Class Notes: 11/17/2021
The book of Romans part 15 Doctrine of the Gospel
We are in a verse-by-verse study of the book of Romans and got through verse 1 with the expanded translation: "Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called an apostle, through having been appointed because of the Gospel from God."
In the verse we found 3 doctrines to explore: the doctrine of adjustment to God's justice that Paul had done, the doctrine of apostle that was Paul's office, and the doctrine of the Gospel that was Paul's message.
We are presently in a study of the doctrine of the Gospel and before we stopped last time we had noted that works righteousness and faith righteousness are mutually exclusive; you can only have one or the other. Only faith righteousness can provide eternal life. Rom 10:7; "or (Amos 9:2;), `Who will descend into the Abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)."
Paul could have quoted Deut 30:13; here. But crossing the sea in Paul's day was very common. Paul crossed the sea himself at least five times on his way to and from Greece.
Paul must communicate the same idea: that salvation is not unavailable. Salvation was available in Greece. So Paul quotes Amos 9:2, that also lines up with the resurrection of Jesus.
Amos 9:2; "Though they dig into Sheol, from there My hand shall take them, and though they ascend into heaven, from there I will bring them down."
So Paul updates the concept of unavailability to match the situation in the first century, so he uses Sheol or Hades, that can't be reached until physical death.
By replacing the "across the sea" phrase of Deut 30:13; with the Sheol phrase of Amos 9:2, Paul makes reference to our Lord's physical death on the cross.
After finishing the salvation work, our Lord dismissed His human spirit to the Father in heaven, and His soul went to Hades. First His soul went to the compartment of Paradise, and later to the compartment containing fallen angels, the Abyss. The Holy Spirit accompanied our Lord's human soul in Hades.
Jesus Christ has already been resurrected as God's guarantee that salvation was accomplished on the cross when our Lord shouted; "Tetelestai" translated "Finished!" John 19:30;
Paul puts together the heaven of Deut 30:12 in Rom 10:6. The unavailability of "across the Sea" in Deut 30:13 equals Sheol or Hades of Amos 9:2; and is quoted in Rom 10:7 to maintain the concept of unavailability for the Jews of Paul's day.
So just as Moses had indicated, Paul taught that salvation is closer to the Jew than heaven or Hades.
In other words salvation is not unattainable or unavailable. But the Jews are acting like it was by trying to keep the Law for salvation. Salvation is nearer to the Jew than heaven, and closer to the Jew than the grave (Sheol or Hades).
Rom 10:8; "But what does it (faith righteousness) say? (Deut 30:14;) `The message (salvation through faith in Christ) is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart.' That is the message of faith that we are communicating (preaching, announcing)."
Faith only exists in one place; it comes from the heart. Faith is expressed to God with the mouth. The mouth represents the thinking with the enunciation of words. What you say with your mouth doesn't save you; your faith does, but you express it to God by thinking the words at least in your stream of consciousness.
You admit or acknowledge to God that you believe in Jesus Christ. So heart and mouth are used to illustrate the point because it is the intellect that is involved in believing. The failure of the Jews' was to ignore or reject the implications of the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union.
The Jews should have understood the Hypostatic Union, because much of the Old Testament prophesied the First Advent, beginning with the virgin birth. Isa 7:14;
The Hypostatic Union was the dispensation that separated Israel from the Church. Paul went back to the Old Testament to show the Jews that what they had previously anticipated had happened.
Messiah had come, and was officially rejected by Israel as the Son of David. Jesus went to the cross where God the Father also forsook Him because He was bearing the sins and the judgment for sins for the entire world.
In the past, the Jews had rejected or accepted Moses' message. Now they had the chance to accept or reject Paul's message, that was essentially the same message: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Acts 16:31; Deut 30:14;
In Paul's time, the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union was history. Jesus Christ had already been judged for the sins of the world, died, was buried, resurrected, ascended, and was seated at the right hand of the Father.
Moses talked about salvation not being in heaven in Deut 30:12, that Paul quotes in Rom 10:6. Jesus Christ does not have to leave heaven and come back to earth or send someone with a message to provide salvation, because it had already been provided on earth about 25 years earlier.
Amos talked about salvation not being in Sheol or Hades in Amos 9:2; that Paul quotes Amos in Rom 10:7. The soul of Jesus Christ does not have to return from Hades because salvation was completed with the resurrection of our Lord's human soul from Hades during the dispensation of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union.
Salvation is now closer than heaven or Hades; it is as close as your heart and your mouth. The mouth belongs to the human body; the heart belongs to the human soul. Paul proves all this by quoting Deut 30:14; in Rom 10:8.
The heart (or right lobe of the soul) has a non- meritorious system of perception, called faith so Paul continues with the subject of faith righteousness in Rom 10:9; "that `if you acknowledge with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe with your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.'"
The Greek conjunction "hoti" translated "that" introduces an indirect discourse, that is the equivalent of quotation marks. The acknowledgement of "the Lord our God" (Adonai Elohenu.).
"Believe" and "acknowledge" are opposite sides of the same coin. When you believe in Jesus Christ, you then tell God the Father you have believed. Therefore by believing you are acknowledging as true or confessing the same thing.
"Confession" is acknowledgment to God the Father that you believe in Jesus Christ. The expression of faith goes to the Father, not to other people.
