May 23, 2004

The Gospel and Beautiful Feet (Rom. 10:14-15)

[Continuing my pastor's series on Romans 9-11, this is last week's sermon, somewhat belated. I'll post today's later this evening, I hope.]

God thinks that the feet of those who carry the Gospel are beautiful. This passage is a series of successions, numerous links in a long chain of logic.

  1. Saving comes after calling. (13)

    Those who are saved must first call - an admission that they need to be saved, from God's judgment and wrath (which is a key theme of Romans' first five chapters). It is also an admission that we can't save ourselves. But everyone who makes the call, gets an answer.

  2. Calling comes after believing. (14)

    There's a logical order to this. To call on the Lord, we must first believe in the Lord.

  3. Believing comes after hearing. (14)

    Compare John 5:24 - those who hear and believe have eternal life.

    But in our world, there are many people - almost a third of the world - who have never heard. It is even possible for them to be "out of sight, out of mind." But they are not out of God's sight and mind. So what happens to those who have hever heard the Gospel? To be called and saved, they must hear.

  4. Hearing comes after telling. (14)

    Someone needs to tell them. This is a challenge to Christians who believe that their lives just speak for themselves. The "preacher" here is a herald: someone who is sent to proclaim an important message. When a king sends a herald with a proclamation, the herald proclaims it. He doesn't just set a good example for the king's subjects to follow.

  5. Telling comes after sending. (15)

    The heralds must be sent.

    The logic of the passage can be summed up like this: For the lost to be saved, the saved must be sent. There are three pastoral implications for this:

    1. We are all sent to reach people.

      John 20:21 says that as the Father sent the Son, so Jesus sends his disciples to tell people. We may be the "beautiful feet" whom God sends to our friends.

    2. We must send some to unreached peoples.

      Many cultures in our world have not yet heard. The Great Commission says to go in to all the world (Matt. 28:19). So for them to hear, we must send some of our own, and we must send some of our best. Like Paul and Barnabas, they should be someone who will be missed at home.

    3. We must support those we send.

      The emphasis of Rom. 10:15 is our sending, not their going. Perhaps this is because most of us aren't goers, but senders. We can support them through prayer, and through finances.