Preacher: Rev Kevin Kim
Bible Reading: Romans 10: 1-21
Romans 10 begins with Paul’s heartfelt confession that he prays for Israel to be saved. Instead, the Israelites continue to try to be declared righteous by God for their religious law-keeping, despite how they continue to break that law. Paul then shows how necessary it is for him to continue preaching this gospel, regardless of the objections of those who oppose him. As we confess our faith in Christ Jesus as Lord, by telling our own stories of God at work, and living out lives of faithfulness, we are changed. And as we are changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ calls us to share that good news. It’s part of being a follower of Jesus. Whether we share that good news by telling others what God has done for and in us, or by showing God’s love in action, we are the messengers Christ sends to a hurting world. In this sermon, pastor Kevin will explore how we could be ‘beautiful feet’ in our community as we bring the good news to the world – “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Overview of chapter 10 and focuses on the verse 15, which is about these beautiful feet. And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
As we continue our series of the book of Romans, we are looking at chapter 10 this morning. Chapters 9 to 11 focus on Israel; Israel – Past (9), Present (10), Future (11). In chapter 9 Paul shares his heart for Israel, and write about their history, highlighting that S their calling as God’s people was by promise, not parentage. Israel had missed what God was doing among them, trying instead to attain righteousness by keeping the law.
Romans 10 begins with Paul’s heartfelt confession that he prays for Israel to be saved. He is eager for each of his Jewish brothers and sisters to believe in Christ.
Overview of chapter ten is like this – v1 – Paul’s heart that Israel would be saved / v2-13 – Salvation is by faith alone, in Christ alone, v14-15 – The need to share the gospel and v16-21 – The need to hear the gospel.
Paul praises Israel for their enthusiasm for God, though they are ignorant of how to reach God’s righteousness through faith in Christ (Romans 10:1–4).
Instead, the people of Israel continue to try to be declared righteous by God for their religious law-keeping. Paul repeatedly references the Old Testament Scriptures to make his bottom-line case about what is required to be saved (Romans 10:5–8).
Verses 9 and 10 are likely the most quoted verses from this chapter: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Paul spells out that this opportunity to be saved by faith in Jesus is available to everyone, with no distinction between Jews and Gentiles. The Lord is the Lord of all people, and He gives good gifts to all who call on Him. Everyone who calls on Him will be saved. (Romans 10:9–13).
Next, Paul shows how necessary it is for him to continue preaching this gospel, regardless of the objections of those who oppose him. If people must call on the name of Jesus to be saved, they must first believe in Him. Before they can believe, they must hear about Him. In order to hear, someone must preach to them. And before a representative of Christ can preach, he must be sent.
Still, not all have obeyed the gospel. Many people—especially the Jewish people—have not believed in Christ though they have heard the word of Christ. Why is this? Is it because they have not really heard? Paul rejects that idea with a quote S from Psalm 19 (passage). He insists that the gospel of Jesus is reaching the ends of the world (Romans 10:14–17).
If they have heard, then did they not understand? Did the Jewish people truly never comprehend that God intended to welcome all who come to Him by faith? Paul quotes from Moses S to show that they should have heard God’s own words that He would one day make Israel jealous of those who are not nations. Then Paul references God’s words in Isaiah 65 S that He would be found by those who did not look for Him, describing what was happening with the Gentile believers in Jesus.
Still, God waits patiently for Israel with His hands held out to receive them should they turn back to Him (Romans 10:18–21).
BELLS: The five habits of highly missional people – Table (p22)
You all remember five habits of highly missional people – BELLS model. S Sent is ‘the fifth habit’ S. Scripture (v.15) Our English term mission comes from the Latin missio, which means to send or to be ejected or pushed out. The word was almost exclusively used to describe a person who travels overseas attempting to spread Christianity. More recently, we have adopted the term to describe all Christians who attempt to glorify God in their daily lives. If our mission is to alert others to the universal reign of God through Christ, then all believers should see themselves as missionaries.
