Here’s the outline for my sermon on Romans 9:30-10:4 “A Wrong Way to Get Right With God” preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville.
Romans 9:30-10:4 “A Wrong Way to Get Right with God”
INTRO: Ice Cream sundae with ketchup fixed with mustard
-These are wrong ways to try and make things right.
-There’s a WRONG way to try and get right with God.
BIBLICAL REORIENTATION: We need to be made right with God. Because of sin, we are not right with Him.
-EVERYONE is sinner, and in our stand we guilty before God and under His righteous wrath
-We need a righteousness before our holy God.
-God has made a way for this to happen in the gospel: Romans 1:16-17
-Romans 1-4 explains the gospel, Romans 5-8 unpacks results of the gospel.
CONTEXT: Romans 9-11: Paul wrestling with the question on unbelieving Israel.
-If gospel is fulfillment of God’s promises to save Israel, promises given in the OT, why don’t more Jews believe?
-Paul’s burden: to help us see that God’s Word has NOT failed! He gives us reasons why this is so:
-In 9:6-29, we are given an answer from the divine perspective.
-Not All Israel is Israel, but those who are elected by God. Elect Jews and Gentiles are saved!
-In 9:30-10:21, we given an answer which shows it is also a result of human sin:
-Israel has sought salvation by works instead of by faith in Jesus Christ.
-This has incredible relevance today as well. Today people fail to be saved for the save reason!
MS.: There’s a wrong way to try and get right with God!
1. WRONG WAY; 2. RIGHT WAY to Respond to those who Choose the WRONG WAY; 3. RIGHT WAY
1. WRONG WAY (9:30-33; 10:2-4)
If I asked you what 2 + 2 equaled, there are lots wrong answers.
-If I asked you how to get right with God, there are lots of wrong answers to this as well.
-Here Paul gives us one wrong way to try and get right with God: relying on one’s own works.-Surprising Situation (9:30-31)
-Gentiles did not pursue righteousness: a right standing with God. They were intentionally trying to be right with God.
-But they “have attained it.”
-Clarification: “a righteousness that is by faith” = Romans 3:21-22a
-Israel “pursued a law that would lead to righteousness”=They sought God; Law brought a degree of righteousness
-“did not succeed in reaching that law”= They were not made righteous through obedience to God’s Law
-Israelites were trying to be right with God through obedience to the law, but did not achieve this.
-SURPRISING turn of events!
-Reason WHY: (9:32-33)
-Israel “did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.” (32)
-They sought to be right with God based on their own “works”
-Religious works; doing good things.
-Israel “STUMBLED over the stumbling stone” (32b)
-Imagery of tripping over a rock.
-JESUS is the stumbling stone—a stone that those who refuse God’s way will stumble over
-Fulfillment of Isaiah prophecy (Isaiah 28:16) (33)
-Promise for those who believe: “whoever believes in him will not be put to shame”
-SHAME at the Day of Judgment.
-Israel pursued a WRONG WAY TO BE RIGHT WITH GOD.
-Further elaboration: (10:2-3)
–ZEAL for God, but not according to knowledge (2)
-They worked HARD for God (consider the Pharisees)
–Not according to knowledge
-(Zeal in anything is not enough, it must be accompanied by knowledge of the truth)
–IGNORANT of the righteousness of God
-God has a way for us to be right with Him, but they were willfully ignorant of it.
-Pilgrim’s Progress “IGNORNANCE” Character. Presumption, pride, rest on own understanding
-SOUGHT TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN [righteousness]
-Tried to establish their own right standing with God through good works.
-REFUSAL TO SUBMIT TO GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS
-Proud refusal to submit and acknowledge one’s sin and inability.
-Refuse to submit to God’s way, but instead hold on to glory of self
C.S. Lewis’ “Great Divorce” pages 34-35.
APP: Error of WORKS Righteousness
-This is a wrong way to try and be right with God.
-Going to church, reading your Bible, being a “good person” will not reconcile us to God.
-Outside of Christ, our “righteous deeds” are like a “polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6)
2. There’s a RIGHT WAY to Respond to those who Choose the WRONG WAY (10:1)
High achieving classmate from high school who looked down on everyone else.
-As Christians we should not be self-righteousness or arrogant toward those who choose the wrong way-Paul models for us how we ought to respond to those who have chosen the WRONG way:
-Desire “my heart’s desire”
-Prayer: “and prayer to God for them”
–SALVATION IS AT Stake: The conversion of the lost is a matter of salvation: that they may be saved.
–Error of Religious Pluralism
-Mere sincerity of belief is not enough -All without Christ are NOT saved: (Including Jews and other religious people) =John 14:6-Bible challenges our desires.
-Creeping Charlie (Suburbia VALUES: Don’t make it awkward; kids programs; comfort; height of grass)
-Bible leads us in right affections
-Practical way forward: Pray for the salvation of the lost.
-Commit to pray for someone who is without Christ and pray everyday for them
-Parents, lead your children in this!
3. There’s a RIGHT WAY (10:4)
GOOD NEWS of the gospel: there is a way to be made right with God, and is through the grace and love of God.
-Jesus is the END OF THE LAW (telos)
-Telos=culmination. GOAL and COMPLETION
-End of a race
-The Jews failed to see this
-All who try to “work righteousness” today fail to see this.
-Faith in Jesus is Way to getting right with God: for righteousness to everyone who believes.
–For righteousness (right standing with God)
-Available by faith: “to everyone who believes”
-Our understanding of the OT Law must have Jesus as the TELOS
-Law pointed to Jesus and finds its fulfillment in him!
-See the greatness of Jesus:
-There is no one like Jesus.
-Believe and rest afresh in Jesus, the way to be right with God. -There really is no one like Jesus!
CONCLUSION: There is a wrong way to try and get right with God, but praise God that there is also a right way and it is ours through faith in Jesus!