Read — Romans 10:11-17
Message Alan Burke
I want to tell you a story, some of you have likely heard this. For a while I had an amplifier that wasn’t working the way it should, it just sat there, I had intended to get the multimeter out and start trying to figure out what was wrong but there was the time aspect and the reality I knew that it was beyond me, I wasn’t going to be able to fix it so it just sat there. A friend called at the house, and in conversation the amplifier came up, he told me about this guy who he knew could fix my amplifier. So what did I do, leave it on the shelf, not working, making me feel wanting because I hadn’t fixed it and didn’t think I could, no I took it to the guy because I believed that he could fix it. I dropped it off in Carrickfergus in the morning and before I got home the phone went to say it was fixed.
But before I could believe that the guy could fix my amp, I had to hear about him! Question time, how can people believe the gospel if they have not heard it?
Turn with me to the book of Romans 10:11-17. Paul after just having argued v11-12 that salvation is for both the Jew and the Gentile, he then in v 13 quotes from Joel 2:32, “for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. Everyone, it doesn’t matter what baggage you have if you call on the name of the Lord you will be saved. Then look what he says, or rather the questions that he asks in v14 “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?“
How can they, how can they , how can they! It is repeated three time here in this verse, how can they!?
Think about what Paul is saying here. For the logic here of Paul is simple, how can they call on Jesus if they have not believed him? And how can they believe him if they haven’t heard of him? That is what Paul is saying, in order for you to believe in Jesus you need to hear about him, it’s obvious, after all how can you believe if you haven’t heard about him and the third question, how can they hear without someone, what are we told, someone preaching to them! No one can call upon the name of a person whom they do not know, no one can call on Christ if they have not been told.
Preaching is the means by which God has ordained that the gospel would be taken out, for we cannot believe unless we hear and how can we hear unless someone preaches the word. It is what Jesus instructed His disciples to do. It doesn’t guarantee the results we may want, it is dependant on the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of individuals. Preaching is the means by which sinners are brought to salvation, and it is not only for unbelievers, it is the means by which God helps his people to grow, to trust, to enable them to live for Him. For us we should all delight in the Lord’s day, The Lord has given us 52 Holy Days a year, 1 in 7, where we are to gather together under a regular diet of the word of God and we are to do the same thing week in week out. 1 Peter 2:2-3 tells us… 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Have you ever met a new born baby, that’s a stupid question, we all have, babies to like 4 things, they fill nappies, they cry, they sleep (well some times), and they crave milk, they want to be fed. The Lord through Peter is telling us, we like newborn babies are to crave pure spiritual milk, crave it, they want that feed and if they don’t get it they are going to make sure you know. What happens if a baby doesn’t crave milk, well they get sick, they get malnourished, they grow week. We are to crave the word of God, want it just like a baby craves milk, just as the milk provides nourishment for the baby so God’s word provides nourishment for us. If you don’t want the word, if you’re not looking for more of it, then you’re going to get sick, malnourished, become week and you need to ask why do you not want it, because you should want more and more of His word, read and especially preached!
Q66 What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’ s glory and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment. (Deut. 5:16, Eph. 6:2–3)