The Inseparable Connection Between Preaching and Believing: Romans 10:14-15Sunday, June 19, 2005
This text could probably stand alone as the most prime example of the truth I’m conveying here. Simply quoting the passage should be enough, but I certainly can’t pass up an opportunity to unfold a passage of Scripture!
“How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.’”
The context of Romans 10 is all about the theme we have been working through on Sunday mornings – the righteousness of God. Paul pits the “righteousness that is by the law” in verse 5 against “the righteousness that is by faith” in verse 6. That righteousness that is by faith is the kind of righteousness that confesses with the mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in the heart that God has raised Him from the dead. If you confess and believe you will be saved. How does this come to pass? Faith is so simple, yet it is so difficult. Paul explains, “For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation” (v. 10). The kind of righteousness, therefore, that is acceptable to God is the kind that comes by faith, by believing in our hearts and confessing with our mouths the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (v. 13).
This is where verses 14 and 15 come into play. This faith that is necessary to obtain the righteousness God requires can only come if one hears about it. And the only way one will hear about it is if someone preaches it to them. And the only way one can go to preach it to them is if he is sent to them. It could not be spelled out any clearer for us than it is in verse 17:
“Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ.”
The Greek word for “word” here is rhema (pronounced rey-mah), which often focuses on the spoken word. Thus, the conclusion is that faith comes by hearing the word of Christ spoken verbally. And conversely, unless the word of Christ has been spoken verbally, one cannot come to faith in Christ, nor can he say that he been saved. The preaching of the gospel is necessary to communicate the gospel message through which the faith necessary to be saved will come.
Tomorrow, 1 Thessalonians 2:13...