Good morning, church family (or whatever appropriate greeting depending on when you read this)! Today, in my reading, I chose to meditate upon Romans 10:1-4. As I recorded my thoughts, I thought it might be useful for us all to dwell upon, so if you're up for it, here is my personal meditation on this passage. I invite you to meditate along with me, and if the Lord adds any additional thoughts in your meditation, share them with me sometime as well! If this proves helpful to you or if you are built up by this, let me know, and I may try to do this more often. So, here's the passage:
1 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
-Romans 10:1-4 (ESV)
In Romans 10:1-4, Paul shares his heart for the salvation of his fellow Jews. The problem is that "they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge." Many in our culture today believe that all religions will lead to God in the end. What truly matters is the sincerity of the adherent. However, this flies directly in the face of Scripture and the Christian worldview. Jesus claims to be the exclusive way to God: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). I see it here in Romans as well. Zeal is not sufficient to bring us to God. With zeal for God, there is also an element of knowledge (v. 2), submission (v. 3), and the focus of all three of these things (zeal, knowledge, and submission) upon the proper object: Christ Jesus (v. 4).
I believe the church is also in danger of having "a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge." We are at risk of loving and passionately singing to a Jesus of our own invention.
(some scattered thoughts...)
Potential reasons why we might follow a Jesus of our own invention:
- We ignore the Jesus of the Bible?
- Ignoring the hard teachings of Scripture?
- To ignore personal conviction?
- Because we don't understand them?
- Lack of studying Scripture?
- Lack of desire?
- Lack of discipline?
- We deny the Jesus of the Bible?
- Elevating our experiences and feelings over the truth of Scripture?
- ... I don't know why we do this...
- Maybe pride?
- Lack of belief/trust?
- Basing our knowledge of Jesus on sources outside of the Bible more than the Bible itself?
- Easier to read other books or listen to podcasts/videos than to read the Bible?
- Our spiritual leaders encourage or instruct this?
- Leaders don't emphasize or preach from Scripture?
- Leaders over-emphasize sources outside the Bible?
"Do I know the Jesus of the Bible" is the question that the church must answer. Otherwise, we are at risk of worshiping and serving a Jesus made in our image (idolatry) and seeking, consequently, to establish our own righteousness (v. 3), just like the Jews.
Lord, grant me to know You more and more truly, so that I may believe and love you more and more rightly. Amen.
I hope this passage spoke to you as strongly as it spoke to me. Let us serve the Lord with gladness!
In Christ and for His Glory,