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“The Necessity of Gospel Proclaimer” (Romans 10:13-17)

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“The Necessity of the Gospel Proclaimer”

Romans 10:13-15

Series: United in the Gospel

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

Oftentimes people have great ideas for things that can be done in churches. They may say, “Hey pastor, let’s start a new sports league.” Or, “What if we started a cafe that ministered to the community?” Or, “We should have free breakfast every Sunday.” When I hear these great ideas, my response is often, “I love that idea, who is going to do it?” Usually, things get very quiet at that point. You see, in order for something to be done, somebody has to do it (that’s profound, isn’t it?).

In today’s passage, the apostle Paul is going to discuss the idea that the gospel must be proclaimed in order for people to respond to the gospel.

Today’s sermon is entitled, “The Necessity of the Gospel Proclaimer.” The gospel must be proclaimed in order for people to be saved. That’s what we’ll learn this morning.

Before we go any further, let’s go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to speak to us supernaturally.


In Romans 8, we heard about the amazing saving love of God. In Romans 9, we learned that God is doing something throughout eternity to draw His children to Himself to be saved. In Romans 10, we learned about how people must respond to the gospel message.

That brings us to where we are today.

As we journey through this passage this morning, we’re going to learn four things that lead to some other thing.

First, let us learn that . . .

I. Calling leads to salvation (13)

This first point is a review of where we ended last week. Let’s look at it again. Look at Romans 10:13

“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

As a reminder, this is Paul referring back to a prophecy from the Old Testament book of Joel. This is Joel 2:32.

Paul is saying, as Joel also prophesied, that there is salvation found in Jesus Christ and that salvation comes to anyone and everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus.

So, as we journey through this passage we must establish what the need is. The need is salvation. We must be saved because we need to be cleansed from the curse of sin. We need to be saved from the suffering that awaits us without Jesus. We need to have the wages of sin washed away.

We need help!

Do you remember the Life Alert commercials from the 1990s? The famous line from the commercials is, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” In the commercial, this person is calling out for help. So also, we need major help, so we must call out to God!

We need salvation so we must call upon the name of the Lord. Calling leads to salvation.

Second, . . .

II. Proclaiming leads to hearing (14-15)

We must call out for help, right? Well, how do we call out unless we know that we must call out? That’s the heart of Paul’s next two verses.

Look at Romans 10:14-15:

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.”

Paul paints a picture of a progression that must proceed in order for a person to proclaim that Jesus is Lord. Pay attention; Paul lays it out backward on purpose:

Paul says a person cannot call on Jesus if they have not believed in Jesus.

Paul says that a person cannot believe in Jesus unless they’ve heard about Jesus.

Paul says that a person cannot hear about Jesus unless someone preaches the message.

Finally, Paul says that someone will not preach unless they are sent.

So, this salvation process, on the human side, begins with someone being sent to proclaim the gospel message.

Ok, let’s talk about this a bit. First of all, let’s talk about the word preacher at the end of verse 14.

Preacher in this sense is not simply someone who is a pastor or minister for their job. It is someone who is preaching or proclaiming the message.

So, let’s be clear: this need to proclaim does not only apply to those, like me, who are professional preachers or pastors. It applies to anyone who is sent to proclaim the gospel.

Well, then, the natural question arises: “Who is sent to go preach?”

Well, let the Scriptures be our guide:

Psalm 105:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; proclaim his deeds among the peoples.”

2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us . . .”

Matthew 28:19 says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations . . . ”

Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses . . . ”

Mark 16:15 says, “Then he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”

I could go on. However, here is the point: the Bible is absolutely clear that the people of God, the followers of Jesus, should proclaim the goodness of God, and the love of God, and the grace of God, and the salvation of God that is found in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Listen: you are the proclaimer; you are the preacher; you are the one who holds the message that must be proclaimed, so that it can be heard, so that it can be believed. You are sent!

Paul then offers this beautiful word, taken from the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 52:7: Isaiah prophesies, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.”

Now, feet are not usually beautiful; quite the opposite, in fact. However, Pauls says “feet” are beautiful because our feet take us where we need to go. Church, when you proclaim the gospel message it is a beautiful thing.

The gospel must be proclaimed to be heard. Proclaiming leads to hearing.

Next, . . .

III. Disbelief leads to disobedience (16)

Well, what happens if someone doesn’t believe the gospel? What if they hear the gospel but they reject it?

Paul addresses this issue in verse 16. Paul says, “But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?”

Paul is quoting Isaiah once again and this is from the section of Isaiah that is discussing the Suffering Servant.

Do you know who the prophecies concerning the Suffering Servant are about? They’re about Jesus. Isaiah is asking the Lord, who is going to believe this message about Jesus, the Suffering Servant.

