(I should have said this at the get-go, but I sure hope all of you are reading for yourself the daily passages and meditating on them first prior to reading my exiguous explanations of what I’m learning from the text. I’d hate to think any of you are limited to my commentary. Let this be supplimental please!)
Today we continue our discussion about salvation as we talk more about what “belief” really is. I encourage you to read the comments from yesterday‘s devotions as several of us wrestled through it together. Good stuff!
In the first verse Paul gives a seemingly random quotation from Isaiah 28. It assures the readers that by believing in God, we will have no cause for shame, blushing, or panicking in the future. I thought it odd at first–why would Paul quote such words? But then I thought of the context of first century Christianity, where they were about to be persecuted, humiliated, and tortured to death. Such words would have been very strengthening to the early church I imagine, just as they had been for the Israelites who were about to be exiled in the original cited passage.
Verse 12 reminds us again that one’s pedigree has no bearing on one’s salvation. It’s a heart matter. All are invited to partake. The final part of the verse introduces a new concept: “calling on him.” The Greek word ep-ee-kal-eh’-om-ahee has something to do with “permitting oneself to be surnamed.” It struck me that as we take on God’s surname, becoming children of God, that we are richly blessed as family members and beneficiaries of God’s goodness.
Verse 13 is interesting. Here Paul quotes Joel 2:32 which is almost parallel to his quote from Isaiah in verse 11–with just a couple of word substitutions.
“Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” vs 11
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” vs 13
First of all, “believes” is substituted for “calls on the name of.” They are closely related, but not synonomous as we’ll see when we get to verse 14 next week.
The other word substitution between the two quotes is having “will be saved” in place of “will not be put to shame”. I found it interesting that both verbs are in the passive voice, meaning that they are things that are given to us rather than things we reach out and grab.
Those are my thoughts for today. If you have time, share yours as well!
Off to read my Prayer book now!