But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
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? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
In verses nine and ten, Paul is saying that man needs to bring into agreement his confession and his life. The mouth and the heart should be in harmony. There are some people who say something with their mouths—they give lip service to God—but their hearts are far from Him. In his commentary on Romans, J. Vernon McGee writes, “If there is confession without faith, it is due either to self-deception or to hypocrisy. If there is faith without confession, it may be cowardice.”
In verse eleven, Paul is quoting Isaiah 28:16. Paul is quoting this passage to enforce his previous statement that “faith by righteousness” is taught in other passages of the Old Testament. This passage also shows the universal character of salvation in the word whosoever (anyone who). Paul goes on to write how salvation is offered to all people on the same basis of mercy—by faith. It all comes down to hearing and believing the Gospel.
Paul makes it clear that both Jew and Gentile are to call on the Lord. The Jewish leaders rejected Jesus. They rejected the right of the apostles to proclaim a gospel that omitted the Mosaic system. Paul shows that there must be messengers of the Gospel who have been called by God. The Law of Moses was not good news of good things, but it was a ministration of death. The good news of justification by faith in the person and work of Jesus needs to be proclaimed worldwide. Men and women from every nation on earth are urged to call on the name of the Lord to be saved. They cannot hear about Jesus unless someone tells them. Paul then reminds his readers, both Jews and Gentiles alike, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” Here, he is quoting from Isaiah 52:7. One of the Eight Traits of a Growing Disciple is Go! The diagnostic question for this trait is: Who is in my top three? One of the ways we acknowledge God is through our verbal testimony. After all, how will they hear the good news unless someone tells them?
Questions to Ponder:
Does your life line-up with your confession of faith? What are some ways God can use your feet and arms to share the good news of Jesus? What are some things you can do differently to make yourself more available to those who don’t know Jesus as their Savor?
- Using your own words, hallow the name of the Lord. Praise Him for reconciling us to Himself through Jesus Christ.
- Thank Him that we live in America and can freely share the Gospel with those we meet.
- Ask the Lord to empower you with His Holy Spirit to share the Gospel with someone this week.
- Confess to the Lord if you are ashamed of the Gospel in any way. Confess to Him if you are lazy, indifferent, forgetful, etc. Ask Him to remind You of this amazing gift given to you and to remind you how you are a servant and sent one to go and share the good news.
Loving Father, Sweet Savior, my Best Friend who is the Great I Am and Lord of heaven and earth, I ask that today You infill me and Your Church with a boldness to share the Gospel. Watch over Your Word to perform it. Grant salvation to those I share with today. Let Your love overflow in and through me to all I meet. I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.