Pastor David B. Curtis

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Calling on Yahweh

Romans 10:11-13

Delivered 09/16/18

For our study this morning I want us to go over a passage in Romans that changed my understanding on the name Jesus. It was this text that caused me to begin to use the name Yeshua instead of Jesus. So if you wonder why I use "Yeshua" this will hopefully explain it.

Before we look at our text let's get a little context. Who was the book of Romans written to? We know very little about the founding of the church in Rome. It is possible that the Jews from Rome, who became believers in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, carried the Gospel back to the synagogues in Rome.

This church was most likely established by Jewish Christians. By the time Paul wrote Romans, the church in Rome was famous throughout the Roman Empire for its faith:

First, I thank my God through Yeshua the Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. Romans 1:8 ESV

It is likely that a church existed by the late 30's or early 40's. So this letter was written to the believers in Rome. The big debate comes as to whether Paul was writing to mainly Jewish or Gentile believers. Notice what Paul says in the intro:

through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Yeshua the Christ, Romans 1:5-6 ESV

Paul was the apostle to the ethnos/Gentiles, and he specifically includes the Roman readers within the sphere of his Gentile commission. This would imply that the majority of his readers were Gentiles. This view is strengthened in:

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry Romans 11:13 ESV

This does not exclude the Jewish Christians, it is quite clear that he addresses them throughout the letter. So it is my opinion that he is addressing both Jewish and Gentile believers in Rome.

Romans 9-11 is a "Theodicy." A theodicy is a vindication, or defense, of God. The word comes from a compound Greek root: Theos (God) and, dikos (just). The goal of a theodicy is to exonerate God from all blame, it is saying that what God is doing is absolutely just and righteous.

Romans 9-11 is the greatest vindication of God's righteousness and justice found anywhere in the pages of Scripture. In light of what Paul had taught in the first eight chapters of Romans, a vindication is necessary. You may say, "Why?" What has Paul said that causes a need of God being vindicated? Over and over, in Romans 8, Paul has been applying to the Church the blessings originally promised to Israel. Israel was promised the Holy Spirit, but this promise has been received by the Church. Israel was promised a future resurrection, but Paul speaks of the resurrection of believers. Israel was God's son, but now believers are God's adopted children. Israel was promised an inheritance, but now it has come to the Church. Israel was God's chosen people, but now believers are called chosen. With the application of so many of Israel's promises being received by the Church the question arises, "Has God gone back on His promises to Israel?" We see in 9:3 that Israel is accursed and cut off from Christ. This was because they had rejected the Gospel, they had rejected Christ. Here's the problem— the whole Old Covenant was simply packed with promises that God made to the Jewish nation. They were Messianic promises, promises which went with the Christ, the Messiah.

Since the majority of the Jewish nation did not accept Yeshua as Messiah, then the unbelieving Jew would say that there are two possible conclusions: either the Gospel that Paul is preaching is not true, because the Jews rejected it, or else if it is true, then the promises of God to Israel have failed, because the Messiah and blessing to Israel were connected inseparable. The Jews would say either Yeshua is not the true Messiah or the Word of God has proven false. So in Romans 9-11 Paul shows that the promises made to Israel are true, and the Gospel is true also.

Now, think about this, this is where it gets real practical for you and me. If God rejected the nation of Israel, if they did not receive the promises made to them, what assurance do we have that He will keep His word to us? What security do we have? If God set aside Israel, couldn't He set aside us? Without spiritual security we live in fear of spiritual death, fear of your sins being held against you and coming under the wrath of God. How could we possibly have security if God broke His promises to Israel? Did God break His promises to Israel? No! His promises were misunderstood, they were to true Jews, those who trusted in Christ, not to national Israel:

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, Romans 9:6 ESV

Paul is saying that God's promises haven't failed, because God never promised unconditionally to each offspring of Abraham covenant blessings. God never intended that all of the nation Israel would be redeemed. Paul is saying that there are TWO Israel's. Within national Israel is "True Israel" or "spiritual Israel." So one could be an Israelite without truly being an Israelite. The promises were to "true Israel," not national Israel.

