Romans 10:8
But what said it? The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
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10:5-11 The self-condemned sinner need not perplex himself how this righteousness may be found. When we speak of looking upon Christ, and receiving, and feeding upon him, it is not Christ in heaven, nor Christ in the deep, that we mean; but Christ in the promise, Christ offered in the word. Justification by faith in Christ is a plain doctrine. It is brought before the mind and heart of every one, thus leaving him without excuse for unbelief. If a man confessed faith in Jesus, as the Lord and Saviour of lost sinners, and really believed in his heart that God had raised him from the dead, thus showing that he had accepted the atonement, he should be saved by the righteousness of Christ, imputed to him through faith. But no faith is justifying which is not powerful in sanctifying the heart, and regulating all its affections by the love of Christ. We must devote and give up to God our souls and our bodies: our souls in believing with the heart, and our bodies in confessing with the mouth. The believer shall never have cause to repent his confident trust in the Lord Jesus. Of such faith no sinner shall be ashamed before God; and he ought to glory in it before men.But what saith it? - That is, what is the language of the doctrine of justification by faith? Or what is to be done according to that doctrine?

The word is nigh thee - This is still a use of the language of Moses. Deuteronomy 30:14. The meaning is, the doctrine is not difficult to be understood and embraced. What is nigh us may be easily obtained. What is remote, with difficulty. The doctrine of Moses and of the gospel was nigh; that is, it was easily obtained, embraced, and understood.

In thy mouth - This is taken from the Septuagint. Deuteronomy 30:14. The meaning is, that the doctrine was already so familiar, and so well understood, that it was actually in their mouth, that is, their language, their common conversation. Moses had so often inculcated it, that it was understood and talked about by the people, so that there was no need to search in distant climes to obtain it. The same was true of the gospel. The facts were so well known by the preaching of the apostles, that they might be said to be "in every man's mouth."

In thy heart - The word "heart" is very variously used in the sacred Scriptures. As used by Moses in this place, it evidently means that his doctrines were in their mind, or were a subject of meditation and reflection. They already possessed them, and talked and thought about them: so that there was no need of going to distant places to learn them. The same was true of the doctrine requiring faith in Christ. It was already among them by the preaching of the apostles, and was a subject of conversation and of thought.

That is - This is the use which the apostle makes of it; not that Moses referred to the gospel. His language conveys the main idea which Paul wished to do, that the doctrine was plain and intelligible.

The word of faith - The doctrine which requires faith, that is, the gospel; compare 1 Timothy 4:6. The gospel is called the Word of faith, the Word of God, as being what was spoken, or communicated by God to man. Romans 10:17; Hebrews 6:5; Hebrews 11:3.

Which we preach - Which is proclaimed by the apostles, and made known to Jews and Gentiles. As this was now made known to all, as the apostles preached it everywhere, it could be said to be nigh them; there was no need of searching other lands for it, or regarding it as a hidden mystery, for it was plain and manifest to all. Its simplicity and plainness he proceeds immediately to state.

8. But what saith it? It saith—continuing the quotation from De 30:14.

The word is nigh thee—easily accessible.

in thy mouth—when thou confessest Him.

and in thine heart—when thou believest on Him. Though it is of the law which Moses more immediately speaks in the passage quoted, yet it is of the law as Israel shall be brought to look upon it when the Lord their God shall circumcise their heart "to love the Lord their God with all their heart" (Ro 10:6); and thus, in applying it, the apostle (as Olshausen truly observes) is not merely appropriating the language of Moses, but keeping in the line of his deeper thought.

that is, the word of faith, which we preach—that is, the word which men have to believe for salvation (compare 1Ti 4:6).

But what saith it? i.e. what saith the text in Deu 30:14? or what saith the righteousness of faith? What is its style and language? In the Romans 10:6,7 he did but tell us what it said not, but here he tells us what it saith.

The word is nigh thee; i.e. the matter required of thee, in order to life and salvation. He seems in these words to declare the readiness and easiness of the way of salvation, as taught us in the gospel, and by the righteousness of faith. God requires no hard thing of us, to cross the seas, to climb the mountains, to take long and painful journeys, to find it out. The way of salvation under the gospel hath but a short cut; it requires not so much the labour of the hand, as the confession of the mouth, and the belief of the heart: or, The word that teacheth it is at hand, it is as if it were in thy mouth and heart: a proverbial speech, (as some think), to show the readiness of it.

