Online Bible Commentary
Romans 10:14 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 hands To a disobedient and contrary people." (NKJV)
Paul wrote this letter to the Christians in Rome during a three month visit to the church in Corinth, Greece in late 56 and early 57 A.D. The letter is heavy with Christian Doctrine, Christian teaching.
Chapter 9 marked the beginning of a new topic from the Apostle Paul. He launched into the problem of Israel’s unbelief. Chapters 9-11 discuss this topic.
In the previous passage, Paul writes that all who call on the name of Jesus Christ will be saved. Now, in this passage, he writes how this comes about.
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?” (v. 14a). Paul poses the question of how someone can call on a God that they don’t believe in.
“And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” (v. 14b). Next, he asks how someone can believe in a God that they have not heard about.
“And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (v. 14c). His third question is how can they hear about a God unless there is a preacher to tell them.
“And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” (v. 15a). Finally, Paul’s fourth question is how can a preacher tell them if he is not sent to them.
This act of “sending” is an act of God. In the church we call this Ordination.
The Certificate of Ordination declares as follows: “We, the undersigned, upon the recommendation and request of the church, which had full and sufficient opportunity for judging the God given gifts, Christian experience, call to the ministry, and views of Bible doctrine, hereby certify that the ordained was solemnly and publicly set apart and ordained to the work of the Gospel Ministry.” This writer has had such Ordination conferred upon him.
"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" (v. 15b). Paul answers these four questions by stating that preachers, those with beautiful feet, are sent from God to preach the “gospel of peace”, the good news of Jesus Christ.
This is a tribute to all apostles. An apostle is one who is sent by God to preach the gospel. They are described here as having “beautiful feet”, which carry them throughout the world spreading the gospel.
“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’ “ (v. 16). The problem is that all who hear the gospel, do not believe the gospel.
In verse 16, Paul equates obedience to the gospel to belief in the gospel. Obedience and belief go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. To obey God is to believe in God.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (v. 17). Faith in God comes from hearing the gospel, the word of God, the Bible. We don’t just wake up one morning and have faith in God. There is a process.
“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.’ " (v. 18). Here, Paul quotes the Psalmist who is writing of a different revelation than Paul.
The Psalmist is writing of the revelation from creation, to all the world. Paul is writing of the revelation from the gospel, to all the world.
Paul often changes the original application of Scripture in order to apply it to his audience. His audience at this time is both Jews and Gentiles, while the Psalmist’s audience was Jews. The same Spirit, the Holy Spirit, changed the application, but not the meaning, of Scripture.
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." (v. 19). Here Paul is quoting from Deut. 32:21.
God foretold that the Hebrews would be provoked to jealousy and anger by a “foolish nation”. It has now happened that the “foolish nation”, the gentiles who believed in foolish idols, have now surpassed the Jews by their belief in God.
“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.’ " (v. 20). Paul writes that Isaiah was even more bold in his prophecy when he wrote that the gentiles, who were not even seeking God, found the true God before the Jews, who were seeking Him. Even to this day, far more gentiles are believers than Jews.
“But to Israel he says: ‘All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people.’ " (v. 21). God has stretched out His hands to Israel from the beginning, but Israel has been a “disobedient and contrary people”.
Israel, in the beginning were the people of God. But they rejected their long-awaited Messiah, Jesus Christ, and had Him crucified. Now, the “beautiful feet” have taken the gospel to the gentiles, and more gentiles have believed than Jews.
Our preachers, our missionaries, continue to take the gospel to the world. They are the ones with “beautiful feet”.