So who is true Israel? Yeshua is the true Israel! It is in Him, and Him alone, that the promises of God are fulfilled. True Israel is Yeshua and all who trust in Him. We could say, "They are not all 'in Christ' who are physical descendants of Jacob." Therefore, the unbelief and rejection of ethnic Israel as a whole, in no way interfered with the fulfilment of God's covenant purpose and promise.

In chapter 10 Paul begins his explanation of Israel's failure with an expression of his deep and abiding love for his people. The chapter division signals a shift in Paul's emphasis from God's dealings with Israel in the past, specifically, before Christ's death, to His dealings with them in the present.

With that as background, let's look at our text for this morning:

For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." 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. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:11-13 ESV

These verses highlight a characteristic of the Gospel of salvation by faith—it is universal in scope. Let me be clear here, I'm not talking about Universalism, which is the teaching that God, through the atonement of Yeshua, will ultimately bring reconciliation between God and all people throughout history. That teaching is heresy. What I'm saying is that the offer of the Gospel is universal, it goes out to Jews and Gentiles. Verse 11, "Whoever", verse 12, "no distinction", verse 13 "whoever"! The offer of the Gospel is a universal one.

For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." Romans 10:11 ESV

This is how we should discus theology, "For the Scripture says." The Scripture is authoritative, our opinions are not. Paul quotes here from Isaiah 28:16. The words, "put to shame" are from the Greek word kataischuno. It conveys something happening outside of us that lets us down. I think it is better translated "disappointed" as the NASB has it. This is a statement of assurance that, as believers in Christ, we will stand before God without disappointment.

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. Romans 10:12 ESV

"For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek"—to this the Jews would say, "What did you say? There is no difference between us and Gentiles." You just can't say anything more devastating than that to a Jew. These people, who believe so strongly that they are different than Gentile people, are told by Paul there's no difference. If a Jew went into a Gentile country before they came back into Jerusalem, they shook the dust off their feet and their robes. They didn't want Gentile dust taken into Israel. They wouldn't go into a Gentile house because they thought Gentile's houses were defiled. They wouldn't eat with a Gentile utensil, or a Gentile plate or drink out of a Gentile cup, because they thought they were defiled. They didn't even want to touch Gentiles. In fact, the Jewish prayer every day when they rose in the morning was, "I thank God that I'm not a woman, a slave or a Gentile."

The word "distinction" is from the Greek diastole which means difference or division. There's no division, no separation, no difference at all so far as there relationship to God. Paul put it this way in Galatians:

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 Yeshua. Galatians 3:28 ESV

This is true of us as Christians. We are all one in Christ. We are all in the same body of Christ.

"Bestowing his riches on all who call on him"—in what sense is He rich? Rich in mercy, rich in grace, rich in love, rich in anything you need to cover your sin and give you salvation.

For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13 ESV

This is a quote from:

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls. Joel 2:32 ESV

The context of this passage is about covenant renewal. This text was fulfilled when? Pentecost (Acts 2:14-21). In the last days of Israel.

What does it mean to "Call on the name of the Lord?"—because of the next verse I use to understand "calling on the name of the Lord" as something beyond faith:

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? Romans 10:14 ESV

So, according to this verse, you have to believe first, then you call upon the name of the Lord. We know that believing makes you a Christian, so I have taken this as something different than faith. I used to see this as the act of a believer that brought them salvation or deliverance in a physical sense. So I used to see the salvation here as different than eternal life. Used to, but now in light of what Paul says in:

Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. Romans 10:1 ESV

I don't think that Paul is praying for their physical deliverance, but for their eternal salvation. Then Paul says in 10:10 that confession of Yeshua as Lord results in salvation. And now in 10:13, "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. So it seems to me that Paul is using "salvation" in this text in the sense of eternal life.

