Dispensation (PERIOD) OF Grace—Salvation available to allIn this section the apostle Paul shows that the Jews sought God’s righteousness by law-keeping and not by faith. But for now, the Lord is mainly reaching and calling the Gentiles to salvation. They are coming to Christ by faith and not by works. In Isaiah 11:28 it was prophesied that all can come to God by faith alone. The Law was never given as a way of salvation but as a goad to drive sinners to seek God’s mercy and grace. The object of that belief now is Israel’s Messiah!
God is not presently working with the Jews under the dispensation (PERIOD) of a theocracy, or of the Law, as in the Old Testament, but now the gospel of personal encompasses by Jew and Gentile. Someday, the Lord will again work in the future Kingdom PERIOD with the Jews as the central people of history. For now, we are in the PERIOD of Grace!
10:2 "For" (gar) leads us to an explanation in Paul’s thinking. He now shows the reason and the "whys" he has sympathy for the efforts of the Jews, for salvation, thought that effort is misdirected! "Having" is a Present Indicative of the verb echo. One cannot disclaim the enthusiasm Israel has for the Lord. They posses a zeal (enthusiasm) for Him but they fail to come to Him by His prescribed method—by faith.
"Knowledge" is the word epignosin. Thayer translates the word as "precise, correct knowledge." Alford adds: "accurate apprehension of the way of righteousness as revealed to them." They are aiming in the right direction but they keep missing the target!
"Submitted" (upotasso) is a compound word: upo=under, tasso=to attach. It is an Aorist Passive in form and can be translated: "They have not been attached-under God’s righteousness." "To establish" is the Greek word histami with the idea of "to set, place in order." The Jews had reached a stage of arrogance in which they thought they did not need God’s provision for redemption. They could make it on their own!
By writing "to all the ones believing" the apostle Paul now opens wide the door for the Gentiles. Works and law keeping could not bring about righteousness. If the Jews had only used the law rather than abuse it, they would have embraced the advent of Christ as their Savior! Alford points out that the law was never intended as a way of salvation, it was powerless to justify. The law rather was meant to impart to the sinner a knowledge of his sinfulness, and to awaken in his heart earnest longings for some powerful deliverer! If they Jews would have looked more closely at their sinfulness, as amplified by the law, they would have quickly embraced the saving grace of Christ!
"All the ones believing" is a Present Participle and vividly pictures a sea of those who are coming to Christ by believing. It is an ongoing surge of a great host of people who today, tomorrow, and the next day, keep on coming to the Lord for salvation!
The into (eis) is a Preposition of Reference (D&M, p. 103). "With reference to righteousness."
Paul is creating or presupposing a hypothetical argument. If one is going to claim law-keeping for salvation then they had better get with it and follow through! The apostle uses a Future Middle Indicative of the verb "to live," zao. "He himself had better start performing and living perfectly the law if he hopes to be saved by it!" Or, as Alford puts it, "He must live in the strength of it, by means of, as his status, accruing from it righteousness." However because of the weakness of the flesh this is impossible!
Paul applies these principles found here in Deuteronomy 30:11-14 to the issue of trusting in Christ. To trust Him is not a complicated issue. It is not a secretive process. He is near and all one has to do is simply trust Him!
Thus, as Alford notes, "Justification by faith in Christ is a plain and intelligible doctrine. It is not shut up in mysterious language. It is like what Moses says of the statutes which he gave to Israel, plain, intelligible, accessible. It is brought before the mind and heart of every man." (pp. 418-19)
What is so interesting about these verses (10:6-7), and Paul’s quoting of Moses in Deuteronomy 30:11-14, is that the apostle is really trying to show the Jews how simple and basic it is to trust Christ as their Savior. The Deuteronomy 30 passage is trying to tell Israel how fundamental and fulfilling it is to hear the law and understand its message. Paul then quotes Deuteronomy 30 and applies its principle to the simplicity of just trusting in Christ as Savior, as over against trying to keep the law!
Some falsely have thought Moses, and now Paul, is arguing for a "two-step" in salvation. You must (1) believe and then (2) verbalize your faith or you are not saved. But this is not Moses’ point about law-keeping nor is it Paul’s point about being saved.
The same can be said of verse 10. One Particle (for, gar) controls "with the heart/with the mouth." T. Robertson, the great Greek scholar, gets the point that I saw many years ago in my study of Romans. This passage is really a passage that is tremendously applicable to the Jews. And the key issue is the word Lord (Kurios). When one says "Lord Jesus Christ," the "Lord" issue comes from Psalm 110:1. This is an expression of deity and one of the designations of God Himself. For a Jew to believe in Christ’s resurrection, in a sense, is not enough. He then cannot deny the issue of the deity of Jesus. He must accept the fact that Christ is the Son of God (Psa. 2). His confessing this fact is something that was extremely important for the Jews. The Gentiles coming to the Lord for salvation did not argue this point, but the Jews might. Amillennialist A. T. Robertson sees the light about the Jews and states in his Word Studies:
This verse makes it clear that the "confession" of him with the mouth is paramount to the believing. It is the believing specifically that saves!
Notice again the context of Isaiah 28:16: It is about the Jews accepting the Messiah, the rock of stumbling. They must believe in Him in order to not be disappointed. All of these verses have as the primary reference point the nation of Israel. It is always implied in Scripture that belief in Him is always to the Gentiles equally so!