Romans 10:5-9: Saving Faith
Martin Luther said that if anyone knows the difference between law and Gospel, make him a doctor of divinity and let him preach. The distinction between the law and the gospel is the heart of Reformation and the heart of the difference between the religion of the first century Jews and the message Paul was preaching. The whole of chapter 10 is a prolonged discussion on why the Jews are to blame for not being saved, it is because of their unbelief. We have seen Paul commend their zeal, but reveal that it is without the knowledge of the righteousness that comes from God. They have broken the mirror of the law and used it to cut their own throats, turning into an instrument of suicide that which was intended to be a pointer to righteousness in Christ. They have tried to keep the law for perfect righteousness instead of accepting the fact that Christ has kept it on our behalf. Paul continues in verses 5-9 to show the two preachers of law and gospel and the messages that they preach. This section is serving Paul’s overall purpose of showing that the Jews are to blame for their unbelief and he highlights for us the simplicity and content of faith.
Romans 10:5-9, ‘For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’