“14How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’ 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
“18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: ‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”19 But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: ‘I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.’ 20 But Isaiah is very bold and says: ‘I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.’ 21 But to Israel he says: ‘All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.’”
The Gospel is precious. It is all we have from the Lord, through Jesus, to be saved. Without it, we are all doomed and this is why there are so many counterfeit gospels. Satan has confused so many and polluted the plain and simple truth. Take, for example, the first sin of man in Genesis 3. Adam was given a simple directive. The Law, at that time, was one instruction – simply don’t eat from this particular tree. In the account, Satan calls into question God’s character, that He was holding out on them and they could chart their own destiny. They did not need God; they could be their own gods. They could do it without God. Look at where we have come in a short 6,000 years. I wonder what it was like the first time Adam and Eve said hateful words to each other or went to bed angry. What was it like to witness death for the first time, see a son murdered and suffer loss?
Satan always promises more than he can deliver, and God always delivers more than He promises.
We are in the same boat today. We have the simple and plain Gospel. Jesus paid it all! He is the author and finisher of our faith and there is nothing you can do other than humble yourselves, submit and trust in the work He has already completed for you. The Apostle Paul puts it this way, as he was led to write by the Holy Spirit in Ephesian 2: 8-10,
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
We are saved by grace, only through faith that is given to us by God. We do not need to do works to be saved or to stay saved. We have no reason to boast, as we have no righteousness of our own. Once we have been saved, we are able to do ‘good works,’ not for salvation but as a result of salvation. All good works before salvation is of no value. Today we will look at a couple of points from the last part of Romans 10.
- Beautiful Feet, verses 14-16
We often take feet for granted until they hurt. Anyone who has stubbed a toe or broken an ankle will attest to how useful our feet are. Some have fallen arches that hurt, and some have put on too much weight for their feet and they live in pain. Some people have hard-calloused feet that seem to defy any kind of pain. Others have delicate and sensitive feet that makes even a grain of sand in a shoe bothersome.
In Romans 10:14-16, we are told that those who carry the Gospel have beautiful feet. When I first got into the Missionary Baptist churches as a teenage boy, I saw firsthand the emphasis on sharing the Gospel. Not to say that I did not see it in my church growing up in Barbados, but I guess as a teenager I was better able to understand my responsibility for the Gospel and for others. The Great Commission, as it is often called, is found in Matthew 28: 18-20,
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”
These were Jesus’ final words to the church there in Jerusalem. This command is repeated in different ways in Luke, Acts and other places, but the idea is that they, the persons He was addressing, were to carry the Gospel, the Good News, to everyone. In verse 19, we see the word ‘Go,’ and we often leave this to the professional Gospel carrier – the Pastors and the Missionaries. But a better rendering of the word ‘Go’ would be ‘as you are going.’ This is a command to any and all the saved. As we are going about our daily lives, we should be sharing the Good News of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, thus giving people the chance to be saved and become Jesus’ disciples. Are you and I doing that?
When was the last time you shared the Gospel with someone? When was the last time you had a conversation about the Lord’s work in your life with someone who was not a Christian?
Let me ask a more basic question. Would you be able to walk someone through the Bible, show them their need for Jesus and then provide the way to be saved and become a disciple of Jesus? We take these things for granted, yet the vast majority of Christians today are not equipped to lead someone to Jesus, so let me help you. I had to learn this stuff in Evangelism class in seminary; our class consisted of some classroom work, but we spent hours knocking on doors and asking people if they knew Jesus as Saviour? Let me offer this as well. Once you know this stuff, you are responsible to God for it, and I promise you God will send you persons who need to hear the Gospel. God has people who are seeking right now, and He will send you seekers for you to show the way.
