Romans 11:19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
As the approach to Paul’s ‘Grafted-in’ discourse in chapter 11 nears, we now have two critical points of the context understood:
In Part 1, we learned from Paul that the people he was talking to in Rome were the ‘scattered, lost sheep of the House of Israel’. Paul claims that the ‘Prophetic Scriptures’ about the ‘House of Israel’ in the books of Hosea and Isaiah were speaking specifically about them.
Then in Part 2, Paul explained the proper way to follow after the Law Moses, which he actually called the “Law of Righteousness”, and not ‘bondage’ or ‘legalism’. He explained for us the correct way to pursue the Law, which is ‘from out of faith’.
Part 2 finished with the infamous Romans 10:4 verse, which in the Greek, tells us that the ‘goal of the Law is Christ “into” righteousness for those who are believing’. The in-depth study, ‘Is Christ the End-ing of the Law?’ breaks down this verse word-by-word in the original Greek; I recommend reading it before going further in this study.
Let’s proceed in Romans 10 with understanding that Paul is continuing his discourse from chapter 9. His original letter did not have verse, or chapter breaks; it was free-flowing letter.
Another important point to keep in mind is that Paul did not have 2 or 3 different concepts or opinions of what faith/belief was. Can we be honest and admit that whenever Paul mentions “faith” in one verse, and then mentions it again in the next verse or chapter, he’s still talking about the same “faith”.
I know that may seem obvious to you, but I needed to put that out there. So many verses are ‘plucked-out’ all by themselves and quoted as dogmatic proof-texts without the surrounding verses for context. Inevitably we’re left with half-truths or worse, false doctrines.
Both of the English words ‘belief’ and ‘faith’ that Paul uses numerous times in his letters, specifically chapters 9 & 10 of ‘Romans’, come from the same root word, Strong’s G3982 πείθω/peithó. ‘Belief’ is the verb, Strong’s G4100 πιστεύω/pisteuó, and ‘faith’ is the noun, Strong’s G4102 πίστεως/pisteōs. The noun, pisteōs is defined by Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as: conviction of the truth of anything, belief; springing from faith (and availing) to (arouse) faith (in those who as yet have it not) as it pertains specifically to Romans 9:30 and 10:6.
Romans 9:30-32 30What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith 31but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32Why? Because they did not seek it by faith…
Remember, in Part 2 we learned from Paul that the error Israel made was not that they pursued ‘the Law of Righteousness’, but that they did not pursue it ‘from out of faith’ ~
Paul proceeds to explain this; Israel did not seek/pursue the ‘Law of Righteousness’ from faith “because”:
- they were ignorant of God’s righteousness…
- they sought their own righteousness, not God’s…
- which they should have ‘submitted’ to…
What does the text say?
Romans 9:31-32 & 10:3 31But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32Why? Because they did not seek it by faith… 3For they (Israel) being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
The word submitted is Strong’s G5293, hypetagēsan/ὑπετάγησαν in the Greek. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states this to mean: to obey, subject oneself, specifically with regards to Romans 10:3.
What is the “righteousness of God” that Paul is telling us Israel should have submitted to ‘from out of faith’?
Paul tells us in the very next verse, so let’s read verses 3 & 4 together for context ~
Romans 10:3-4 3For they (Israel) being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4For the goal of the Law is Christ into righteousness for all who are believing.
So… as I mentioned earlier, if you aren’t familiar with that rendition of Romans 10:4, then I strongly suggest you read ‘Is Christ the End-ing of the Law’. We have been lied to from mainstream theology with regards to the actual Greek context, grammar and definitions of that verse; whether it has been on purpose or in ignorance, it’s still deception.
Paul is telling those in Rome (and us), that the ‘Law of Righteousness’ that Israel ‘pursued after’, is to be submitted to because the “purpose” of that Law is “Christ into Righteousness” for those who are believing.
How do we know that Paul means that we are to submit to/obey “the Law”?
We know from his own mouth; what does the text say?
Romans 2:13-15 13For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous. 14So, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, instinctively do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. 15They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts.
This is the ‘circumcised heart’ Paul declared earlier in this letter to the Romans. Please read ‘Romans Chapter 2, Part 1: Circumcision of the Heart’.
Back to Chapter 10; it wasn’t by accident, that in verse 4 Paul uses the word into, which is Strong’s G1519, eis/εἰς in the Greek. Strong’s Concordance defines this preposition as: to or into (indicating the point reached or entered, of place, time, fig. purpose, result). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states this word to mean: the end which one has in view, i.e. object, purpose.
Paul says the goal/purpose of the “Law of Righteousness” to lead us into or result in “Righteousness”. The Messiah, “the-Word-made-flesh” is the epitome of “Righteousness”. Paul is telling us Christ is what we are to “aim” for, He is our “goal”, in order to attain righteousness. Again, not to ‘be saved‘ or to ‘be justified’. ‘Righteousness’ is not the same thing as ‘justification’ nor ‘salvation’; please, please read ‘Justification vs. Righteousness‘.
Now, to understand what Paul says next in verses 5 through 8, let’s read his dialogue in context ~
Romans 9:30 – 10:8 30What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith/pisteōs; 31but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness has not attained to the law righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith/pisteōs, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33As it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes/pisteuōn on Him will not be put to shame.” 1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all those believing/pisteuonti. 5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith/pisteōs speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” that is, to bring Christ down from above, 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” that is, to bring Christ up from the dead. 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”, that is the word of faith/pisteōs that we proclaim.
