Zeal Has To Be Based Upon Knowledge—Romans 10:1-2

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge"(Romans 10:1-2)

Like the Israelites many people are passionate for and about God but have no regard for the truth of Jesus Christ. We use our religions and doctrines to umbrella God into what we want him to be or what we think he is. But Paul said in yesterday passage that there is laid in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and fall and that stone is Jesus Christ ( Romans 9:33 ). If you remove Jesus from His deity and worship God without regard to him then your worship is in vain and it is not based upon truth or knowledge.

This is an incredible reality to understand. Worship is misguided and meaningless unless it is based upon the truth of God's word. Jesus said the same thing in John chapter 4 when he was speaking with the women at the well. She had been questioning him about an age old argument between the Jews and the Samaritans and Jesus revealed to her an amazing thing. He said, "You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" ( John 4:22-24 ). He tells her plainly that they do not know the truth. The truth is that true worshippers have to worship God in spirit and truth. This can only happen through Jesus. God is a spirit and to communicate with him on a spiritual level we must be born again. Born not naturally but supernaturally from above.

The world is okay with religion and okay with talking about God, and the world wants you to think that many roads lead to heaven. It is acceptable to talk about Buddha and teach about Allah but at the mention of the name of Jesus the world gets hostile, because there is power in that name. Peter said, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" ( Acts 4:12 ). So as long as we can be deceived looking outside of Jesus for salvation and meaning in life then we are no threat to the world. Just like Paul said in today's passage, "I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge" ( Romans 10:2 ).

Jesus is the vital piece of information that we must have in worshipping God as he desires. Even as Christians we can be well meaning in what we do, but what good is that? Hosea said, "my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge" ( Hosea 4:6 ). Unless we understand the truth of God and his word we will destroy ourselves in our well meaning ignorance. God's word is full of the person of Jesus Christ, what he has done, what he has provided in his redemption package and what he will do for you once you come to him. He is the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to God the Father except through him ( John 14:6 ). This is the knowledge that Paul desired the Israelites to have. He knew Jesus was the missing link in their devotion to God.

Jesus said in John, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" ( John 8:31-32 ). The truth is the truth, but to be free, you have to know it. Religion does not want you to be free, that is why it keep you bound up under the power of the law. But it was John who said, "the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" ( John 1:17 ). Today, it is my prayer that you understand the grace and truth found in Jesus alone and fully trust in him as your personal savior. This is the knowledge that Paul desired for the entire world to grasp. Jesus is the rock laid in Zion that many stumble over, however to those who fall upon Him they will never be put to shame ( Romans 9:33 ). Today, be blessed by this truth in Jesus name, amen!

God's Righteousness Versus Our Self Righteousness—Romans 10:3

"Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness" (Romans 10:3)

God's righteousness and our righteousness are polar opposites. Apart from Christ our right standing with God is impossible. It was Isaiah who said that our righteous acts are like filthy rags ( Isaiah 64:6 ). He was talking about self righteousness (the things we do to try to make us right with God). Self righteousness looks great on the outside and people notice it. Like the Israelites our churches are filled with people who look holy but solely trust in themselves to be good enough for God. They are seeking him based upon their righteousness and what they can accomplish for God. However God does not grade on a curve, our righteousness in no way compares to his.

Paul said in today's passage that the Israelites didn't know God's righteousness and so they tried to establish their own. What is God's righteousness? His righteousness is the uprightness that He ascribes to. It is who HE is - in thought, word and deed. As you can see, this is a polar opposite of who we are as humans. God is so holy, completely just and true, in every sense of the word. It is impossible for us to approach God on the basis of what we've done, even though all of it seems good in the natural realm. In our own self sufficiency and sinful state we would not even be able to stand in His presence because of the effects of sin.

