Pr Edi Giudetti
Everyone in the world desires to have the opportunity for a good life, a happy life. In this
The western world has been blessed with the concept of freedom and the equal opportunities provided for all who desire to achieve happiness and success in life to the degrees that life permits.
The world itself is fixated with the entire concept of Equality, so much so that it even distorts the term in ways that are impossible to achieve.
For example, rather than Equality of Opportunity, there is a push today for Equality of Outcome.
One can be achieved through virtue and truth, the other cannot be achieved without vice and deception.
Making opportunities available for all people who can perform a given task to the standard required to prolong the employment, is a virtue.
Making quotas to fill a political ambition is a vice.
For example; the position for jockeys can be available for all who fit the weight and experience criteria, but you cannot make demands stating a minimum of 20% of Jockey positions should be made available to people clinically obese.
Whosoever desires to be a Jokey and fits the suitability criteria should have the opportunity.
The Gospel is the most wonderful equal opportunity that has the simplest of all criteria.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)
Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 10:11)
The criteria is belief and the humility to call upon his name.
The Gospel is equal in opportunity to all people, it is not equality of outcome.
Universalism, the belief that all people will go to heaven, is not the Gospel.
Catholicism, the belief that all people will eventually get to heaven, is not the Gospel.
But neither is the Criteria based on works of righteousness.
In this passage Paul shows the common errors that must be dispelled to fit the criterea of faith and humility noted.
Ignorance Through Arrogance Denies Opportunity
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. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.(Rom 10:1-3)
Paul first demonstrates a burden for his people, his hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
These are his kinsmen according to the flesh, his people, his brethren, these are the chosen of God, the elect of God chosen from among the nations, and he is one of them.
He refers to himself as “an Hebrew of the Hebrews” (Phil 3:5).
He has no casual desire for his people, but a great desire, one might even refer to it as a burden.
In Chapter 9 he speaks to this burden even leading to a continual sorrow saying; That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (Rom 9:2-3)
Measure that burden, give it some consideration for just a moment and consider your own burden, even for your immediate family.
Is there a great heaviness for them?
Do you have continual sorrow in your heart for the lost members of your own family?
If not, then it is certain you could not possibly wish that you yourself were accursed from Christ for your brethren, your kinsmen according to the flesh.
Paul was a man who was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, he knew its miraculous power to save but more importantly he also knew the state of the lost. He understood the eternal state of those who will remain willfully ignorant of the future condition of their eternal souls.
We look at the incredible tragedy of those around us who truly think they will be ok at the end of their lives.
Some saying, “I’ll worry about it after I die”
They have appointed to themselves a way that seemeth right unto them, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Pro 14:12).
But more than this, there seem to be few who are willing to alert them, to rousse them from their blissful ignorance and to say with all fear, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Eph 5:14)
We have a burden for the lost who are ignorant of their souls, how much more the lost who have a zeal of God?
This is the great burden of Paul, because these profess to know God, they have had him near for over 1500 years and seen his works and yet Paul says they did indeed have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Why not according to Knowledge?
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
There was an “Ignorance through arrogance that denied them the opportunity”.
They knew God, and yet were arrogantly ignorant of him.
They thought little of HIS righteousness and thought they could certainly improve their own righteousness.
Beloved it is IMPOSSIBLE to reach a standard you are ignorant of.
Would you run a race where you were completely ignorant of the location of the finish line?
100m? 400m? 1km? 10km? 10,000km?
Imagine expecting a prize for the completion of a wall to which you had no idea as to its dimensions!
Imagine starting construction of a building for which you have no knowledge of its size? Plans are available, but you have not considered them, being ignorant of the architects specified foundation, you go about setting your own foundation.
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
God’s righteousness is absolute, it is perfect, he is beyond all ability for us to begin to comprehend as to his holiness. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty” (Rev 4:8), there can be no true comprehension of his glory, no man shall even look upon his face for death will quickly come.
Yet the people willfully remained ignorant of the righteousness of God and went about to establish their own righteousness, as a result they had not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
It is the arrogance of thinking that you are good enough for heaven that will keep you from ever entering it!
Ignorance THROUGH ARROGANCE will DENY YOU the OPPORTUNITY.
It is the greatest of arrogance that sets off with all confidence to run a race against a clock, but is ignorant both of the time and the distance.
Many today have imagined they run the race well, but have no knowledge at all as to where they stand. Their imaginations are their only guide, and they are blissfully comforted.
George Orwell wrote of the
“”Politics is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”
This is what man does when it comes to eternity.
