To get a proper understanding of these verses, let’s read Romans 10:1-7, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)”

The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Roman believers, does not hesitate to express to them his great longing for the salvation of Israel. He had already expressed that great desire in Romans 9:3 where he stated, “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” He commends them for their zealousness, but laments that their zeal is not according to knowledge. In ignorance of true righteousness that comes only from the Lord, they sought to become righteous by their own works. Of course, they failed. If only they had believed on the Lord Jesus, they would have seen that, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.” The law could never make a man righteous; it was never meant to. The purpose of the law was to convict men’s hearts. We read in Galatians 3:24-25, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” The purpose of the law was to expose our sins to us so that we might bow ourselves to the Lord and receive the righteousness that He freely gives to those who put their faith in Him.

Romans 10:6-7 are verses quoted from Deuteronomy 30:12-13. The Lord inspired Paul to loosely quote these verses to teach a vital lesson about faith. Faith would not lead a man to seek to ascend to Heaven to bring Christ down to earth. The Lord has already been here and witnessed publicly for 3 or 4 years before His crucifixion. Neither would faith lead a man to seek to go down into Christ’s grave to bring Him back up. Christ has already risen from the dead, has ascended back to Heaven and is now seated at His Father’s right hand in the Glory. Faith will cause us to fully believe in the incarnation and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Dear believer, may we not be like the Apostle Thomas who said in John 20:25, “…Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” That is not faith, and according to Hebrews 11:6, “…without faith it is impossible to please (God).” Consider the Lord’s reply to Thomas’ lack of faith in John 20:29, “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” The whole basis of faith is we have not seen, but we believe! Faith is simply taking God at His word. (159.6)