Paul said in Romans 5, "before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law" ( Romans 5:13 ). So sin existed, but God was not crediting it to the accounts of mankind before the law was given. So they mistook his forbearance with sin to be his acceptance of it. Sin became more and more prevalent in the world, so in contrast, a life lived holy looked pretty good in comparison to the corruption that existed. Therefore the law was given to the Jews and it outlined hundreds of rules and guidelines on how to live. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness to them. Compared to the nations around them, they assumed they were good enough but in comparison to God's righteousness, the law showed them it was impossible to fulfill on their own. The law came with both blessings and curses ( Deuteronomy 28 ), and they were subjected to those by how they lived. The law was never intended to be a plan of salvation. The law was intended to show us our inability to earn our way to heaven and to reveal our need for a savior.

This is a major truth in the Bible; we cannot earn our way into heaven by our good deeds. If we are relying on what we do for God and our own self righteousness, then Paul says that we remain under the curse of the law. "All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith" ( Galatians 3:10-11 ). God knew it was impossible for us to fulfill the law so he provided another way to be justified before him through Jesus. This comes about by faith and those who are righteous before God live by faith. He went on to answer the question on everyone's mind, "What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come" ( Galatians 3:19 ). Romans says it this way, "no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. ( Romans 3:20 ). And again Paul said in Galatians, "the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith ( Galatians 3:24 ). In other words the law shows us our need for a Savior so that we will fall upon the grace and mercy of God and trust in his plan for salvation instead of our own. The law was intended to get us ready for Christ and was never proposed to be the way to God.

The amazing thing about falling upon the mercy of God and accepting this grace message is that by doing so, we know and submit to God's righteousness. Romans says, "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe" ( Romans 3:21, Romans 3:22 ). Which means that we obtain God's righteousness through faith in Jesus and since we are righteous by God's standards, we can stand before him, completely justified, where before it would have been impossible to be in His presence. Romans goes on to say, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law" ( Romans 3:28 ). This is good news for us today. We do not have to rely on what we do to please God, he is pleased with us on the basis of faith in Jesus. There is nothing else we can do to add to it, he looks at us and sees us completely whole, righteous and justified before him as if we had never sinned. What an incredible blessing it is to submit to the righteousness of God.

Today it is my prayer that you recognize how righteous you are in Christ Jesus. You have God's righteousness covering you and you can stand in His presence fully justified, forgiven and loved. Sin is not an issue with him because he has paid your debt to it. Through faith in Jesus we are the righteousness of God, amen!

Christ is the End of The Law—Romans 10:4

"Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes" (Romans 10:4)

Throughout the course of Paul's letter to the Romans he wrote extensively about how the Law could not justify us before God. Rather the true intent of the law was to point us to Christ. After building his case against mankind in the first two chapters, Paul wrote in Romans 3, "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference" ( Romans 3:21, Romans 3:22 ). He showed that this way had always been God's plan from the very beginning. Both the Law and the Prophets testified about Jesus as the means for justification. We were never supposed to cling to the Law to bring us into right relationship with God. The Law was meant to condemn us; this is why Paul said in Corinthians "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" ( II Corinthians 3:6 ). Then went on to call the Law the "ministration of death" because that is what it was ( II Corinthians 3:7 ). It only brought us death. It accused us before God, it showed us our guilt before God and it magnified our sin before God. It could never justify us, instead it silenced us and held us accountable ( Romans 3:19 ).

In today's passage Paul exclaims, "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes" ( Romans 10:4 ). Through faith, the law's power is broken over us. We no longer stand accused by it because through Christ the law is completely fulfilled in us. And if it is fulfilled then it no longer applies. Paul said in Romans 6 that as believers we are no longer under the control of the law we are now under the control of grace ( Romans 6:14 ). This is an amazing truth to understand. Colossians says, "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross" ( Colossians 2:13-14 ). Part of our redemption is that God cancelled the written code that accused us. He nailed it to the cross with our sin and defeated it once for all. It is done and it is over. What a blessing this is!

