The Text

Romans 10:14–21 (CSB)
14 How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher?

15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.

16 But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?

17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

18 But I ask, “Did they not hear?” Yes, they did: Their voice has gone out to the whole earth, and their words to the ends of the world.

19 But I ask, “Did Israel not understand?” First, Moses said, I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that lacks understanding.

20 And Isaiah says boldly, I was found by those who were not looking for me; I revealed myself to those who were not asking for me.

21 But to Israel he says, All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and defiant people.

The Introduction

So those of us who fallen in the trap of dismissing Romans 9-11 as though it was just mean and preached towards the Israelites, we can clearly see just from the context of Scripture and of Romans and Romans 8 leading into 9, 10, 11 is that this is meant for the Christian. For Scripture is divinely inspired by God and is profitable for teaching.

But make no mistake: the Scripture is profitable for teaching not as a self-help, history, science nor even as standalone little verses that have nothing to do with one another but all the Scripture is about Christ. As preachers of old love to say: Old Testament is Christ concealed and the New Testament is Christ revealed.

But why does it seem as though Paul has taking a sharp turn in addressing the Israelites. Remember, just like the Hebrews were written to the Jewish Christians (which in that time was the majority of Christians in comparison to Gentile Christians), Paul was writing this to the Christians im the city of Rome–which again, the vast majority were Jewish and grew up in the Jewish faith.

Paul is writing to this Roman church that Christ is the will of God and the fulfillment of their prophecy and covenant. In other words, all of the OT promises made by God were fulfilled by the revealed Son of God that is Jesus Christ our Lord.

God proclaims: Christ is the will of God fulfilled

But let us go back all the way to the Torah. Up until Deuteronomy, we have clearly seen that, while God did not exclude any Gentile from worshipping and obeying him (Moses' wife and father-in-law), starting with Abraham, he started to form a shape a people for themselves.

Out of all the nations, he would could have chosen some one powerful, with lots of connections, with military might or wealth. But out of Abraham, he chose the opposite.

Deuteronomy 7:6–7 (CSB)
6 For you are a holy people belonging to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be his own possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.

7 “The LORD had his heart set on you and chose you, not because you were more numerous than all peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.

Now why is that important? It was out of this people group that God will fulfill his promise to “crush the head of the serpent” (Genesis 3:15). It was out of this nationality that Mary shall bear a son and they will call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21) Make no mistake, the King of kings and the Lord of lords is the King of Jews because Christ himself is Jewish.

It was the will and the providence of God alone that the Jewish people would be set apart and be the land and the nation that Christ would be revealed.

But to that end, they are not automatically saved. They were born in sin when Adam broke the covenant. But they must put their faith and trust into the Lord Jesus Christ to take a hold of a new covenant. There is not extra covenant–no side covenant with the Jews. Just the one whom the will of God has revealed–the Lord Jesus Christ.

I tell you this for those of us who will dare to explore eschatology–the theology of the end times–be sure that you theology is rock solid and your doctrine is rock solid. That is, that your theology and your doctrine is based and about and through and revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Our God

Now watch this. In this Romans 10 passage, starting at verse 14, let us see how Christ is revealed to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16b)

14 How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher?

God proclaims: Christ is the supreme preacher of God alone

When the world and mankind were right with God, there was no need for the gospel, no need for good news, no need for salvation, because we were once right-standing with God.

The moment that sin entered entered into the world, all of it broke:

Romans 8:19–22 (CSB) For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of him who subjected it—in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.

The moment sin entered into the world, this is what the world felt. These are the words that describe the pain and suffering we instantly entered into it.

Adam and Eve knew the before and after. They knew what it was like to be live carefree and joyful and righteousness. Now they were stricken with a sickness that they can never heal themselves.

How does God respond?

By smite? By justice? By wrath? No! God does not wipe his creation out of existence because the Source of good declares it good.

He brings a new word into our vocabulary: redemption.

Genesis 50:20 (CSB) You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.

We chose to war against God. God does not reverse time and made it like you never did the sin. But rather in the midst of our sin and despair and wickedness, it goes out of his way to show that good triumphs over evil. For:

John 1:5 (CSB) That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.

And he does so not by instantly vanquishing his enemies. That will come in due time. But rather, saving his people from their sins. For:

Genesis 3:15 (CSB) I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.

God does this by preaching the gospel.

Speaking words.

We know that God speaks everything in existence and there is absolute power.

So why is it when we are told that the power of God in salvation is only found in the gospel, then it blows the mind. For:

Romans 1:16 (CSB) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.

And

Matthew 4:4 (CSB) He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

The Scriptures are the mouth of God. The gospel is the power of God in salvation.

What is the primary means of gospel proclaim? Not action. Not doing. Not time travel. Not pretending it never happened.

But preaching the gospel.


15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.

God proclaims: Christ is the sermon of God alone

Preaching is the primary. But if you are out here giving your hot takes, ten ways to counter culture, or 15 ways to live your best life, congratulations you are not preaching.

