Romans 10: 14-15
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (ESV)
The process of preaching (reverse order of the text):
- Christ sends His messengers into the world.
- They preach the Gospel
- People hear the Gospel.
- They who heed the Gospel call on His Name and are saved.
Paul in verse 15 quoted from Isaiah 52:7 where he talks of swift-footed messengers coming with Good News of salvation. Isaiah prophesied having more in mind than just the delivery of the Jews from captivity – it was about the deliverance of humanity from captivity to corruption and sin.
Paul interprets Isaiah’s prophesy as being about pastors who are called to bring the Gospel to lost and broken people. Why are their feet beautiful?
- Because of the Authority they have.
a. They are sent by God Himself and have to speak only what He says.
b. Their authority is increased by the Person they represent, speaking about Jesus – not themselves.
- Because of the Blessings that they announce.
a. The Gospel is glad tidings of good things (KJV) for which we made no contribution.
b. Good News outside of yourself: Salvation in which you are saved from sin, wrath, death, the devil, hell, the world, yourself, circumstance, lies, deception, brokenness, ugliness – restored to beauty and glory.
The Good News is that we may be saved in our bodies and our souls – saved for joy, holiness, fulfilment, and for God – for an endless, abundant life in heaven.
God has done something by which we may be saved, bestowing His riches:
instead of condemning us to hell forever where we belong, God in Christ gives us His riches and bestows them on us.
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the Good News – it’s Christ Himself whom the preacher offers – not just good advice – the great promised Prophet like Moses, the Priest after the order of Melchizedek, the Lamb without blemish, slain before the foundation of the world and the great King on David’s throne. He is the Good News – not just in what He does and what He gives, but in who and what He is. That ought to be enough for us.
- Because of the Need that they address.
Paul’s questions are more than rhetorical questions – it is a passionate appeal to our conscience as Christians, designed to pierce our apathy and awaken us out of carelessness.
Paul is drawing the curtains so that we can see the peoples of the world – lost and ruined, blind and deaf – utterly wretched. What is their position regarding the Gospel and the Saviour? Paul says they have never heard and so have not believed and so cannot call on Him and thus cannot be saved.
Preachers are God’s chosen way in which the lost can be drawn to Christ for salvation – the greatest need that people have.