Bible Studies for Life
with Clay Anthony
Sunday, October 2
One Great Commitment
One Great Commitment
Romans 10:1-3; 8b-13
The Bible contains many scenes of people being healed from physical aliments. Nearly every book contains someone receiving some type of physical restoration. We rejoice in these stories. Yet what of the healthy people walking through those same pages? The ones that seemingly have health and peace filled lives? Does God have any interaction with them? Do they have any need from God? We should argue yes. They have a great need from God and that is to be made right with Him. People throughout history have needed to know what God expects. Through the nation of Israel God did move to give humanity His law. It was through those people that God gave us His expectations and standards of living.
Romans 10 reveals that while Israel was used to give us God’s law, they were not very apt at keeping it. We read of where Moses himself had anger issues and that David was a man of bloodshed. Even going back further we see that Abraham was a liar. It is easy for the modern believer to understand that God’s people of the past resemble those of the present. We have God’s expectations and standards and also find them impossible to keep. So how do we deal with the great gap between God’s demands and our fallibility?
Understand the need for salvation (10:1-3 ESV)
Paul was surrounded by what we would consider God-fearing people. The Jews of his day knew God well. They knew the great truths of the Old Testament, and just like us today, taught their children to trust in those truths. Paul goes so far as to commend them for their zeal for God (vs. 2) yet at the same time condemn their lostness. This lostness had nothing to do with their own efforts. Paul recognized that they worked hard to establish their own righteous in keeping the law. (vs. 3) Righteous is a term used to describe our having a right standing before God. This means that there is nothing between God and His creation. We know that we are powerless to make ourselves righteous. This was Israel’s great issue in Paul’s mind. He goes so far as to label them ignorant (vs. 3) of their need for salvation.
Recognize the path to salvation (10:8b-10 ESV)
It is unlikely that anyone is going to approach you today and ask, “What must I do to be saved?” If that occurs, however, how would you respond? Would you know where to turn to share the path that leads to salvation? Paul lays open this path in the verses above. This information was meant for his immediate readers in sharing with the Jews but speaks loudly to our evangelism efforts today.
First, there is confession. The term here is simple. It means to agree. You have been found guilty of breaking God’s law. Confess and agree. Next, believe in the resurrection. Did Jesus come back from the dead? You either believe or deny that Jesus is alive. Those two steps make believing in Jesus rather simple and simple to share. Have you sinned against God? Do you believe that Jesus died and was raised to achieve your right standing before God?
Share the availability of salvation (10:11-13)
Anyone, anywhere, at any time can come to Christ. All is required is belief. Paul’s use of the word everyone (vs. 11) leaves no room for distinction. This truth is valid for the Jew of Israel and the Gentile of the nations. (vs. 12) This truth is not a recent invention nor a fact introduced by Paul seeing that he is quoting Joel 2:32. The salvation of the God, through Jesus Christ, is available to all persons who will simply believe. Then why is it that so many do not believe? Better question: who was the last person you shared this good news with? Perhaps so many fail to believe because the modern day church does not seek to share the wonderful story of Jesus.
Live It Out
1) Identify one lost person that you know and commit to pray over that person’s salvation
2) Go to MBCB.org and research the new “3-1-5-1 Challenge” for evangelism and share it with your small group
3) Familiarize yourself with the doctrine of the Exclusiveness of Christ. This means that no matter what culture dictates, all religions are not the same and all paths do not lead to heaven. Jesus never claimed to be a way but the way to God. (John 14:6)
Anthony is director of the Collaborative Missionary Network, Oxford/Holly Springs.