we move into verses 11-15. There is an elephant in chapter 10. There is
one way to eat an elephant, one bite at a time. So we are just taking it
one bite at a time. We have already covered earlier the contrast of
righteousness and the accessibility of righteousness. The third thing I
want you to see about righteousness is the invitation to righteousness.
This is, to me, one of the most precious parts of chapter 10.
verses 11-15 of chapter 10: "For the
Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.’ For
there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord
of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for ‘Whoever will
call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then shall they call
upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him
whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And
how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How
beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!’"
Perhaps you don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and
Savior. You may have adopted a standard and joined the church. You thought
your baptism was going to get you into heaven. Now, through this study, it
is suddenly dawning on you that whatever you have done will never qualify.
It is not of works, lest any man should boast. You are beginning to
realize that you have never bowed before the Lord Jesus Christ. I want you
to know why we are preaching God’s invitation is open to you. You can
never be good enough for God, but God came to do what man couldn’t do. And
by putting your faith in Him, that is the only way of ever being reckoned
as righteous in the Father’s eyes. That’s the invitation to righteousness.
are several things about the invitation to righteousness. First of all, we
want to see the perimeter of God’s righteousness. By perimeter I mean the
boundaries. How far does it go? Is anybody excluded? Now listen, if you
took righteousness and salvation, which is equated there, and you looked
at Israel, Israel would tell you, "No, no, no. It is just for us." Very
narrow- mindedly they would single it out and say, "We are the only ones
who would ever qualify for God’s righteousness for we were seeking after
the Apostle Paul pops that bubble. The word "whoever" appears in
verses 11 and 13. That "whosoever"
means whether it is a Jew or whether it is a Gentile. There are two basic
groups of people here on this earth. Actually there are three. Corinthians
tells us there are Jews, Gentiles and the church of Jesus Christ. A Jew is
not a completed Jew because he receives Jesus. He is a brand new person, a
brand new person in Christ Jesus. It is the same with the Gentiles. So
there are basically three groups. It doesn’t matter what you are, if you
put your faith in Jesus Christ, the invitation is open to you.
quotes from the Old Testament to bring out this little word "whoever"
or "whosoever." You see, in their narrow thinking in the Old
Testament it was "whosoever among them." But that was not the concept.
Paul is a converted Jew, and now he shows that whosoever, then and now,
means Jew or Gentile. He first of all quotes from
Isaiah 10:11 "For the Scripture says,
‘Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.’" Now this quote is
Isaiah 28:16. Listen to how it is written in the Old Testament
and see how Paul changes it just a little bit: "Therefore thus says the
Lord God, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion [Jerusalem] a stone, a tested
stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation,...’"
don’t know how in the world anybody can miss this because Jesus is the
cornerstone. Without the cornerstone you have no measurements or anything
else. You can’t build a building without a cornerstone. The cornerstone
determines the rest of the building. He goes on to say, "...firmly placed.
He who believes in it [this stone, this person Christ] will not be
disturbed." I thought it was interesting that little word "disturbed"
means they will never hasten to run away from anything because he totally
rests in confidence in the One in whom he has believed.
let’s go back to
Romans 10. He is quoting out of Isaiah in
verse 11. The second quote in verse 13 when he uses "whoever" again
he is quoting out of
Joel 2:32. He says, "And it will come
about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered."
Now, "whoever" means whoever—Jew or Gentile. You know when that is
found? It is in
Joel 2:32. It goes on to say, "For on
Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as the Lord
has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls." Do you know
when this was written? This is talking about the days before the Great
Tribulation, the terrible time that is coming to this earth. It is the
70th Week of Daniel. He is saying in those days whoever calls.
Israel would have thought, "Well, that is us." But no, the word "whoever"
means whoever, Jew or Gentile. He is saying in those days
whoever will call upon the Lord will be saved. It is clear to me that in
eternity past and eternity future, God has made it open and accessible to
both Jew and Gentile. The invitation is to anyone who will call upon His
may be saying, "Well, you don’t know what I have done." Well, friend, you
don’t know what I did before I was saved either. That is not the issue. It
is not what you have done, it is what He did. And when you put your faith
in Him, He can forgive you of whatever you have done and the invitation is
open to you, to Jew, to Gentile. The perimeter extends to whoever will
call upon Him.
second thing I want you to see is the prerequisite that is involved in
this invitation. You saw it in the verse. Let me go back to it in
verses 11-13. There are three things that
he mentions, actually one twice and then another one. First of all in
verses 11 it says, "For the Scripture
says, ‘Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.’"
verses 12 says, "For there is no
distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all,
abounding in riches for all who call upon Him." Then
verses 13 continues, "for ‘Whoever
will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’"
want you to look at those three phrases there, "whoever believes in Him,"
"who call upon Him" and "call upon the name." Let’s see if
they tell us something.
of all, the word "believe" is in the present tense. I
want to show you something. Belief is more than just mentally
comprehending. When God enables belief, it is not static. It is never
static. It is something that starts and never ends. Oh, it may grow dull
at times, but it will never leave you. Now this is where a lot of people
mess up. "Have you ever believed in Jesus Christ?" "Yeah, about 20 years
ago but I don’t believe in Him anymore." No, no. You comprehended 20 years
ago, but you did not scripturally believe because belief is never static.
Belief starts and never stops. Now it doesn’t mean that you won’t have
difficult times in your life to where it is difficult to believe, but you
will always return. You will return. You will return. There is something
in you, a supernatural ability that comes in you when you believe that
never leaves you.
Philippians 1:29, I think Paul brings it
out very clearly. I stumbled into this one day teaching Philippians. I was
looking at the sufferer for His sake, but I stumbled right over this.
