Friday, June 2, 2017

Romans 10:14 – 15 How Can a Man be Saved?

Listen to this message here.

Last week ended with verse 13: For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. We discussed a little about who was able to savingly call upon the Lord, but we will see that Paul supplies a better answer than what I provided. He does so by asking 4 more rhetorical questions; questions, the answers to which were so obvious that nobody would misunderstand him.

Romans 10:14-15a (HCSB) But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? Note the progression of these questions. The last question is the beginning point for time-bound humans. Some Christians are called and equipped to preach. All Christians are called and equipped to proclaim the gospel. While people can be brought into the kingdom by reading the Bible (it is the Word which the Holy Spirit attends to, not the human communicator thereof), we who have been bought by the blood of the Lamb are commanded to be His witnesses. We see how this was affected in the early church in the Acts of the Apostles. Those men who had hidden when Jesus was murdered on the cross, as the craven cowards they were, started turning the world upside down with the gospel. Recall Peter’s denial of Christ the night He was killed – three times he vigorously denied knowing who Jesus was. About 45 days later, read Acts chapter 2. Listen to bits of what Peter preached:

Acts 2:22-24 (HCSB) “Men of Israel, listen to these words: This Jesus the Nazarene was a man pointed out to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through Him, just as you yourselves know. Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him. God raised Him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it. Acts 2:32-33 “God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this. Therefore, since He has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you both see and hear. Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah!” Acts 2:37-38 When they heard this, they came under deep conviction and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Brothers, what must we do?”  “Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Take note of the content of Peter’s message. Christ Jesus is the message. He is the promised seed, appointed by God to do wonders (proving Himself as the Messiah); crucified by lawless men – those who thought themselves righteous – according to God’s plan. God does not have a “Plan B” – this event was predetermined by God before He formed the world. This Christ was raised from the dead and approved by God the Father, Who crowned Him Lord and Messiah. Through Him along mercy and grace are available and obtained only by repentance and faith. There’s the gospel – somewhat oriented towards the Jewish people. Something like this, in agreement on the essentials of who Jesus is, what man’s greatest need is, and what Jesus did to solve that problem, is what we have been sent to proclaim to every creature under the sun.