How Beautiful Are The Feet

“How Beautiful are the Feet”

Romans 10:14-21 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 [a]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 hands To a disobedient and contrary people.”

History- this letter was written to persecuted Roman believers. They were under the severe oppression and persecution of the Roman government. At this time, there were multiple gods and temples for worship. The government did not care which god you worshipped, so they did not much care which god the Christians worshipped. However, Christians are appointed to call Jesus “Lord”. Under the Roman empire, only Caesar was permitted to be called “lord”, as this was a sign of ownership and authority. Many Christians were required to attend the pagan temple once a year and proclaim, “Caesar is Lord”, or else they could lose their job, family, or even their very lives. We do not think much about this now- but it was a real threat under the Roman empire to proclaim that Caesar is lord.

What does this mean?

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? The apostle having observed, that whoever, Jew or Gentile, believe in the Lord and confess “Jesus is Lord”, shall be saved; and that the same Lord was ready and willing to dispense His grace, without any difference to them; that hearing they might believe, and so call upon the name of the Lord, and be saved. Paul tells us there can be no true calling upon God without faith, no faith without hearing, no hearing without preaching, and no preaching without a divine mission.

There is no hearing of Christ, and salvation by Him, without the preaching of the Word of God; the most normal way of hearing from God is by the ministry of the Word. Paul shows not only the necessity and usefulness of preaching, but also points out the subject matter of it, which is Christ, and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Acts 4:10-12 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a [a]stumbling block and to the [b]Greeks foolishness,

Paul says the message matters. They that preach ought to preach to the glory of God, otherwise men may hear the preacher, and not hear Christ.

Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah:  “Isaiah said, Who hath believed our report?”

Isaiah 53:1-5 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no [a]form or [b]comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no [c]beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and [d]rejected by men, A Man of [e]sorrows and acquainted with [f]grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our [g]griefs And carried our [h]sorrows; Yet we [i]esteemed Him stricken, [j]Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded[k] for our transgressions, He was [l]bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes[m] we are healed.

So then faith comes by that report and therefore this report or message is necessary. When it is said that faith cometh by hearing, it is not meant that all who hear actually believe, for that is not true; but that faith does not exist unless there is a message, or report, to be heard or believed. And this shows us at once the importance of the message, and the fact that people are converted by the instrument of truth, and of truth only. Even then, Paul says they have not all obeyed the gospel. The fact remains, however, in spite of this universal preaching, that there has not been a universal surrender to the Gospel. 

Isaiah 65:1 “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name.

Isaiah long ago prophesied that the Gentiles were to be called. But there was still an important part of his argument remaining – that the Jews were to be rejected. This he proceeds to establish; Paul says that while the Gentiles would be obedient, the character of the Jews was, that they were a disobedient and rebellious people.

Isaiah 65:2-5 I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, According to their own thoughts; A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face; Who sacrifice in gardens, And burn incense on altars of brick; Who sit among the graves, And spend the night in the tombs; Who eat swine’s flesh, And the broth of [a]abominable things is in their vessels; Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, Do not come near me, For I am holier than you!’ These [b]are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day

All day long I have stretched forth my hands – Continually, without intermission; implying that their acts of rebellion were not momentary; but that this was the established character of the people. This denotes an attitude of entreaty; a willingness and earnest desire to receive them to favor; to invite and entreat;  But the jews were disobedient –  rebellious, disbelieving, not confiding or obeying. They were gain-saying – speaking against God; resisting, opposing.

The prophet Isaiah proceeds to specify in what this rebellion consisted, and to show that this was their character. The ancient character of the people was that of wickedness; God is represented as stretching out his hands in vain; they rejected him, and he was sought and found by others. Therefore, the rebellious Jews would be rejected; and, that the Gentiles and Jews were on the same level in regard to justification before God.

In the closing part of this chapter, the great doctrine is brought forth and defended that the way of salvation is open for all the world. This, in the time of Paul, was regarded as a novel doctrine. Jesus Himself said, “salvation is of the Jews” to the Samaritan woman at the well. Paul took great pains to illustrate and defend it. And so, with so much zeal and self-denial, the apostles of the Lord Jesus went and proclaimed it to the nations. And from this discussion we may learn the following truths:

(1) The pagan world is in danger of hell without the preaching of the full gospel. They are sinful, polluted, wretched. People are not good, we are not worthy, we are not deserving of grace. The cross does not reveal the innate value of those redeemed, but rather it reveals the character and grace of God. The cross is a display of the hopeless, undeserving, sinful, guilty, rebellious, debased condition of those for whom Jesus died. The magnitude of Christ’s sufferings is a measure, not of the magnitude of our worth, but the magnitude of the repulsiveness of our sin, the horror of our rebellion, and the infinite value of the glory and faithfulness of the God who keeps His covenant. We had nothing good to offer God and were undeserving of what God gave us. This is the very meaning of grace. God was merciful for His name’s sake.

Ezekiel 36:22,32 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. 32 Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!”

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

(2) the provisions of the gospel are ample for all. The gospel is enough. The cross is enough. The blood still cleanses. It is the power to save, redeem, heal, deliver. You do not have to add to it! It is the power to save every wretched individual, if men would just preach the TRUTH of God’s Word and stop sugar coating it, stop adding to and subtracting from His Word. The faith that overcomes sin, the devil and the world only comes by hearing the truth of the Word of God. The message matters.

1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—[a]our faith.

People are ONLY converted by the truth. There are many in the church who have not been converted because they have not heard the true gospel of peace. They have merely assented to a system of belief, easy believism, and they remain powerless to overcome sin.

