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Summary: If I could ask you what you believe about salvation, you may not have a clear answer. But in Romans 10, we have the clearest explanation of what salvation is. A discussion about the two keystone ideas about salvation, the grace of God and our faith.

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INTRODUCTION

A lot of times, people believe a lot of strange and unique things. I heard about a college professor, who on the first day of a deductive reasoning class, stood before the class and said, “The first president of the United States; the last major league baseball player to bat over 400. Now, class, tell me, what is my name and how old am I?” The students scratched their heads and remained silent. So the professor said, “Class dismissed.”

The next day, he said the same thing, “The first president of the United States, the last baseball player to bat over 400. What’s my name and how old am I? If you can’t figure it out, we’re not going to have class until you can figure it out.” The third day, the students were just tired, but he said it again, “The first president, the last baseball player to bat over 400. What’s my name, how old am I?” One student held up his hand. The professor asked, “What’s the answer?”

The student said, “I have reasoned your name is George Williams, and you are 44 years old.”

The professor said, “That’s exactly right. Now, tell the class how you figured it out.”

The student said, “Simple. George Washington was the first president of the United States; Ted Williams was the last baseball player to bat over 400, so I figured that your name was George Williams. Your age, 44, was the easiest part, because I have a brother who’s in an insane asylum. He’s 22 years old, and you’re twice as crazy as he is.”

When it comes to spiritual things, sometimes people say things that don’t make any sense. This honestly happened: A man was asked, “What do you believe about salvation?”

He said, “Oh, I believe what my church believes.”

“What does your church believe?”

“Well, they believe about what I believe about salvation.”

“Well, what do you and your church believe?”

“We believe the same thing.”

If I could ask you today what you believe about salvation, you may not have a clear answer. But in Romans 10, we have the clearest explanation of what salvation is. Today I’m going to talk about the two keystone ideas about salvation, the grace of God and our faith.

Romans 10:13-21. “…For everyone who calls upon the name [not just the Lord, but the name] of the Lord, will be saved. How then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.’ But not all Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our message?’ Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Some Bibles say the word of God. Of course, Christ is God.) But I ask: ‘Did they not hear?’ Of course, they did: ‘Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.’ Again, I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, ‘I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.’ And Isaiah boldly says, ‘I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.’ But concerning Israel he says, ‘All day long, I have held up my hands to a disobedient and an obstinate people.’”


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