Religion on the other hand wants to keep you in bondage under the law. Religion wants you to feel guilty and unworthy, but Christ wants you to be free. Paul chided the Galatians, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" ( Galatians 5:1 ). He was speaking about those who were returning to the Law after coming to faith in Christ. He had said in the previous chapter, "how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? ( Galatians 4:9 ). We need to understand this freedom and live and breathe it. We cannot return to that which Christ has freed us from.

Understanding the implications of this profound truth will completely free you in every sense of the word. We are called to live a life of freedom and this includes after we come to Christ. Many understand salvation by grace, but no sooner than they accept the transformation of Christ's salvation they put on the yoke of slavery again. Many start out accepting this grace that Christ offers only to return to the Law as a means to live. We pick it up again to dictate the Christian life instead of living in the freedom to which we were called. As Christians the Law is not for us it was nailed to the cross with Jesus. We do not need it as a basis of how to live because we have the Holy Spirit as our guide to lead us into all truth ( John 14:26, John 16:13-15 ). Paul said that "Christ is the end of the law ..." ( Romans 10:4 ), and this rings true especially for Christians.

Today I am so thankful that my righteousness came through Christ. I am glad that he has cancelled the written code that stood and accused me. He has become the end of the Law in my life so that I can live by faith. Today, I pray that you understand this blessed truth and experience this freedom in your life, amen!

Moses Described The Righteousness That Is By The Law—Romans 10:5

"Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them" (Romans 10:5)

There is a difference between the righteousness that the Law offers and the righteousness that comes by faith. Paul started out this chapter by saying the Israelites were zealous for God but their zeal wasn't based upon the truth of Jesus and because of it they sought to establish their own righteousness based upon the law ( Romans 10:2, Romans 10:3 ). Then in verse four he made an amazing declaration that Christ was the end of the law so we could be righteous and holy by faith ( Romans 10:4 ). This is an amazing truth but difficult to accept unless one's heart is in alignment with this truth from God's word.

Our relationship with God has always been based upon a heart change even at the time that the Law was given this was the objective. Moses warned the Israelites when he gave them the law that the man who obeys them will live by them ( Leviticus 18:5 ). It wasn't based on Ten commandments, it was more extensive and based on over four hundred laws and precepts. If you religiously followed one law then you had to follow all laws. Moses warned them about this. However he also understood that this revelation of God's decrees was simply intended to get them ready for the promised Messiah and not to be a means to an end. It outlined everything Jesus would be and it showed us how He would be the perfect sacrifice before God in our stead. Moses warned that if anyone was trusting in the law to save them, they would soon discover how impossible it was. If you live by the law then you will die by the law.

James said the same thing, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" ( James 2:10 ). The Law is an all or nothing thing. So in that sense it is impossible to live by it because of the sinful nature with which we were born. Fortunately for us we do not have to live this way because "but the righteous will live by his faith" ( Habakkuk 2:4 ). The Amplified Bible put it this way, "but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall live by his faith and in his faithfulness" ( Habakkuk 2:4 Amp ). Meaning that faith in Christ is how we must live and this fulfills the law in our own hearts. Because the law looked forward to Christ and made him its object. Jesus brings us into relationship with God and our heart changes and aligns to His in the process.

What does Jesus say about the Law? When questioned about it Jesus responded, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" ( Matthew 22:37-40 ). Fulfilling the first commandment can only be accomplished with true lasting heart change. We cannot love God with all of our hearts when it is only an intellectual ritualistic thing. To love God takes every ounce of our being we can only do this when our heart is aligned to his heart. This only happens when we experience the love of Christ. John said, "we love because he first loved us" ( I John 4:19 ). Our love is a natural response to His love towards us. We can love him with everything we are because through grace we are a redeemed and holy people. By loving God in this way we fulfill the intent of the law because we are looking to him for everything and not relying on ourselves.

In the same way, because of His love pouring out of us we can love others where before we couldn't. In fact we can love others more by accident than on purpose. This is because we are living our lives from a real change of heart that focuses on God for everything. It is not a self centered thing. Love flowed from the cross and overflows into our hearts and we have become like Him through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us with the same thought, "The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." ( Galatians 3:14 )."Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law." ( Romans 13:8 ). This love is based upon Christ who is the end of the law ( Romans 10:4 ).

