Romans 10:14-17 / Faith Comes by Hearing (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on March 18, 2014


This is the forty-second in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of March 16, 2014. This message deals with the falsehoods of the “social gospel” and the fact that people must hear the word of God in order to be saved. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


Rom 10_14-17


Rom 10_14-17 Outline


Romans 10:14-17


This is the plan of salvation. . . explained in reverse.

There will be no salvation unless people take the Gospel to the unsaved, and God calls people to preach His word.

Paul uses this method to make a point, and in doing so he asks 4 questions:

  1. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?
  2. How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?
  3. How shall they hear without a preacher?
  4. How shall they preach unless they are sent?

Notice the progression:

  1. People must go.
  2. People must preach.
  3. People must hear.
  4. Only then will the lost believe and call on The Lord.

To deliver the Gospel should be viewed as a great honor, not a burden.

Somehow, we always see it as someone else’s job.

The church has a vast army of missionaries, yet we rarely preach the gospel in our own communities.

We can reach the world. . . as long as someone else does it, but we can’t reach our own neighborhoods.

Isaiah 52:7

Nahum 1:15

The feet carry us into the world, they take us to where the lost are.

They transport us from place to place, so that we can proclaim the Gospel.

At times, sharing the gospel can seem discouraging, but we shouldn’t let that stop us.

Despite our best efforts, not everyone will obey, but that doesn’t mean we give up.

Noah preached 120 years without a single convert, but he continued in obedience.

Paul quotes from Isaiah 53:1.

Even Isaiah preached the Gospel of Christ, yet the Jews did not believe.

The point is that we are to keep preaching, whether people believe or not.

2 Timothy 4:1-2

In fact, we find ourselves in an age of increasing disbelief.

This disbelief is nothing new, Paul notes it in his day, and it stretches back to the Garden of Eden.

But God’s Word lives on, and we must proclaim it.

There is a saying that’s been going around for longer than I’ve been alive:

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

It appeals to the social gospel crowd, but it represents a false gospel.

It appeals to those who just want to play church.

I’m sure it’s very appealing to those who are too lazy to learn even the basics of the Gospel, so they can articulate it to others.

However, this verse, and this entire section of Scripture refute the idea of a social gospel, or social evangelism.

Unfortunately, we have far too many preachers who are more concerned with filling the pews, than filling the pulpit.

As such, these false gospels are not being refuted from the pulpit, people are not being warned of the dangers.

Consequently, we have far too many so-called Christians who never bother to learn God’s Word.

Scripture refutes the idea that you never have to open your mouth (or, more importantly, the Bible) about Jesus.

It refutes the idea that we can lead people to Christ without the use of God’s Word.

In telling others about Christ, an effective witness must include more than being a good example.

Eventually, we will have to explain the content, the what and the how of the gospel. (And we will need to refute false gospels).

2 Timothy 2:15-18

1 Peter 3:15

Modeling the Christian life is important, but good works should be your supporting documentation, not your main text.

(Word of God) Whether the reference is to Christ Himself, or to the written word is unimportant.

People must hear Christ, and the only perfect witness we have of Him is the Bible.

Therefore, the Bible is central to sharing Christ!

We must once again have a zeal for the lost.

We must once again get back to relying on the authority of the Word of God, rather than our own feelings, experiences and emotions.

Only then will we see true and meaningful growth in God’s church.

Posted in: Sermons