Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
For people to be redeemed, they must walk through various essential stages. If any link in the chain is broken, the Gospel’s electric spark cannot cross the break. For this reason, redeemed communities have to realize they are commissioned to protect the chain and keep it from breaking down. In our text, Paul reminds us we must be sure the message we have received is for sure transmitted to those who need it.
Romans 10:14a But how can they call on Him they have not believed in?
And how can they believe without hearing about Him?
People cannot call on God for salvation unless they by faith trust in Jesus as Lord. It is impossible for sinners to have any chance of doing this until they hear the message of Jesus. “It is not born with us” (Henry).
We do not inherently know the Gospel message. By nature people are ignorant of the Jesus-story; they do not know Jesus died for everyone, and do not know the Gospel is universal in its outreach. Since the story is meant for all, but no one knows it on their own, it is incumbent on those who know the story to tell it to those who do not. Jesus’ message should be shared with all. Every person has the right to clearly hear the message of salvation.
Romans 10:14b And how can they hear without a preacher?
This word “preacher” is actually “one preaching.” It insinuates everyone who trusts in Jesus. In evangelism, no distinction is made between clergy and laypeople. In the early church, everyone was expected to be a proclaimer. Not everyone was to be a Pastor, but everyone was to be a preacher, a teller of the good news. There were different gifts in the church relating to the body, but everyone had the same duty to the lost, evangelism.
Every believer was expected to talk, because each one had something worthwhile to say. The message of salvation was meant to be floating in the air at all times, repeatedly being carried from lips to ears.
We would never want to discourage the distribution of Bibles and tracts. This is wonderful work, and should be encouraged. However, such distributing must be done in addition to verbal testimony, not instead of it.
Breathing people, not breathless books, best carry Jesus’ message. Christ in us, taken personally to the lost, is the greatest gift we can ever give.
Romans 10:15a And how can they preach unless they are sent?
This referred to being sent by God. The message we proclaim is not our own, nor are our credentials self-produced. We speak only what the Bible tells us to say, and we go only because we have been commissioned to do so by God HHHhhdsfgimself.
Christians who forget this truth will be ineffective in soul winning. If we proclaim a message contrary to the Word, our efforts will be null and void. If we forget God commissions us, we will soon give up and quit.
We are “sent”. We are ambassadors representing Someone Else. Any who reject our Bible-based message are guilty of rejecting God, not us.
Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). God “sends” us to carry through on the redemption Christ began. In evangelism, God’s work has become our work.
God used Cornelius to illustrate for all time the true method of conversion. The angel that appeared to Cornelius could have spoken the message of salvation to him, but God only allowed the angel to tell Cornelius to consult Simon Peter. Cornelius had to receive the message of salvation from the lips of another mortal.
The Gospel does not fall like rain from the clouds. It has to be hand delivered by people. Those who had it proclaimed to them must proclaim it.
Saved sinners must tell lost sinners the way. Our message is a word from saved dying people to lost dying people.
Not everyone will be saved, but some will. Certain captive souls only need to hear the message to be released from their bondage. Any who are tired of sin, and long for deliverance, will yield themselves to this message.
Romans 10:15b As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who
announce the gospel of good things!
A delivered sinner never forgets the one who brought to him or her the message of salvation. Paul the podiatrist quoted Isaiah here in an effort to create a vivid word picture in our minds.
The original was written to a Jerusalem trodden down under oppression. People were in despair, longing for a messenger to come with good news of deliverance. It’s not hard to imagine the people, in the moment of worst peril, with all hope fading, looking down the road with anxiety.
Suddenly, a messenger is seen approaching. Running as fast as he can, he is waving over his head a document, obviously an important message.
The people quickly flocked to the gate and met him en masse. Too winded to speak, the messenger handed the message to one of the elders. With trembling hand the old man takes the paper and begins to read, “The enemy is driven away. Jerusalem is free. There will be no more oppression.”
Suddenly, the exhausted, sweaty courier is a national hero. His feet, though ugly and dirty, are beautiful to behold because they were the means whereby the message of deliverance was conveyed to the city.
Feet are instruments of going, and are not meant to be pretty, but they become beautiful when we use them to convey ourselves to do soul winning.
It is a delightful when we use our feet to carry ourselves to win others. It is wonderful when we approach the lost with the message of salvation.
There is rejoicing when people hear and respond to the Gospel message. There is joy in Heaven, joy in the proclaimer, joy in the hearer. Soul winning is a motion that sets emotions in motion.
Imagine! God uses our mouths to woo people into Heaven! Imagine! God uses our feet to help people flee the flames of Hell. Such a thought makes my mouth want to speak, and makes my feet hot enough to hop, and run to tell people the message of Jesus.
In Greek mythology, Orpheus played such beautiful music on his lyre that animals, trees, and stones followed him. Rivers stopped flowing to listen to him. His music so charmed the god of the dead that Orpheus was allowed to retrieve his wife from death itself.
Our message about Jesus has an appeal as strong as the fabled music of Orpheus. We have been commissioned to take a message that reaches into the realm of the dead and calls forth sinners from that territory.
Ours is a Gospel that stops sinners in their path and causes them to hasten to a Savior. Ours is the world’s most important and most powerful message. May our ugly feet be often seen as beautiful.