They go about to establish their own righteousness, ignorant of the righteousness required, Gods righteousness. They think they are good enough for heaven, without even knowing the standard of heaven.
No doubt there have been many people who have stood in a long line to enter into a club, or a concert, or an event believing they have qualified for entry, have secured the correct ticket for the correct event, or day, or seat, or time, only to be turned away not having met the right criteria.
Far too many today think they have established the criteria for eternal life but will be turned away.
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Ignorance Through Arrogance Denies Opportunity
Preparation For Perfection Reveals Purpose
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.Romans 10:4-5
Israel were given the law from their inception. Not even entered into the land, having escaped the Iron Furnace known also as Egypt, in the midst of the wilderness, at the base of a mountain, God spoke to the multitude.
Exodus chapter 20 the ten commandments are verbally given to all the people directly by God.
The design of the Law was to lead people to Christ, to teach them that the moral law is the standard of holiness, and that through the practice of the standard understanding would be had of the impossibility of its attainment.
This was not to discourage the people, but to reveal to them their need for The Saviour, Christ.
Turn to Galatians 3:21-24
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, Preparation for Perfection Reveals its Purpose
Israel were given the Law, to abide in, to live by, for the blessing that was to come. During the keeping of the law, all sin.
Then, the ceremonial law is given, to deal with the sin of the people. All the aspects of the ceremonial law was to temporarily relieve the sinner of the guilt of sin, demonstrating both the mercy of God and his righteousness, but most importantly, it was to reveal Christ who will PUT AWAY SIN FOREVER.
Mattew henry put it this way;
The design of the law was to lead people to Christ. The moral law was but for the searching of the wound, the ceremonial law for the shadowing forth of the remedy; but Christ is the end of both.
In other words, the Moral Law was to convict a man of sin, to reveal to man his guilt under the law, that he is a continuous law breaker.
The ceremonial Law was to foreshadow the future restoration for mankind through the forgiveness of sin.
Jesus Christ demonstrated both the righteousness of the law through his obedience, that it is just and holy and good; but also through his death he revealed both the justice of the law and the infinite grace and love of God toward man.
Jesus Christ is the messiah for which the entire Old Testament was written.
Jesus Christ is the hope of all of mankind.
For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
The law was shown by Moses that it was to be obeyed and trusted and to be lived by.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Jesus Christ is the personification of the law; Truth, Justice, Judgement, Mercy, Grace, Love!
Both the moral law that exposes sin in man, and the ceremonial law that shows the remedy for man, was to reveal Jesus Christ.
With almost two thousand years of rehersal, Israel should have been so perfectly ready for Christ when he came.
With almost two thousand years under a schoolmaster, Israel should have been practically brought to Christ.
John the Baptist, so long ago prophesied to be crying in the wilderness, to make a straight way for the Lord, to prepare the hearts. Then Christ who came the very day prophesied in Daniel, performing all the scriptures spoke of, Israel should have been prepared!
What is it that explains the reason why Jesus was, and still is, rejected?
Turn to John 3:19-21
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Submission In Simplicity Secures Salvation
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above🙂 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 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; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Turn to the Gospel of Mark 10:13-16
13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
The Gospel is not a lofty idea that none can understand it. It is not something so high as to be out of reach ‘Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven?’
Far too many have so complicated the wonderful simplicity of the Gospel making it impossible to attain, and yet Jesus makes the claim that NONE can attain it UNLESS they be as a little child.
The simplicity of believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. It is the simplicity of the Gospel that makes it comprehensible to a child, but it is the Stumblingstone of the proud we spoke of last week.
Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above🙂 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
The Gospel itself is simple and reflects the simplicity also of the Law of God. Laws that astound the world for their simplicity.
Turn to Deuteronomy 30:11-14
It is the second presentation of the law of God to the children of the disobedient parents that came out of Egypt, who died over the forty years in the wilderness.
For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
The law was simple to understand, it is plain, it is logical.
Respecting God it said simply;
- To have no others gods but God
- To make no images of worship, for God is unlike any image graven by art (Acts 17:29)
- To not use the name of God as a swear word, but to hold it in honour.
- To keep one day in seven holy before God, a day of rest.
Four simple laws respecting the God who created all things to function in accordance with the law.
Respecting our fellow man;
- To honour father and mother all the days of your life. (First commandment with promise)
- Thou shalt not kill another of mankind, for all are created in the image of God
- Not commit adultery, but to be faithful to your life’s partner whom God gave you
- Not steal from that earned by another
- Not deceive and lie to one another
Respecting ones sin against himself we have the last commandment;
- Thou shalt not covet or lust greedily for that which does not belong to you.
