Romans 10:14–21 (NKJV)
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:
“Their sound has gone out to all the earth,
And their words to the ends of the world.”
19 But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says:
“I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation,
I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.”
20 But Isaiah is very bold and says:
“I was found by those who did not seek Me;
I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”
21 But to Israel he says:
“All day long I have stretched out My handsRomans 10:14-21
To a disobedient and contrary people.”
This passage opens with a set of building questions in response to the statement just prior: “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How can they call on a Savior of Whom they have never believed? How can they believe on someone of Whom they have never heard? How can they hear if no one preaches (proclaims)? Who is going to preach except one who is sent? Eventually, he brings the responsibility of winning the lost down to the very basic elements. Everyone in the church is responsible to send preachers to preach the gospel to those who will believe, so that they can call upon the Lord! He then declares that those who go to spread the good news have “beautiful feet.” When an individual or a group walk, run, drive, or fly to anyone in order to tell them the good news of the gospel, whatever brought them to that person (feet, care, airplane) is a beautiful means of travel. Whether a few feet, a few miles, or a few continents, going with the gospel is a beautiful thing. How do your feet look?
Paul then uses several references from various Biblical books to demonstrate that not all will hear and believe, but that anyone who does will be saved by faith. The often-quoted passage, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” establishes the long-true principle that faith and salvation come to anyone, if they have faith in God. Only during the period of the nation of Israel before Christ was there a distinction between those who could be saved and those who could not. Even then, conversion was possible in some cases, and proselyte Jews, although second-class, were allowed. After Christ, anyone could freely come to the cross and be saved. The passages quoted establish that those who were once enemies are now being saved, and the Lord has stretched out His hand of mercy to those who once disobeyed. Salvation is for all! Now, wash your feet, and start walking.