So what does it mean to "call on the name of the Lord"? To answer this let's go to Philippians. In order to call on His name, we have to know what His name is:

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8 ESV

This text talks about the kenois, the self-emptying of the Lord Yeshua in His incarnation. Now notice the next verse:

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, Philippians 2:9 ESV

"Therefore"—begins this section with a ringing contrast. Because of Christ's humility (verses 6-8), His exaltation now follows (verses 9-11). The words "highly exalted" are the Greek word huperupsoo, which means: "to elevate to a surpassing position, to exalt beyond all others, to exalt to the highest, maximum majesty." This particular exaltation is so grand that this particular Greek word is not used anyplace else in the whole Bible.

"Bestowed on Him the name that is above every name"—the word "bestowed" is charizomai, it means: "A grace gift, freely given, whole heartedly given." What did He bestow on Him, "the name that is above every name." The writer of Hebrews says:

having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Hebrews 1:4 ESV

His name is more excellent than the angels. Whatever name it is, it will be consistent with both Testaments of the Scripture. It will imply not just a means of distinguishing one person from another, "Joe" or "Mike," but it will imply something of the nature of Christ, something of His person revealing His inner being.

The word "name" is the Greek word onoma, which can mean: "name, rank, or personality." Here the emphasis is on title of rank above all ranks—position.

Why give Him a name? One of the common biblical ideas is the giving of a new name to mark a new stage in a man's life. Abram became Abraham when he received the promise of God. Jacob became Israel when God entered into the new relationship with him. Simon was called to follow Yeshua, and his name became Peter. The promise of the risen Christ to both Pergamos and Philadelphia is the promise of a new name.

Christ has many names; Yeshua, Christ, Son of man, Son of God, Immanuel, but here He receives a new name. Some say that it's "Jesus." But it can't be Jesus because that name was never given to our Savior. You may be thinking yes it was, the angel told Joseph that His name was Jesus:

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21 ESV

Did Joseph and Mary call their son's name Jesus? No, they did not. The Complete Jewish Bible puts it this way:

She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means `ADONAI saves,'] because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21 CJB

Our Savior's name when he walked this earth was Yeshua. Matthew 1:1-16 makes it clear that He came from Hebrew decent through the tribe of Judah. In other words He was a Hebrew. He was born to and raised by Hebrew parents, who raised Him under Hebrew culture. He spoke Hebrew. The name Yeshua is literally a transliteration of the Messiah's name. When one says, "Yeshua" he is speaking Hebrew. This is the name that all the Apostles would have known Him by and what His mother would have called Him.

To the Jews of the Second Temple period, almost all Hebrew names had a literal meaning. The name Yeshua literally means, "Yahweh's Salvation, or Salvation from Yahweh." The English name Jesus derives from the Late Latin name Iesus, which transliterates the Koine Greek name Iesoûs. In the Septuagint and other Greek-language Jewish texts, such as the writings of Josephus and Philo of Alexandria, Iesoûs is the standard Koine Greek form used to translate the Hebrew name Yeshua. Prior to being transliterated from the Hebrew Bible, the name Iesous did not exist in Greek. In the 17th century the "J" replaced the "I" to make our familiar "Jesus." The KJV 1611 looks like this:

And she shall bring forth a sonne, and thou shalt call his Name Iesus: for hee shall saue his people from their sinnes. Matthew 1:21 KJV 1611

So prior to the 17th century, no one ever heard the name "Jesus." So our Savior has only been called Jesus for the past 400 years or so. If you could go back in time to the 16th century and meet with a group of Christians, they would have no idea who Jesus was.

Notice the parentheses in the CJB (which means ADONAI saves). This is better translated, Yahweh Saves. That is the meaning of our Savior's name. The reason the CJB uses "Adonai" is because the Israelites were afraid to use God's name because they might use it in ways that He had not revealed. So instead, they called Him ,"LORD" from the Hebrew: Adonai, "God" from the Hebrew: Elohim, "The Name" from the Hebrew: Ha-Shem, or by some other title. After they returned from the Babylonian Captivity (ca. 500 BC) , they refused to use God's name at all, out of respect and fear for what it represented? The Hebrew people simply said Adonai whenever the sacred name was intended. This is seen in our Bibles as LORD.

