Romans 10 – Missed It By That Much

Read Romans 10

There is a theological line of thinking known as “dispensationalism” that suggested that they way God worked with Israel is completely different than the way He is working with the Gentiles.  Therefore, according to this theology, at some point, God will return to working specifically with Israel in order to save them.  This is the same theological thinking that gives us the idea of the Rapture and is the basis for the Left Behind book series.

Paul’s words in Romans 9 – 11 counter the ideas of dispensationalism, though, drawing on Scripture throughout the Old Testament to make his point.  The fact that Paul draws out of these texts is that God has always desired the hearts of His people, not simply following the rules.  You see, a person can follow the rules of any deity, government, or organization without giving that entity their hearts, but they certainly do not love that thing.  Think of a job that you hated; you probably still followed the rules so that you would keep getting a paycheck.

Yet this is not how God desires to be in relationship with His people.  In fact, the relationship God desires, that of love and faith in response to God’s grace, was a stark contrast to the “demands” that other deities made of their respective peoples.

Returning to the book of Deuteronomy chapter 30, Paul quotes Moses, who represents the law, as proof of God’s desire for the hearts of His people in verses 6-8.  Later, Paul draws on the words of the prophets as well culminating in the reality that salvation has been available to the Jews through faith, and is also available to everyone else through the work of Jesus Christ, the grace that God freely offers, and the response of faith that the Spirit builds within us.