Philippians 1:29 says, "For to you it
has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also
to suffer for His sake." Do you know what the tense of that little
infinitive, "not only to believe in Him," is? It is present
tense, not aorist, to believe at a certain time and say that it saved you.
To believe, continue to believe, continue to believe, continue to believe.
will give you another illustration. In the book of 1 John, there are two
tenses that come out more than anything else in the whole epistle. One is
the perfect tense. Do you know what the perfect tense means? It
means that something happened back here, something critical happened back
here. God enabling the faith that He gave to every man. Something happened
back here. As a result, there is something going on up here. It is never a
situation like something happened back there, and I sure hope something is
going on now. No, no. Something happened back there that is continuing to
effect you even up until now. Then when he talks about those who believe,
in 1 John, it is always in the present tense. Not just believe once
(aorist), but believed, continues to believe, continues to believe. And
again, that does not mean perfection. That does not mean having difficult
times when belief is difficult. That is not what we are saying. The
ability to believe is always there to put your confidence in, to surrender
to, and to obey. And so, if you are going to receive this invitation, you
receive it by belief. God has given every man a measure of faith and as
you choose to bow before Him and then God enabling that, that belief will
continue on. It is not just something that starts and stops.
verses 12-13, the term "call upon,"
is important because each verse says something just a little bit
different. Verse 12 says, "For there is no distinction between Jew and
Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who
call upon Him." Who is he talking about? The Lord. When the Lord is
mentioned in the New Testament, it is obviously referring to the Lord
Jesus Christ. So if you call upon Him, that identifies who you believe in.
second instance has to do with the power of that person. It says in
verses 13 that we call upon the name of
the Lord. Did you know that the word "name" means and refers to the
character of someone? I found something out the other day that I am not
really excited about it. My name means "wagon." Wayne means wagon. Wagon,
burden bearer. A lot of people have gotten into naming their children
according to the character you want them to grow up and have. Well, when
you call upon the name of the Lord, you are saying something a little bit
different. Yes, it is Him. It has not changed. But you are calling upon
Him because He is the one who can do what you are asking Him to do. Nobody
else can. "Christ, you are the only One who can save me. Christ, I call
upon you." The power of that person, the character and the power, the
ability that person has.
the tense of the phrase, "call upon," in both
verses 12 and13 is in the aorist
middle. Now that is important. Aorist means at a certain point
in time. Salvation happens at one moment when you call upon Him, when you
see your need, when you realize who He is and what He has done and you cry
out to Him, call upon Him. But the middle voice is
significant. Middle voice means first of all, you are calling upon Him for
your own benefit. You are not calling upon Him for somebody else’s
benefit. I would love to call upon Him for others’ benefit. You do
pray for them. I don’t mean that you don’t pray for others, but you cannot
make the final decision. It is made before the foundation of the world. We
have put all that together in
chapter 9. Anyway, you pray for them, but
they have got to call upon God for their own benefit. They have to
understand how desperate they are and call upon Him, middle voice.
Middle voice also means they themselves, by their own choice, call
upon Him. Boy, I have watched it over the years. You can go to a meeting
and you can tell any story and if you tell it emotionally enough,
everybody will come down and cry and make whatever decision you want them
to make. But they are not calling upon Him because of the need that He has
exposed in their life, that they are desperate lost sinners and they will
never be saved unless Jesus does what He has said He will do. That is the
a meeting down in another state and 700 kids came forward, but it was so
emotional. Hardly any scripture was used. We had to follow them up six
months later and found out about 25 of them would even admit they were at
the meeting, much less having made a decision. That is what I am talking
about. This person has to come to the point in his life that he realizes
there is no hope, there is nothing except the Lord Jesus. Jesus died for
him, and he sees it. He understands his education and his intellect and
all these other things won’t get him into heaven. Then he cries out in
desperation, "Oh, God." And God will do immediately what He says He will
do. He cries out depending on the character of who God is and the ability
that God has. But he cries out for himself and no one makes him. This is
something he chooses to do.
when I say "no one makes him," we know the Holy Spirit has played a real
role in this, but no person makes him. It is something that God is
generating and doing in that person’s life.
the third thing I want you to look at is the promise of this invitation.
When somebody responds to it, the promise God makes is he will not be
Verse 11 says, "For the Scripture
says, ‘Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.’" I
like that word. It is the word kataischuno. It is the word
that means he will never be put to shame, he will never be humiliated. God
will do exactly what God says He will do. Now he is not saying that he
won’t go through bad times and that people won’t humiliate him and people
won’t shame him. That is not what He said. But the God whom he calls upon,
the one he puts his confidence in, will never humiliate him, will never
put him to shame. You can trust Him now and you can trust Him forever. He
will never disappoint you. Friend, that is good stuff. "Do you mean to
tell me that if I put my faith into the Lord Jesus Christ, that He is
everything that He says He is and He will never disappoint me?" That
is exactly right. He will never disappoint you, never put you to shame,
never humiliate you. You are His child when you put your faith into Him.
Secondly, God’s eternal supply is made available.
Verse 12 reads, "For there is no
distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of
all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him." Abounding in riches.
Whew! That word "abounding" means that you are supplied to the point that
you have more than enough. You are over-supplied. Man, think of the
remember, riches here never means material riches. You go into the book of
Ephesians and it talks about the riches of God and how He will strengthen
you according to the riches of His glory. It is spiritual riches. In
Ephesians, referring to the bank of all His riches, it says, "He has
blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus." Jesus is the
First National Bank of all the riches of God and those riches are made
available to people who call upon Him, who do not trust their own works,
who do not trust their own way, but only trust in Him. He says all of
those riches are made available