Romans 10:12-13. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 9-11, although often overlooked, is really one of the greatest explanations of our salvation in all of scripture. What is God like? What is his goal in salvation? And what are we like? What is the result of our salvation? We get an answer for both sides of this equation in Romans 10:12-13 above.
What is God like?
God is our unbiased savior. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. God is the most impartial being in the universe. He shows no favorites, ever. The Jews are not his favorites over the Gentiles. God chose the Jews as his instrument to save the whole world. As it says somewhere, “God so loved the world.”
The offer of salvation is a genuine bona fide offer to everyone in all of humanity. Yes, Romans 9 tells us that only a remnant will be saved. But this is because not all will believe. If God chooses, uses, or hardens anyone, it is so that more will believe, not less (Romans 9:22-26). We must believe that if God ever hardens the will (Romans 9:18) it is for the glory of God and the good of man. And we must never believe that God would deny salvation to someone who would have chosen to believe.
What are we like?
Our impartial saving God has removed all classifications unto righteousness in this life and the next. This is what “to live is Christ” means – there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. Possibly the biggest human distinction, among others in Paul’s world and ours, was the racial one. But God, in Christ, has eliminated any and all distinctions that we might use to prove our worthiness.
Galatians 3:28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
We spend most of our life classifying ourselves. Making more distinctions, rather than eliminating them. Where do you work? Where are you from? What school did you go to? Where do you live? Are you married yet? Kids? What kind of car do you drive? Who do you know? What sneakers are you wearing? How good are you? How religious are you? And these differences are the ones we work to create beyond the physical differences of race or gender.
Differences aren’t bad until we make them bad. Our racial, ethnic, gender, socio-economic, geographic, and other distinctions can be celebrated in Christ. That is unless they become our source of righteousness, our worth, our ultimate identity.
Parks and Recreation’s ongoing tension between Pawnee and Eagleton: a case study in finding self worth in your class distinction.
But in our salvation, Christ eliminates all these distinctions and unifies ALL of us on four counts.
One: We are ALL the same level of sinful.
Romans 3:9. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin.
Two: NONE of us can work our way to God by being good.
Romans 3:20. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight.
Three: We must ALL call out to Christ for salvation by his gracious work on the cross.
Romans 10:13. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
And four: We ALL receive the same righteousness of God.
Romans 3:22. [We receive] the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
This is our union with Christ. This is our union as humanity. Now there is only one distinction, the only one that matters – are you in Christ or not? All the other differences must be forced into the background. All the boasting of your accomplishments, degrees, heritage, awards, church activities, even your race, gender, and sexual identity must be absorbed by your new life IN CHRIST.
Do you believe this?