How Then Shall They Call?

 

Introduction: Rom 10: 9-17

 

A little leaguer was playing the outfield in the first game of the season. After chasing a long hit and hustling the ball back into the infield, someone asked him how his team was doing and what the score was. The youngster replied that his team was doing well, but that they were trailing 17-0. The bystander asked if he was discouraged at being so far behind, and if he was ready to admit defeat. He came back immediately with this retort: "We aren't beat--we haven't even been up to bat yet!"

 

Hope is a such vital element for the Christian in the battle with sin. As we read the New Testament, we learned that God has removed the obstacles enabling our success before we ever get up to bat. Often in day to day living, we search for hope and confidence, we attend seminars to listen to some of the greatest positive thinkers of our time. We listen to their tapes. We read their books. Those messages convey the idea that no obstacle is too difficult, as long as you think positive.

 

However, as I look back to those messages I now understand God's message via the cross is much different. It is a much simpler message. Jesus' death is our assurance that God desires the salvation of each of us. Romans 5:8-10

8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

 

It was by God that Jesus was sent, It was God who planned Christ death on the cross, Acts 2:22-24, It was God's love that made that old Rugged Cross possible. John 3:16

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotton Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but should have eternal life."

 

Paul reveals the necessary ingredient needed for us to begin life anew. It is revealed in our text as he quotes Joel's prophecy. "

Romans 10:11-13 - 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Regardless of our past, life begins anew for all who call upon the name of the Lord.

Paul immediately ask this question in Romans 10:14

14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?

Most teach that since Romans 10:13 says, "Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved," then all one need do is pray for his salvation, assured that falling down and calling the Lord removes sin, and put us unconditionally in Christ. What does it mean to call on the name of the Lord?

 

1st some negatives: what calling on the name of the Lord is not. Is it as some ascribe, mere utterances with lips? Please read: Matt 7:21-23 and Luke 6:46. Jesus says it is not merely calling His name.

Hence this is not what Paul had in mind, when he spoke and penned the words of Rom 10:13

 

But the context of Romans 10 shows clearly this is not the case. Romans 10: (implies obedience) Notice Romans 10:9-11

9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. And then Romans 10:14-16

14How 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? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? Hence it takes action, it takes hearing, believing and obeying the gospel.

 

Secondly Is It Falling Down In Prayer As Many Bid Us Do?

 

Brethren there's not one single scripture in all God's word that teaches an alien sinner to pray for salvation. But Brother Cope, what about Cornelius? Note Acts 10:5 and Acts 11:13-14

"and he told us how he had seen the angle standing in his house, and saying, Send to Joppa, and fetch Simon, whose surname is Peter; Who shall tell thee words whereby thou shalt be saved," Cornelius was instructed to send for Peter, and was to be saved by the words that Peter would speak unto him and his household.

 

There are many passages that teach that the prayers of a sinner is an abomination. In Proverbs 28:9

9He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. 10Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.

 

John 9:31

31Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

 

1 Peter 3:12

12For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil

 

Jesus in Matthew didn't teach sinners how to pray, but His followers, "Our Father" Therefore when the apostle of Jesus said: Rom 10:13 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved"

He had no thought whatsoever of one praying through.

 

Well, what is involved in the expression, "calling on the name of the Lord," It may be instructive to point out that even in our common English usage, to call on means more than simply making a request, or asking for something. When a doctor "calls on" a patient, he does not merely drive by and say, "Hello in there! I wish you well!" He goes in and with his calling is involved a service. When I grew up, young men were said to "call on young ladies." I am not sure what they are said to do now. But I was aware that "to call on" someone meant something different than merely to knock on the door and make a request.

 

No Bible expression should be defined simply by an appeal to our common usage, although such examples may serve to clarify or illustrate. Bible expressions should always be defined in terms of Bible usage. What do we find as we examine the sacred pages? When we find the expression in Romans 10:13, "calling on the name of the Lord," we immediately find in the following verses that "calling on" must have some prerequisites, for one could not "call on" God in a scriptural sense without hearing and believing Romans 10:14-17.

 

Let us look briefly some other passages where this idea is expressed. In Zephaniah 3:9, we find

9For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. To call on the name" is "to serve" Him, not merely request something from Him. You may notice that this usage is very comparable to the illustration of the doctor calling on his patient -- serving him -- not merely asking him for payment of a bill.

