Besides Jesus and Peter, Paul is one of the most influential people in the New Testament. He is looked on as a great example of a pastor, missionary, scholar, and leader. Today is a great example of why he is so esteemed. Paul, like us, is not perfect and needs Jesus just like we do, but even in his imperfection, his example of how he loves and follows Jesus should encourage us to do the same. We see a great example of why in Romans 10.
- Paul’s heart for those who don’t know Christ (v. 1-4). At the end of chapter 9, Paul is discussing the unbelief of the Jews. In verse 1 of chapter 10, we see a glimpse of Paul’s heart for them: “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” Paul has a sincere desire to see people come to know Christ. Check your heart: would you say you have a similar zeal to see people come to know Christ? When is the last time you shared the gospel with someone or prayed for an opportunity to do so? There’s a good chance that your lack of gospel conversations come from a lack of desire to see people come to know Christ.
- How people come to know Christ (v. 5-13). Paul then goes on to explain and clarify how people come to know Christ. Someone is saved through: (1) confessing that Jesus is Lord (aka that Jesus is God) (v. 9a), (2) believing in your heart that he was resurrected (v. 9b), and (3) calling on the name of the Lord (v. 13).
- Paul’s passion to actually reach people with the gospel (v. 14-21). Paul builds on verse 13 by helping us realize that the way people hear and believe the message of the gospel (v. 5-13) is through someone taking it to them!
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? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (v. 14-15)
Paul has a heart for people who don’t know Christ that is shown by his zeal to take the gospel to them. If we have been saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, then the natural result of that is to see people who don’t know Jesus come to know Him. To not have this desire could point to a lack of understanding and/or appreciation for the gospel. Does your understanding of grace and reaction to grace lead you to desire others to know God’s grace? If it doesn’t this is a great time to beg God to change your heart.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice