Our next reading is Romans 10:5-8
v5: The man who does those things…Quoted from Lev 18:5
- The man who does those things shall live (in) them: The man who has lived righteously is a man who has lived in the commandments. Living in the commandments is the expectation of G-d. Righteous people want to live according to the revelation of G-d’s Word. Those who are righteous agree that it is good and proper to live their lives according to the commandments of G-d (John 14:15). The commandments are not the source of righteousness, but those who are (already) righteous agree that it is good to live according to them.
v6: The righteousness of faith: Faith is the means of righteousness.
- Do not say in your heart: Quoted from Deut 30:12.
Note: In Deut 30:11-16 Moses gives two examples – the commandments are not far off from us – they are not in the heavens and nor are they beyond the sea.
Paul also gives us two examples in Romans 10:6-7 but he relates them to Messiah – the heavens, but also the abyss. Paul is writing about this whole concept of how one is made righteous. He wants to affirm that the law has a purpose. It teaches us about our unrighteousness, and how this should drive us to faith in Messiah.
- Who will ascend into heaven: This question is asking this: Is it possible that someone could live so righteously that they could go to heaven….by their own deeds, so to speak?
- Bring Messiah down: If a person could live so righteously on their own then this verse is saying that Messiah would be brought down. Here Paul is referring to the ascension. The ascension begun with the resurrection and continued for 40 days before Yeshua was taken into heaven. The resurrection and the ascension have a similar message: they show G-d the Father’s acceptance of the work of His Son. They were G-d’s stamp of approval on what Yeshua had done. Paul is saying that if someone can achieve that right to go up to heaven then Messiah did not need to do the work that He did, as it was not necessary for Him to have been approved by G-d because there would have been a different way (another way) to go into the Presence of G-d. If someone can go up to heaven it means that Messiah’s work was not necessary and therefore there would be no need for the ascension because it didn’t really accomplish anything if we could do it on our own.
v7: Note: Paul is saying the same thing as above (Roms 10:6), but in the opposite way.
- Abyss: Hell
- Descend into the abyss: When Yeshua died, He descended into hell (See Eph 4:8-10). What this verse is saying is this: If in the end we are all going to go to hell then why would Yeshua have gone to the cross? If we were all going to go to hell, then Messiah did not have to die. What Paul is simply saying is this: if anyone thinks that there is the means in and of themselves that they can go to heaven or, on the flip side, that everyone has to go to hell first (purgatory or Gehenna) in order to receive some form of punishment in order to make atonement for themselves, before going to heaven, then Yeshua’s death and resurrection really served no true purpose. Believing that we can get ourselves to heaven, or believing we can atone for our sins in purgatory/Gehenna etc do not display faith in what Messiah has done for us. Faith in ourselves (in our own deeds, our own works of the law) do not lead to a faith in Messiah – a faith that believes it was necessary for Him to die for our sins so that He could impute His righteousness to us. Righteousness comes through believing that justification only comes through accepting what Yeshua has done for us on the cross. He is the only One who can make atonement for us, and He is the only One through whom we can get to into heaven and into the Presence of G-d.
v8: The Word is near you: This is quoted from Deut 30:14. The revelation we find in these words is this: the message of salvation is available to all, it is near to all.
- Word: The proclamation (gospel) that produces a result.
Faith: Faith is emphasised. We are not saved through works of the law, but we are saved through faith in Messiah Yeshua.