Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 10:3
“For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” – Romans 10:3
Paul is writing here to the Church in Rome, and he starts off here by declaring his love for the Jews. “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.” Romans 10:1-2 Paul very much desires that every Jew would be saved. This is not the first time he states this. “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,” Romans 9:1-3 Here, Paul shows how badly he wants this to happen. He states that if it was possible, he would wish himself cursed if that would bring them to salvation.
Paul states in verse 2 of chapter 10 that the Jews do have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. What does Paul mean by this? It most likely means that they had a passion for God, but they did not recognize Christ as the Messiah. They rejected Jesus as the promised one even though the Old Testament is full of prophesies regarding His coming. They studied and followed the Levitical law; however, they never really knew God nor Christ as they should have. They assumed that strictly following the law was what God desired. However, if they had truly understood, they would not have relied on the law but in the coming Messiah. “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5. Isaiah was speaking here of the coming Messiah. He did not say the law saved them, it was the Messiah suffering and dying that brought about their salvation.
Since they did not understand this they relied on their own righteousness. They endeavored to confirm or validate their own righteousness and make it the means by which they were justified; to make good their own claims to eternal life by their own merits. They did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah because He did not act as they believed this Messiah would act, even though He fulfilled every prophesy about Him. They thought they had perfect knowledge about God and this coming Messiah, but they really did not, and thus they took the path of the focus verse, “For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” Romans 10:3
This is why it is so important that we read and study His word, so we know exactly what it is saying. I have seen many church goers who speak of doing what the Bible says when they really do not understand what it is actually saying. And it is even more important when we are teaching others. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. It is important that we read and be diligent, not haphazardly reading when we get a chance, but focusing on truly understanding. The Jewish leadership unfortunately did not get it, let’s not follow in their footsteps.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.