By Michelle Richardson
Romans 10:13-15, 17
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 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!”… So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.
In this time period, Jews had been taken over by the Roman empire. Paul’s warm affection for his people and earnest desire for their salvation is clearly evident throughout the book of Romans. Paul was unable to visit them at this time, yet he was dedicated to encouraging his people and spreading the gospel, as best he could, through letters.
In verse 12, Paul says “the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on him.” God is equally rich. To ALL… everyone. Rich in what? Anything that may be needed to give salvation and cover sin. Many Jews were still struggling with a works-based faith, pursuing Moses’ law instead of understanding the true way of becoming righteous: submitting to God’s righteousness through faith in Christ alone. This had made them pompous, thinking they were higher than Gentiles. It was difficult for them to believe that the same salvation could be extended to someone else. Yes, Israel was God’s chosen people, but His intent for salvation went beyond the Jews, and I think this so beautifully expresses God’s heart to graft everyone who calls upon His name into His family.
Paul clearly states God’s salvation is for anyone who calls on the name of the Lord. “Call” does not simply mean call out God’s name. It means calling on Him for salvation, mercy, forgiveness, grace, etc. John MacArthur states it is “the idea of worshiping the true God with a true heart…all that He is, all that He’s done, and all that He claims to be. It’s an act of faith.”
What steps are necessary before someone can call on the name of the Lord? Verses 14-15 say in order for one to call on God in repentance, he must believe the truth, and before he can believe, he must hear the truth. In order for him to hear the truth, someone has to proclaim the Word of Christ. “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Preaching does not specifically apply to pastors who are called to preach to a specific congregation, but a herald of good news. Therefore Paul references Isaiah 52:7, which states “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” Isaiah was referencing the news that Babylonian captivity was over for the Jews. They were being freed from the hands of the Babylonians and were about to return home. But Isaiah wasn’t just talking about the Israelites’ current deliverance from captivity; he was also pointing to Christ who would later bring true redemption, and redemption was coming for more than just Israel!
Notice that Romans and Isaiah don’t say “how beautiful are the ‘lips’ who bring good news.” Hmm, that would make more sense, right? But it says “feet.” Feet are something not usually characterized as beautiful, but they are magnificent when they are running in haste to share great news of freedom and deliverance in a desperate situation. We as believers are to be the ones running with urgency to share the gospel far and wide!
Paul had a genuine love for his people. He prayed for them constantly and wrote letters of encouragement and guidance. Do we, as a church, have this same desire for those outside of our immediate families? Paul reminds us that God is sovereign, and only He can turn hearts toward Himself, but that doesn’t negate our responsibility to be the feet that go and share His Good News. In Romans 1 Paul says he is “under obligation” and is “eager” to preach the gospel to others. He knows how amazing the gospel is, as it has transformed his own life, and that drives him to share the same gospel with others.
- Make a commitment to pray for others outside of your own circle, such as missionaries, government officials who don’t know Christ, unreached people groups, etc.
- Pray that God will open your eyes to someone in your community who doesn’t know Christ (maybe a co-worker, a neighbor, employee of a restaurant you frequent), and give you boldness to share the gospel next time you see them. Begin praying now, while we are in isolation, for God to soften their hearts and that they will be receptive to your future conversation(s).
- Call friends/family and tell them how God is working in your own life. Ask them how you can pray for them. Then follow up periodically to encourage and share praises with them.
- If you are not a believer, call out to God for salvation, and share that decision with someone else. Ask God to help you understand the weight of your sin, so you can repent and walk in His grace.
- A lot of us have extra time these days. Use it wisely to get into God’s Word. Pray that God will reveal Himself to you more and more as you read it, and that His truth will drive out feelings of worry, fear, sadness, or defeat, and replace those feelings with peace and purpose.
Father, thank You for Your mercy and Your grace. As we get into Your Word, help us to understand who You are and what You’ve done in our lives. Thank you for sending preachers who delivered the gospel to our ears and brought us to belief. We pray that Your Truth now drives us to share it eagerly with others.