Introduction: Paul reports that the Jews were “zealous for God,” but
that their zeal was “not based on knowledge.” ( Romans 10:2) Have you
seen Christians who are excited about being a Christian, but who
don’t understand God’s word? We all have. That, however, seems an
unlikely charge against the Jews. The target of Paul’s comments
studied God’s written word. Pharisees, like Paul, memorized huge
portions of the Bible. Somehow, they still missed the mark when it
came to knowing God. Let’s dive into our study today. We do not want
to miss the mark when it comes to knowing and understanding God!

  1. End of the Law

    1. Read Romans 10:1. Last week we discussed the issue of
      “election” and God’s “hardening” of human hearts. The
      question was whether everyone was eligible to be saved,
      or only those “elected” by God? What does this verse
      suggest? (Paul is praying that his fellow Jews be saved.
      If it were not possible because of election, I’m sure
      Paul would not waste his time.)

    2. Read Romans 10:2-3. I’ve never read that the Jews of
      Paul’s time did not know their Bibles. Quite the
      contrary, they seemed to be diligent students of God’s
      word. What did they miss? (They missed Jesus. Instead of
      knowing “the righteousness that comes from God” (which is
      Jesus) they “sought to establish their own” (which is
      keeping the law to be saved.)

      1. Paul uses a very interesting term. He says the Jews
        “did not submit to God’s righteousness.” If you keep
        the law to be saved, are you a rebel? Have you
        refused to submit?

    3. Read Romans 10:4. Are the Ten Commandments dead? If not,
      what does it mean when it says the law has seen its “end”
      because of Jesus? (The context shows that the idea of
      keeping the Ten Commandments as a means to salvation is
      dead. This was the problem tripping up the Jews. Instead
      of depending on the law, faith in Jesus “for everyone who
      believes” is the path to salvation.)

      1. Have the Ten Commandments lost all relevance to the
        life of the Christian? (Read Romans 7:12 and Romans
        3:31. The answer is “no,” the law is not dead. It is
        “holy, righteous and good.” The problem with this
        great and holy standard is that without Christ’s
        obedience on our behalf, the law only condemns us.
        Jesus has ended all argument that the law provides a
        means of salvation.)

  2. New Salvation

    1. Read Romans 10:5-8 and Deuteronomy 30:9-14. Was keeping
      God’s law too difficult for His people? (If you read all
      of Deuteronomy 30, you will see that God asked His people
      to choose Him. God’s people did not obey Him, and when
      Jesus came they did not choose Jesus, instead most
      rejected Him.)

      1. How can God say in Deuteronomy 30:11: “What I am
        commanding you today is not too difficult for you or
        beyond your reach?” Isn’t that the opposite of
        Paul’s message that we cannot earn salvation by
        keeping the law? (Read Deuteronomy 30:19-20. This
        sounds much like Paul’s challenge in Romans 8:12-14
        to choose a life led by the Spirit and not a life
        led by our sinful nature.)

    2. Read Romans 10:9. What does this say about the ability of
      everyone to be saved? Are only some elected to
      salvation? (No.)

      1. Does it require a trip to heaven or to hell to be
        saved? (Paul tells us that some things have not
        changed. Choosing Jesus is right in front of us. It
        is a choice that each of us can make.)

    3. Read Romans 10:10. Why are both our heart and our mouth
      involved in the salvation process? (It is a matter of
      belief and a matter of declaration.)

    4. Read Romans 10:11-13. Does God harden the hearts of some
      so that they cannot believe? (No. Paul clearly writes
      “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be
      saved.” The “election” and “hardening hearts” discussion
      of Romans 9 was difficult to follow. Here, Paul makes the
      truth very clear: All who confess Jesus will be saved.)

  3. Making the Call

    1. Read Romans 10:14. What is Paul’s challenge to us? (To
      tell others about Jesus so they have the opportunity to

      1. What does this text suggest about what it means to
        call on the name of Jesus? (Calling is not just the
        act of speaking. It means believing in Jesus.)

    2. Read Romans 10:15. Is telling others about Jesus our only
      obligation? (We need to help send others to bring the
      good news about Jesus.)

  4. Receiving the Call

    1. Read Romans 10:16-21. Why do people reject the good news
      of Jesus? (Pride. Obstinance. Rebellion.)

    2. Read Romans 11:1-4. Have God’s chosen people now been
      rejected by God? Are they no longer elected for
      salvation?(This is further confirmation of the idea that
      all can choose salvation. Even though most of the Jews
      rejected Elijah’s message, God did not reject His people.
      Instead, He knew those who still served Him.)

    3. Read Romans 11:5-6. If you are obeying the law to secure
      your salvation, it this just a small theological problem
      that is not that important? (No. Claiming grace is the
      means of “election” for salvation!)

    4. Read Romans 11:7-10. Oh no! Now we read that God made
      Israel dumb, blind and deaf when it came to the gospel –
      and if that were not enough, hardened their heart. Did
      these people have a desire to know God? (Paul says they
      sought salvation “earnestly!”)

      1. Read again Romans 10:21. What is the only reasonable
        conclusion about free choice regarding salvation?

        1. Read Psalms 69:20-23. Whose heart is broken?
          (This is a Messianic prophecy. Psalms tells us
          that as Jesus was being crucified, “a table”
          was being put in front of the Jews. God gave
          the Jewish nation the greatest show of love and
          the greatest gift. Yet Jesus’ love and
          sacrifice resulted in them hardening their
          hearts, and closing their eyes and ears to
          truth. This is how Paul can write “God gave
          them [the ‘stupids’].” This is not what God
          intended, but it is how the gift was received.)

    5. Read Romans 11:11-12. Once God’s people hardened their
      hearts and closed their eyes and ears was their eternal
      destiny fixed? (No! Friend, just as Israel still had the
      chance to turn to Jesus, so we have the chance even if we
      have rejected Him in the past.)

    6. Read Romans 11:13-21. Of what should we be afraid? (We
      cannot be arrogant about our salvation by faith. Just as
      those who thought they could save themselves by works
      were arrogant, so we can become arrogant and lose our

    7. Read Romans 11:22. Is “once saved always saved” supported
      by Romans? (How could we be “cut out” of the salvation
      tree if salvation was a “once for all” decision?)

    8. Read Romans 11:23. Notice how God describes the mental
      state of the unbeliever. What is the default position:
      belief or unbelief? (I love this. Unbelievers “persist”
      in unbelief. It sounds like they make a continuing effort
      to resist belief in Jesus. I have a mental picture of
      pulling a donkey along – the donkey persists in

    9. Read Romans 11:25-27. Is this a prophecy?

      1. What does the “full number of the Gentiles has come
        in” mean? (It sounds like the gospel being preaching
        to the entire world.)

      2. Before the Second Coming of Jesus, after the gospel
        is preached world-wide, will the Jewish nation be

        1. Read Romans 11:28-31. What does this add to the
          idea of the conversion of the Jewish nation?
          (God’s gifts and call are “irrevocable.” The
          offer to accept Jesus as the Messiah stands. I
          view this as a prophecy, and look forward to a
          revival of Christianity in Israel. What Paul
          means by “all Israel” (v.26), I do not know.)

    10. Read Romans 11:33-36. How confidently can we say that we
      understand God? (Our job is to praise and trust God.
      While we should ever want to know God better, and try to
      learn all that we can, we need to understand that
      completely knowing and understanding God is “beyond our
      pay grade!”)

    11. Friend, you have been elected by grace. Will you accept
      that election? Or, will you persist in rejecting grace
      and depending on your own works for salvation?

  5. Next week: Love and Law.