Righteousness Over Religion

October 7, 2020

Romans 10:1-4

Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.


In chapter ten of Romans, Paul addresses the present state of Israel. Their present state is that they are lost. They are lost just as the Gentiles are lost. The reason is that Christ is the fulfillment of the law of righteousness. In chapter nine, Paul focused on the sovereignty of God in His dealings with both Jew and Gentile. In this chapter, he will begin to focus more on the responsibility of man. You can wrongly blame God for Israel’s current state—unable to have peace—in that they did not recognize the true nature of Christ’s first advent. You see, you can be religious and lost. Israel had a God-given religion, but they still needed to be saved. They had religion but not righteousness. Paul’s desire was that Israel might be saved.

Paul points out that they have a zeal for God, but all they really have is religion. Their zeal was not based on the knowledge of the Son of God. Once again, Paul writes that they were attempting to please God through self-effort and self-righteousness. You have to be perfect to go to heaven, and you are not perfect. I am not perfect! But I am going to heaven because Jesus died for me, was buried, and rose again from the dead. He was delivered for my sins and was raised for my justification. He is my righteousness. I will go to heaven one day because He took my place.

Paul points out that Israel was ignorant of God’s righteousness and, therefore, refused to submit themselves to God’s righteousness (Jesus). This is not only true of present-day Jews but also many Gentiles who refuse to submit to God’s righteousness (Jesus). There are many people today who still think they must earn their way to heaven; Jew and Gentile alike.

“Christ is the end of the law” means that He is the goal or fulfillment of the Law. The Mosaic Law was given to lead men to Christ; it wasn’t given to save men. The Law was given to show us that we needed to be saved. J. Vernon McGee wrote, “It (the Law) takes us by the hand, brings us to the cross of Christ.”

Questions to Ponder:

Have you accepted the righteousness that God offers in Christ Jesus? Is Jesus Christ your Savior? Do you have the desire to see your friends and family saved? Who is in your top three? Are you zealous for God? Does your zeal for traditions ever outshine your zeal for God Himself?

Prayer Points

  • Revere the Righteous and Holy Lord, for He alone is worthy of all our praise.
  • Minister before the Lord by telling Him how powerful, amazing, grand, forgiving, etc. He is.
  • Tell Him what is on your heart, even the hard things. Give Him Your burden and take/receive His yoke, for it is light. He laid down His life for you (and the world), surely He is a good Father who hears and answers us.
  • Ask the LORD to encourage You in one area of Your life today. Ask Him to bless and encourage someone you know.
  • Pray for your top 3 (people on your list to be saved). Ask the LORD to answer someone else’s prayer by leading you to one of their top 3 to share and show the Gospel. Listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and walk in love and sincerity.

Suggested Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. I hallow Your name, oh God, for You are holy, loving, kind, and so very good. Thank You for your commitment to me and those You have created. Thank You for inviting me to partner with You in the place of people. Shepherd my distracted heart into Your peace. I receive afresh Your peace and give You my fear. I accept Your love and give You any of my hate and revenge. I open up and take in Your compassion, mercy, and understanding, and hand over to You my judgmental thoughts and accusing mind. Papa, I ask that You would enable me and Your church at Oak Pointe to yield to Your Holy Spirit all this week. Lift up our heads, oh God, and cause us to look directly at You. Help us to be distracted with You and the things of Your kingdom. Lead the way, and remind me to follow You, Papa; follow You in my heart, mind, and actions. I ask in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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