Some say that Jesus is His name in English. Really? What is Amparo's name in English? Her given name was Amparo and that is what we call her. I have a couple of friends with foreign names, and I call them by their names, not an English version of them.

So the name given our Savior, which is above every name, is not Jesus, He was never called that. And it is not Yeshua, that was the name given Him at birth.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, Philippians 2:9 ESV

What other name than "Yahweh" has a right to be called "the name above every name."

The movement of verses 9-11 does not stop at the phrase "bestowed on Him the name," but flows straight on to the universal confession that Yeshua is Lord, which suggests that the significant thing is the ascription of "LORD" in addition to the names already known.

so that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, Philippians 2:10 ESV

It says, "at the name 'of' Yeshua" (not at the name Yeshua). The name "of" Yeshua is "Lord."

Verse 10 is a pretty direct quotation of Isaiah 45:23 where Yahweh, having declared Himself to be the only God and only Savior, vows that He will yet be the object of universal worship. It is this divine honor that is now bestowed upon "Yeshua Ha'Moshiach." "Ha" means "the," "Moshiach" is "Messiah."

These verses in Isaiah 45:20-25 speak of the uniqueness of the only God. In the Greek version of the Tanakh, the LXX, the Greek word "Kyrios," which means: "Lord" is used to represent the personal name of the God of Israel—Yahweh. In most English versions, LORD is spelled with four capital letters when it stands for the name of Yahweh.

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. Isaiah 45:20 ESV

He is speaking here of the heathen idols.

Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Isaiah 45:21 ESV

Yahweh is saying, "I'm unique, I'm the greatest God, there is no other Savior besides Me."

Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: 'To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.' Isaiah 45:22-23 ESV

This is where our quote in Philippians is taken from, this is Yahweh, the God above all gods, that is speaking.

Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed all who were incensed against him. In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory. Isaiah 45:24-25 ESV

It is in Yahweh, the sovereign God, that salvation will come. And in Philippians, this title "LORD" is ascribed to upon Yeshua. Yeshua Ha'Moshiach is Yahweh, the God of Israel!

God, the Father, exalted Him and gave Him the name "Yahweh," which is the name of the sovereign God who created all things. Yeshua Ha'Moshiach is Yahweh!

Let me say a word about the name Jehovah. In Hebrew Scripture the personal name of God is written with four Hebrew letters —yod, heh, vav, heh (YHWH)—and therefore called the tetragrammaton. This name appears 6,829 times in the Hebrew Scriptures.

In the First Temple period, at least until the Babylonian Exile in 586 B.C., the divine name was regularly pronounced in daily life. By the third century B.C., although the tetragrammaton was pronounced by priests in certain Temple liturgies, Jews avoided its use, employing instead many other substitutes. When reading or reciting Scripture, the custom was to substitute 'adonai (LORD).

Until the early Middle Ages, Hebrew was written without vowels. By the sixth century A.D. a system of vowel signs was developed by the Masoretes, the Jewish scholars of the period, to aid the reader in pronunciation. They superimposed the vowel signs of the word 'adonai upon the four consonants of God's name.

In A.D.1518, in his a monumental work of Christian mysticism, the Italian theologian and Franciscan friar Galatinus, not realizing that the Masoretes had placed the vowel signs of another word with the consonants yhwh, fused the vowels of 'adonai with the consonants of the divine name and thus gave the Church "Jehovah," a word which has no meaning in Hebrew. So strike the word Jehovah from you Christian vocabulary, it is not biblical at all.

Alright, so the name given Yeshua, which is above every name, is Yahweh. Back to our text in Philippians, notice the next verse:

and every tongue confess that Yeshua the Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11 ESV

This gives us the first Christian creed—"Yeshua the Christ is Lord" or literally, Yeshua Ha'Moshiach is Yahweh—they were actually confessing that Yeshua of Nazareth is the God of Israel, Yahweh, the only true God.

