Friday, 20 September 2013
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. Romans 10:12
The NKJV, along with a few other translations, chose the word “distinction” for this verse. Some use “difference.” Although similar in intent, the word “distinction” is probably a better choice in order to avoid confusion. Jews and Gentiles are different; the very naming of them in this verse implies a difference – one which continues throughout the New Testament. However, in both Jew and Greek concerning matters of sin and salvation, there is no distinction.
Concerning sin, Paul has clearly shown that all are bound under sin’s power, control, and thus – penalty –
“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.” Romans 3:9
And so, all require the same mercy and deliverance from sin.
Concerning salvation, he has shown that the law could save no one because they were unable to meet its requirements fully. As the law was meant for the Jews, then this must (and in fact is shown to) mean that both Jew and Gentile are bound under the same plan of salvation – those under the law and those who were not under the law. As Paul noted in 10:4 (roger that!) –
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Jesus Christ is relevant to both Jew and Greek in regards to salvation and none may be saved apart from Him. The consequences of sin and the ineffectiveness of the law are highlighted in Scripture to take us by the hand and lead us directly to the throne of grace where Christ Jesus sits. In Him is found the freedom which grants both pardon from sin and justification before God for all men, “for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.”
There is one plan from God which is all-inclusive and it involves the “same Lord” for all. As is noted in 1 Corinthians 8:6 – “yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.”
And this same “Lord over all is rich to all…” The verb “is rich” indicates wealth and is the same general thought as the adjective used in Ephesians 2:6 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us…” The sense is that God has a superabundance of His graces which flow to His people, “to all who call upon Him.” This final portion of the verse eliminates this mercy being bestowed upon non-believers as many claim. It is an infinite source of richness, but it is limited in its directional flow.
Life application: God isn’t “doing something behind the scenes” for those who have never called on Jesus. He doesn’t have a secondary plan of salvation, nor does He favor one group above another. The lines are set and they are found only in Christ. One is either “in Christ” or not “in Christ.” It’s an important message for the people of the world. Let’s be sure to speak clearly about it. For those who call on Him, the richness of the glory of God will be an eternal delight.
Lord God, when I’m alone with my thoughts, I can look into the recesses of my heart and know that but for Christ I would have nothing to present at my defense. When I am called to present my life’s case before You, I will point to the Lamb who took my place and say, “Here is my defense. On Christ alone will I stand.” Thank You for my Lord, my only hope. Amen.