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Zeal Without Knowledge (Romans 10:1)

Introductory Thoughts

Believers should be zealous of good works, but their zeal must not spring from a position of ignorance. The Bible points to the Jews as a zealous people, but their zeal was not according to knowledge. Nobody worked harder trying to reach a righteous state than did the Jews. However, they failed to realize that true righteousness comes as an unmerited gift from God. Yet, the Jews were “ignorant of God's righteousness,” and went “about to establish their own righteousness” (Romans 10:3). Paul repeatedly testified concerning the futility of trying to earn God's favour through one’s own efforts (Acts 22:3; Philippians 3:6). Before Paul came to know Christ, he thought he should fight against Christ’s followers and zealously persecute the church of God. He even placed many of the new believers into prison and caused their deaths. Yet, he declared that all this was done in ignorance (1 Timothy 1:13). He, like the Jews, had a tremendous zeal, but that zeal was not according to knowledge.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): 2 Timothy 2:15 teaches some very important truths concerning God's word. Many people eagerly serve God but will miss heaven because they believe that their works will somehow merit them a place in heaven. They have failed to realize that salvation remains God's free gift to lost people solely based on what the Lord has already done.
  • (For everyone):  Are you zealous for the Lord? Is your zeal based upon knowledge of the truth of Gods word? Zeal without knowledge leads to ignorance which functions as a seed of false doctrine.
  • No groups are as zealous as the cults at propagating their message, yet they exhibit zeal without knowledge. How much more zealous should we be who know and love the truth?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to give you zeal founded upon sound knowledge.
  • Ask God to help you serve Him with the right fervency.


Who Is on the Lord’s Side?