Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

Hearing Is Not Enough (Romans 10:14-21)


Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Let's remain standing and hear God's word now from Romans ten, Romans Chapter Ten, I'm going to be I'm reading from verse ten through the end of the chapter, but focusing a particularly on the last several verses, fourteen through the end. So we're starting our reading this morning from Romans Chapter Ten, verse ten. This is God's word, for with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame, for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, will they call on him and 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? But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord who has believed what he has heard from us. So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed, they have, for their voice has gone out to all the earth and their words to the ends of the world. But I ask, did is real not understand? First Moses says, I will make you a jealous I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation with a foolish nation. I will make you angry. Then Isaiah is so bold to say, I have been found by those who did not seek me. I have shown myselves or shown myself to those who did not ask for me. But of Israel, he says, all day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people. You may be seated. We have here in God's word, a message of Hope, a message that tells us of the good news of Jesus and how it goes out into the world. But it's also a passage that is a message of warning. We have heard the Gospel and we've heard that it goes out and by the power of God and unto salvation. But there's a truth, another truth that must also be admitted, and it is the focus of the last part of this chapter, and it's this. Not all who here believe. It's true. Isn't it not all who here believe? Before we discuss this and think about it from God's word, let me just ask you a question as we prepare our minds. Why do we have to talk about this? Why do we have to talk about this particular fact that not all who here believe, even if we grant its truth, which of course we must, from both scripture and observation? Why do we have to talk...

...about it? Why dwell on such a thing as the evil in men when we could be considering and focusing instead on the goodness of God? Well, there's several reasons. One is that it's not up for us to decide what's in and out of God's word. This is always an important point and something to remember. It's one of the reasons I preach just verse by verse, passage by passage, so that I don't get caught up on the places that I'm afraid to preach or the things that I particularly love to preach, but that you hear all of God's word from beginning to end. And that's true not only for the preaching, but for the reading and hearing of God's word. We don't decide what belongs and what doesn't belong. If it's God's word, it's God's word and it's for us all and it's for our benefit. A second reason we have to consider this fact that not all who hear the Gospel believe the Gospel is that it reminds us that we have an obligation, an opportunity to snatch people out of the fire. How can we do such a thing? How can we talk to people with urgency about the need to hear, the need to believe, unless we have a certain urgency about it, unless we understand and cant and communicate that to them? We have to be able to speak truthfully about the heat of the fire, about the nearness of the danger, if we are going to speak truthfully about the Gospel. Another reason is that speaking truthfully about the reality of unbelief may very well open doors. On Open door is for prayer and confession in our hearts. It's, of course, my hope that all of you here believe and trust in the gospel of Jesus Christ, but statistics tell us, and experience as a guide, that that's not always true, that not all believe, and Paul says that here and he quotes Isaiah the same. And so I preach these things this morning from the word of God and I ask you to consider them in your hearts so that if you don't believe, you might repent, that you might call on the name of the Lord and be saved. So let's consider it. First, consider what it is that is being rejected when the word is rejected. This whole passage starts with this meditation on the salvation that God brings into the world, or rather how he brings it into the world, and it's based on this understanding that everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame, as Paul says in verse eleven or verse thirteen, this inclusiveness of the Gospel message that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, or verse twelve. There's no distinction Jew non Jew or Jew and Greek. The that for the same Lord is Lord over all. That's what is being discussed here. That's what's being pointed out. It shows us, this passage shows us how the confession of repentance and faith comes comes to us, this confession that we confess that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, that the Lord is the one who's been raised from the dead, that the Lord is the One Who bestows riches on those who call on him. This confession is a good confession, it is a saving confession. But Paul also talks about how it is that it comes to us, how this confession that comes into our mouths comes into our...

