Based on the sixth characteristic of a healthy church in Take Your Church’s Pulse.
Theme: Every believer is called to tell the good news about Jesus to other people.
Goal: To tell the good news about Jesus to other people.
Need: People need to hear the good news about Jesus.
People of God, everybody needs Jesus. Your friend who thinks it’s nice that Jesus “works” for you needs Jesus. Your family member who thinks there are better things to do needs Jesus. And your neighbor who can’t understand why anyone would still believe in God needs Jesus. Everybody needs Jesus because Jesus is the way to life. There are no other options. It’s either Jesus or death. During Lent we are journeying to the cross with Jesus, and as we journey we remember Jesus’ motivation. What was it that enabled Jesus to endure the cross and scorn its shame? It was “the joy.” He did it “for the joy set before Him.” And as we have seen, that “joy” was people, people of every tribe, language, and nation worshiping before Jesus’ throne. On the cross, Jesus accomplished all that is necessary for salvation for all who believe, but in order to believe, people must hear. And in order for people to hear, we must tell. Jesus did everything necessary and now
He sends us out in the power of His Spirit to accomplish His mission.
He gives us leaders to prepare/equip us, He gives each of us gifts to use in service to the one body of Christ, He gives us resources to be directed toward the passions of His heart, He gives us His Word (both proposition and person), and He sends us out in the power of His Spirit. Jesus did everything necessary to accomplish His mission, and He gives us everything necessary to complete it today.
Every believer is called to tell the good news about Jesus to other people because those who hear the good news about Jesus and believe it are “the joy” that enabled Jesus to do what He did.
(Read Romans 10:1-15)
Every believer is called to tell the good news about Jesus to other people. The good news is that Jesus is the way to life because life is received by placing true faith in Jesus. But before people can believe, they first have to hear the good news about Jesus. The apostle Paul begins this chapter with a prayer.
(Read verse 1)
This was Paul’s greatest desire. What he wanted most in this world was for the Israelites to come to true faith in Jesus so that they might be saved. And because that was his greatest desire he chose to devote his life to that very thing.
Here was Paul’s “m.o.” He would enter a town, go to the synagogue (the place where Israelites/Jews gather for worship), and tell them about Jesus. Most often he was unsuccessful, but Paul never stopped. He always went to the synagogue first.
His desire motivated him to action, and he did what he said he wanted to do most. He wanted the Israelites to be saved, so he told them the good news about Jesus.
But what is the good news about Jesus? How does believing in Jesus lead to life?
(Read verse 4)
This is the bottom line: “Christ is the end of the law.” Christ is salvation for all who believe, and it is explained in the next few verses.
(Read verses 5-10)
The main connection is verse 6a to verses 9-10. This is the righteousness that is by faith. But before we get there, we ought to consider the other verses and where they come from. These are not just extra words Paul is using to build up anticipation before describing the righteousness that is by faith. These words point back to the Old Testament and the words of Moses himself.
(Read Deuteronomy 30:11-14)
But what are the commands Moses is giving?
(Read Deuteronomy 30:6, 16, 19b-20)
“Love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the LORD is your life.” So the call to life Moses gives is about God Himself. He is your life. It’s not about rule-keeping. It’s about God. “Love Him, listen to Him, hold fast to Him, for He is your life.” To quote author and pastor John Piper, “God is the gospel.” He is the good news!
Thus, far from adding words to build suspense, Paul uses these words of Moses to point out that Moses himself taught more than just “rule-keeping.” Moses said “life” was found in God. And Paul says the same thing. Jesus is God. So Jesus is the good news. His life, His death, and His resurrection bring life to all who believe in Him. So that is what Paul does. He invites his hearers to believe.
(Read verses 9-10) = “the righteousness that comes through faith”
Upon reading this, a question automatically pops in our minds. What is the connection with believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth? If I believe, but don’t confess, am I saved? If I don’t believe, but confess, am I justified? To make it simple, let’s look at what Paul says in other places.
(Read Romans 3:21-26)
The bottom line then is that righteousness comes through faith in Jesus. Believing leads to confession, but confession is meaningless without faith. As the Bible says, “without faith it is impossible to please God.”
So the true way to righteousness is not by rule-keeping but by faith.
(Read verses 11-13)
Now comes the critical question for us today. If everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved, then why doesn’t everyone do that? There are many variables in “why” people don’t call on the name of the LORD, but there is one thing you and I can do to remove one of those variables. You see one reason people don’t call on the name of the LORD to be saved is because they have never heard that is what they must do. Too many people have never heard the good news about Jesus.
(Read verses 14-15)
And this is where we come in. The “beautiful feet” do not belong to a select few. It is God’s desire for every believer to tell the good news about Jesus to others. It is God’s job to bring people to Christ, but it is our job to bring Christ to people. How can they call if they have not believed? How can they believe if they have not heard? How can they preach unless they are sent? Evangelistic proclamation is every believer’s job. God is sending us all! So how are we doing in that regard?
Every believer has been called to tell the good news about Jesus to others. It is not just the job of a few specially trained people. The task is too big for a few. It will take everyone, all of us together. It will not always be easy. It will require sacrifice, but it is the “joy” that motivated Jesus to endure the cross and scorn its shame. So it must be our “joy” to join in ... for God’s glory and Christ’s kingdom! Amen.
“The sacrament of evangelism is not about getting a few more notches in our outreach belts, about following a formula. It’s about working with Him, worshiping Him, and knowing Him as we participate with Him in bringing lost, sinful, and hurting people to Himself. The work will go on, with or without you. But if you choose to stand aside, God will still work, but you will be the loser.” –The Sacrament of Evangelism, Jerry Root and Stan Guthrie, p. 17) God will bring people to Christ, so our job is to bring Christ to people.
“How can they call? How can they believe? How can they hear? How can they preach?