Bold Mouths, Beautiful Feet, and Blindfolded EyesApril 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Posted in A Little Alliteration, Romans | 11 Comments
Tags: commentary on Romans, Deuteronomy 32, Ephesians 2, Isaiah 52, Isaiah 65, Jesus, Joel 2, Romans 10, Romans 11, Sunday School lessons on Romans
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
We do not earn salvation merely by what we say. In fact, we do not earn salvation at all. It is a gift from God. But our mouths are what we are to use to confess the salvation we have received. Have you ever made a public profession of your faith?
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
In Joel 2:32 the prophet Joel had prophesied about the time when “whosoever” called on God as Lord would be saved. If you have been in church long enough, you have probably heard a preacher at one time or another exhort people who have not been saved to answer this question for themselves: “Are you a ‘whosoever?'”
The Holy Spirit in Romans 10 went on to use the Scriptures of the prophet Isaiah to explain how God views those who carry the Gospel to all the “whosoevers:”
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Beautiful feet are feet that bring the news of salvation. They are feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, but peace between whom? Peace between God and sinners. “Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Sinners need to be reconciled to God because, before we were saved, we were at war with God.
In the Apostle Paul’s time this should not have been a new idea to the Israelites. The Holy Spirit cites Deuteronomy 32:21:
But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
That “foolish nation” was the gentiles. One of the reasons God sent the message of salvation to the gentiles was because the Jews had rejected it, but another reason was so that gentile Christians could provoke them to jealousy.
Romans Chapter 10 ends with a quote from Isaiah 65:
I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
Isaiah 65: 1-2
Romans Chapter 11 shows that, although the Jews are a gainsaying people, God’s patience has not run out with them. He has a future for them. His hand may have been turned against them, but His heart is not turned against them. God to the nation of Israel: I’m not finished with you yet. God could have called gentiles to be apostles, but he chose Jews. The manner in which the Apostle Paul was saved is a picture of the way that Israel will be converted to a Christian nation and a Christian people:
1. Paul saw Jesus.
2. He repented.
3. He received Him.
God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
The Bible word for those Jews who are set aside for God – who are still faithful and who still know the truth, even when the vast majority does not – is the “remnant.” The remnant is a special group, but it is still made up of people who are saved the same way anybody is saved: by grace through faith.
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
“Blinded” in Romans 11:7 is not referring to someone who will never see again. It is the term that we think of as “blindfolded” (temporarily blinded). Historically, the Jews had received great spiritual blessings, but they had often loved the blessings and forgotten the Blesser. Generally, we don’t like to work, but there is pleasure in the fruits of labor. The problem is focusing on the pleasure and thinking we are the producers of that pleasure, instead of remembering where our blessings really come from.