Romans 10:14-17, what does it mean? Devotional Commentary

By Practical Christianity Foundation, (PCF)

Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the preaching of the Word. We read in verses 14 and 15 that preachers must be sent and those who believe can only call upon the name of the Lord after they hear the Word preached. Doesn't sound complicated, does it?

Misunderstandings arise when we react to the text based on our own personal opinions, trying to read into the text issues that are not necessarily addressed by the particular text we might be looking at. Here in Romans chapter ten, Paul is telling the Jews about God's gracious plan of redeeming a people for Himself out of the Gentiles, engaging the Jews as His messengers to take the Gospel to the heathen. But we say, if faith comes by hearing, what about those who haven't had the chance to hear? Granted, the question makes sense to us because it is one of fairness. Where we miss the point is that fairness is not a standard by which God's will, purpose, and actions are subjected to human scrutiny. At best, "fairness" is a standard which moderates human relations. God is neither fair nor unfair. He is Just, Righteous, and Holy, completely different—"other than"—His creation except when Jesus took on a sinless human form to atone for sin according to God's plan of redemption.

Much to our disappointment, verse 16 actually confirms to us that everyone who hears does not necessarily believe. (Yeah, Yeah, it is Isaiah's fault, he didn't have to say that, right? Wrong! It is God's Holy Word.) So Romans 10:14-15 and 17 simply tell us the process by which the Gospel is spread, not who might or might not be saved. As other Scripture verses tell us, faith is the exclusive domain of the Holy Spirit's work of regeneration in the heart of the sinner.

We are troubled because of the passion we feel when we sense we are dutifully called to advance the cause of the Gospel. So, when we read verses which say "whosoever believes", we read into it our own idea that "everyone who hears will believe." When we come across verses which read "whosoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved", we read into it our own opinion that "everyone who hears will call upon His name and be saved." Therefore, driven by our own misguided understanding and untempered passion, we go out to conquer the world for God by any means at our disposal.

Here is the bottomline as God declares it in His Word: Man is a sinner! God redeems or judges as He pleases! And, we have been called to be the Ambassadors of the Gospel!

The Great Commission is about the life we must live in this world as witnesses of our Savior, making disciples and teaching them what He taught us as we live for Him and serve Him until we are called home. Our Lord's Great Commission tells us how we must live as His Ambassadors in this hostile world. So, let us be faithful in living for Christ, and, in loving and serving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, because: Those whom God saves will hear from God by the Holy Spirit and receive salvation regardless of who, what, where, when, how, or why! Those whom God condemns will not respond to the Good News even if they hear the Word and mentally understand the message of the Gospel!

Here at Practical Christianity Foundation we believe that God has mercifully extended His Grace toward us and has given us His living and Holy Word to guide us in our journey in this world. We count it privilege to come alongside you and minister to you through prayer and the sharing of God's living and holy Word. Please contact us if you have any questions concerning your faith and journey as a Christian.

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