Romans 10:14-17

In Romans 10:14-17 Paul addresses some of the questions around this gift of grace. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?” Those of us who know Jesus are to be messengers of that truth. We need to share our story and make everyone in our patch aware of the gift of salvation Jesus offers to all. “And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?” If not you, then who? If not now, then when? We need to take up the effort to share the greatest gift we have as Christ followers – the answer to world’s sin problem that will lead to eternal death and separation from God. We have the cure and need to share it.

God could have chosen any means for the message of salvation to come, such as angelic messengers or directly working without a human preacher. Nevertheless God’s “normal” way of bringing people to Jesus Christ is through the preaching of the gospel. “And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” We need to be sending people to share the gospel, not only on the other side of the globe, but right down the street. “ As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  It is God’s way to sharing the truth – through those appointed and anointed to carry His Word.

Paul answers a tough question. If salvation is so simple, available to all who trust in the person and work of Jesus, then why does Israel seem to be cast off from God? Because many among them had not believed his report – because they did not trust in God’s word through Isaiah and other messengers of the gospel. Therefore they are not saved. “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” Those chosen by God still have the same sin problem to deal with. They didn’t keep the law and thus need a Savior, but they have refused to believe in Christ.

The formula is quite simple. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Though Israel heard, they did not exercise saving faith in Christ – making them (and us) all the more responsible. Remember that in the first century Paul’s audience only really had hearing as the means to learn about and know Jesus. There were few written items, and certainly no media or Internet to spread the word. While there were people who could read, the ordinary first-century citizen depended rather on being able to hear something. We have far less excuse for not clearly knowing Jesus. There is opportunity to learn about and know Him everywhere we turn, if we only open our eyes, ears and heart to meet Him.

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