Romans 10

Romans 10:2 they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge

"The Nephites in America had a much better understanding of the temporary and preparatory nature of the law of Moses than did the Jewish Christians, particularly the Jews of Jerusalem. Both Nephi and Abinadi had explained that the law of Moses should cease to be practiced after Jesus had made the atonement. (See 2 Ne. 25:24-27; Mosiah 12:24-32; 16:14-15.) Furthermore, Jesus told the Nephites after his resurrection that the law of Moses was fulfilled. (See 3 Ne. 9:17; 12:46; 15:2-8.) But the church members in Jerusalem did not understand. They were too bound by tradition or, as Paul said it, driven by a zeal without knowledge (Rom. 10:2), which rendered them impervious to the concept." (Robert J. Matthews, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 6: Acts to Revelation, ed. by Robert L. Millet, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], 40.)

Romans 10:4 Christ is the end of the law

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end (Rev. 1:8). With respect to the Law of Moses, He is the beginning of the law and 'the end of the law'. As Jehovah, he delivered the law to Moses on Sinai. As Jesus of Nazareth, he fulfilled the law by offering himself as the ultimate sacrificial Lamb. "That is to say, Christ is the grand end to all of the law's myriad means, the fulfillment of the law's messianic ordinances and prophecies, and the real religion behind and beyond centuries of ritual." (Robert L. Millet, ed., Studies in Scripture, Vol. 6: Acts to Revelation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], 53.)

" the Book of Mormon strengthens the biblical testimony of the Lord's atonement. The Apostle Paul testified that Christ was the 'end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.' (Rom. 10:4.) Lehi echoed that doctrine, explaining that the Savior's sacrifice answers the end of the law for 'those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.' (2 Ne. 2:7.)" (Dennis Largey, "Built upon the Rock," Ensign, Jan. 1992, 49)

Romans 10:6-8 Who shall ascend into heaven?

Paul Paraphrased: "Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven to find out God's will and bring it to us (Deut. 30:11-12)? Should Christ be sent again from heaven with God's commandments? No, he has already been sent, and his message is now taught by his apostles. Or, Who shall cross the deep to obtain the will of God? Does Christ need to be resurrected again to teach you? No, the word of God is right in front of you. It is that word of faith which we preach unto you. It is the righteousness which is of faith which believes that Christ has already been resurrected and has ascended into heaven. Such faith does not require him to appear again as a sign to the unbelievers."

Bruce R. McConkie

"In these verses Paul draws a parallel between his teachings and those of Moses. In summarizing for Israel the statutes and judgments of God, Moses told the people that he had set before them life and death, blessing and cursing, and that if they would keep the commandments they would be saved, otherwise damnation was their lot. As part of his exhortation, to drive home the fact that they had been taught the law to the full, Moses said:

'For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.' (Deut. 30:11-14.)

"Now Paul, knowing his hearers have had as much opportunity to learn the new law as Israel had to know the old one, and to drive home the fact that they must now turn to Christ, paraphrases the statements made by Moses. Those in his day, he says, do not need to ascend to heaven to learn of Christ and salvation. Neither do they need to seek Christ over the sea, or in any distant and hidden place. As it was in ancient Israel, the truths of salvation are very near, so near that they are already in their minds and hearts." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 2: 280.)

Romans 10:9 If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart...thou shalt be saved

Joseph Fielding Smith

"There are throughout the Christian world various opinions regarding what is necessary to bring about the salvation of men. Some there are who have accepted very literally, but without comprehending the meaning of it, the expression that was uttered by Paul to the Ephesians: 'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.'

"Those who accept that view as literally as it is recorded, without any reference to the context, disregard or reject the epistle of James which, apparently to them teaches a very different doctrine, for James says this: 'Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?'

"And so the controversy has been going on since the days of the Reformation, if not before, in regard to these scriptures. Some men contending for the doctrine of James and some for the doctrine of Paul, both misunderstanding what Paul has written and what James has written, for in reality there is no conflict.

"The world is full of good, honest people who believe that all that is necessary for one to do in order to be saved is to confess the name of Jesus Christ with their lips. A professed minister of the gospel once told me that if the entire Bible were lost with the exception of one passage, that one verse would be enough to save the world. It is as follows:

'If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.'

"Now, of course, this is a very extreme view. It would not be enough to save the world for the very good reason that the Lord has said unto us that we are to live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God, and we are, as I have read to you, under the necessity of keeping his commandments.

"I desire to point out wherein there is no conflict whatever in the teachings of these two apostles of old; that Paul taught the doctrine that was taught by James; and James was in full accord with the doctrine that was taught by Paul-the fact being that thy were approaching the subject from different angles.

"Paul was dealing with the class of people who believed that a man could not be saved unless he subscribed to the law of Moses, that a man was under the necessity more or less of saving himself, and who denied the full power of the atonement of Jesus Christ.

"James on the other hand was defending the necessity of works, counteracting the idea which prevailed among others, who professed faith in Christ, that if they had faith it was all-sufficient. Therefore they approached this subject from different viewpoints, and each of them taught the truth." (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 2: 306.)

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness

Faith precedes the miracle; faith precedes righteousness; and faith precedes good works. Paul is teaching that righteousness follows true belief as a natural consequence. The sequence is important and can't be switched. Consider the Jews who tried to be righteous but didn't believe. How far did they get? Paul said they went 'about to establish their own righteousness, [having] not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God' (v. 3). What was their fatal error? They lacked faith in Christ. When it came to faith and works, they chose works without faith. Hence, the only kind of righteousness they could hope to establish was their own transparent, hypocritical version of true righteousness.

