‘But the righteousness based on faith speaks thus, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart– that is, the word of faith which we are preaching” ’ Romans 10:6-8
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Roman church, has just finished pouring out the concern of his heart for his Jewish brethren who still haven’t come to grips with the truth of faith in the LORD’s Messiah, Jesus Christ.
They exhibit zeal for the law thinking this will establish their own righteousness in the sight of God, thereby saving their hides-but this is not in accordance with the saving knowledge God has imparted through faith in Christ! To drive this point home, the inspired messenger of Yahweh quotes from Deuteronomy 30, verses twelve through fourteen. That passage reads thus: “It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.” Moses had just finished a lengthy discourse to the second generation of Israelites concerning the Law, the corresponding blessings for diligently obeying, and the curses for foolishly disobeying (chs 4-29) when he uttered the above words. Moses’ point to the Israelite nation was that God’s intentions for them had been plainly stated. No excuses as far as believing what He wanted from them and for them. Verse eleven preceding the above context states: “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach.” The apostle draws upon this same conclusion in working the Roman brethren (and all believers) into the proper understanding concerning Christ Jesus. It is not for us to try to reach up into heaven to bring Christ down, nor reach down into the depths to try and raise Him up by our works, but rather to understand that that work has been done for us by Christ Jesus. Our responsibility? Believe it. No more trying to do it by works, but rather by faith in God’s plan through Jesus Christ. Now we know the LORD didn’t stop the “information stream”, so to speak, with Moses. Rather, He continued to build upon the record of His word through the prophets. All with an intention of insuring the honest and studious Jew would recognize the Messiah when He appeared to the people. Moses said the LORD would “raise up a prophet among their countrymen like you.” Isaiah said concerning the coming of the Messiah: “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy.” (Isa. 35:5-6) Zechariah said of the Messiah: “Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zech. 9:9) Jesus fulfilled these prophecies and approximately 150 others, yet the Jews stumbled over Him, because of their own perceptions of the Messiah, rather than the description of Him by the word of the LORD. Jesus Himself plainly stated who He was by making inference to the words of Moses in John 3:13, “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.” In this statement the Jew should have understood Jesus was saying (as He later affirmed) that He had (and was) the message of Salvation. By reason of His resurrection from the dead as had been prophesied by Isaiah, David and others, Jesus proved He was indeed the long awaited Messiah. A thorough study of God’s word will prove that it shouldn’t be too difficult, or out of reach logically, for the mind of an honest person to come to the conclusion that the word of faith is the preaching of the Biblical (not man-made) Christ. The preserving of God’s word is an awesome thing! When one has tested the Bible, the word of God, and proven it to be true, real faith is developed which then produces real righteousness which means the end of the application of law for the believer to be considered righteous. Amen!