“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.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;” (Romans 10:6–8, KJV 1900)
On Tuesday, January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger left the launchpad and after only 73 seconds, experienced a fatal explosion that killed all the crew members. The problem was a failure of the O-Rings on one of the Solid-Rocket-Boosters which allowed burning fuel to escape towards the main fuel tank. Investigation revealed that the problem had been discussed and the engineers from Morton-Thiokol had strongly recommended postponing the launch since they did not believe the O-Rings would adequately seal the booster sections due to the freezing temperatures that day. NASA strongly objected to postponement and eventually the management of Morton-Thiokol over the protests of the engineers gave in to NASA. This is a typical case of people not listening to what has been revealed by the experts.
In this somewhat difficult passage to understand, Paul speaks of a similar type of problem. He refers back an address by Moses to Israel, just prior to commissioning Joshua to take the nation into the Promised Land. Paul uses the message of Moises’ words (Deut 30:11-14) to make a huge point. Moses was clarifying to the Nation of Israel that they had already received the Law, that it was accessible to them. “But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” (Deuteronomy 30:14, KJV 1900) They were to act upon it by faith.
Paul addresses the same theme in regards to a righteousness that is by faith. The revelation that Israel needed, in fact that all need, has already been given. That is the revelation of the Messiah. Jesus, came into the world, fully God and fully man. He lived a sinless life. He was crucified for our sins. He was buried and on the third day rose from the grave. Paul stated, “that is, the word of faith, which we preach” (v8). This word has already been revealed and it is available. One must just act upon it by faith.