Summary: This sermons explains Israel’s inexcusable unbelief in the good news of the God.
14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
18But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for
“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”
19But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,
“I will make you jealous of those
who are not a nation;
with a foolish nation I will make
20Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,
“I have been found by those
who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those
who did not ask for me.”
21But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” (Romans 10:14-21)
The Apostle Paul has at this point in Romans presented very clearly the freeness of our salvation through Christ. He has emphasized the principles expressed in the important texts, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame,” and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:11, 13).
The truth is most plainly expressed in the famous text, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
“But, Paul,” someone might say, “what is this faith that you keep talking about? How can I obtain it?”
Floyd Schneider, in Evangelism for the Fainthearted, wrote about a college student who was a Christian and shared a room with a Muslim. As they became friends, their conversation turned to their beliefs. The Christian asked the Muslim if he had ever read the Bible. He said that he had not, and then the Muslim asked the Christian if he had ever read the Koran.
The Christian responded, “No, I haven’t, but I’m sure it would be interesting. Why don’t we read both together, once a week, alternating books?”
The Muslim accepted the invitation. Their friendship deepened, and during the second term he became a believer in Jesus.
One evening, late in the term, he burst into the room and shouted at the long-time Christian, “You deceived me!”
“What are you talking about?” the Christian asked.
The new Christian opened his Bible and said, “I’ve been reading it through, like you told me, and I just read that the word of God is living and active [cf. Hebrews 4:12]!” He grinned. “You knew all along that the Bible contained God’s power and that the Koran is like any other book. I never had a chance!”
That is the power of the Bible as well as the message of the gospel.
In the section of Romans which we are now studying the Apostle Paul continues his stress on our responsibility to respond to the sovereign grace of God.
He has explained that salvation has been prepared for the elect of God, but Israel had forgotten that there must be a response of faith to receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life through the gospel.
So, in the section we are to study Paul develops three themes, and they may be called:
1. Israel and Believing,
2. Israel and Hearing, and
3. Israel and Knowing.
I. Israel and Believing (10:14-17)
First, let’s look at Israel and believing.
A. Five links in the chain of evangelism (10:14-15)
The thought of Israe1’s necessity of calling upon the Lord for salvation turns the apostle’s mind to the steps by which the evangelistic program of God is carried out.
There are five links in the endeavor, Paul says, and in his development of them he moves in each of the steps from the effect to the cause. Since he uses this methodology it will be good for us to follow his plan as we begin at the end and move to the beginning.
Thus, we begin with verse 15, where Paul writes, “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’”
The first step in the chain of evangelism is the necessity of sending of the messenger. Paul cites Isaiah 52:7 and comments on the beauty of the work of evangelism. Every believer agrees with that sentiment. But, first, God must send the preacher.