Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ
Romans 10:14-11:12 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? 15 But how are they to preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
16 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
18 But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? On the contrary:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”
19 But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says,
“I will make you jealous with those who are not a nation,
With a foolish nation I will anger you.”
20 And Isaiah is very bold and says,
“I was found by those who did not seek Me,
I revealed Myself to those who did not ask for Me.”
21 But as for Israel, He says, “I have spread out My hands all day long to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
11 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? Far from it! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, since otherwise grace is no longer grace.
7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written:
“God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day.”
9 And David says,
“May their table become a snare and a trap, And a stumbling block and a retribution to them. 10 May their eyes be darkened to see not,
And bend their backs continually.”
11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? Far from it! But by their wrongdoing salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12 Now if their wrongdoing proves to be riches for the world, and their failure, riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!
In Matthew 4:4-14, regarding the time of His return at the end of the age, Jesus says: “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many people. And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.Then they will hand you over to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. And at that time many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold. But the one who endures to the end is the one who will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” In today’s text it says: How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? But how are they to preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? On the contrary: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” In Mark 16:15-18 Jesus says: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” We have been sent to preach the gospel of the kingdom as a testimony to all the nations of the world. Today more than ever, because of the technology that we hold in our hands, we have the ability to reach around the world with the message of the gospel.
Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. In Acts 1:7-8 Jesus says: “It is not for you to know periods of time or appointed times which the Father has set by His own authority; but You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth.” We should not concern ourselves with when Jesus will return. We should only be faithful to be His witnesses; to testify of Him, that the world might hear the word of Christ. In John 12:32 Jesus says: “I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself.” Verse 33 says: He was saying this to indicate what kind of death He was going to die. In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Paul says: When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come as someone superior in speaking ability or wisdom, as I proclaimed to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I also was with you in weakness and fear, and in great trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of mankind, but on the power of God. We don’t need to be trained orators or eloquent speakers. We don’t need to be Biblical scholars. We need only to point people to the cross, where Jesus was lifted up; crucified for our sins. He, Jesus will draw them, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to Himself. So much of the message of the church today focusses on grace. We don’t need to tell people about God’s grace. His grace toward us is revealed in the cross of Christ. Romans 5:8 says: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God’s love and His grace are demonstrated and revealed in the cross, through Christ’s suffering and sacrifice. He died so that we could live by grace.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit. Your grace is not that You accepted our sins, but that while we sinners, Christ died for us. By grace, may I live to testify of Your love. May I point others to the cross, that You would draw them. May the gospel be known in all the world. Amen.