Monday, 7 June 2010

the heart of Romans 10

Last week at Hope, we heard a great sermon, passionately and warmly delivered, from Robin Whaley, who works for Eden Baptist. The text was Romans 10:5-15, part of our long series on Romans that should come to an end in August. RW took a 'trad' line on imputation of Christ's righteousness, which is perhaps a slight puzzle (search for "imputation" on David Field's old blog to see just a small amount of the theological musings it has generated...) and not actually in Romans 10 itself, so that didn't really distract from what was an excellent exhortation.

The question is, who can be saved? Relevant for believers and nonbelievers...

The simple answer is, you need to be "righteous", in a right standing with God

Two ways to get righteous - one that doesn't work (trying to clean yourself up and keep the law 100%) and one that does (verses 6-8). This is righteousness by faith, that is given by God.

This was always God's plan A, saving faith in Jesus. We don't, can't and never could do God a favour! (tragic illustrations of the Hindu holy man rolling across India, and Robin's own pre-Christian misconception of what would improve him) Instead, He draws near to us.

God does use people in His world, however, not least in sharing this good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The call to "preach" - see verses 14-15 - is not for a select few extroverts, but for all of us. Let's get passionate about it (alongside our other worthy passions).

This message is huge in importance (the Torah pointed to it; it is the centre of history), in scale (v.12 tells of a vast new community) and in power (able to bring sinners to God).

Meditate on it and get excited!