Summary: We must use our feet to meet!
Steps to Salvation
Rev. Brian Bill
Would anyone mind taking off their shoes and showing us their feet? Makes you hesitate, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s because you’ve worn your socks two days in a row or perhaps you’re just not very fond of your feet. Or maybe you suffer from stinky soles. Actually, I’m glad most of you kept your shoes on.
What comes to your mind when you think of “feet”? Go ahead and shout out the words and I’ll put them up on the whiteboard.
[Show GodTube video of “Feet…What Do You Think?”]
Our focus today is on how to have “beautiful feet” from Romans 10:15: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” While you’re turning to Romans 10, didn’t Pastor Jeff preach a super sermon last week? He reminded us that “being good is never good enough because religion is spelled ‘Do’ and Christianity is spelled ‘DONE.’ It is simply trusting in what God has done through Jesus on our behalf. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.”
While this passage is primarily an explanation of why the Jewish people rejected the gospel, we can apply it in a broader sense to our missionary mandate. Let’s look at how we can use our feet to meet people where they are, so we can help them come to Christ. I see six strong statements about salvation in this section of Scripture. In an effort to help us remember the main point of the sermon, let’s say this phrase together: I will use my feet to meet.
1. Salvation is available to everyone (10:13). Let’s pick up where Pastor Jeff left off in verse 13: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” This is a direct quote from Joel 2:32. There are no limitations and no exceptions in this verse. If you live in Livingston County and you want to be saved, call on the name of the Lord. If you live anywhere in the United States, call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved. If you reside on planet earth, the offer of salvation is open to you.
2. The only way to be saved is through the preaching of the gospel (10:14). Look with me at verse 14: “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?” If getting someone saved is the product, let’s look at the process, keeping in mind that Romans 10 highlights human responsibility while Romans 9 emphasizes divine election. Paul is saying that this process took place among the Jewish people so that they are without excuse in their rejection of Christ. This same process takes place among the Gentiles.
Each of these words – preaching, hearing, believing and calling describes a connected chain of events. Let’s take these logical steps in reverse order:
* Preaching. This word does not just refer to what pastors do on a Sunday morning; it actually means to communicate the gospel in a way that someone can understand, which I hope is what we’re doing on Sundays. It’s what you do when you explain how you became a believer to a co-worker. It’s what happens when you communicate Christ to a relative or neighbor. Here’s a startling statement that runs counter-cultural in our pluralistic society: God has ordained that no one can be saved without the preaching of the gospel. To say it another way: The gospel is the divinely-chosen means through which God will bring people to faith in Christ.
When I was on staff at a church in Oak Park I had the privilege of leading a team of ten individuals to Europe. Our task was simple – to encourage four of our missionaries. We started in London, then on to Barcelona and then to Switzerland and finally to Germany. I’ll never forget meeting a single missionary man that our church had supported for decades. His name was Fred Stettler. He was sent out by Calvary Memorial Church and was so committed to preaching the gospel that he never took a furlough or a vacation. It’s almost hard to believe but when he died in 1993 at the age of 91, he had spent 67 years on the mission field – and was supported by Calvary that entire time. I felt so honored and humbled when instead of allowing me to pray for him, he put his hands on my shoulders and prayed for me. Why did Fred go to the field and never come home? Because he understood that God has ordained that nobody can be saved without the preaching of the gospel, and he was going to preach it until God took him to his heavenly home.