Summary: Exposition of Romans 10:14-17 related to the commissioning of our first international mission team
Text: Romans 10:14-17, Title: Sending Beautiful Feet, Date/Place: NRBC, 7/20/08, AM
A. Opening illustration: talk about Erika thinking Maine was at the ends of the NA continent, recount our commissioning service with NAMB in Atlanta in 2003, and how there were many couples who would be leaving soon for the ends of the earth,
B. Background to passage: this text is to be understood in its context. Paul has argued for the lostness of every man, woman, and child of all nations because of our rebellion. He has argued for the reality of justification by faith alone in Christ, the second Adam, and sacrificial lamb. He has argued for the freedom from the dominion of sin, even with the continuing effects of it on our flesh. And then he argued for the superiority of life in the Spirit, and how everything works for good for those who love God and are called. That brings up the issue of Israel’s unbelief in ch. 9. Paul anticipates the question of how God could be sovereign and his chosen people miss the boat. Chapters 9-11 deal with the future of Israel, and the justification of God. And in our passage, Paul has concluded that Israel is culpable for their own unbelief. And by way explanation, Paul speaks about how all people get saved. It is a five-fold progression. After concluding the quoted text in evangelism in 10:9-13, Paul gives a short synopsis of what must happen for men to be saved. It is a five-fold list of questions in verse 14.
C. Main thought: This is a historic moment in the life of New River Baptist Church. And we will celebrate it today with the scripture about how God saves people. This coming week, we will complete the first two steps, and we will pray for the last three.
A. There must be senders
1. Paul is speaking of missionaries in general. In this text, God is the ultimate Sender. And still today, God is the main Sender. But most missionaries have some local church (or a conglomerate of churches, like a denomination) support. There must be those that stay behind and enable others to go.
2. Acts 13:1-3,
3. Illustration: it’s kinda like a space shuttle mission, 7-10 astronauts train, prepare, get the glory for going to space, but take away the hundreds of people in Houston, and we have a problem. The ship won’t even leave the ground without somebody punching the launch button, and it is not just getting them off the ground, its every second until they are back home in their own beds safe and sound. Tell of Luther Rice’s story of galvanizing Baptists in America to support the Judson’s and over 100 other missionaries between 1813-1835, Annie Armstrong, Hudson Taylor, five years after his death, almost 1000 missionaries in China. Unknown to himself, his (Hudson Taylor’s) father, who had been deeply interested in China, had prayed that his son might go to that land as a missionary
4. Those other 100 people in the pews are making it possible for these ten to be sent out. Money has come from you. Mission committees are seated by you. Encouragement and prayer comes from you. Don’t believe the lie that you are not just as integral to this mission endeavor in Peru as those who go. No guilt should be upon you, unless you were supposed to go and didn’t. In fact, if you will with confidence bear your role as a “rope-holder” and faithfully engage in the prayer support, in many ways you are the most important people, because you are calling on the most important Person. My hope is the 90% of our church will go overseas in the next five years, but there may be a couple that cannot go because of certain circumstances in your lives, remember that you duty is crucial to the mission. Parents and grandparents: pray that God will use you in your children and grandchildren’s lives to point them to the mission field. May God send forth missionaries from our ranks.
B. There must be proclaimers
1. The word used here translated preach means to proclaim or publish publicly, to herald under authority. This doesn’t necessarily mean men in a vocational preaching ministry or even those called to preach. God has ordained a human means to transmit the life-giving gospel. Maybe the only exception is through dreams occasionally are men brought to Christ. But on the norm, if you do not tell them to be saved they cannot. If the gospel message is not spoken to them, they are unable to believe.
3. Illustration: "If God gives me another life, may I give it to him as a missionary." –Samuel Kang, executive head of the Korean World Missions Association. “If I am a Christian, I am not set on saving my own skin, but on seeing that the salvation of God comes through me to others” –Oswald Chambers, Charlie Peace, a criminal in England, on the day he was being taken to his execution, listened to a minister reading from the Word. And when he found out he was reading about heaven and hell, he looked at the preacher and said, "Sir, if I believed what you and the church of God say, and even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that."