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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Romans 10:1-4 - The focus of Paul

In this paragraph Paul describes his twofold response to the situation in which his countrymen had found themselves, and in this he is a model to us for how we should react to people that we meet day by day. We can divide his description into prayer and proclamation. Paul reminds us that both are essential in order for there to be a valid response to the circumstances our countrymen are in.

Paul was burdened to pray for his fellow Jews. He did not see their distortion of God’s gift as a reason for not praying earnestly and deeply for them. We can see in his words an essential element for effective intercession, which is heart involvement. He did not assess them by how they had treated him, but by the promises of the Bible concerning the salvation of Israel. And we too have many promises that we can use in arguments in prayer.

As far as his proclamation was concerned, he knew why they needed Christ and he knew what they needed to hear about him. They needed Jesus because they had failed to achieve the status of righteousness. So he says that he pointed out that Jesus was the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

What does Paul mean when he says that Christ is the ‘end’ of the law for believers? As we know, the term ‘end’ can have different meanings. It can mean conclusion in the sense that the law is not necessary for righteousness, or it can mean completion in the sense the law’s requirements for righteousness have been fulfilled or achieved, or it can mean direction in the sense that the law leads us to Jesus. Personally I think each of them are valid, and when that is the case I think it is wise to assume that Paul also knew that each of them was valid and expected believers to realise that was the case.


As Christians, we don’t need the law for righteousness because of what Jesus has done. Through his representative obedience he has provided or achieved perfect righteousness for his people. And the law, when it is properly used, tells us to go to Jesus because that is its purpose. We can share that same message with any who imagine that their religious activity will get them into God’s favour.

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