The word "that" in verse 11 indicates a purpose clause—with the result that at the name of Yeshua Ha'Moshiach, which is Yahweh, this is why the whole universe is called to worship Him, He is God.

For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13 ESV

Calling on the name of the Lord in the Tanakh is an interesting phrase. It primarily refers to worship, it refers to calling out to God in terms of adoring wonder and praise, speaking of His majesty, extolling His virtue, humbling yourself beneath His sovereign power. It is a First Testament expression of true hearted worship. You find it:

Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call upon your name! Psalms 79:6 ESV
Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Psalms 105:1-2 ESV

In the New Testament it is also an act of worship. In Acts it seems to be used as a description of Christians:

And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name." Acts 9:14 ESV
And all who heard him were amazed and said, "Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?" Acts 9:21 ESV
And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.' Acts 22:16 ESV

It's not uncommon for people to suggest that this text teaches that the way we get our sins washed away is by being baptized in water. Now, if you read this passage in the original text, you will find that the word translated here "calling" is participial in form. It's what is called an adverbial participle, or some grammarians call it a circumstantial participle, and then, attached to it, the nuance that appears in the text.

Now remember, we don't have punctuation marks in the original text. Let's eliminate the comma after "wash away your sins," an editor added that, Luke didn't put it there. So let's read it this way, "And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on His name." Now, in that case, we have the washing away of sins, linked with calling on the Name of the Lord. That is a personal faith, calling on Yeshua Yahweh, the Lord. That's the way that text should be read. Baptism doesn't wash away sins, faith in Yeshua who is Yahweh does.

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Yeshua, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Yeshua the Christ, both their Lord and ours: 1 Corinthians 1:2 ESV
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22 ESV

So calling on the Lord, is an act of worship. It is to believe that Yeshua is the God of Israel, the Savior Yahweh.

For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13 ESV

Everyone—that is any and all who believe that Yeshua is the one true God Yahweh, will be saved from the wrath of God.

Is it important that we understand that Yeshua is Yahweh? Yeshua says it is:

I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." John 8:24 ESV

The pronoun "He" is not in the text; it is added by the translators. The text says, "Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins"—what are they to believe? What is He saying that people have to believe so that they don't die in their sins? The conditional clause provides the proper object of faith: "If you do not believe that ego eimi. Yeshua, in claiming to be "I Am," was asserting equality with Yahweh Himself, who was revealed as the "I Am That I Am" —the self-existent, eternal God.

Listen to me, people, Yeshua is Yahweh. To deny the deity of Christ, to deny that He is in fact Yahweh in the flesh, is to die in your sins. Is that too strong? This is what Yeshua is saying, "Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins."

When I say that Yeshua is Yahweh it's important to understand that I am not talking about Modalism, which denies the distinction of Persons in the Trinity, and says that God sometimes manifested Himself as the Father, sometimes as the Son, and sometimes as the Spirit. This view sees the Father, Son, and Spirit as all the same Person, just appearing or operating in different modes at different times.

This first verse in John destroys Modalism, "And the Word was with God"—the theological importance of these words is that they distinguish God the Word from God the Father. In other words, John is telling us that although the Godhead is One Holy and Eternal God, God the Word and God the Father are not the same Person.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36 ESV

The word translated "does not obey" in the ESV, is the verb apeitheo. The leading Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, by Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker, makes a very insightful comment about apeitheo, which sheds light on John 3:36:

"Since in the view of the early Christians, the supreme disobedience was a refusal to believe their Gospel, apeitheo may be restricted in some passages to the meaning: "disbelieve, be an unbeliever" (BAGD, p.82).

Believing involves the proposition that our Savior Yeshua is Yahweh the covenant keeping God of Israel, the Creator of all things. The confession of a Christian is that: Yeshua Ha'Moshiach is Yahweh!

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