BY PURSUING LAW RIGHTEOUSNESS, SOME ISRAELITES REJECT THE PREACHING OF CHRIST AND, CONSEQUENTLY, GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS
Thesis: The Jews who look to themselves–who they are and what they do–for righteousness reject Christ, the righteousness from God, and are lost.
I. ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE A ZEAL FOR GOD, SOME JEWS REJECT GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS BY SEEKING TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS (1-4)
A. Paul has a sincere desire for the Israelites to be saved (1).
B. Some Jews who are lost have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge (2).
C. These Jews seek to establish their own righteousness and do not submit to the righteousness of God (3).
D. Christ is the desired goal of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes (4).
II. BY SEEKING RIGHTEOUSNESS BY LAW, THE OPPOSITE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH, SOME JEWS REJECT GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS (5-13).
A. Moses describes the righteousness that is by law saying, “The man who does these things will live by them” (5).
B. The righteousness that is by faith does not say the following:
1. Who will ascend into heaven to bring Christ down (6)?
2. Who will descend into the deep to bring Christ up from the dead (7)?
3. These questions would reflect a lack of faith that Christ has come or that he has not been resurrected.
C. The righteousness that is by faith says the folowing:
1. The word of faith is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (8).
2. If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (9).
3. With your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved (10).
4. As the Scripture says, “He who believes in him will not be put to shame” (11).
5. The same Lord is Lord of both Jew and Gentile and richly blesses all who call on him (12).
6. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (13).
a. Men cannot call on one they don’t believe in (14).
b. They cannot believe in one of whom they have not heard (14).
c. They cannot hear without someone preaching (14).
d. Preachers cannot preach without being sent (15).
e. It is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news” (15).
III. LOST JEWS ARE LOST BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO BELIEVE AND CONFESS CHRIST (16-21).
A. Not all Israelites responded to the good news (16).
B. Isaiah indicates that his hearers had not really believed his message (16).
C. Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (17).
D. Lost Jews did hear and have their opportunity, says Isaiah (18, cf. Isaiah 53:1).
E. The Jews heard but were unwilling to accept the gospel (19-21).
1. They understood well enough to envy the Gentiles who were saved in accordance with the gospel (19).
2. Since the Gentiles found the way, surely the Jews should have understood (20).
3. The lost Israelites were disobedient and obstinate people, not just people who couldn’t understand (21).
Conclusion: Those of Israel who are lost chose to depend on their own righteousness and not to believe the message about salvation through Christ.
© 2004, Dr. Wm. T. (Bill) Lambert
Professor Emeritus – NT Literature and Interpretation
College of Bible and Religion