Paul quotes the Law in verse 5, “for Moses writes about the righteousness of the law”, right after he told us in verse 4 that the result/purpose/goal of the Law is Messiah which results/into righteousness ~
Romans 10:5 For Moses writes (Present Tense) about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”
Leviticus 18:5 You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.
How does Paul know that the Law is ‘righteousness’?
Deuteronomy 6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.
Psalm 119:172 My song sings of Your word, for all of Your commandments are righteousness
Romans 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be righteous.
Romans 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Then in verses 6-8 we have Paul quoting Moses, again (check your reference bibles). Mainstream theology would have us believe that Paul is just waxing lyrical and preaching a ‘new’ doctrine; he is not. Though he is paraphrasing, Paul is quoting Moses, and equating Jesus with the “Law/Word of God”; well, is Jesus the actual “Word-of-God” or isn’t He? ‘John’ Chapter 1?
What does the text say?
Romans 10:6-8 6(But/And) the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” that is, to bring Christ down from above, 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” that is, to bring Christ up from the dead. 8But what does it say? “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”
Deuteronomy 30:11-14 11“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14But the Word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
You probably notice that I started out verse 6 with (But/And). The reason I did that is because grammatically speaking the English word “But” is wrong; we have been taught wrong about what ‘δέ/de’ means.
In English, the word ‘but’ is always adversative; it’s always used to introduce a phrase or clause that opposes, contradicts or contrasts what has already been mentioned. In English, the word ‘and’ is continuative; it’s always used to introduce a phrase or clause that is in connection to or in addition to what has already been mentioned.
However, in the Greek the word ‘δέ/de’ is the word for both ‘but‘ or ‘and’, depending on the context.
We are forced to read ‘but’ in almost every single modern translation, except for ‘Young’s Literal Translation’, because mainstream theology teaches that the Law of Moses is abolished, therefore, Paul must be teaching a new doctrine that contradicts Moses.
If you read the Lexicons and Concordances you will see that the Greek word ‘δέ/de’, Strong’s G1161, is translated as ‘but’ or ‘but rather’ if the preceding sentence is in the negative; verse 5 is not in the negative. The Greek word δέ/de is a conjunction that carries both an adversative and a continuative meaning, depending on the context of the verse.
We now know the context of verse 4 does NOT mean that ‘Christ is the termination of the Law of Righteousness’, but that He is the goal/aim/purpose of the Law which leads into Righteousness. Paul then explains what that ‘context’ looks like in verse 5; a man who does ‘the Law of Righteousness’ shall live by them”, as per Moses. Therefore, Paul is not making up a new “righteousness” nor a “new faith” in verse 6.
Mainstream theology claims that the ‘righteousness of faith’ in verses 6-8 is completely different and opposite to the ‘righteousness that we are to live by’ in verse 5. The claim is that ‘faith’ is a ’New Testament Thing’, AND that it only happens in your mind; the writer of ‘Hebrews’ begs to differ…
What does the text say?
Hebrews 11:4-34 4Because of faith Abel offered… 5 Because of faith Enoch pleased God… 7Because of faith Noah constructed an ark… 8Because of faith Abraham obeyed… 11Because of faith Sarah considered Him faithful… 17Because of faith Abraham offered up Isaac… 20Because of faith, Isaac invoked future blessings… 21Because of faith Jacob blessed each of the sons of Joseph… 22Because of faith Joseph made mention… 23Because of faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden… 24Because of faith Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter… 27Because of faith he left Egypt… 28Because of faith he kept the Passover… 29Because of faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land… 30Because of faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.
All of these “Old Testament” people had faith/belief, and their faith/belief was demonstrated by their works.
Another important point is the fact that Moses wrote about the ‘righteousness of the law that we are to live by’ in Romans 10:5, as well as, the ‘righteousness of faith’ in verses 6-8; so, I ask you, how can Moses contradict Moses???
The “word of faith” that Paul is “proclaiming” in Romans 10:6, is the exact same “faith” he has been discussing for the past 12 verses.
Do you remember what the Greek word for ‘faith/belief’ is; Pistis. The “word of faith/pistis”, according to the Greek Lexicon (and the apostle Paul), is:
- the “word of faith”
- the “word of belief”
- the “word of trust”
- the “word of confidence”
- the “word of fidelity”
- the “word of faithfulness”
This word of faith, belief, trust, confidence, fidelity, faithfulness that Paul is proclaiming in Romans 10:6 is the submission and obedience to God’s Righteousness, from Romans 10:3. This is the Righteousness that is based on ‘faith’, so says Moses, whom the apostle Paul quotes twice to make his point.
In conclusion, when Paul started talking about ‘faith’ it was in chapter 9, verse 30; the Righteousness from out of ‘faith’. He then stated that some in Israel were not pursuing the Law of Righteousness from out of that ‘faith’. He then explains their lack of faith was because they did not submit/obey God’s Righteousness. The apostle Paul then tells us that Christ is the goal/aim of the Law of Righteousness by quoting Moses twice; paralleling Messiah and the Law of Moses. ‘That’ is the “Word of Faith” he is proclaiming…
Final Thought: Mainstream theology has convinced man-kind that obeying God’s ‘Law of Righteousness’ is by default “trying to be saved or justified”; this is false, at least according to the Apostle Paul…
As he tells us often in his letters, Paul wants us to imitate him as he imitates the Messiah, and John says the same thing ~
1 Corinthians 4:16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 John 2:5-6 By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him (Jesus) ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
1 John 2:29 If you know that he (Jesus) is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
Part 4 coming soon …
- For further study of Paul’s teachings, as well as the original Greek, please see the blog posts at the bottom of this page. Be a Berean, and test Paul’s doctrines to the “Scriptures”. Please ‘share’ this study, and thank you for your time!