Today's Reading: Romans 10:1-13
What might make you uncomfortable:The message of Jesus is simple and powerful. Sometimes we have a tendency to make it complicated. Have you?
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” - da Vinci
Have you ever noticed that people have a tendency to well...complicate things? Life just gets more complex over time. More experiences and disappointments create more questions. Sometimes we can suffer from "analysis paralysis." Our desire to understand something from every angle can keep us from enjoying its simple and powerful truth.
Oftentimes we do this with the message of the Bible.
Our desire to understand Greek and Hebrew, coupled with the complexities of modern life, can sometimes cause us to read things into the text that aren't there. At times we have been guilty of editing God's message so it is more convenient for us and more advantageous to growing our churches and stroking our egos.
In the midst of complexity, Romans 10 stands as a powerful example of the simplicity of God's word. Romans 10 simplifies the message of the Gospel for us and reminds us of the basic truths of Christ's simple message.
In today's reading, Paul takes complex theological issues and simplifies them so we can all understand. Consider the following:
The Fate of Israel:
Many Bible students have asked questions about Israel. Because the Hebrews were God's chosen people, how do they stand in relationship with God today? Paul's answer is simple: He is praying that they would be saved, like the rest of us (10:1).
The State of the Law:
Do New Testament believers need to keep the laws and ordinances of the Old Testament? How are we to grapple with the special laws that God gave Israel?
Again, Paul's answer is simple: No. Christ is the end of the law (10:4).
The Requirements for Salvation:
Much of Romans describes the process of being saved through faith by grace. But how does someone actually receive grace? Must they join the church? Do they need to be baptized? Do they need to read a book or attend a special class?
Salvation is actually very simple. Paul tells us to 1) Believe with our hearts and 2) Confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead.
Those simple instructions have eternal consequences!
Sometimes in our desire for theological sophistication, we forget the simplicity of God's message. Don't forget to Keep it Simple, Saint!
Is there a way you have put a barrier between yourself and God by making your relationship with Him complicated? Remember, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."