Pastor’s message: it is not “Jesus +”. It is Jesus alone is sufficient for everything in this life.

2 Peter 1:3-4 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the [a]corruption that is in the world through lust.

The power of the blood of Jesus is enough to overcome every sin, every addiction, every anxiety and depression. It is the power to be healed in every single area of our life. You do not need a system, or curriculum, or 12 step program. Just the blood of Jesus and the power of the Spirit. Either let His power reign in you to overcome all sin and the enemy or tell Him His power is insufficient to overcome.

(3) the command of Jesus Christ remains still the same, to preach the gospel to every creature. That command has never been repealed or changed. “How shall they hear without a preacher?” Not everyone has the ministry calling of an evangelist, but we are all called to evangelize.

 You are not a missionary to the nations if you are not a missionary first to the ones around you. God will never call you away if you are not reaching those right where you are. Most won’t because they are truly embarrassed of what others think.

How many of you know what the gospel is? I remember Gaalya asked this to her Bible study and many could not accurately give a gospel presentation. One lady said that she just sung over people. Yes, I talk about you behind your back- I want to know how our people are doing. The gospel cannot be summed up in one Scripture. It is not John 3:16 as it speaks nothing of repentance and almost the rest of that chapter speaks to being born again of the Spirit of God. In a nut shell- we are all born into sin and are enemies of God and therefore subject to His wrath. We cannot overcome our sinful nature on our own. We need a Savior, otherwise our destiny is Hell. Jesus came. He was fully man and fully God. He lived a sinless life, and was blameless and innocent. As the innocent Lamb of God, HE came to satisfy the wrath of God and took upon Himself our sin, becoming a curse for us and therefore justifying the wrath of God on mankind. By His actions of obedience and through the shedding of His blood, we have been given a vessel to draw near to the Father and become a son and daughter of God. This way of salvation is for us to repent, turn from our sins in faith toward Jesus, confess Him as Lord and live a life of surrender and obedience to His Word. We are then baptized in water by obedience and live a life daily dying to our flesh and living in accordance with the Holy Spirit. We seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit to help us overcome. We die to our flesh and live according to the direction of the Spirit. (this takes about 1-2 min)

When we look at multiple Scriptures, we get a more clear and accurate picture of the gospel message.

Remember true faith only comes by hearing the true gospel. Preaching the gospel is more than a sentence or smart cliché.

Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Confess- “Homologos”- being in the same place and time as the Word. Ex: TV/movie wedding vows Are they married? Did they mean what they said? It is more than saying words out loud.

The earliest testimony of the church was “Jesus is LORD”. HE is called Lord over 600 times compared to just 25 as Savior. Lord means: having power, authority or control; one who rules. One who is a master to whom service is due, and one who is an owner, the legal guardian of. Jesus being Lord of your life is an important message tour salvation.

Romans 14:7-9For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died [a]and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

John 3:3-7 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the [a]remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward [a]us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Your first mission field is your family. If my kids go to hell, I have failed. I know some parents that just send their kids away on a mission trip hoping they’ll get saved. Parents- it is YOUR job to teach them the Word of God, not a ministry organization, not the church, not your kids Sunday school teacher. YOU.

Next, your mission field is your neighbors. How are you going oversees to share the gospel, but you refuse to share the gospel with your neighbor? Your classmates? Your co-workers? The area where God has placed you. The grocery store, the gym, the gas station.

I remember a few years ago Francis Chan said he was leaving America and going overseas to an area that would hear the gospel, because here in America we are all catching the same fish. I am telling you the American church is in a bad state, we might all be catching the same fish, but those fish are rotten. People have been lulled into a state of complacency, lethargy and indifference to the surrounding culture. Much of the American church is apostate, she has lost all holiness and looks, acts and sounds like the world. Lukewarm people need to repent, or they will be lost forever.

(4) if the gospel is to be proclaimed everywhere, people must be willing to be sent. “How beautiful are the feet of him that preaches the gospel of peace.” The feet- those who are willing to go and preach the gospel. You have to have a desire to see the lost saved. You have to get over yourself and how you appear to others. You have to be willing to look like a fool for Christ. You must be willing to be persecuted for His name and the Word that you preach.

2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

ALL- Here in America we are not being beheaded, but it says “ALL”. Do you know why you are not suffering persecution? Because you are not living godly. YOU are conformed to the world instead of conformed to Christ and His Word. You look like the world and the world loves it’s own. You refuse to speak the truth in the face of a perverse world.

Are your feet stagnant? Or ready to go and speak the Word boldly? As Isaiah spoke boldly

Acts 14:3ESV So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

Acts 4:29ESV And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,

Ephesians 6:19ESV And also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,

(5) the church, in training and discipling people for the ministry, is performing a noble and glorious work. Part of the ministry of the church is coming together to be built up, taught, instructed and corrected by the preacher so that we can go out to bring others to the faith. Paul tells the young minister Timothy:

2 Timothy 4:2-3Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers

I was talking to someone yesterday why good doctrine and to know the truth of God’s Word and who Jesus is, is important. The Great apostasy that was prophesied thousands of years ago is a departure from Biblical, Scriptural truths of God’s Word.

Ephesians 4:11-13 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [a]edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

The church body, particularly the preaching of the Word equips the saints for ministry.

(6) Lastly, God will withdraw his favors from those churches that are disobedient and rebellions. Thus, he rejected the ancient Jews; and thus also he will forsake all who abuse his mercies; who become proud, rebellious and wicked. In this respect it becomes the church to remember the God’s works of old; and not to forget, too, that communal sin provokes God to withdraw, and that a church that forgets God must be punished.

Revelation 2:4-5 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

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