When the Bible Challenges Your Theology: Romans 10:1
“1) Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.” Romans‬ ‭10:1‬
A number of years ago, I heard a noted pastor make the statement that there is no record of praying for the salvation of the lost in the Bible. His extreme views of predestination cancelled out any notion of praying for the lost.
I waited until we were alone after the service and respectfully challenged his statement. I simply asked, “If we are not to pray for the salvation of the lost, how do you explain Paul’s statement in Romans 10:1?” As he turned to the text and read it out loud, a very perplexed look came over his face. He then very humbly replied; “I have never noticed this verse before. I stand corrected.”
God used this verse and 1 Timothy 2:1-10 to deeply impact his thinking. To his credit, the next Sunday he opened his message with an apology and a correction. The Holy Spirit used these verses to breath new life into his praying and over the next few months he developed a passion for the lost.
There are mysteries in the Word of God that are sometimes hard for us to reconcile with our theology. Charles Spurgeon understood this concept. He was faithful to preach every text of Scripture accurately, even when the text challenged his theological bias.
Beware lest your theology blind you to precious truths in Scripture and thwart your spiritual growth. It is the Bible that defines truth and not theological rational pushed to conclusions not stated in the Bible itself.
The Bible has what I call paradoxical truth. That might be described as truth framed in opposites. A good example could be the Sovereignty of God as contrasted to human responsibility and free will. They seem to contradict, but both are taught in the Bible. It is only within a human perspective that they are in tension. I cannot solve the mystery, but they are in perfect harmony in the Bible.
Now a word of caution. Beware of embracing one side of a paradoxical truth to the exclusion of the other. When that happens, your theology and not the Bible becomes your guide to truth and you drift into error. Pray for the grace and faith to filter your theology through the Bible rather than empowering your human reason to filter the Bible through your theology.
To the credit of the pastor mentioned above, he was willing to embrace a biblical statement that he was previously blinded to because of years of theological bias. Soon God removed blinders in other area’s as well. It started him on a journey of living by faith and discovering the ministry of the Holy Spirit in fresh ways.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global