What does it say?
Romans 8 gives the answer to the frustration expressed in Romans 7. The answer to our struggle with our sinful nature is to be controlled by God’s Spirit. Paul explains what this means and the glorious life and future that we have because of God’s Spirit that lives in every believer.
Romans chapters 9 and 10 begin a section where Paul explains God’s relationship to Israel. We remember that one of Paul’s purposes in the letter is to heal the rift between Jewish and Gentile believers in Rome. Romans 9 gives not only Paul’s personal burden for his own people the Jews, but explains God’s missional purpose in Israel. The Jews missed the Messiah because they were attempting to live the Law by their own righteousness and not the righteousness that is by faith. Romans 10 takes the failure of Israel to the current day and the consequences of being a disobedient people. He reminds the Jews of the Old Testament predictions that God would provoke them to jealousy by working with a people that does not know him and reminds them of his mission from the beginning to bless all the ethnicities of the earth in Abraham, not just the Jews.
What does it mean?
Key to understanding this passage is remembering God’s original promise to Abraham, that he would bless him in order for all the families of the earth to be blessed in him. This is the universality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Jewish people made the mistake of thinking that everything was for and about them. We are in danger of the same error.
When we think that the entire universe revolves around us or our local church, we are guilty of the same sin of Israel. God’s mission is to all the ends of the earth. Romans 10 has long been a favorite passage to show to those who want to put their faith in Jesus Christ. It explains what it means to put personal faith in Christ to be saved from wrath to come.
How will I respond?
For a year I have been reading through the Bible and being constantly reminded of God’s mission. How has my life changed this past year to be more missional? What can I do to grow even more as a missional believer?