Your preaching must be about Christ. Even when you preach from the Old Testament–for it is about Christ. You preaching must be a about the Son of God who is God who has completely, perfectly saved us from our sins. If you are a preacher, you must be preach the word of God:

2 Timothy 4:1–5 (CSB) I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of his appearing and his kingdom: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

But look at this verse in Romans 10 quoting Isaiah:

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.

We are not simply commanded to preach the word. We are blessed. Moses simply saw the backside of God’s glory. We get to see the glory of God and seeing him switch people’s hearts out and filling them with his Spirit and watching them observe his statutes and obey his commands. 1

I love how people are quick to say, “God can do anything with what we do and don’t do.” This is true.

But here’s a thought: how about just doing what he commands and commission us to do.

Mark 16:14-15 (CSB) Later he appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw him after he had risen. Then he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.


16 But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?

God proclaims: Christ is the message of God alone

I don’t care what your theology is. Your theology does not include trying to control and manipulate others into believing the gospel of God.

Don’t you know that believing the gospel and having faith in the one that saves is completely, perfectly supernaturally. It is not in your flesh to believe. It is not natural for you to put your trust in God. For:

John 1:12–13 (CSB) But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.

The Gospel

17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

God proclaims: Christ is the gospel of God alone

Christ is the good news. From Genesis 3:15 on, Christ was always the good news.

And we get to see the glory of God in the Son:

John 1:18 (CSB) No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side—he has revealed him.

And

Titus 3:4–5 (CSB) But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ, Son of God who is God, was born of the Virgin Mary, lived and died in our place for our sins not a matter of blind faith or great myth but it is an historical fact. Look it up in the history books. Look at the Romans' historical accounts from this era.

1 Timothy 1:15 (CSB) This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them.


18 But I ask, “Did they not hear?” Yes, they did: Their voice has gone out to the whole earth, and their words to the ends of the world.

God proclaims: Christ is the voice of God alone

There are two types of people on this earth at any given time: those are who have heard the call of God and those who have suppressed the knowledge of God. There is no middle ground. It is either you are saved or your damned. Your good works are hot trash before a holy God. Your church going is not going to save you. Your pastor is not going to save you. Your believing parents cannot save you.

You can only be saved by Jesus Christ. In order to see the kingdom of God, you must be born again. You must be a new creature. You must have a new heart and His Spirit in you.

And you hear this for the first time and you yell back, “How do I receive this great God! I cannot do this! I don’t know how!”

And what does God say?

Ask for him. Call upon his name. You will be saved.

Our Response

19 But I ask, “Did Israel not understand?” First, Moses said, I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that lacks understanding.

20 And Isaiah says boldly, I was found by those who were not looking for me; I revealed myself to those who were not asking for me.

21 But to Israel he says, All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and defiant people.

God proclaims: Christ is the understanding of God alone

God proclaims: Christ is the revelation of God alone

God proclaims: Christ is the obedience of his people to God alone

You today do not have to go the way of the disobedient people before you. I don’t care about how wicked your family might be.

My grandfather left my grandmother and his three boys and adopted baby girl.

Not evil enough for you?

My dad sexual abused me and brother and sisters.

Not wicked enough for you?

I used to deal in pornography. Wholesale.

Let me bare witness to you right now! My grandfather was saved by God! My dad was saved was God! I was saved by God!

And I have two sons. And the men in my family were self-righteous, slothful, wicked, and depraved.

And in the middle of 2022, let me confess my sin to you: I looked at the porn. I could not grieve the loss of my younger brother and I turned to the only thing I thought would comfort me.

I sinned against the Holy God.

And I also sinned the merciful, kindest, most compassionate being who ever exist.

How did God respond? In striking me dead? In his wrath? In his anger and fury?

None of that. What God does only he can do:

He saves my 20 year old son who lives in isolation with no friends.

Then he turns around and saves my 10 year old son who made this proclamation, “I have read the Bible 3 times and I believe every word of it. I need to be baptized now.”

And then the Source of good who only does good gave me the mercy and grace to preach my first sermon ever.

This is our God. This is our Lord. This is the one who is mighty to save.

Praise be his holy name forever.

The Resources

Calvin’s Commentaries.
by John Calvin.
Baker. 2009.
Olive Tree


No Condemnation in Christ Jesus: As Unfolded in the Eighth Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans
by Octavius Winslow.
Banner of Trust. 1991.
Goodreads


Romans: An Expositional Commentary
by R.C. Sproul.
Reformation Trust Publishing. 2019.
Goodreads


The Letter to the Romans (New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT))
by Douglas Moo.
Eerdmans. 1996.
Goodreads


New Testament Commentary: Romans: Chapters 1-16
by William Hendriksen.
Baker. 1992.
Goodreads


Romans
by William S. Plumer.
Kregel. 1993.
Goodreads


Romans: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (The New American Commentary)
by Robert Mounce.
Holmon Reference. 1995.
Goodreads


Romans (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, NT Volume 6)
Edited by Gerald L. Bray.
IVP Academic. 2005.
Goodreads


Commentary on Romans
by Martin Luther.
Kregel. 2003.
Goodreads


  1. Ezekiel 36:24-28 ↩︎