The Need: We are all sinners. Begin reading in Romans 3:10-18, 23 and you should memorize 3:10 and 23. You will see that there is none righteous – not one. All people on earth are sinners and this is the thing that separates them from God. Sin means to ‘miss the mark.’ Think about shooting an arrow and missing the bullseye. God is the bullseye. No matter how perfect we try to be, we always miss God’s standard of perfection because we are sinners. In verse 23, we see that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s perfection. As sinners, we deserve death. Romans 6:23 states that the wages of sin is death. Read the rest and memorize this verse as well. There is death in the world because of sin. Look at Genesis 3:21. God made coats of skin after man sinned. An animal or animals had to die to make coats of skin. Sin brings death, not just to man but to the whole of God’s creation. We taint everything we touch.
The Solution: God sent Jesus. Romans 5:1-8 states that we are justified in Jesus by God. This means we are declared righteous by God in Jesus. God provided a way of salvation because He loves us. Memorize Romans 5:8. God commendeth or showed His love for us in that while we yet were sinners, Christ died for us. God made a way for man to be saved, to be redeemed and to be reconciled to Him. Jesus is the Way. Memorize John 14:6. Read and know John 3:16-18.
The Plan: One has to acknowledge their sinfulness and put faith in Jesus and His work only to be saved. Read and memorize Romans 10:9-10. Read Luke 23: 40-43 and notice one of the thieves on the cross admitted his sinfulness in verse 41 and then cried out to Jesus in verse 42. He is assured of salvation in verse 43. What is of great importance here is that Jesus does not stop proceeding to baptize the man. Salvation is not through works – not even the work of salvation. It is a gift from God, when one repents, to agree with God that you are a sinner and ask God to save you. He will do so every single time.
The Promise: Once you are saved it is forever. Read and know John 3:16. But Romans 8:1 is also important. There is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. There is no judgment, no punishment and no Hell. You have been declared righteous in Romans 5:1. In Jesus, and you are no longer under the wrath of God but a part of His family for eternity. The next step is to be properly baptized, by immersion, at a scriptural church that teaches the truth of God, and then you are to learn and repeat. That means that, as you are learning and living life, you are to be making disciples. This is how one gets beautiful feet.
- Not everyone will hear, verse 17-21
No one likes rejection, but that is the nature of the Gospel. You should be mentally, physically and spiritually prepared for rejection. They rejected Jesus and they will often reject you. No one wants to hear that they are sinners and condemned to death before a Holy God. The Holy Spirit will lead you to people and people to you. Some will hear and accept gladly. Many others will reject the message and maybe hate you. They hated Jesus; they will hate you. We live in a time when people have been conditioned to believe that they do not have to answer to anyone and, as such, they think that there is no God to answer to. The Holy Spirit has to be the one to change them, not you.
Remember that they are rejecting God, not you. Don’t get mad. Rather, pray for them and ask God to open their eyes through His Holy Spirit so that they can see. In this passage, here in Romans 10, we are told that Israel is blind for a while, until our time (the time of the Gentiles) is finished. Some people will eventually see their need for Jesus, but there are many that won’t. They will choose Hell and reject Heaven. In the parable of the sower, in Matthew 13:1-23, the sower only had power over how much seed he sowed. Once the seed left his hand, everything else was out of his hands. As you are going, share the Good News of Jesus. This is all you have control over once the Gospel leaves you. After that, another has control over what happens.
It is hard to see people reject Jesus. I once had a client tell me that she may have been a Christian if she had met me earlier in life, but that she has been an atheist too long to change. I was able to give her daughter a copy of The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. I don’t know if she read it, but I gave her the Good News from a man who used to be an atheist. The good news for Israel is that one day soon God will return to dealing with them as a nation and they will get a chance to see Jesus face-to-face once again. One day soon, all those who rejected Jesus will humble themselves and address Him as Lord. One day soon, all those who accepted Jesus will see Him in His glory and we will rejoice with the billions of saved. We will shout enough to drown out the angels singing – the sound of the redeemed, the rejoicing of the saved, the adoration of a thankful multitude and the eternal service of a reconciled people.
Oh, what a day that will be when my Jesus returns! I shall look upon His face; the one who saved me by his grace. What a glorious day that will be! What a great song!
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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