On the other hand, some Christians today seem to forget the natural consequence of true belief. In doing so, they stress the importance of confessing the name of Jesus with their mouths. Yet, when their actions conflict with their professed beliefs, they merely demonstrate the shallowness of their faith pool. To believe in one's heart means to have a conviction, a testimony, a knowledge, and a faith which becomes the driving force behind all actions.

Faith and works are both essential on the path of discipleship. Faith without works is like a car without an engine. You can coast down the path of discipleship for a while, but you won't get very far. On the other hand, works without faith is like a car without any wheels. At the entrance to the strait and narrow gate, you can rev up your engine-making a lot of noise and smoke for others to see-but when you run out of gas, you find you haven't moved an inch.

Charles W. Penrose

"This is the key to the whole matter. The faith that saves is the faith that leads to obedience, which is 'better than sacrifice;' that obedience must be given to 'every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.' Belief, prayer, devotional exercises, of themselves, will not prepare man for the presence and society of his Maker. To dwell with him, man must be assimilated to his likeness. This can be effected only by compliance with his commands." (Rays of Living Light from the Doctrines of Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1954], 109.)

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved

Bruce R. McConkie

"Prayer is the way ordained of God whereby mortal men can converse, by the power of the Spirit, with their Immortal Father. As a heaven-sent boon, it is offered to all without money and without price. It is a free gift. Those who receive the gift, who learn thereby how to communicate with their Maker, and who conform in full to the true law of prayer are on the path leading to the celestial kingdom of heaven. 'For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.' (Romans 10:13.) They are the ones for whom prayer becomes in the full and true sense a gift of the Spirit because they learn to pray by the power of the Spirit." (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 378.)

Romans 10:15 How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace

Carlos E. Asay

"I like what Paul had to say about preachers or missionaries. He instructed the Romans: 'For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!' (Rom. 10:13-15.)

"The feet, the voices, the faces, and the whole being of those preachers who share saving truths will always be precious and beautiful to new converts, especially to those who have suffered in their sins. In the eyes of those who have learned of Christ and of his power to save, there are few if any blemishes in the missionaries who walked long distances to bring the gospel message." (The Seven M's of Missionary Service: Proclaiming the Gospel as a Member or Full-time Missionary [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], Epilogue.)

Romans 10:17 faith cometh by hearing...the word of God

Joseph Smith

"Faith comes by hearing the word of God, through the testimony of the servants of God; that testimony is always attended by the Spirit of prophecy and revelation." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 148)

John Taylor

"It is not the letter then that bringeth faith, but hearing the word of God dispensed by a living oracle or minister of God, clothed upon with power from on high. It is not a recorded gospel, but the preached word which emanates with power from a man of God inspired by the Holy Ghost. . . ." (The Gospel Kingdom: Selections from the Writings and Discourses of John Taylor, selected, arranged, and edited, with an introduction by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1941], 332.)

Joseph Smith

"Every word that proceedeth from the mouth of Jehovah has such an influence over the human mind, the logical mind, that it is convincing without other testimony. Faith cometh by hearing. If ten thousand men testify to a truth you know, would it add to your faith? No. Or will one thousand testimonies destroy your knowledge of a fact? No." (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 157 - 158.)

Gene R. Cook

"As you hear someone's testimony, your faith has a chance to increase. Your faith in the fact that God lives begins to grow and develop. Think of the words of Paul: 'Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.' (Romans 10:17.) Some ask, 'Do we really need to attend our meetings? Do we need to go where the servants of the Lord are preaching the gospel?' My answer would be, 'If you want your faith to increase, you need to be there.'" (Living by the Power of Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 36.)

Jeffrey R. Holland

"'Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.'

"Now, at a time when our prophet is calling for more faith through hearing the word of God, we must revitalize and reenthrone superior teaching in the Church-at home, from the pulpit, in our administrative meetings, and surely in the classroom. Inspired teaching must never become a lost art in the Church, and we must make certain our quest for it does not become a lost tradition.

"President Spencer W. Kimball once pled: 'Stake presidents, bishops, and branch presidents, please take a particular interest in improving the quality of teaching in the Church. ... I fear,' he said, 'that all too often many of our members come to church, sit through a class or a meeting, and ... then return home having been largely [uninspired]. It is especially unfortunate when this happens at a time ... of stress, temptation, or crisis [in their life]. We all need to be touched and nurtured by the Spirit,' he said, 'and effective teaching is one of the most important ways this can happen. We often do vigorous work,' President Kimball concluded, 'to get members to come to Church but then do not adequately watch over what they receive when they do come.' On this subject President Hinckley himself has said, 'Effective teaching is the very essence of leadership in the Church.' May I repeat that. 'Effective teaching is the very essence of leadership in the Church. Eternal life,' President Hinckley continued, 'will come only as men and women are taught with such effectiveness that they change and discipline their lives. They cannot be coerced into righteousness or into heaven. They must be led, and that means teaching.'" ("A Teacher Come from God," Ensign, May 1998, 25-26)

Romans 10:19-21 But I say, Did not Israel know?

Being of the house of Israel according to the flesh is not enough to guarantee salvation. The Jews of the time, however, preached otherwise. Therefore, as in the last chapter, Paul gives scriptural examples of the disobedience of the Jews and prophecies concerning the salvation of the Gentiles. In verse 19, the Jews are provoked by their neighbors because of their own wickedness. In verse 20, the Lord is found by a people that 'sought me not,' meaning the Gentiles. In verse 21, the Jews are again described as disobedient-even 'a disobedient and gainsaying people.'