As we continue on in the book of Romans, Paul is talking about our salvation in Christ. In my last post we looked at the only way to be saved. That is to believe in Christ and confess with your mouth.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile — the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
He makes it clear that if we follow God’s plan, we’ll never be put to shame. But what if we choose another route? What if I try to be good enough to earn a place in God’s kingdom? Then I’m open to humiliation.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Jew or a Gentile, there’s still only one name that will bring salvation.
…then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
It used to be a generic God. There are even some today who only want to use that term. But, Scripture is clear that only the name of Jesus Christ must be called upon in order to enter salvation.
Paul now asks a series of questions based upon this.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
We know that if you call upon the name of Jesus Christ, you’ll be saved. But, how can you call on someone you don’t believe in? So, belief – faith – is the key. Where does that come from? Paul brings us to the next question.
How can they believe if they don’t hear? So hearing is the key to obtaining a saving faith. This can’t simply be an exercise of your ears. You need to hear, understand and apply what you’re hearing.
In order to inspire faith, the Holy Spirit needs to be active during this interaction. It takes an act of God. That’s why prayer for the lost is so important.
Paul then asks; where does the hearing come from? There needs to be a preacher. It’s important to understand that Paul does not use the word, evangelist, in this verse. Instead, he uses the word herald. That’s someone who announces what’s coming.
There needs to be an anointed message. It can’t simply be a memorized speech. It must cause the listener to stop looking at the temporary, and focus on the eternal.
That’s the way to a person’s heart. That’s where the decision to follow Christ will be made. Paul doesn’t say that we make a choice in our head, and pray a canned prayer. It’s about faith being born in our hearts and overflowing from our mouth.
The message of Jesus Christ is the most important one that any person will ever hear. It must be heralded with the passion that it deserves. The message must come from a changed life. Only then will the hearer be transformed by the faith growing inside them.
In my next post, Ill talk about the person who should give this message.
Question: Who first brought you the message of Jesus Christ?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi