Vol.VI No.X Pg.4
December 1969

Righteousness Of Faith

Robert F. Turner

Thousands of sincere Lutherans, Baptists and other faith only adherents have been convinced that they must reject obedience as an essential to salvation, because it is not compatible with the righteousness which is of faith. I respectfully suggest a restudy of the text — Rom. 10: 5-f.

Paul is contrasting the system of works (mans own righteousness, by a purely theoretical perfect doing of all required — Vs. 3 -5, Gal. 3:10-f) with the forgiveness made possible through trust in Christ. (Rom. 3:23-f; 4:6-8) The faith is objective — depending upon Gods revealed will — made available to both Jews and Gentiles.

To impress this point, Paul refers to Deut. 30: 11-f. where God says His commandment is not too hard for thee neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us — etc. Read this 0. T. passage, and compare it with the application made by Paul. Christ is available to both Jew and Gentile, in the word of faith preached.

How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? (Vs. 14) So God sent inspired men to both Jew and Gentile (Vs. 15, from Isa. 52: basically Messianic) to make His way available to all. But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (Vs. 16) There is no salvation in a faith that will not obey, and failure to obey is evidence of a lack of faith. (See Jas. 2:17-f.)

The chapter concludes by showing that the Jews should have known, from the words of Moses and Isaiah, that Gods word would be extended to the Gentiles. (Vs. 19-21)

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. When Rom. 10:17 is put in proper context we see it as a key passage indeed. Consider some obvious applications.

Saving faith is objective — resting not upon what we experience or feel inside but upon what we read in Gods word — external authority. Faith itself is not a gift of God (it of Eph. 2: 8 refers to salvation) but is the result of mans accepting the word (teaching) made available through Gods grace. (Titus 2: 11-f) God provides the evidence, but man does the believing.

There can be no saving faith without its companion thus saith the Lord. Walking by faith is a journey that depends upon Gods word, not on human wisdom or senses ,for direction. Gods word teaches by direct statement, approved example, or necessary inference (deductions from statements given by inspiration) and there is nothing silly or childish about asking for scriptural authority for ones faith and/or practice.

Christ is available as Saviour for all nations — brought down from heaven, brought up from the dead — but He must be found in the word of faith. (Rom. 10: 6-f.) Believing confessing and calling upon Christ indicate our dependence upon Christ as revealed in the proclaimed word. They embrace and include obedience to the word. (Jn. 12: 48; 14:23; Acts 22: 16)