At Trinity Church, we’ve been going through a series called “Moving Forward”, looking at some of the things we believe God has called us to be as a church. We believe we are called to be gospel-focussed, transformational, multigenerational, multicultural, releasing, and a church that plants churches. Here is a condensed version of the message that Dwayne preached a few weeks ago about being gospel focussed.
But how are they to call on One in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in One whose voice they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? – ROMANS 10:14 (WEY)
Paul has just finished explaining the simplicity of the gospel in verses 8-13. He is speaking about the incomparable grace of God which has saved all who believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of their life! But what of those who have never heard?
Although there are supernatural visitations of Christ, angelic visitations and other miraculous and spectacular experiences of salvation, they account for few salvations.
The eternal fate of the majority of non-believers turns on the three elements found in verse 14:
1) … how are they to call on One in whom they have not believed?
Non-believers do not believe in Jesus Christ! If he/she does not believe, they have no understanding or recollection to call out to Jesus in their time of need.
If one does not believe, they won’t call out—nor can they—for they do not know of the One who saves to the uttermost.
On the other hand, if an individual has heard that Jesus loves them, died for them, and is able and willing to hear them in their time of need, they may see the bridge of faith available to them, in Christ.
Several years ago, our family was subjected to a rail car spill of anhydrous ammonia. This occurred on a cold winter night with potentially deadly consequences. In the process of escaping to higher ground, our two younger children and I were separated from my wife and older son. They were lost and bumping into parked cars as they made their way up. Our son was not following Christ. Anticipating death he called out, asking that his life would be spared. His, and all our lives were spared. The point is that he believed in the One. That He could spare him from death. He had heard of the One to call upon.
Non-believers who have never heard of Christ have never been able to believe on Him for salvation.
2) … how are they to believe in One whose voice they have never heard?
Non-believers need interaction and communication with Jesus to recognize that He is the answer for their present and eternal need.
God desires to conform believers to the image of Christ. As we desire this and are changed, we become much more than His hands and feet, we become the voice of Jesus in all our interactions.
It is often said that we may be the only bible non-believers read. I find this quaint and lacking in substance. This verse encourages us that in our interaction with non-believers, we (being transformed into the image of Christ) will be a voice they can believe. His voice of truth and love. The voice that is believable.
3) … how are they to hear without a preacher?
Unless we interact with non-believers, seeking to love them well, there is no hearing of His voice. We are too aloof, too far away. How can they hear?
When we say “preacher” most people equate it to speaking from a pulpit. Perhaps we think of well-known gospel speakers like Spurgeon, Graham, Myers, Pratney, Wilkerson, White, etc., BUT never ourself. The word “preacher” has been elevated to an office in the church, which was never intended.
The word translated as “preacher” is used to describe one sent with authority to function as a spokesperson or diplomat of the one who sends. This includes you and me, from the moment we accepted Jesus as our personal Saviour and Lord.
The truth is that the Holy Spirit is looking and searching for those who are willing to be sent. If we are willing to be sent, He will indicate where and how we are to display Christ to a lost and dying person.
We could close by considering the following personal questions:
- In my daily life, who do I call out to?
- Do I believe my voice?
- Am I willing to be sent today?
I encourage all readers to be attentive over these next few weeks. Ask these questions in your own time of prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to send you. Be instant in believing the one you have heard. Learn of His ways as to preaching the gospel! He is faithful.