If salvation was in heaven, it would be unattainable on earth. If salvation was in Sheol or Hades, it would be unavailable on earth. But salvation is on earth, closer to you than the Law or anything else, because salvation is in your soul, the heart, and salvation is in your mouth, the acknowledgement of faith in Jesus Christ.
Salvation is an exclusive transaction between you and God the Father, and therefore, must be expressed to God. Faith in Christ originates from the heart, the right lobe of the soul. Faith is expressed to God the Father, so the mouth is used for the expression of those thoughts to God. The mouth enunciates with words the thoughts that are contained in the right lobe of the soul.
Salvation is a private matter between the individual and God. God the Father sent the Son; God the Son executed salvation on the cross; God the Holy Spirit makes the Gospel clear to you under the doctrine of common grace.
The response to understanding the issue of the Gospel, you simply believe in Jesus Christ. The expression of faith in Jesus Christ in the privacy of your soul is directed toward God. The mouth is used to express the concept with the enunciation of words.
Public announcement and overt declaration to people is not the way of salvation because that would be works, and that is not the meaning of this verse. After salvation, a person may witness for Jesus Christ, but such witnessing is not the way of salvation; it is the result of salvation.
Activities such as the altar call can become salvation by works, salvation by jumping through a psychological hoop; and so it is no salvation either.
The object of faith is Jesus Christ, and belief in the object is expressed by faith, directed toward God the Father. We confess to God the Father that we have just believed in Jesus Christ.
Paul is teaching the Jews that the Hebrew phrase from Deut 6:4, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad, is Jesus Christ. The word Kurios or Lord is the equivalent of the confession of Israel in Deut 6:4. So salvation is as close to you as your mouth, that acknowledges to God the Father that Jesus Christ is Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad.
The Jews of the Church Age must look back to the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union rather than going back to the dispensation of Israel. The Jews are going back to the wrong dispensation and distorting it into a system of works.
The Jews wanted to use the Mosaic Law the instrument of salvation and depend upon their works righteousness. Paul challenges them to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation and depend upon the imputed righteousness of God.
Works righteousness and faith righteousness are mutually exclusive. Only faith in Jesus Christ as He is revealed in every dispensation and language can provide salvation.
All faith comes from the heart or the right lobe of the soul. The Jews' heart was closer to them than the Mosaic Law that they were seeking to use for justification. Faith righteousness is much closer to any individual, than any system of works that is being used to try to please God. The only thing that pleases God is believing.
Paul's point to the Jews is that the mouth and the mind are closer to them than the Mosaic Law. No one is saved by keeping the Law or any other system of works, but only by faith in Jesus Christ, a faith that originates from the heart, and expressed or enunciated by the mouth. Confession is simply the expression of faith.
Eternal salvation always occurs the very first time anyone believes in Jesus Christ. The moment we believe in Christ, He becomes our Lord through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that enters us into union with Christ. Eph 4:5;
Rom 10:10; "For with the heart a person believes resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth it is acknowledged resulting in salvation."
This verse gives the chronological order of salvation. Paul now restates the concept in its chronological order. First comes faith in Christ, then its acknowledgement to God with words in thought. The order is now reversed to give the true sequence of cause and effect.
The function of the heart or right lobe in believing is a non-meritorious type of thinking. In faith, the object has the merit, not the subject. The imputation of God's righteousness occurs as a result of believing in Jesus Christ. It is one of the forty things God does for us at the moment of salvation.
The mouth's confession of Jesus Christ as Jehovah or Lord refers simply to the enunciation of words. This is compatible with Eph 2:8-9; and with John 3:15,16,18, 36;
Faith comes from the heart, which is not an emotion or commitment, but a mental process related to the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace.
Faith or believing in Christ is always a non-meritorious function of the mentality of the soul. Public announcement of your faith in Christ to people is not a requirement for salvation. Do not confuse or conflate cause and effect or means and result.
This passage was specifically addressed to the Jews who were trying to be saved by keeping the Law. Paul's point was that faith in Christ and eternal salvation is nearer than the Mosaic Law.
The Greek verb Homologeo is always used in a non-meritorious way. It is used for salvation and for confession of sins to God. It is used for the mechanics of salvation in Rom 10:9-10, where you acknowledge that you have believed in Christ to God the Father.
Homologeo is also used in 1 John 1:9 for acknowledging your sins to God. "Confession" (Homologeo) is always directed toward God. It is God the Father who actually imputed our sins to Jesus Christ on the cross and judged them.
So when we believe in Jesus Christ, we express that faith to God the Father who judged our sins. When we commit sins after salvation, we simply acknowledge those sins to God the Father who already judged them.
That's why He's faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We confess our sins to God because He is the one who already judged them, and therefore He forgives us. For the same reason, we confess our faith in Jesus Christ to God the Father.
Paul's point in context is that the Jews cannot be saved by keeping the Law, but only by faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is not in heaven; therefore, it is not unattainable. Salvation is not across the sea or in Hades; therefore, it is not unavailable. Salvation is not by keeping the Mosaic Law, but by personal faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Salvation is closer to the Jews than the Mosaic Law. This is because the body of the Jew, represented by his mouth, and the mentality of the Jew, represented by his heart, are closer to him than the Law.
Therefore, the Jew does not have to go to the Law for salvation, but to something much closer: his heart where he can think in terms of faith, and express that faith to God the Father.
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