Romans 10:14-17 (ESV)
For God’s salvation to be realised, the good news of Jesus Christ must first be heard.
Romans 10:14-17 is often used as a basis for the church’s missionary programme, although it speaks primarily to the nation of Israel regarding the topic of salvation. In this passage, through a series of rhetorical questions, Paul reveals a series of events necessary for someone to be saved. The logic of salvation goes like this:
How 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? 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!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Rom 10:14-17)
1. The Means of Salvation: People can only call on the name of Jesus to save them only if they believe He can do so (v14a);
2. The Message of Salvation: One cannot believe in Jesus without hearing about Him (v14b);
3. The Messenger of Salvation: People can hear the good news of Jesus Christ only when someone proclaims it to them (v14B);
4. The Master of Salvation: The good news cannot be proclaimed unless God sends someone to do so (v15).
What biblical principles can we draw from verses 14 and 15, then? For God’s salvation to be realised, the good news of Jesus Christ must first be heard. Then the people are to respond by believing in the name of Jesus, through someone who proclaims to them. Of course, the reality for the Jews and the rest of the world is that not all will believe, as Matthew 7:21-23 and 22:14 starkly remind us.
Finally, the argument to this passage can best be summed up in Romans 10:17. One can come to faith only through hearing the good news and the specific message that must be heard is the Word of Christ, meaning, the good news of Jesus Christ as the crucified and risen Saviour. Church, with that understanding about salvation, may I leave us with some questions to ponder over:
a) Remember when and how the Lord saved you? Who was sent to share the good news with you?
b) Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind one person who needs to be saved?
c) When and how can you share the good news with that person?
Assuming you are struggling with question c), ask yourself below:
d) What’s stopping you from sharing the good news? What will you do? Go back to question c).
Have a blessed week!
By Ps Simon Say