The Letter to the Romans
COLLEEN MOORE TINKER
34. Christ is The End of The Law
1 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
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.
4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
5 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "the man who does these things will live by them."
6 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).
8 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:
9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
End of the law
Righteousness that is by the law
Righteousness that comes from God
Paul has just finished explaining that Israel did not attain righteousness because they pursued it by works instead of by faith. Now he declares his desire that Israel be saved and explains, again, how one receives salvation.
1. Paul's epistles frequently contained prayers for the churches. In verse 1 or this chapter, what do we learn about Paul's feelings regarding Israel and God, and what words give us this insight? (compare with Psalm 20:4; 21:1-2; 37:4; 145:16, 18-19; Isaiah 26:8)
2. In what ways were the Jews zealous, and how was that zeal flawed? (see Acts 21:17-25; 22:3-5; Galatians 1:14)
3. Israel sought to establish its own righteousness, Paul says, and consequently they did not submit to God's righteousness. What does it mean to "submit" to God's righteousness? (see Romans 1:17-18; 9:30-32; Hebrews 12:9; James 4:6-10; Psalm 149:4; Isaiah 66:2-4; Ephesians 4:1-2; 1 Peter 5:1-7)
4. What does Paul mean in verse 4 when he says, "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes"? (see Matthew 5:17; Galatians 3:23-25; 4:28-32; 5:1; Romans 7:1-4; 8:1-2)
5. How does Christ's being the "end of the law" make righteousness possible for believers? (see Romans 3:21-24; 9:30-32; Galatians 3:19, 22-26; 5:4, 18; Colossians 2:13-17)
6. Paul draws on Moses' instructions to Israel regarding God's promises of blessings or curses as he explains righteousness that is by faith. What does he mean by saying true righteousness doesn't try to bring Christ down from heaven or up from the grave? (see Deuteronomy 30:12-14)
7. In verse 8, Paul uses the words of Moses when he says, "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart." What is the difference between Moses' meaning and Paul's meaning of "word"? (see verse 9; Deuteronomy 30:14;)
8. Paul defines two convictions and a two-part profession of faith for those who are saved. When people confess "Jesus is Lord," what are they declaring about Jesus' identity? (see also 1 Corinthians 12:3; John 20:28; 1 John 4:2-3)
9. Since belief in Jesus' death and resurrection are the heart of being saved, why does Paul, in verses 9-10, add "confess with your mouth" as a component of salvation? (see James 2:18-22)
10. Have you believed in Jesus as Lord and accepted His death and resurrection as atonement for you sins?
11. If you have accepted Jesus as Lord, does your "confession"-your daily life and focus and speech and choices-mirror your acceptance? If not, is your acceptance truly surrender of yourself, or do you lack the courage to "go public" with what you believe?
12. Ask God to fill you with the power and courage of the Holy Spirit.
Ask Him to make your heart willing to surrender and trust Him and to let
go of the fears and attachments you have that keep you from openly and freely
living in the freedom of the Gospel.
Copyright (c) 2006 Graphics Studio, Redlands,
CA USA. All rights reserved. Posted June 21, 2006.