Following Romans 7-8, today’s reading is from the next two chapters – Romans 9-10!
The last couple of chapters have been about the implications of Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the world and how we should interpret the way we should live our lives under God’s grace.
In this chapter, Paul writes about the Israel and his frustration towards their sin and indifference to God. In a lot of ways, I feel like the same can be said about much of the modern world. Jesus had already died for us, and we are all given the gifts of forgiveness, race, the convenient, etc. and yet, people still live in their own ways.
On such a large scale, he also identifies that some may underestimate their own role and think that Christianity is simply “confess, accept Christ, get saved and move on”. He addresses this by emphasising the personal nature of our relationship with God. This reminds us of how important we are, that we are just like anyone else in the faith – replaceable.
Isaiah maintained this same emphasis:
If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered
and the sum labeled “chosen of God,”
They’d be numbers still, not names;
salvation comes by personal selection.
God doesn’t count us; he calls us by name.
Arithmetic is not his focus. — Romans 9:27-28
Here, it is clear that our Salvation is much more than just having our sins cleansed, but rather Paul encourages us to foster a personal relationship with God. We are reminded of our identity as sons and daughters, that God is not interested in us for the sake of increasing heaven’s population but because He cares about us personally and wants us to experience His love. He wants for us to have faith in Him, to confide in Him and to walk with Him in the light.
Faith is cultivated over time, through the good times and the bad times of life. It is through constant communication with God are we able to say we know and trust Him – and the rewards of faith, as mentioned in chapter 5, is the grace. Only this way are we able to, in times of hardship, remain strong and proclaim our faith.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. — Romans 10:9-10
This piece of scripture shows us the power of faith and our Salvation. Not only are we cleared from our sins but we also receive the honour of God. It protects us from shame and death, and we are given grace and peace.