Tuesday in the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Romans 10:1-13

For Everyone Who Calls on His Name

Having discussed the heavy message in chapter nine stressing God’s sovereign freedom in saving whom He wills, Paul now puts the other foot down stressing man’s part in the work.  To some this may sound superfluous; after all, what has man to do after God chooses some and passes over others?  Such a question assumes that God’s foreordination is incompatible with man’s freedom of will.  But this is not the case.  At the risk of oversimplifying, there are many things we do both by necessity and freely.  For instance, I must eat to stay alive; yet I eat freely because I like food (well, certain foods; I’m finicky).  The love I feel for my grandchildren is an inward compulsion, yet I would never say that I love them against my will.  And this is how we should see how God works within us.  Granted, no one would ever turn to God if the Holy Spirit did not move him within, but in moving us, the Spirit changes our wills such that we freely repent and believe.  God drags no one kicking and screaming into heaven, nor does He cast anyone into hell who is crying to enter heaven.  God works secretly with our wills.

But in this passage, Paul doesn’t explain all this.  He lays it down that Israel did not seek God’s righteousness which relies on faith but instead sought a righteousness of their own by the law.  Then Paul says something wonderful: “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”  Now let us be clear, what Paul means here is that Christ is the end of the law for salvation; he is not saying that Christians need not follow any law.  Indeed, Paul warns the Corinthians that a whole host of sinners will not enter the kingdom of God, dubbing them, “the unrighteous,” referring to their deeds (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

But what Paul wants us to understand is that salvation is at our finger tips, so to speak.  We don’t have to ascend into heaven for Christ has already come down and paid our debt.  And we don’t have to descend to the abyss because Christ has already risen for our justification.  So what is the sinner to do? Believe in his heart and confess with his lips that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord and that he rose from the dead.  (Repentance isn’t listed here but it is in other places; e.g., Acts 2:38.)  And he is clear that God makes no distinction based on ethnicity or heritage, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  So the gospel call goes out.  And here is why chapters nine and ten must be held together: God’s election does not annul our freedom of will; indeed, it establishes it.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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