Pastor David B. Curtis


Calling on the Lord

Romans 10:11-13

Delivered 04/08/2012

Does anyone know what day today is? No, it's not easter, that is a pagan holiday. Today is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Passover began on Friday evening, April 6, 2012, and ended Saturday evening, April 7, 2012. In the Jewish calendar, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Jews celebrated Passover on the sunset of Friday, the 6th of April.

'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD'S Passover. 'Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. Leviticus 23:5-6 NASB

On the day after Passover, which is the Feast of Unleavened Bread they would put grain in the ground and then pray to God to bring the harvest for the coming year. The Hebrews would pray, "Give us life out of the earth." as they put the grain in the ground. What was happening to Jesus on this feast as every Israelite was praying, "Give us life out of the earth"? They were burying Him. Think about that!

Passover was to take place on the 14th of Nisan. The feast of Unleavened Bread was to take place on the 15th of Nisan. So if today, until sundown, is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when is the Feast of Firstfruits?

"Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, 'When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 'And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. Leviticus 23:10-11 NASB

There is no date given. The inspired text says that this third feast occurs "...on the day after the Sabbath..."! Most scholars say the Feast of First Fruits took place on the 16th of Nisan. They take the Sabbath here to be the Sabbath of the first day of Unleavened Bread. But I believe that the Sabbath referred to here is the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week.

So, Passover occurs on the 14th; Unleavened Bread occurs on the 15th (and lasts till the 22nd); and "First fruits" occurs on the day after the weekly Sabbath, or Sunday, the first day of the week. So First Fruits is ALWAYS on a SUNDAY. So next Sunday is the feast of Firstfruits. The the significance of the Feast of First Fruits is that it represents Christ's resurrection.

Let's not let the significance of the resurrection get lost in all the nonsense of the Easter celebration. Firstfruits is not about bunnies, colored eggs, or dressing up; it is about the resurrection from the dead.

With my easter bashing out of the way let's go to Romans 10. We ended our last study at verse 11. For our time of study today I want to look at verses 11-13 of chapter 10.

Last week we looked at Romans 10:5-11, and we saw that God has put His Torah in the hearts of all who believe in Jesus. So that they are in fact doing the Law. Though not in the way that Israel imagined. Paul teaches us in this text that Christian faith is the real covenantal doing of Torah. To believe is to obey Torah!

so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:4 NASB

The Torah is the God given badge of the people of God which enables them to worship the one and only True God, Yahweh.

For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." Romans 10:11-13 NASB

These verses highlight another characteristic of the gospel of salvation by faith--it is universal in scope. Verse 11, Whoever, verse 12, no distinction, verse 13 whoever! The offer of the gospel is a universal one.


This is how we should discus theology, "For the Scripture says". The Scripture is authorative, our opinions are not. Paul quotes here from Isaiah 28:16. He's already used this verse in chapter 9:33. "Disappointed" conveys something happening outside of us that lets us down. Here 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, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; Romans 10:12 NASB

"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 Gentiles 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 sofar as there relationship to God. Paul put it this way in Galatians:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28 NASB

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

"Abounding in riches for 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.


This is a quote from:

"And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls. Joel 2:32 NASB

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 upon the name of the Lord?"- because of the next verse I use to understand "calling upon the name of the Lord" as something beyond faith:

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14 NASB

So according to this verse you have to believe first, they 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 use to see this as the act of a believer that brought them salvation or deliverance in a physical sense. So I use to see the salvation here as different than eternal life. Use to, but now in light of what Paul says in:

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

I don't think that Paul is praying for their physical delivernece but for their eternal salvation. Then Paul says in 10:10 that confession of Jesus 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 upon the name of the Lord? To answer this lets go to Philippians. In order to all upon His name we have to know what His name is:

who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8 NASB

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

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, Philippians 2:9 NASB

"For this reason"-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 which 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 which is above every name." The writer of Hebrews says:

having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:4 NASB

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, [on-a-ma] 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 Jesus 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; Jesus, 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 NASB

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 Jewish. He was born to and raised by Jewish parents who raised him under Jewish 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 [ee-ay-sooce'] . 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 [ee-ay-sooce'] 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.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, Philippians 2:9 NASB

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 Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, Philippians 2:10 NASB

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 First Testament, 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 ineffable (too sacred to be spoken) name of Yahweh.

"Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, Who carry about their wooden idol And pray to a god who cannot save. Isaiah 45:20 NASB

He is speaking here of the heathen idols.

"Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. Isaiah 45:21 NASB

Yahweh is saying, "I'm unique, I'm the only 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. "I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. Isaiah 45:22-23 NASB

This is where our quote in Philippians is taken from, this is Yahweh, the one and only God, that is speaking.

"They will say of Me, 'Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.' Men will come to Him, And all who were angry at Him will be put to shame. "In the LORD all the offspring of Israel Will be justified and will glory." Isaiah 45:24-25 NASB

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 1518 A.D. 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 that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11 NASB

This gives us the first Christian creed-"Jesus 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.


Calling on the name of the Lord in the First Testament 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 an First Testament expression of true hearted worship. You find it:

Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You, And upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name. Psalms 79:6 NASB
Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders. Psalms 105:1-2 NASB

In the New Testament it is also an act of worship:

They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" Acts 7:59 NASB

Here Stephen is calling Jesus Yahweh, the God of Israel. 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 NASB
All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, "Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?" Acts 9:21 NASB
'Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.' Acts 22:16 NASB

It's not uncommon for people to suggest 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 thy sins." An editor added that, Luke didn't put it there. So let's read it this way, "Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized and wash away your sin by 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 Jesus 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 which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: 1 Corinthians 1:2 NASB
Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22 NASB

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


Whoever-that is any and all who believes that Jesus is the one true God Yahweh will be saved from the wrath of God.

"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." John 3:36 NASB

The word translated "he who does not obey" in the NASB, 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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