14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
That is the wonderful simplicity of the law, even a law understood by all to be good and just, a law to which the heart naturally agrees.
Uncomplicated, just, simple to be identified, true. This law being that which underpins all western nations, filled with wisdom.
This law today set aside by a witless world. Ten laws of God for the freedom of man rejected by many, and replaced with tens of thousands of laws of man for the enslavement of man accepted by many.
It is worth turning to Isaiah 5:20.
Perhaps this explains why Isaiah claimed of a time we see today where everything seems upside down together with a time when the law of God has been rejected, cast away.
When the simplicity and clarity of Gods laws are replaced by the complexity and obscurity of mans laws.
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! 22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: 23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! 24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
If the law of God was created simple and is agreed to by the general heart of man, then what of the Gospel that saves the soul?
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;
What is the word of faith which is preached?
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
In this text the answer for the eternal peace of all who have broken the laws of God are simple.
There are two ‘how’s’ and two ‘what’s’
- HOW?: confess with thy mouth
- What?: the Lord Jesus
- HOW?: believe in thine heart
- WHAT?: God hath raised him from the dead
thou shalt be saved.
It is Submission In Simplicity that Secures Salvation.
Beloved salvation is simple, but do not allow that simplicity to give you any confidence that it can be put off and claimed at a “convenient season”.
Beloved when the conviction of the soul is pricked, that is the time to believe and not put it off. You have no guarantee you will be convicted unto a saving faith later on.
When Paul preached the truth of Christ to King Agrippa, he said “King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. 28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. (Acts 26:27-29)
Almost, almost…. One of the most frightening thoughts is to be an “almost Christian”. Think of how close Agrippa came to everlasting life. Think of his state in hell if that “almost” was his last opportunity of heart to believe.
Had there ever been a time you can recall when you almost made a life changing decision but said no? A golden opportunity you let slip?
It is thought that this event occurred circa 65 AD. If King Agrippa’s almost was never followed up with certainty then 1955 years have gone by in hell. Imagine his thought each and every one of the 713,575 days tormenting himself of Almost accepting Christ as his Saviour! Even this very day and forever more.
“But now is not the time” you say! You are looking for a more suitable time, a time where you have “nothing else to lose” you say, a time more convenient!
And as he (Paul) reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. (Acts 24:25)
Did Felix ever find a more “convenient season”? How many days in hell will he have mourned the dim-witted stupidity and stubbornness of disobeying the Gospel? How many more will he mourn?
Submission In Simplicity Secures Salvation. Do not permit that simplicity to be mistaken for availability.
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Confidence In The Confirmation of Christ
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
The modern church often hears the words of a mouth that speaks the words and rarely considers the heart which must choose to believe.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness
That is what the Gospel is to convict first. It is to pierce the heart, to have it bleed for hope of salvation. It is to be broken and contrite, not still filled with pride. It is that repentance of unbelief that turns a man or woman or child to a saving faith.
“The mind convinced against its will is of the same opinion still”
It is not the mind of man that needs enlightening, is the heart of man that needs revival.
The lips can only follow the heart, but the mouth cannot turn it. There are many example of people whoi have said one thing while meaning another.
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me…(Isa 29:13)
Jesus himself reminded the people of this saying in Mark 7:6 Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
I have had people come to me after a service, their heart moved by a sermon and asked of me to lead them to make confession with their mouth.
There have been multitudes who have believed the word of God during a service and went home to seek the Lord with their mouth.
I recall one who had heard the Gospel from my lips several times and was moved by the Lord at 2am to seek him and make confession with his mouth.
11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed
You can have Confidence in the Confirmation of Christ, you will not be ashamed.
Take a look at the universal aspect of this passage. Those who think themselves without hope, please look at these words, look at just one word and tell me if it makes a difference.
Look again at verse 11 and tell me, does the passage say;
- only some who believeth on him shall not be ashamed?
- Does it say, those between 10yrs and 16yrs old who believeth on him shall not be ashamed?
- Does it say, only nice people who believeth on him shall not be ashamed?
Are there any limitations at all when the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed?
There are no limitations to the call of the Gospel. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
This call of the Gospel is universal, the simplicity of the Gospel is for all people;
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
If you hear the Gospel and believe it in your heart, seek and pray to the Lord to save you.
Do not wait for a convenient season, Do it even now if you are listening online, do it now. If you are here, do it now.
Please do not be an “Almost Christian”.
The Gospel is simple, but its availability is limited to this life and even potentially limited to this time. You have no guarantee of another hour let alone another year.
 Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume, (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 2219.