Romans 10 is a seemingly simple chapter. It can be divided and studied in many ways, however.
First, we must view it in terms of Israel, as it should be read in the flow of Chapters 9 through 11. In that light, look at the structure of the chapter this way:
Chapter 10: Israel needs but rejects the faith that the gospel requires
10:1-13 Israel needs the “righteousness of faith” (10:6)
10:14-21 Did Israel even get a chance? Yes.
Another way to read the chapter is in terms of the “call” of God. How does God call people? What is the role of faith in the divine plan of election set forth in Romans 9? From this angle, we can look at the chapter in the following sections:
How the “call” of God (Rom 8:30) is received
10:1-13 Faith is intimate and available
10:14-21 The word must be proclaimed for belief to take place
Rom 9:30-33 give rise to Paul’s new consideration of the stakes and power of FAITH in Romans 10. Here are some things to note:
NOTE: 10:2 This does not mean that all zealous Jews are saved. In contemporary debates, this is often used to prove that Jews are saved too
NOTE: 10:5-13 a study of the intimacy of faith, the nearness of God and His Word. Compare Deuteronomy 30:11-14 – all this was said then! It was all available to the Jews! It has always been available to them.
NOTE: 10:15 contains an important idea often skipped over: the preacher himself must be sent.
Jer 23:32 “Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the LORD, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the LORD.”
Matt 9:38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Map the string of eternal decrees in Romans 8 and 10:
God’s foreknowledge – predestined – we are conformed to the image of His Son
Predestined – called – justified – glorified
Romans 10 presents the human side of things, the side of human responsibility:
God’s sending – Preacher – hearing – belief – they call on Him
Word of God – Hearing – Faith