Sunday – June 26, 2022
Word On Worship – Sunday – June 26, 2022
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? 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!”
The Old and New Testament Scriptures are clear, salvation will come to anyone, Jew or Gentile, who “WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD.” Many see these verses as a “missionary text.” While missions may be inferred from what Paul is teaching, missions are not the goal. If missions were the goal, we would not be finding questions here but commands. The passage is not a reiteration of the Great Commission, but an explanation for the necessity of the Great Commission.
The gospel begins with sending, then there is proclamation, then there is hearing. This should result in heeding, as one calls upon God for salvation. God is sovereign, able to overrule the laws of natur;, and occasionally He does so. But God usually works through normal processes rather than avoiding them. A process is outlined in Romans 8:28-30; a process is also explained in Romans 9-11. God’s work, as outlined in the Bible, is a process. Why should we expect God to avoid the processes He ordained? God uses messengers to proclaim the good news. He has done this in Israel’s past as recorded in the Old Testament. He has done this in the gospel as well, fulfilling the requirement that the gospel be proclaimed so that men may be held accountable for their unbelief.
Those who proclaim the gospel are, in contemporary language, “beautiful people.” Isaiah says the feet of those who proclaim the gospel are beautiful. The one who receives the gospel as good news gladly receives the messenger as having beautiful feet. As a messenger of the gospel, Paul viewed his task as one of great privilege. So should every other messenger. In order for God to hold men responsible for their response to the gospel, the gospel must be proclaimed, and proclaimers must be sent. This is indeed precisely the case. God has sent forth many messengers. Through them Christ has spoken, and the word concerning salvation through Christ has been proclaimed.
The words of Isaiah predicted this and history has shown this prophecy to have been fulfilled. Just as in Isaiah’s day, however, Israel failed to respond to divine revelation as they should have. Isaiah saw Israel’s rejection of his message as typical of her rejection of God’s Word, conveyed through His messengers throughout their history (“our report”). Faith, then, cannot be exercised apart from the hearing of the Word, the gospel, which is the basis for faith and repentance. And if heeding cannot be expected where hearing has not taken place, let all Israel know that God has sent forth His messengers to proclaim the gospel to His people, Israel.