Sermon: Gospel Proclamation and Realities Romans 10:14-21

Gospel Proclamation and Realities

Romans 10:14-21

Truth Taught- The salvation of sinners depends on Gospel proclamation and response

Introduction

Throughout the Book of Romans Paul has shown us the two types of righteousness. The first is man’s righteousness (which is really no righteousness at all) that only leads to destruction. Man’s efforts and hard work in the realm of seeking to achieve his own right standing before God has always and will always fail.

The second type of righteousness comes from Jesus Christ, Himself. This is a perfect God-accepting righteousness because God Himself has accomplished it. It was achieved through an absolutely sinless life, a life that loved God the way God should be loved and a life that loved others they way they too should be loved.   Stellar perfection marks the second type of righteousness and the sinner can receive it by grace through faith.

Last time we saw that the proper type of righteousness comes from Christ through the Word of Faith.

Romans 10:6–10 (ESV)

But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

So, to acquire actual righteousness we must receive it by faith from Christ Himself. Righteousness is given to us when we believe and, as Paul says, call on the name of the Lord.

This next section shows us how this is possible. How do we receive this correct type of righteousness?

Romans 10:14–21 (ESV)

14 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? 15 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!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

       “Their voice has gone out to all the earth,

and their words to the ends of the world.”

19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

       “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;

with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

       “I have been found by those who did not seek me;

I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

  1. Gospel Logic

14 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? 15 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!”

Based on the proven truth that no one can be saved apart from the Gospel (the Word of Faith) it is this message that must be heard, believed and then acted on the Apostle lays out for us a logical imperative of Gospel.

If sinners must believe and call on the name of the Lord to be saved…he begins to show us the importance of evangelism.

In order for anyone to be saved, sinners must call on the name of the Lord. How will they call unless they first believe? We see how belief comes first. This belief is trusting in the facts about the person and work of Jesus Christ on behalf of the sinner.   There is, however, something that takes place before belief and calling upon the name of Christ and that is the sinner must be told the reality of their current state and the facts of the Gospel. In other words, you cannot believe something you’ve never been told about before.

Here the word preacher is a little misleading. The word is Kerysso, which more accurately and more broadly means a herald. This is not limited to preachers. We might use the word witness. This is anyone who shares the Gospel with someone else.

There is clearly a logical progression…

Christ sends proclaimers

Proclaimers proclaim

People hear

People believe

People call

Those who call are saved

What happens when no one proclaims the Gospel? No one hears, no one believes, no one calls and no one is saved.

The challenge is, are we proclaiming/heralding the Gospel? When is the last time you told the Gospel to someone? Have you ever shared the Gospel?

We have no solid excuse for not sharing the Gospel. We might say, well I really don’t know enough Scripture…

Here is an example of a church less than 4 weeks old…

1 Thessalonians 1:8 (ESV)

For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.

You might say I’m afraid to…really? So, let’s say that’s the case. You would rather a person spend eternity in hell just so you don’t have to leave your safety zone?

You may think someone else will do it. What if you’re the last opportunity they have to hear.

You might say…

The bottom line is that if we really believe that the only way the lost will be saved is by hearing the Gospel then we will be engaged in evangelism. If we are not engaged in the command of evangelism then there is something wrong somewhere.

The Thessalonian Church blew the trumpet of evangelism and the Gospel sounded forth from them in an amazing way. This imagery comes from the Book of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 33:1–9 (ESV)

33 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

“So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

Beloved, God has set us as watchmen to trumpet the truth to those who are outside the wall of safety. We are inside the wall, standing, as it were, on top. We can see the fact that sin is an enemy that will consume all who will not listen to the warning. But if we see this and do not warn then their blood will be on our hands.

Not all who hear will believe and call on the name of the Lord.

  1. Israel’s Gospel Rejection

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Here is something we might not expect at first. Notice the pattern is going, telling, hearing and then believing. However, God has shown us even back in Isaiah’s day that the Israelites have someone telling them, they have heard and yet they do not believe.

Paul reminds us that hearing comes first and then believing. They do not believe the Gospel even as far back as Isaiah’s day.

Here, Paul is quoting from Isaiah 53. This is the great Messiah text predicting the suffering of Christ. They didn’t believe the Good News then and Paul is explaining that they do not believe it now.

Isaiah 53:2–7 (ESV)

   For he grew up before him like a young plant,

and like a root out of dry ground;

       he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

and no beauty that we should desire him.

   He was despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

       and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

   Surely he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

       yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted.

   But he was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

       upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his wounds we are healed.

   All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

       and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

   He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,

yet he opened not his mouth;

       like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,

and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

so he opened not his mouth.

The Israelites had heard all about Jesus even in Isaiah’s day. They rejected the Gospel then. They heard the Gospel in Paul’s day and they rejected it then. They continue to hear and continue to reject the Gospel even today.

  1. Perhaps Israel Did Nor Hear?

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

       “Their voice has gone out to all the earth,

and their words to the ends of the world.”

The reality is that they did hear they heard it all. They heard from David the fact that God is revealed in creation. They new about God even in great detail but they suppressed the truth. They heard of the suffering of the Messiah for them and they turned a deaf ear. They had heard from Paul and the others the amazing account of Jesus and they continued to reject the Word of faith that came to them through the proclamation of the apostles.

  1. Perhaps Israel Did Not Understand?

19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

       “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;

with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

It is possible to hear something and not understand it.

What Paul does here is amazing. He explains that there are people who don’t understand. He quotes a passage from

Deuteronomy 32:21 (ESV)

21    They have made me jealous with what is no god;

they have provoked me to anger with their idols.

       So I will make them jealous with those who are no people;

I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

Now, we’re getting to the bottom of it. God is so angry with the Israelites because He had given them everything. He had given them the Scriptures, the prophets, miracles, prophecies, etc. and they had rejected Him at every turn and were way more interested in their idols than the living God. So, God turns them over to their own destruction. Now is the final straw…they reject God’s only Son.

So, God will turn His mercy and grace to a people who formerly had no understanding, namely, the Gentiles.

It’s as if God took the Israelites wasted understanding of the suffering Messiah/Savior and gave it to the Gentiles.

  1. Israel’s Stubborn Rejection

20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

       “I have been found by those who did not seek me;

I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

This is Isaiah 65, where God explains that He will have a people for Himself. He will be worshiped and He will show mercy but not to rebellious Israel.

There comes a point beloved when God turns His back and gives a people over to their own desires. This is why the Jews in Paul’s day and even in ours are rejecting the Savior. God’s judgment has fallen and He is judging a people for their rejection of all He had given them. So, even now when they hear the Gospel and when there should be belief and calling on the name of the Lord there is only rejection and apostasy.

There is good news for Israel, for that we’ll wait for Chapter 11.

Application

For those here who may be lost…

There comes a point when God’s patience runs out. He has been so good to you over the years, much like with Israel, He has cared for you given you good times even a good life and you’ve rebelled and refused to acknowledge Him. You’ve taken from Him perhaps all your life and not acknowledged or even thanked Him. When the day comes that God’s patience runs out and things change you will curse Him.

There is time today. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring but you have been given today. God holds out the Gospel today for you will you not take hold of Christ in faith and repentance?

For those here who are saved…

We have a responsibility to evangelize those around us who need to hear the Gospel. The Gospel the Word of faith is their only hope.

14 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? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent?

Pray that God would send out His people to share the Good News. Pray for boldness as you go in answer to your prayer. If you don’t tell your loved ones and friends who will?

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