Romans 10: Faith from Hearing
March 16, 2019
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
What is our responsibility for those who are not saved?
First, we are called to care. How hard is the heart of some of us that we can walk in the streets with the living dead – those who are not saved – and not think or feel anything about their plight? We have an obligation to those who are not yet saved, and that obligation is fueled by a heart for them. A love. A care. A concern. A passionate desire. Paul says, “My heart’s desire and prayer for the Israelites is that they may be saved.”
Second, we are called to pray for them to be saved. I have from time to time heard teaching that says nowhere in the Bible does it explicitly tell us to pray that non-Christians would be saved. But here Paul says, “My heart’s desire and prayer for the Israelites is that they be saved.” Are you praying for your non-Christian friends? Do you have a prayer list of friends for whom you are praying that they might come to Christ?
Third, we are called to clearly understand the gospel that we might rightly communicate it. Paul explains how the Old Testament, as well as the New, points to the gospel and reveals the gospel. “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’” Are you diligently seeking to know the gospel better that you might communicate it clearly and well?
Fourth, we are called to tell other people about the gospel. “How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” It is not enough simply to be a Christian; we must also articulate the Christ that we as Christians believe in. We speak the gospel. How else will someone be saved unless they hear the gospel? And how will they hear the gospel if we do not tell them? Be careful not to escape the logic of this missional syllogism: We Christians must speak of Christ to non-Christians. Each of us.
Fifth, we are called to send people and commission people for gospel work. “And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” Churches have a special responsibility to raise up new generations of preachers, pastors, evangelists and missionaries. Are you doing that? Are you identifying young men of gospel promise and sturdy character whom you can train and then send to preach the gospel?
Sixth, we are called to adorn the gospel and celebrate its loveliness and honor those who give their lives to preaching the gospel. Paul says, “As it is written, ‘how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” It is easy to honor those who give their lives to other more worldly pursuits. But the person who takes the time – in their course of their daily work, at home, at church, on the mission field, whether paid or not – that person who brings good news, that is the person who is beautiful in the eyes of God and must therefore be beautiful in the eyes of God’s people.
Seventh, we are called to be faithful to speaking the gospel even if that gospel is rejected. Perseverance in the face of adversity is hard. Perseverance in the face of barren fruitlessness is impossible were it not for the example of God himself: “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” Be faithful. Do not give up. Keep on going. Do it for the reward in heaven and the pleasure of the gospel itself and its beauty, and the smile of your King Jesus as you serve him.
“Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”
Christian, your job is to tell non-Christians the gospel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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