...mouths, how that happens, and this is what we focused on last time. God sends preachers so that people would hear and that in hearing they would believe and in believing they would call and be saved, so that, in seeing their sins and seeing his righteousness, they would obtain the faith that is or the righteousness that is by faith. What is it that we receive, Paul says? He says that the Lord bestows his riches on all who call on him. That's what we get when we get salvation. It's another way of putting it. Think about that for a moment as a way to consider what it is that's being rejected when someone says I don't believe. As a summary of the benefits that come to us when we believe in Christ, God says that the same Lord who is Lord of them all is the one who is bestowing his riches on all who call on them. Let me just ask you a question as a way to impress this on your hearts. Have you ever wished that someone would bestow riches on you? That's a pretty a lofty thing to ask or even to wish. I had a friend in college who was kind of into sports, and basketball in particular, and he would look at these salaries and I remember him saying sometimes of these sports players, if you would just give me a thousand dollars, that'd be so helpful to me, and he could spare it, you know, thinking of no one in particular, but just very wealthy people. My friend woulds have thousand bucks. That would make such a difference to me right now. Maybe you've had similar thoughts, maybe not of sports people but of friends or family, but if I could just have a little bit, a little bit extra, that would make such a difference. What about bestowing riches? Bestowing riches this is not helping out, it's not a bump, it's not birthday money in a card. Bestowing riches is a phrase that speaks to a kind of life changing event. I have something great now that I once didn't have, and that's what the Lord offers to those who call on him, to those who believe. Let's talk about specifics, just from the book of Romans. What kinds of riches does God bestow on those who put their faith in Christ? Well, he Paul quotes David in Romans for seven eight and says blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Well, that's not money, is it? But sure is better than money to be forgiven of your lawless deeds, to not have to be held to account for the things that you've done. Following from that, Paul says in Romans five one that we have peace with God instead of standing before God is those who are lawless and deserving of his wrath and condemnation. He says that God bestows on us in Christ peace. Isn't it nice to be at peace with your family or with your friends or work? We're talking about peace with God, he says in Romans he said goes on to say in that same chapter that we belonged to a family of faith. Abraham was promised to become air of the world, a father of many nations. When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are brought in to Abraham's family and all the blessings that God promised him belong to... We become part of a community, a people. In Romans Five, God speaks about his love being poured into our hearts, the love of God. Isn't it good to be loved, the love of God poured into our hearts? Not only the love of God poured into our hearts, but the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, he says, the love of God is poured into our hearts, the Holy Spirit, who has been given to you. God has given to us himself. He has given to us himself, the Holy Spirit living and dwelling within us, making us holy, conforming us away from the lawless deeds to the image of Christ. Well, this righteousness that we have in Jesus, the justification that we have, the growing sanctification, all leads to glorification, The resurrection of our bodies, life, everlasting future glory. Paul says in Romans eight hundred and eighteen, a glorious new world we will be given and belong to, a new heaven and a new earth that Isaiah and Isaiah sixty seventeen speaks about is so wonderful that the remembrance of the former things won't even have it. The former things shall not be remembered, they shall not come to mind. The sadness, the sorrow, the shame, the guilt, the humiliation, the brokenness, the disease, the trials. What do you remember it? Because life will be so good. Scripture talks about this in various places, but you are starting to get the picture right. When the God says that He bestows riches on all who call on him, we are talking about a powerful, everlasting and very, very happy salvation. This is what God brings into the world in sending his son, who is a sacrifice for our sins, a giver of Righteousness, a guarantee of resurrection and eternal life. It's a powerful and happy Good News, a Gospel message that God continues to send into the world through the preaching of the word. But now we must speak of difficult things, of sad things. We must confess as true what Paul says, this apostle of God and Messenger sent from him, what he says in Verse Sixteen. They have not all obeyed the Gospel. He makes this point right. The Gospel is sent out through preaching for the sake of hearing, but though many here, not all believe or, as he puts it here, obey the Gospel. Using this phrase, obey the Gospel, he doesn't Mean to say that the Gospel is somehow some kind of work that we do to gain a righteous the standing before God, but it's a message that we submit to. It's that kind of obedience. It's the obedience of faith. You could put it this way. If a lawyer comes into your family after a wrench a rich uncle dies, it's always an uncle. I suppose it could be an aunt, family member dies, comes into the room and the lawyer reads to you and says this is your inheritance. To access it, here are the... account numbers and whatever else. I've not gone through this, but they give you the information. They say here's the gift. receive it. Okay, but then you, let's say, in your unbelief and not trusting this message, you walk out. You say that's a lie. I don't I don't believe it, I don't want it, it's not for me. Of course, I suppose that would be your right. I'm you are given this freedom to take it or to leave it, but you haven't obeyed the message. In a sense, you haven't submitted yourself to it. You haven't said that's true, I trust in it and I will believe it. Instead, you've acted in a way that says that's not true, or I don't want it, I'm not going to submit myself to it. In faith, and that's what Paul has in mind here. He's talking about faith right, believing, calling believing, believing over and over it again. He's talking about this, and that's what he has in mind here. Not Everyone who hears submits them self in in the obedience of faith. They don't react properly. Some, even many, refuse to submit their hearts to good news and, instead of receiving the blessings through faith, reject the blessings and say no. Now Paul speaks, is one, and he speaks for the Lord. Is Not the first one to experience this. In fact, he quotes Isaiah. Then, in also verse sixteen, he says, but they have not all bade obeyed the Gospel. For Isaiah says Lord, who have believed what he has heard from us? This quote comes from Isaiah fifty three. One which is significant because this is one of the great chapters that we call about the suffering servant, these great messianic chapters that speak to us of the Christ, of the anointed one who would come to save and reconcile and bring the peace and riches that we've discussed. But Isaiah says, Isaiah says Lord who has believed what he has heard from us. Isaiah recognizes what Paul recognizes, that this message goes out and not all here or not all believe. Rather, because Paul goes on to say in verse eighteen, making this point, have they not heard? Indeed they have. Their voice is gone out into the world and their words to the end of the earth. This is a quote that comes from Psalm Nineteen, that is about the heavens and the stars declaring to all the world the glory of God and his handiwork in creation. What Paul's essentially doing, then, here is he saying justice, the Voice of the Heavens has gone out into the world. So has the preaching of the Gospel. So if you imagine this link of this, if you imagine the way that the word of Christ comes into the world, kind of like a plumbing system, right there all these different connections, at points at which the thing is put together, sending, preaching, hearing, believing, calling each part jointed together, fitted together. Where's the leak right? Where's the leak happening? Paul asked this in verse eighteen. Is it because they didn't hear? Is that where the leak is? Is that why they aren't obeying The Gospel? And he says no, that's not it. Indeed they have. They've heard that parts working. Indeed, their voice is gone out into all the world, or in all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Well, how about understanding? Is that the problem? Did they hear but not understand? Well, he goes on to say, speaking...

