9:30-33: It is by faith that we are saved. Israel (the Jews) did not pursue the law by faith, but as if it (their righteousness) were based on works. The Jews tried to make the pursuit of the law a means of attaining their own righteousness, and in doing so see no need for Jesus.
10:1-2: Paul’s prayer is that they may be saved. Even though they have a zeal for God, zeal is not what saves people; Jesus is. Christ is the only way to salvation, not one of many ways no matter how devout one may be in doing good works, following another religion, etc.
10:3-4: Our righteousness is from Christ alone, not on anything we do. Therefore the Jews seeking to establish their own (righteousness), they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Righteousness is found only in Christ to everyone who believes.
Question: Even as believers in Jesus, we are still prone to think we have to earn our righteousness and have faith in Christ. While our lives should reflect our faith, our actions do not earn us anything. What are some of the things you feel you have to do (or avoid) in order for God to still accept you?
5: Righteousness is attainable through the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. However, no one is able to perfectly keep the law, so our righteousness cannot come from the law.
9-10: Here we see what it “takes” to be a true Christian. We believe and confess that Jesus is Lord. From this point forward, our lives (often slowly) should begin to reflect this belief. However, it is only because of what Christ has done, and not anything we do, that saves us.
11-13: There is no distinction or hierarchy among believers, for God gladly bestows his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Question: In our culture today, we think that God owes us blessings, salvation, etc., unless we do something really “bad” to disqualify ourselves from these things. Therefore, when we see that Gospel is exclusive in that Jesus is the only way to salvation for everyone, and that we are inherently sinful and cannot save ourselves, many take offense to this. However the Gospel is inclusive in that God’s grace of salvation is open to any and everyone, and God gives us the free gift of salvation through Christ. How does this change in perspective cause you to be more grateful for what Christ has done, and motivate you to share the Gospel with others?
14-17: How can people believe in one they have never heard about? These set of questions are a sobering reminder of the importance of sharing the gospel. Faith comes from hearing. Without hearing the gospel, people cannot respond to it. As believers, it is not enough to be a “good person,” we must be willing to share with others what we believe.
18-19: Most likely refers to the Jews. The day that the Gentiles would believe has come (v. 19).
20-21: The Gentiles did not seek after God, yet now are experiencing God’s promise of salvation. Many of those from Israel (the Jews) on the other hand, have rejected the gospel message.
Question: What does Paul mean by “faith comes from hearing?” If you are a Christian, this has only happened because you have heard the gospel. How does this section encourage/convict you to share the gospel with others (it is quite wrong to assume, even in America, that most of the people you encounter in life have actually heard the gospel)?