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Romans 10: Righteousness and Zeal. Dr. Kenneth Jones. Paul’s Desire for Israel. Romans 10:1 - Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. Not Political: Paul is referring to salvation from the sin of unbelief; and the consequences of sin in hell.

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Romans 10 righteousness and zeal

Romans 10: Righteousness and Zeal

Dr. Kenneth Jones

Paul s desire for israel
Paul’s Desire for Israel

Romans 10:1 - Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.

  • Not Political:

    • Paul is referring to salvation from the sin of unbelief; and the consequences of sin in hell.

    • Paul didn’t just “care,” he prayed with desire and compassion

Paul s problem with israel
Paul’s Problem With Israel

  • They had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

  • They were ignorant of God’s righteousness.

  • They were seeking to establish their own righteousness – being ignorant of the righteousness of God that He requires

  • They did not subject themselves to God’s righteousness.

Zeal without knowledge
Zeal Without Knowledge

Romans 10:2-4:

For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

  • Having a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge, they sought salvation by works, and not by faith in Christ

  • Their lack of knowledge is reflected in the fact that they are ignorant of God’s righteousness, and want to establish their own righteousness.

  • Paul thought he was executing zeal in persecuting the Church until God met Him on the road to Damascus

We should have zeal
We Should Have Zeal

  • Of all the people in the world, Christians are the ones who have the right to be enthusiastic

    • About their position in Christ (Eph. 1:4-8) and walk in the Lord

    • Their every day life in Christ Jesus, being sold out and committed to him

    • We ought to have godly zeal to tell the world the glorious message of the Gospel

    • Even in trials, testings and afflictions we can let the love of Christ and the joy of the Lord shine through.

      Is zeal or enthusiasm of God exemplified in your life?

Zeal is not a bad thing
Zeal is Not a Bad Thing

  • Zeal is defined as “ardor in the pursuit of anything; ardent and active inte rest; enthusiasm; fervor.”

    Galatians 4:18 “But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.”

    Titus 2:14 “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a

    peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

    Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

What should you have a zeal for
What Should You Have a Zeal For?

Psalms 69:9 - For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

  • The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up - The strong desire to promote God’s glory has absorbed all others.

  • Get fired up! Zeal is represented under the idea of heat

  • Our Lord Jesus Christ Was filled With Zeal: The above scripture

    speaks of Christ, that the zeal of God’s house had eaten Him up. (John 2:17) He was controlled by, moved, or motivated by zeal

  • Enthusiasm: The word comes from a Greek Word, enthousiamos” and “enthousiazein” meaning literally “possessed by God or God in us.”

Well you don t have to get that excited
Well You Don’t Have to Get That Excited

  • You Are a Fanatic About Something

  • When we go to a Concert, football or, basketball game, etc., most people are “swept up with the crowd” in enthusiasm for their team or musical artist

  • Most of your favorite TV shows are on DVRs

  • Most recently, “The World Cup”

A lukewarm church
A Lukewarm Church

Revelation 3:14-17

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:15 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit] you out of My mouth.17 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked


  • You are neither cold nor hot: This picture of lukewarmness would immediately strike the Christians of Laodicea because the water they drank every day was lukewarm.

    • Many churches today drink from a fountain of a lukewarm gospel

  • Lukewarmnessis a picture of indifference and compromise.

Church of laodicea
Church of Laodicea

  • Because the Laodiceans lack this vital quality, God says He will spew them out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16).

  • We cannot effectively serve in God’s Family without godly zeal.

  • What makes the Laodicean problem even worse is the fact that they are completely unaware of this fatal spiritual flaw.

Knowledge of god is a good thing
Knowledge of God is a Good Thing

  • Knowledge is defined in a religious sense: “a clear understanding or perception of the will or Word of God.” An intimate knowledge of God achieved through relationship

    2 Pet. 1:5-6 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;”

    Colossians 1:10 “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”

    Ephesians 5:17 “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

    2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. to him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

Zeal and knowledge
Zeal and Knowledge

  • Knowledge Without Zeal: Understanding without Activity

    • This describes many in the church today. They have heard and received God’s word; but like the church at Sardis they “are dead” (Rev. 3:1-3).

    • They May Show up: But they do very little work in the local church.

    • It is sinful - “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

    • God will judge us on what we know and did not perform

    • Knowledge without zeal is like faith without works, it is dead. (Titus 1:16; James 2:20)

Zeal without knowledge1
Zeal Without knowledge

  • Enthusiasm without direction

    • Can lead to actions not ordained by God (Philippians 3:6)

  • At one time Paul was in this condition. He had a “zeal” for God; i.e. “persecuting the church”, (Phil. 3:6; Acts 22:3,4) but he was lacking in “knowledge” regarding Jesus as the Christ, and what he must do to get right with God. (Acts 22:7-8,10,12-16)

  • Many are sincere in their belief, but even their sincerity lacks knowledge

Zeal without knowledge2
Zeal Without Knowledge

  • The Apostle Paul didn’t say that their zeal wasn’t genuine, but focused on the wrong things

  • Not according to Knowledge: “What knowledge?”

    • Not knowing about GOD'Srighteousness

    • Not realizing the true foundation of salvation: “

    • That Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life:

  • Those who know their God do exploits for God and not for man (Daniel 11:32)

Apollos an example
Apollos, An Example

Acts 18:24- 28

And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. 27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and thatpublickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.


  • Apollos was fervent in spirit and he was instructed in some doctrine

    • He taught diligently - defended with zeal and earnestness his views of the Messiah

  • In Ephesus, Aquilla and Priscilla met a certain Jew named Apollos who explained the Word to Him more “Correctly”

  • For he mightily convinced the Jews - Being more Knowledgeable, Apollos won the Jews by strong arguments; he bore down all opposition, and effectually silenced them now that he had both knowledge and zeal

Christ the end of the law
Christ, the End of the Law

  • Christ is the perfect fulfillment of what the Law requires – by achieving righteousness for everyone who believes

  • Paul emphasizes the sufficiency of faith in receiving the righteousness of God

  • This does not mean that the Christian may ignore God’s moral standards or commandments


Romans 3:10, 11- As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

There is none who seeks after God: We deceive ourselves into thinking that man, on his own, really does seek after God.

God captures our attention and stirs us through the Holy Spirit

Man on his own cannot find God, God seeks us out

Man in his ignorance searches for God through his rituals and religion, but God sent Jesus to restore man to fellowship with God

Current culture
Current Culture

Today, Many Churches are making their own righteousness, looking to achieve peace and victory by their own means

The Gospel is more about them than God

Apart from Christ our right standing with God is impossible

Self righteousness
Self Righteousness

Isaiah said that our righteous acts are like filthy rags

(Isaiah 64:6 )

He was talking about self righteousness (the things we do to try to make us right with God)

The Apostle Paul is saying that the Israelites didn't know God's righteousness and so they tried to establish their own

Like the Israelites our churches are filled with people who look holy but solely trust in themselves to be good enough for God

Righteousness and the law
Righteousness and the Law

Compared to the nations around them, the Jews assumed they were good enough because the were the “People who had God’s laws,” but in comparison to God's righteousness, the law showed them it was impossible to fulfill on their own.

The law was intended to show us our inability to earn our way to heaven and to reveal our need for a savior.


Today it is my prayer that you recognize how righteous you are in Christ Jesus. You have God's righteousness covering you and you can stand in His presence fully justified, forgiven and loved. Sin is not an issue with him because he has paid your debt to it. Through faith in Jesus we are the righteousness of God, amen!