...of Israel and particular, no, they understood. In fact, Moses says prophetically, I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation, and with a foolish nation, I will make you angry. What an example of that. Think about Jonah. Think about God's mercy and salvation being poured out on the pagan city of Nineveh and Jonah being mad, really really mad at about it. Jonah understood and he Jonah understood the repentance and mercy that are the mercy that God would give when people repent of their sins. It wasn't a problem with the understanding. The problem was with, in his own heart, receiving and believing and trusting God for that himself. No, I'm not saying Jonah wasn't saved or was, or anything like that. I'm just saying, at least at that moment, Jonah had a very serious problem with believing the Gospel. He understood it, he even spoken, he was the preacher himself, he was sent, he was preached or he preached. They heard, they understand and they called out to the Lord, but Jonah didn't. Instead, Jonah was jealous, angry. Mad Isaiah was so bold to say, and by bold it means you're confident. He says, I have been found by those who did not seek me. I've shown myself to those who did not ask for me. Verse Twenty One. The contrast, then, with Israel. All Day Long, I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people. Here's an image of that. The father in Jesus is parable of the Prodigal son, standing there way eating, ready to run to this sinner who's left and taken all the riches of the father and squandered them and now is living among pigs, standing there holding his arms open to a disobedient and contrary people, but they remain disobedient, contrary, unbelieving. Now, in the next chapter, Paul is going to talk about Israel and particular, and he'll start by asking this question. Has God then rejected his people? You'll have to come back for that one, but for now, consider what the Lord is saying when he says that this is true, that not all have obeyed the Gospel. That's bad news, that's sad news and I don't want it to be true for any of you. Let me speak to those who may still be dead in their sins, who aren't hearing the word of the Lord by Faith, and let me ask you directly, why do you not come to Christ when he's been so freely offered to you? This is a gift coming from God himself, given directly to you. You have warrant to believe in the very offering of it. Why not believe? Some of you don't believe because you are satisfied. You don't think there's a need. You're satisfied in your own righteousness. You are self righteous you don't need, you don't think, you don't need the righteousness of God because you have it in yourself. Is that why you don't come to Christ?...