Again, this doesn’t mean every believer is a gifted evangelist like Paul or Peter. But it does mean that every believer needs to take seriously his or her calling to alert others to God’s reign and rule. S Well then, what does the reign of God look like? S If your life is meant to alert people to his reign, what exactly are you pointing them toward?
First missional priority and sign is Reconciliation – Since reconciliation S between God and humankind is at the heart of Christ’s work on the cross, it makes sense that reconciliation – between God and humankind, between Jew and Gentile, slave and free, black and white and Asian and Hispanic, and so on – should be a core expression of God’s reign and rule.
For this fifth missional habit, we can think about all the ways in any given week you have alerted others (by word or by deed) to the reconciling aspect of God’s reign. You might have done this in your workplace by mediating between colleagues. Or you might have reconciled with a friend or relative from whom you have been estranged.
Second missional priority is Justice – recognize in scripture a call to defend and uphold the dignity and well-being of all persons, especially the poor and powerless. They have seen this as a primary expression of the reign of God, a kingdom in which everyone has enough, and no one is marginalized or disadvantaged. Christian leaders like Martin Luther King and Desmond Tutu have promoted Christian engagement in antipoverty, antiwar, environment and immigration causes.
Today there are all kinds of ways we can be sent to demonstrate this aspect of God’s reign, whether it be eliminating sex trafficking, promoting fair-trade products, campaigning for clean water, or some other specific cause. There are now new movement to encourage Christians to fight homelessness and to foster disadvantaged children. Whether you’re simply donating to a cause, signing an online petition, or opening your home to the poor, you were sent to show justice in your world.
Beauty – “beauty” as a missional priority, people are sometimes surprised. Beauty as an expression of the reign of God? Where else do you often feel closer to God but on a mountaintop or at a beach or in the presence of natural beauty? If beauty is an expression of God’s reign, we need to think about ways to invite our friends to encounter it. Take them hiking. Climb mountains. Walk along beaches. Encounters with true beauty cannot help but make us think of Psalm 8: “When I consider … the work of your fingers, … what is mankind that you are mindful of them?”
Rudolph Otto, a German theologian, listed a number of responses normally associated with an awe-encounter with God. They include a sense of majesty, unapproachability, and a feeling of fascination, including both fear and attraction. Otto also speaks of a feeling that can never be adequately described, only experienced – the feeling that we are important enough to be invited to encounter God, but in its presence, we are overwhelmed and made aware of our smallness. Such experiences of beauty are not only frightening; they are also strangely comforting. We need those experiences. But more than just enjoying natural beauty, he suggests that we should commit ourselves both to creating beautiful music, art, craft and food and to inviting others to join us. Try to find ways to alert others to the universal reign of God through Christ by an observation of his creation and by personally creating expressions of beauty.
Wholeness – In Luke 7, the imprisoned John the Baptist sends his followers to double-check that Jesus really is the Messiah. Jesus’ response to their questioning of his identity is really interesting:
Go back, and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. (Luke 7:22)
In other words, the “credentials” Jesus presented to prove he was the Messiah, were the restoration of broken people. Jesus healed the blind, the lame, the lepers, and the deaf – and even raised the dead – as evidence of God’s kingdom coming in glory. Therefore, it should be reasonable to suggest that S wholeness, the healing of broken people, is primary evidence of that reign today.
Of course, many Christians – doctors, psychologists and counselors, for example – are committed to bringing healing to the lives of others. And I want to encourage these as important expressions of the reign of God. When Christians provide emergency relief to victims of natural disasters, we are showing what the reign of God looks like. When we help to repair a broken marriage, we do the same. When a Christian medical practitioner treats patients with dignity and grace, bringing healing to their bodies, we can clearly see it as mirroring the work of God. But he wants to go further and say that, more than these practical expressions of healing, we should also be praying for supernatural healing in people’s lives. And when we observe supernatural healing, we should keep a record of it in our journals, a reminder to ourselves that our healing work is merely a mirror of the work of the Great Physician.