( ROMANS 10:8 )
BUT WHAT SAITH IT? THE WORD IS NIGH THEE, EVEN IN THY MOUTH, AND IN THY HEART: THAT IS, THE WORD OF FAITH, WHICH WE PREACH;
When we see this phrase ( WHAT SAITH IT )? What is this referring to? That statement is referring to ( the Word of God ) which is Jesus Christ. ( John 1:14 ) And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ( and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, ) full of grace and truth.
So, let’s back up a few verses in ( Romans ) and point out some things here.
( Romans 10:1-2 )
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. ( 2 ) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
The Apostle Paul, the writer of the book of Romans was an Israelite, a Jew. As he wrote ( Chapters 9,10and 11 ) he actually had his people on his heart. If you remember, Israel was governed by the Romans in the days of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as we read all that he saying here in ( Chapter ten ) he’s saying it to; of course, all of God’s children, those that are born again, with the Nation of Israel on his heart. The Apostle Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles but, he still loved his own people and had a heavy burden for them.
While I can in no way compare myself to the Apostle Paul; other than the fact that we are both born again, I feel somewhat the same passion for ( the Church ).As we look at this the ( Nation of Israel ) is God’s chosen people and, ( the Church ) is a called out group of people for the glory of God. We have ( local Churches ) all around us. My concern is that many people that are members of those Churches have the very same problem that the Apostle Paul relates to the ( Nation of Israel ).
In ( verse 2 ) he says ( they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge ). Now, look at the next veres ( verse 3 ) For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, having not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
What is ( the righteousness of God )? ( Romans 3:22 ) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
The righteousness of God is Jesus Christ. I have no righteousness! My faith is in, totally in, the faith of Jesus Christ. My whole salvation is based on his relationship with the Father, not my own. My sinful fleah is weak and likely to fall, his will never fall, never fail. Do you think the act of confessing my sin, even repenting of it will merit me heaven. That’s impossible. I cannot be, never will be good enough to get to heaven on my own.
Now, let’s look at something here. Do you think the average Jew, knew Jesus Christ? Do you think they knew of his works, the things he taught? Jesus Christ fed five thousand men at one meal, not counting the women and children.( Matthew 14:21 ). I’d be willing to say that basically ever person within the ( Nation of Israel ) knew Jesus Christ. The question now is, how many of them trusted ( his righteousness ) for their eternal salvation?
In the Church you attend, I’ve never seen that Church but, more than likely every person there knows who Jesus Christ is! They know he died on the cross and rose again the third day. They know his mother and father. They even know some of the people he hung around with.
For a long time in my ministry, I’ve had a great burden for Church members that do not understand salvation. I’ll even say this; even the pastors are not taugtht to teach the ( art of seeking Jesus ). The ability to buy an education, to be taught and trained by man has overtaken the true study of God’s word and, it has diminished our need for the real teaching of the Holy Ghost of God. These facts leave ( Church members ) the people that need a spiritual education the most, in spiritual darkness.
There’s a Church in my hometown. Many of my extended family members attend that Church. I’ve known the pastor for years, knew him when he first began to pastor there. This pastor is actually retired now. He was well respected by the Church members there and even in the whole county that the Church is in. I actually sit down with this pastor once and told him this: ( I’d hate to stand before God in your shoes ). Now, you might think that’s a hard thing to say to a pastor and, it might be. However, would you agree that pastors need to be witnessed to just like any other person?
When you consider what a pastor is truly called to do, it can be very overwhelming. He stands. in the gap in many cases between every person’s journey to heaven or hell. He is ( the watchman on the wall ). When I made this statement to this pastor; I could see in his eyes, he knew exactly what I was talking about. I also told him that he could turn around and say the same thing about me.
When you consider the responsibility of being a person, like the Apostle Paul that is responsible for the souls of men, the quest to understand Jesus; to know him well enough to stand before him one day and hear him say ( Well done, my good and faithful servant ). That is a very tall order!