 

Note again in Acts 9:14, Paul was reported to have asked for the authority to bind all who "call upon" the name of the Lord. Paul was not persecuting those who simply prayed, but those who were serving the Lord. In Acts 25:11, Paul uses the words, "I appeal to Caesar." The words "appeal unto" are from the same word translated "call upon" in our text. What Paul did was not simply say, "Caesar, save me!" He put his case in Caesar's hands, submitting to Caesar's judgment and will. In a nutshell that is what "calling on the Lord" involves. You turn your life over to the Lord in His appointed way

 

But let us probe a little deeper. The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus Acts 22:4-10 "Lord what shall I do?" (10) He was told to go into Damascus to find out the appointed things to do. Acts 9:6 Arise and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Remember Paul wanted forgiveness, What must I do? Bear in mind the text: Rom 10:13 that all who call shall be saved.

 

Well Lord how do I call on your name? Please read, Acts 22:12-16 Paul had tried utterances Acts 9:5 he had tried praying: Acts 9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, Please remember: John 9:31 tells us that God hears not a sinner, but one who does righteousness. - Paul must have wondered Lord what can I do? I tried calling as some of your preachers are saying, I tried to pray through as others advocate, "Lord What Will Thou Have Me To Do? "

 

In Acts 22:16, Saul was told to "Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on His name."

 

Some of our religious friends take the position that since we are saved by faith, baptism must be ruled out of our salvation since it is an act or work which we perform. You may note that both verbs ("arise" and "be baptized") are passive. They do not relate to acts which we perform, but which are performed on or for us. Baptism is no more our work than washing away sins is our work. They both refer to things done to or for us.

 

Are there examples or illustrations to help us understand? I believe that the key lies in the 1st gospel sermon preached under the commission of Christ.

 

Acts 2 Day Of Pentecost Was Fully Come: Acts 2:14-20 Peter quotes from the prophet Joel chapter 2. Review the sermon: Acts 2:22-36 and having proclaimed Jesus the Savior of the World Him who died, they were convicted and now ready to call on the name of the Lord., note the question of Acts 2:37 "men and brethren what shall we do?" They want to know how they may call on the name of the Lord. But objects someone, where do you see that. Well look way back up in verse 21, they are looking to call upon the name of Jesus. Acts 2:21 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved". Therefore, Acts 2:37- 42 is an example of calling upon the name of the Lord. Remember the words of the prophet quoted by Peter in Acts 2:21

 

Finally from our text itself Romans 10 Notice that one can not call on the Lord without a preacher: One must hear: Rom. 10:14

Paul later told the Corinthians in 1 Cor. 1:18-25 that God had chosen the foolishness of preaching to save those that believe. To the Romans, Paul stated in Rom 1:16-17

"I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, As it is written, the just shall live by faith."

 

No wonder Jesus commissioned the disciples: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. " Mark 16:15,16 One must hear in order to call on the Lord and must believe. Rom 10:17 "faith cometh by hearing"

 

Notice again from text Rom 10:9-11. "9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed"

 

 

Faith and confession of that faith is necessary to calling on the Lord, to salvation. John 8:24 Heb 11:6 Matt 10:32-33 Acts 8:35-

 

But may I suggest these verses teach obedience as well:

Rom 10:16,17

16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God

It may be interesting to note that the conclusion we have come to fits very well with a logical or mathematical comparison. We learned in high school math that "things that are equal to the same things are equal to each other." Let us note how it works in this connection

 

"Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 18:3 and again "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." John 3:5 Therefore being converted and becoming as little children and being born of the water and Spirit are equal to each other and are equal.

 

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" Mark 16:16 "He that calleth on the name of the Lord shall be saved" Romans 10:13 Therefore he that believeth and is baptized and he that calleth on the name of the Lord are the same person. If not why not?

 

"Repent.... and be baptized.. for the remission of sins" Acts 2:38 and "Repent and be converted... and having your sins blotted out" ..

Acts 3:19 therefore to be baptized and to be converted relate to the same things, So logic compels us to conclude that calling on the name of the Lord is obedience to the gospel

 

What will happen to those that refuse to obey the gospel? Notice 2 Thess 1:7-10

7And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

 

Conclusion:

 

Whosoever Calleth! Salvation is for all, I'm glad we live in a period of time when religion is not restricted.

Rom 1:16-17 Rom 10:12

 

But One Must Call Upon Lord By Obeying The Examples Given In Holy Word of God.

You must believe Romans 10:14

14How 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?

 

Romans 10:9:10 must confess that faith Luke 13:3 repentance is commanded:

 

You must obey Rom 10:16 but not all have obeyed the gospel, why? not had heard.... To those who had heard, Paul said:

Rom 6:16-18

16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

 

No Wonder These Passages Are Preceded by words of Rom 10:1-4

We have many today with their own form of righteousness, with many forms of the gospel. With many different way of calling on the name of the Lord. Romans 10:1-4 Matt 15:8-9 Let us just accept and obey these Biblical examples.

 

contact:: Ron Cope minister

email: RonCope@chestnutmtchurchofchrist.com

phone: (678)617-9658