Today, I am thankful that Moses foresaw the coming Messiah and challenged the Israelites to look forward to Him in faith instead of living by the dictates of the Law. I am thankful that Christ has come in the flesh to redeem mankind. By trusting in Jesus you are saved and loved and equipped to love one another. May this revelation of Jesus Christ bless you today, amen!

The Word of Faith—Romans 10:6-8

"But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down) "or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,"that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming" (Romans 10:6-8)

What an amazing thing to know in your inner most being that you are saved. Through faith in Jesus you inner man is 100% sealed, sanctified and redeemed. This transformation into a new creation in Christ happened in your born again spirit. There was a change on the inside of you when you put your trust into Jesus as your savior. Unlike relying on the Law to bring you into right relationship with God, you trusted in Him to provide for you the righteousness that comes by faith alone. This righteousness changes the way we look at the world. No longer do we have to look to heaven or acsend into the deep to find God, because the word of faith proclaims that He is in our mouths, in our hearts and very near all the time.

In our carnal nature it is impossible to live in fellowship with the Lord. This is why trying to be good enough on our own merit will never work. We set ourselves up for failure if we try to live this way. God understood this and this is why he never intended for us to work for our salvation. Sin had destroyed us and the Law helped us to recognize it. Isaiah said, "The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him" ( Isaiah 59:15-16 ). Even God looked around for one that could represent mankind on his behalf to save the world from themselves but there was no one because sin has destroyed us. So Isaiah said, his own right arm (Jesus) worked salvation for us and it was His righteousness that sustained him so he could defeat sin once for all. In the same way He broke the power of sin over us. Through faith in Jesus we have been translated from the kingdom of darkness, held under the power of sin and death, into the kingdom of his dear son ( Colossians 1:13 ). We are free from the bondage that sin held us in and born again with a new spirit inside us. We are a completely different being than we once were ( II Corinthians 5:17 ). That is why we do not have to look for God, instead we simply know that his presence is with us, His word in is our mouths, and His righteousness and precepts are written on our hearts.

It makes quite a difference in how we live when we understand this truth. This becomes a reality when we get a revelation of who we are in the spirit. When we see ourselves as God sees us, we live like who we are instead of living by what we see. This is why God gave us the Holy Spirit, so he could lead us into all truth ( John 14:26, John 16:13 ). He didn't want us to have to rely on the physical aspect of life to interpret these things. Instead he wanted us to know and experience him in a personal way. Jesus told the women at the well in John 4, that "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" ( John 4:24 ). God gave us His Spirit so that we could commune with him spirit to spirit bypassing the natural realm. We do not have to have someone teach us these things because God has made them real inside us.

An amazing thing was what the prophets foretold concerning the New Covenant through Christ Jesus, Jeremiah said, "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." ( Jeremiah 31:33-34, Hebrews 8:10-12 ). This is the word of faith. God is written himself on our hearts; we don't need to look anywhere else for him. He dwells inside us, so close that he is in our minds, our hearts and overflowing from our lips.

Paul was quoting from Deuteronomy 30 in today's passage. This passage immediately follows the law, but this chapter shows that it is man's heart that God wants, this was always His intent. The chapter ends with an amazing call to his children that still applies to us today, "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" ( Deuteronomy 30:19-20 ). God said, choose life and you will live. We know that life only comes through Jesus. He is the way to the Father. Through him, he gives us the capability to love the Lord, listen to his voice and hold fast to him. He is our life and he incredibly blesses us as we walk with him.

Today, I encourage you to choose life so that you may also live. I am so thankful that God has provided a way for us to remain in fellowship with him at all times. I am blessed to know that his love and his word flows out of me and that I am never without him. This is the word of faith that I proclaim today, may you be blessed by this revelation of God's wonderful plan for you, amen!

Juli Camarin

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