Here, in Paul’s day and time we see that many people did not believe the message of Jesus and about Jesus.

Likewise, many of the Jewish people in Jesus’ day not only rejected Jesus, they condemned Him to death.

So, also, we live in a culture today where many people claim to be Christians or know about Jesus but they don’t actually believe in Jesus.

Even our churches are filled with people who don’t actually believe in the life-transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ and all that Jesus calls us to. We see this reality played out in their lives because they are living in disobedience.

They are disobedient when it comes to loving and forgiving others. They are disobedient when it comes to living a generous and selfless life. They are disobedient when it comes to living holy lives. They are disobedient when it comes to fighting for unity in the church. They are disobedient when it comes to hating arrogance in themselves and others. They are disobedient when it comes to loving the orphan, the widow, and the foreigner. They are disobedient when it comes to pouring out their lives for others.
Why? Because they don’t really believe in the Jesus whom they profess.

The confession may be there but it is not backed by genuine belief.

Disbelief leads to disobedience.

So even though we are sent to proclaim the message, not all will believe. They didn’t all believe in Jesus’ day, they didn’t all believe in Paul’s day, and they won’t all believe in our day either.

Finally, . . .

IV. The message leads to faith (17)

In verse 17, Paul offers a very helpful summary verse. He says, “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.”

So, the message about Jesus, the Word of God, the gospel, is what should be heard and if that is heard and believed, the result is faith.

Remember that this faith also results from one who believes and who experiences the righteousness of God. Rather than shame and sin, we experience forgiveness and newness found in the righteousness of Jesus, the righteousness that doesn’t come from obedience to any kind of law but by faith.

Church, the world needs to hear the message about Jesus. They need to hear the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

They don’t need to hear that they’re a good person deep down inside and everything will be ok. They need to hear that they are wicked inside but a good God can make everything ok.

They don’t need to know that the economy will get better. They need to know that the riches of God await them at their home in heaven, which Jesus has prepared for them.

They don’t need to know that the past president will save them, or the current president will save them, or the next president will save them. They need to know that there is only One Savior and His Name is King Jesus!

They don’t need to know that other people will love and accept them, they need to know that Jesus faced rejection so that they might stand before the throne of God and receive acceptance from the only one who really matters.

They don’t need to know that somehow they can find love, they need to know that love found them and that they can experience the greatest love in all the universe in Jesus.

They don’t need to know that there are pleasures for them to find on this earth, they need to know that Jesus satisfies like no earthly pleasure can ever compare.

What the world needs, what you need, what I need, is the goodness of God that is only found through faith in God, which is only found in the message of Christ!

They need the message! You need the message! I need the message! The message leads to faith, which leads to our bottom line:

Bottom Line: The message about Jesus must be heard.

There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved! It’s only Jesus.

The message of Jesus is more important than the first day of college football season. It’s more important than your IRS tax return. It’s more important than election night results. It’s more important than the news that you’re expecting a baby or a grandbaby. It’s more important than knowing what is in Area 51, whether Elvis is really alive, what happened to Jimmy Hoffa, and who shot JR on Dallas. It’s more important than where you decide to go to college, who you decide to marry, whether or not you’ll get a raise, what car you’ll buy, who will win a war, where you’ll go on vacation, and it’s more important than where you’ll go to lunch today after church.

If someone is to be saved, they must hear the message about Jesus Christ. We must understand the importance of this message of Jesus that leads to faith in Jesus.

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge #1 – Treasure the message about Christ.

Dig into the message of Jesus.

Read the sermon on the mountainside starting in Matthew 5. Read the parables of Jesus.

Read about the life of Jesus by reading the Gospel accounts of Jesus.

Read what has been said about Jesus by those who followed Him by reading the letters in the New Testament.

Understand the message about Jesus and treasure it.

The reality is, church: the message about Christ, if stated accurately, is the same message of Christ Himself. It’s as if Jesus is speaking to you directly. So, treasure this message.

Weekly Challenge #2 – Make it your aim to proclaim.

It should be our goal to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ.

It should be our aim because Jesus commanded us to proclaim His message.

It should be our aim because we love the treasure the message.

Finally, it should be our aim because people cannot believe unless someone proclaims.

“The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time” -Carl F. H. Henry, theologian.
Some of us may be reluctant to proclaim the gospel. We may even be concerned that we’ll mess it up or that we’ll fail. Don’t be afraid to share, be afraid not to share. I’ve heard it said, “The biggest failure in sharing the Gospel is a failure to share the Gospel.”

Don’t fail to share, aim to proclaim.

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER: The text contained in this sermon is solely owned by its author. The reproduction, or distribution of this message, or any portion of it, should include the author’s name. The author intends to provide free resources in order to inspire believers and to assist preachers and teachers in Kingdom work.