Over the years I’ve had the priviledge to talk to many members of this Church, some family members and, some not. In almost every case. I’d ask them if they were saved? I most cases the very first thing they would say was ( they had been baptized and, joined Church ). I’d reply to that answer, That’s not what I asked. I ask you, have you been saved? Then they would say ( yes ). The next question I’d ask was; do you know you are going to heaven when you die. They’d, almost everytime reply, (I hope so ).
Many times over the years, not only with members of this Church but with members of others as well I’d have the priviledge to sit and seek out why they answered the way they did. The number one reason they’d say for the fact that they could not say they knew heaven would be their home was because they might sin and not have time to confess it or, they might forget it and not confess it. In their mind, if they died with unconfessed sin then, hell would be their home.
You see, they are not taught that they are to depend on the righteousness of Jesus Christ and, not their own. The quest to find Jesus Christ is within that sort of mindset. It’s one thing to know about Jesus Christ. It’s another to actually possess him within you, to have a very personal relationship with him.
The sins we commit is not the vessel that carries us to a place called hell. To put it another way, we never go to hell because we sin or, are sinners. The reason anyone ever dies and spends eternity in hell is because we fail to trust, depend on the ( righteousness of Christ ). The preaching of God’s word under the inspirition of the Holy Spirit of God is the vessel that brings us to that knowledge. As a matter of fact; the Holy Spirit is the only way to gain that knowledge.
I’m going to take you to a place that very few people ever see. You can see if you agree with me. In the first three chapters of Genesis we see where God formed Adam out of the dust of the earth. If you will study this, you will notice that God instructed Adam about the things concerning ( the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ). God done that before he took a rib out of Adam’s side and made Eve. The point is that God never told Eve about that tree. Therefore, whose responsibility was it to teach her?
Now, as we move foward, we see where Eve told the Serpent this ( we are are to eat the fruit of the tree, nor are we to touch it ). Where did she get that knowledge? God didn’t say they couldn’t touch the tree, just not to eat the fruit. The words she spoke had to come from Adam.
The point is, instead of Adam sitting down with Eve, taking the time to teach her all she needed to know about God’s will concerning that tree. He simply instructed her not to touch it. It’s not that he didn’t say some other things but, that she was ignorant of what it was all about.
Men, husbands, I believe that the simplest form of a local Church is found right in your home. You as the pastor of you wife and, children as they come along. Every Church service you attend in your local Church should be considered as a ( evangelical mission trip ). A trip that every word that will be spoken there will be weighed out by you as the pastor of your family. When we as men become so lazy that we depend on someone else for the spiritual education of our families then we become just like Adam and it leaves our wives, our children in spiritual ignorance.
I consider the Church to be the ( mother of Salvation ). We should be able to go to any local Church and find salvation, true salvation for our unworthy souls. However, that Church should never be the final authority of what you believe to be true. That’s the responsibility of the Holy Spirit of God the lives within each believer. The man, the husband being the head of his own household.
Finding Jesus Christ is a quest. Meeting him, asking him to be your savior then, learning who he truly is is a life long journey. As we seek that quest as men, we need to bring our wives and children along our side. When we build strong spiritual families then, we create Churches that actually stand and help us in our quest to know Jesus Christ.
As the Apostle Paul wrote these things, with Israel, his people on his heart; he knew, that they were stooped in religion. They felt that as long as the high priest was satisfied with them, as long as they kept certian laws, walked a certian way then they were spiritually fine.
We have come to that same place in a lot of our denominations, religious organizations.
( Matthew 15:9 ) But in vain thet do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
( Matthew 7:7 ) Howbeit in vain do they wordhip me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
( Ephesians 4:13-14 ) Till we come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: ( 14 ) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slieght of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
( In my humble opinion ) There is nothing we can have that is more special as believers than a ( Holy Ghost ) filled pastor or Sunday School teacher. ( Romans 10:15 ) How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings og good things!
Even having a Church that teaches strong spiritual doctrines is such a blessing. ( I beseech you ) by the mercies of God! Try every spirit; in your quest to know Jesus Christ, always depend on the very Spirit of God within you. Allow him and, him alone to be your instructor in righteousness, always leaning on Jesus Christ as you complete savior.
As you learn in your quest to know him, when you stand before him, you’ll be glad you did!
2 Timothy 1:7