(Zeal Without Knowledge Rom. 10:1-3)
Their Condemnation: They were not submitting to God’s righteousness. Strange how people think sometimes. Here are people who believe in God, say they want to obey God and they demonstrate sincerity, zeal and passion for God. But instead of submitting to God’s plan, they come up with their own plan; their own creed; they write their own doctrine! Instead of obeying God, they obey men. Instead of respecting and obeying the Word of God, they respect and obey the doctrines and commandments of men.
This was their condemnation. Instead of submitting to God and participating in the righteousness He offers in Christ, they devised their own religion, with their own rituals and traditions, insisting that everybody submit to their system (see Acts 15:1).
But zeal did not justify their disobedience. Their sincerity and passion did not excuse their ignorance and disobedience.
And I believe there is something very basic here, and this is something that crosses over all dispensational lines and applies to every one of us à We cannot save ourselves by ourselves! We cannot solve our own problem (sin). We cannot perform or work our way out of sin and into heaven, without submitting to God’s plan (Rom. 1:16,17). There are two things we must have – and these two things are not of human origin: (1) The blood of Christ to forgive us, and (2) All the instructions from God about what we must do to have the salvation purchased by that blood! It is essential for us to trust, surrender, believe and obey God, to be personal recipients of His grace in Christ. We cannot save ourselves by ourselves; we need the blood of forgiveness, and we need God’s instruction to guide us to the blood!
Displays of emotion and zeal do not compensate for ignorance or disobedience! Our zeal must be directed by the wisdom of God’s instruction in the gospel.
You see, it is possible to be sincere, zealous and even militant and passionate about God and religion, and yet be wrong . . . and lost! How could this happen? By not submitting to the righteous plan of God.
Finally, I want us to think about the order of things: Knowledge, Submitting to the righteous plan of God, and then Zeal! Knowledge – Submission – Zeal.
If you know what God’s Word says – and you submit to God’s word in your heart and life – your zeal is grounded where it should be!
Contrary to this pattern or order – what often happens in modern religion is this. You become involved with some denomination, or attached to some preacher – – you find your excitement, your emotion and zeal in this. You develop a team spirit and zeal that is human in origin.
The zeal is there, but it is not according to knowledge. If you know what God’s Word says – and you submit to God’s word in your heart and life – your zeal is grounded where it should be!
Our plea to you is not to criticize your zeal, but to ask you to examine the basis of your zeal! Is your zeal according to knowledge?