Saturday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Posted on November 10, 2018 byunder
Scripture: Romans 10:1-21 (NKJV)
10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart ” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:
“Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
19 But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says:
“I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.”
20 But Isaiah is very bold and says:
“I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”
21 But to Israel he says:
“All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
Our lessons this week have brought us full circle, from the preacher to the preacher, and yet it’s never about the preacher himself. It’s about the office of preaching that he carries out in God’s name.
Israel had plenty of preachers. The whole nation was called by the prophets, and then by the Gospel itself when Christ arrived. But few were chosen for eternal life, because they stubbornly resisted the Holy Spirit and didn’t believe the word that was preached to them. Most of the Gentiles also resisted the word of faith, of course, but those who believed only believed after first hearing the word of faith. Not all who are called are chosen. But all of the chosen must be called.
This was all part of God’s decree of election, that He would save people by bringing them to call upon the name of Christ. In other words, He would save them by faith in Christ. And it was also part of God’s decree to bring people to such saving faith by means of the preaching about faith, that is, the preaching about Christ. Of course, there is no preaching without a preacher, so God designed the preaching office for this very purpose, that preachers might be sent out into the world to proclaim the Gospel of peace. In this Gospel God the Holy Spirit is always powerfully working to bring sinners to faith and to preserve believers in the one true faith, that we may confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead.
We pray: O God, we thank You for sending Christ our Savior and for sending out men to preach Him to us, that we, too, may call upon Your name and be saved. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.