Is it be cleeped? Because you believe that your sins, though they be many and intentional and against a holy and good God, are still no big deal? Is it because you think that you won't be judged and judged worthy of hell? Is it that, while you can pick out other people sins and see how bad they are, you are able still to deceive yourself and consider yourself fine? If that's how you think about yourself and your heart, then hear this. Consider the riches of God that come to those who believe. And what is it that they believe that the son of man came exclusively to save. As I said before, he's a doctor who comes for the sick and not others. If you consider yourself just fine, then all of these riches, all of these blessed things that I was speaking about, preaching about at the beginning of this sermon and from the text here, from God's word, they're not for you, because they come in Jesus, because Jesus came to save, and you're just fine. You don't need salvation, you say to yourself. Do you see the deception that's going on inside of your heart? So it is time for a person, a selfrighteous person, to see and say, yes, I am sick. It's time to stop pretending that there aren't problems and to recognize and believe and trust the physician who's here and ready to heal. If you're not a selfrighteous person, perhaps some of you just don't care, or a pathetic and do you see how foolish this is? To imagine waking up in the middle of the night, smelling smoke, hearing screams, feeling the heat of your house on fire, and you say, you know, I'm just really tired right now. What this is what God's word tells us. This is why he warns us, to wake us out of our sleep, to make us care. You cannot be apathetic about your soul, or can you? If you are sleeping in a house on fire, consider the danger, consider the reward of leaving the house, of having life in Christ, and consider also there is an unknown amount of time before it all comes crashing down upon you. The Lord never promises US seventy, five eighty years of life each and every one of us have a fixed amount of time and we don't know what it is. There's no do date that can be procrastinated. At any moment the Lord may take us and call us to account from our sin, for our sins. You cannot delay, you cannot be careless, you cannot be apathetic and turn over and go to sleep. And finally, I'm sorry to say that some of you know well the salvation of God, but the fact is that the salvation of God is not yours, because your God is your belly or your bank account or some other thing that you hold on to. You do not come to the riches of God in Christ because you love too much the riches of this world, even sin. I remember seeing once hunters trapping baboon by getting the baboon to taste some salt and then showing the monkey, if baboons are monkeys.

Lost my son later showing this, showing the baboon, I. The salt being placed in a tree where it can reach its hand in grab the thing it's wants, but not be able to pull it out because now it's hand it's too big, and there it's. It's on the tree and the hunter just walks right up and bags it. There's no guns, no arrows, no fight, even because the stupid animal won't let go of its salt. It wants. It's so bad. And some people are like this when it comes to sin. They stupidly hold onto the very thing that is bringing them death, even as judgment approaches. But you are not baboons. You are hearing the word of God. So stop and think, consider what happens to the one who clings to his sin, and know what God is promising to you. And what he's promising to you is salvation itself, including power over the sins that once enslaved you. Love of sin is also enslavement to sin, and it's hard and it's entrapping and it it's bondage. The Bible talks about it that way. But consider for a moment. It's dangerous and consider how safe and loving and faithful God is. He you need not face him in judgment when even now he is offering you salvation in Christ. There are, of course, other reasons that people don't believe. There are other reasons people hear the good news and walk away. If any of them describe you know it in your heart and don't be apathetic about it, don't wait till another day or procrastinated, but instead hear the word of God as it is preached to you, understand it and believe. Believe, submit to the Gospel, submit to the Lord God, who is giving you, who wants to bestow on you the very riches that are his everlasting life, the new heavens and the new earth, forgiveness of your sins, joy in the Lord and many more things. Here the salvation of God and believe. Let us pray.

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