October 15, 2023
SERMON SERIES: GOD’S WORLDWIDE PLAN FOR EVERY PERSON
BOOK OF ROMANS
Sermon # 14: Salvation Is Near Us
Have you ever headed out on a trip in the wrong direction?
Have you ever missed your exit on the interstate and kept right on going?
Have you ever turned left when you should have turned right or north when you should have turned south?
People make honest mistakes every day while traveling. But no matter how sincere they are, if they are headed in the wrong direction, they will not reach their desired destination. Missing a turn while driving is one thing. Missing an opportunity to have a relationship with God Himself is something altogether different.
Chapter nine of Romans teaches the sovereignty of God’s choices, and chapter ten tackles the other side of the coin---our responsibility.
This passage has two powerful points. It shows the tragic mistake of Israel, and it proclaims the great danger of missing God’s righteousness. It is an excellent study on God’s righteousness. It shows man exactly what has to be done to make all things right. This lesson shows salvation is near us. Let’s look at two components of salvation that are near us. Today I will preach on the first component of salvation is near us.
I. THE DIFFICULTY IN ACCEPTING SALVATION v. 1-5
A. There was Paul’s desire and Israel’s mistake (v. 1-4).
1. Paul’s desire for Israel’s salvation (v. 1). The word “desire” means longing, willing, yearning craving. He craved and yearned to see the salvation of his people. It is our responsibility to receive God’s salvation but also to share it.
2. Now note Israel’s great mistake (v. 2): they had a zeal for God, but it was not based on complete knowledge. The Jews were not atheists; they were very sincere and zealous about their religion.
The problem with their religion was not according to knowledge. The knowledge the Jews needed was salvation through Jesus Christ. Sincere religion is very dangerous, because it keeps people from seeing themselves as sinners in need of a Savior.
3. Israel was ignorant of God’s righteousness. They failed to understand.
4. Israel went about establishing its own way of righteousness (v. 3). They sought to save themselves by being as religious as they could be. They sought to make themselves acceptable to God through…
5. Israel refused to submit themselves to the righteousness of God (v. 3). God’s righteousness is Jesus Christ (v. 4).
6. The Law reveals we are all sinners in need of a Savior so we will come to Christ (Gal. 3:24). People try to reach God by law and works, by simply doing the very best they can. However, there is a terrible flaw in this approach. Moses was the first to point out the flaw: So, Paul quotes what Mose said in Leviticus 18:5 in (Romans 10:5). For Moses describeth the righteousness, which is of the law, that the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
In other words, the Law demands absolute perfection, which no one can achieve, because breaking just one law makes a person guilty of breaking it all (James 2;10).
The point is this. There are only two ways to become righteous. A person can become righteous:
· By keeping the law perfect, by never sinning in act word, or thought (if a person could keep the law perfectly---never sinning even once—he or she could be declared righteous.
· By trusting in the righteousness of a person who has lived a sinless life and who stands before us as the Ideal Man, the Ideal Man who can represent us before God.
There are many people who sincerely believe that if they do good works, they will gain God’s acceptance. But those people will miss heaven because they have no knowledge of the true character of a holy God.
“Noah’s message from the steps going up to the Ark was not, ‘Something good is going to happen to you!’
“Amos was not confronted by the high priest of Israel for proclaiming, ‘Confession is possession!’
“Jeremiah was not put into the pit for preaching, ‘I’m O. K., you’re O. K.!’
“Daniel was not put into the lion’s den for telling people, ‘Possibility thinking will move mountains!’
“John the Baptist was not forced to preach in the wilderness and eventually beheaded because he preached, ‘Smile, God loves you!’
“The two prophets of the tribulation will not be killed for preaching, ‘God is in his heaven, and all is right with the world!’
“Instead, what was the message of all these men of God? Simple, one word: ‘Repent!’”
No one can force or fake or talk his way into heaven. The only way is God’s way—through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Responsive Reading: Romans 10:1-13