certain person or people group are to far from Jesus or that they are too sinful, rebellious or stubborn then rule them out of God’s kingdom or God’s call on their life. We may even give up on them or we may even stop praying for them or sharing the good news with them, but we should never give up or pass judgement that isn’t right. Let me say it again we shouldn’t pass judgement on people including the Jews regarding there Salvation, whether they are destined for heaven or hell. We do not know! Our job is to preach the good news to them. So that they may be saved through Jesus Christ their Messiah and thus fulfill the law by being made righteous through him alone. Salvation is all made possible through God’s grace and there is no one beyond God’s salvation. There is no one too bad or too hardened, it is God who has the power to draw even the worst of sinners to himself.
Point 2 – Jews and gentiles are saved through faith in Jesus
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”[a] that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[b] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[c]
This is very clear…Jews and gentiles are saved by faith in Jesus alone!
No difference… one way to be saved.
In Verses 9-10 when it says If you confess with your mouth does not only mean that a spoken affirmation of one’s faith is a “work” that merits justification, but such confession does give outward evidence of inward faith, and often confirms that faith to the person professing his faith in Jesus. You need to come to a point of true belief and trust in Jesus and have a confidence in all that he has done for you and if you truly believe in you heart and confess that truth you can know you will be saved. And when it says that God raised him from the dead, Paul does not mean that people need to believe only this individual event with no understanding of Christ’s death, but rather they need to believe in the resurrection along with the whole truth connected with it, particularly Jesus sin bearing death in mankind’s place, followed by his resurrection that showed God the Fathers approval of Christs work, and also the fulfilment of Scripture including the Old Testament. Jesus resurrection vindicates that Jesus really was God’s son. It shows God has power to work miracles and it also shows that God can raise us up and save us too. Both the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are necessary for forgiveness of sins and justification. When God the Father raised Christ from the dead, it was a demonstration that he accepted Christ’s suffering and death as full payment for sin. The Fathers favour, no longer his wrath against sin, was directed towards us through and in Christ for all who believe. Paul sees Jews and gentiles as united with Christ in his death and resurrection. Gods approval of Christ resurrection results in God’s approval of all who are united with Christ, and in this way results in their justification.
It’s amazing how God sees you through Christ as righteous!
With the heart one believes. Saving faith is not mere intellectual agreement, but deep inward trust in Christ at the core of ones being. It’s about Surrendering your life to Jesus and putting your trust in him and all that he has done for you. This makes it possible for you to live the true and abundant life he calls you to. And I can testify to this life in my experience and testimony. God has changed my life and it wasn’t only by an intellectual understanding but by trusting him to lead and guide me in my daily life and to live it out through my actions and choices made by putting him and his will first.
Then in Verse 11 it Emphasises faith and trusting in Christ is the pathway to salvation (READ IT AGAIN AT THIS POINT! Great verses. Maybe 11-13). Knowing that salvation now and especially on judgement day when you will be saved from God’s wrath and enter into his eternal kingdom. Shame here refers to at that end time those judged on the last day will experience eternal separation from God and be put to shame. My question and challenge is, have you truly called on the name of the Lord? Yes or No. If you have called on the name of the Lord be confident. You may still feel guilty or you may think you’re not good enough. But if you have truly believed and accepted Jesus as your Saviour and Lord – you are saved and you will never be put to shame. Isn’t that awesome.
Point 3 – All believers should take the gospel to the Jews
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!
If faith comes from hearing the gospel, how can people come to faith if we don’t share the gospel. Its so important that we share the good news to all people. It’s also important to recognizing the importance of missions to the Jews and supporting those ministries . We must support Jewish mission. But these verses are also true of all people groups. How are Muslims going to become Christians if we don’t share the gospel with them and how will Hindus or Chinese or others be converted if we do not take a risk and share the good news with them. We can be those beautiful feet… Yes, a lot of people do not want to hear. But some do and when we share and they believe – we become beautiful to the new believer. They actually love us for sharing the truth with them….
This is exactly how I came to faith. A Jewish missionary Mark among others brought me the good news in the bible study I first started attending. He shared the truth about Jesus clearly through the power of the Holy Spirit. Not only that, he helped me grow in my faith and continued to share the message about Jesus with me. Through weekly discipleship through bible study and prayer. I believe that is why I still believe and have a firm foundation in Christ. He answered my questions about Jesus but also shared his wisdom knowledge and experience with me. Without him I think I would still be lost or maybe have had believed for a while then fallen away. We should never give up on the Jewish people, or even think they are to far from Jesus or think that they would never believe in him. I was in that position but through Jewish missionaries that have a heart for Jewish people I came to believe in Jesus. I found fulfillment in being Jewish and knowing Jesus as my Lord, I learnt how meaningful that is in my life and heritage and I truly embrace that! I am one case among few because there aren’t a lot of Messianic Jews. But as we continue to share the gospel with them this number will grow by God’s favour and grace.