Friday, May 3, 2013

How Will They Hear?

Today's Reading
Romans 10:1-21

Throughout chapters 9-11 of Paul's letter to the Romans, the main theme is salvation, specifically as it relates to the Jewish people. As part of this discourse on salvation, Paul offers one of most succinct articulations of the his doctrine of salvation - "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Paul goes on to quote the prophet Joel, who said, "everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved."
But Paul then questions "how" this "process of salvation" takes place. With a series of rhetorical questions, Paul considers the chain of events necessary for a person to be saved.
Calling - To call upon the "name of the Lord" is an act of surrender. To call upon the Lord is to acknowledge that we are in need of help and that the help we most desperately need can only come from God.
Believing - In the New Testament, to believe is to trust. To believe is not simply to express our intellectual assent to a set of specific theological propositions, but rather to believe is to have faith, to place our trust in God without reservation.
Hearing - Paul makes it very clear that faith/believing comes by hearing, specifically by hearing the "Word of God." It is the power of God's word that brings about the conviction and transformation of our hearts, so that we are free to fully trust in God.
Preaching - The hearing of God's word is only possible if someone is engaged in the ministry of proclamation. Throughout the history of the church, the preaching of God's word, and the subsequent hearing of that word, has brought about not only personal transformation, but significant social and cultural change as well.
Sending - Finally, everything listed above is only possible if someone is sent! Here we are again! God is a sending God - God is a missional God!

The "Five-Fold" pattern I have listed above would actually be better represented as a circle, because those who call upon the Lord are ultimately the ones sent forth to proclaim the amazing news of God's salvation, so that some might hear that news and believe, that is, put their trust in God. Those who put their trust in God call out for help, surrendering their lives to the Lord...and they are then sent forth...and the cycle continues. So, where is God sending you today?

No comments:

Post a Comment