That is, the word of faith, which we preach: by the word of faith, he means the gospel, and the doctrine of it: and the gospel is so called, either effectively, because it works faith; or objectively, because it is a received faith, and is the proper object of it. But what saith it,.... The Scripture; so some copies, and the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic version read, "what saith the Scripture?" the Arabic version, "what dost thou say?" or "what saith he", Moses? for what follow are manifestly his words, in Deuteronomy 30:14,

the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; which is to be understood not of the law, for Moses himself is not speaking of the law only, but either of the whole word of God, both law and Gospel; or particularly of the Gospel, which holds forth those special blessings and promises of grace, pardon of sin, and circumcision of the heart, which are mentioned in the context, as what should be bestowed upon the people of the Jews in the latter days; and so is rightly applied by the apostle to the then dispensation, and is to be understood of the Gospel; which was nigh both in the ministration of it, by the apostles, to Jews and Gentiles, and in the application and experience of it; it was not only "in the mouth" of the preachers, but also of the hearers of it, by a hearty and sincere confession; and "in their hearts", being attended with the power of God, and received in the love of it, was truly believed in, and cordially embraced;

that is, the word of faith. This phrase, , "the word of faith", may be seen in the Jewish writings (z); and this shows what word is here meant, even the Gospel so called, because it contains doctrines which are to be believed upon the testimony of God, and particularly the doctrine of justification by the righteousness of Christ received by faith; and because it proposes Christ as the object of faith, and encourages souls to believe in him for life and salvation; and is also the means of begetting and implanting faith in the heart, and without it the preaching of it is of no avail: and it is further described by the ministration of it,

which we preach; being sent, commissioned, qualified, and assisted by Christ thereunto; which shows the agreement between Moses and the apostles of Christ; for the word which he spoke of, they preached, and indeed said no other things than what the prophets and Moses said should come, that Christ should suffer in the stead of his people, and rise again for their justification; the sum of which is delivered in Romans 10:9.

(z) Zohar. in Gen. fol. 45. 4.

{5} But what saith it? The {f} word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

(5) Calling comes by the word preached.

(f) By word, Moses understood the law which the Lord proclaimed with his own voice: and Paul applied it to the preaching of the Gospel, which was the perfection of the law.

Romans 10:8. ἐγγύς σου τὸ ῥῆμά ἐστιντοῦτʼ ἔστιν τὸ ῥῆμα τῆς πίστεως ὃ κηρύσσομεν. What is in the lips of the preacher is near to all who hear. In Deut. the word is of course the Mosaic law; here it is the Gospel, the word which deals with that πίστις on which the righteousness of God depends. τῆς πίστεως is objt. gen[1] The whole idea of the verses is that righteousness has not to be achieved, but only appropriated.

[1] genitive case.8. The word] More precisely, the utterance; i.e. of the terms of the covenant. Alike the elder and later Covenants were not obscure enigmas, but could be recited by human lips and assented to as “just and good” by human hearts.

that is, &c.] See last note but one on Romans 10:6. Here again St Paul sees in the words of Moses a divinely-meant adaptation to the case of the New Covenant as well as to that of the Old.

the word of faith] the utterance of faith; or, to expand the brief phrase, “the statement of terms of justification by faith;” the message whose burden is Faith.Romans 10:8. Ἀλλὰ, but) The particle here either has an augmentative [ἐπιτατικήν: end. on Epitasis] meaning as in Matthew 11:8-9, or falls upon ἐγγὺς, nigh thee.—ἐγγὺς, nigh) We ought not to seek Christ at a distance, but within us. For while faith is beginning to believe, Christ dwells in the heart. This seeking for Christ [at a distance, instead of within one’s own heart] is found not only in those who are merely beginning, but even in those who are making progress in faith, Song of Solomon 3:1; Psalm 105:3-4. For he is here speaking, as if the righteousness of faith were itself conversing with itself.—ἐν τῷ στόματί σου καὶ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου) so it is in the Hebrew, but the LXX. add καὶ ἐν ταῖς χερσί σου τοῦτʼ ἔστι) The word, that is, the word of faith is nigh thee.The word is nigh thee

Septuagint, Very nigh thee is the word. The word is the whole subject-matter of the Gospel. See Romans 10:9. Moses used it of the law. See on Luke 1:37. The whole quotation in the Hebrew is as follows: "It (the commandment) is not in heaven, that ye should say, Who will ascend for us to heaven, and bring it to us, and make us hear it that we may do it? And it is not beyond the sea, that ye should say, Who will go over for us beyond the sea, and bring it to us, and make us hear it that we may do it? But the word is very near thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, to do it." The object of the passage is to contrast the system of faith with the system of law, and that, especially, with reference to the remoteness and difficulty of righteousness. Moses says that the commandment of God to Israel is not incapable of accomplishment, nor is it a distant thing to be attained only by long and laborious effort. The people, on the contrary, carries it in its mouth, and it is stamped upon its heart. Compare Exodus 13:9; Deuteronomy 6:6-9. In applying these words to the system of faith, Paul, in like manner, denies that this system involves any painful search or laborious work. Christ has accomplished the two great things necessary for salvation. He has descended to earth and has risen from the dead. All that is necessary is to accept by faith the incarnate and risen Christ, instead of having recourse to the long and painful way of establishing one's own righteousness by obedience to the law.

Word of faith

The phrase occurs only here. "Which forms the substratum and object of faith" (Alford). Others, the burden of which is faith.

We preach (κηρύσσομεν)

See on Matthew 4:17, and see on preacher, 2 Peter 2:5.

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