Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 10:14
“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?” Romans 10:14
Paul here in this verse is writing to the Church at Rome regarding the Jews and their inability to understand the message of salvation. He declares in an earlier verse, “For I bear them witness that they (the Jews) have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Romans 10:2-4.
The Jews, whose forefathers had received the law from God turned to the law as a basis of their salvation. But the prophet Joel states the following, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.” Joel 2:32. As noted in this verse, it is not the doing of the law but calling out to God. Jesus said it like this, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. But because the Jews held to the law due to the traditions of the leaders and elders, they could not accept Christ as the Messiah because He did not act as they thought the Messiah would.
There were many in the first century that did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. In fact, all the religious practices of that time believed their gods demanded a following of specific rules in order to be saved. It was not just the Jews. However, going back to the Jews, they believed the law was the path to their salvation. So, what is our focus verse saying. To all Christians it is saying the following. First, that how can they call on Jesus if they do not believe? Putting this another way as Albert Barnes so clearly stated, “How could they call on one in whose existence, ability, and willingness to help, they did not believe?” Good question. Then he goes further. And how can they call on someone who they have never heard of. There were many in that day who had never heard of Him. And then lastly, how can they hear of Him if no one tells them?
Paul is calling Christians, then and now, to tell people of the saving knowledge of Jesus, showing that He was the long-awaited Messiah. Quoting Isaiah, he says “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” Isaiah 52:7. Isaiah is saying that God richly approves and is delighted in those who go out and declare the good news of the love of God and His great salvation. In one of Jesus’ last words He says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. He is calling all His disciples to go out and spread the good news. We are the ones who, in our focus verse, are the preachers, the ones He has called to let everyone know who the true God and Savior is. Some are called to go into nations and places far away, others to our neighbors, friends, co-workers and those whom we meet. We must tell them, for if we do not, who will?
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.