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During the Covid 19 pandemic, whilst our church building is closed, we are featuring a message from our minister on our front page.
MESSAGE FROM OUR MINISTER - SUNDAY 9 AUGUST 2020
Romans 10: 5 – 15 (NIV) How will they know?
5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming. 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (NIV)
How will people call for help if they do not know on whom they should call? How they can believe in someone if they have not heard of the One whom they can trust? How can they hear if no one tells them the story? An old saying is that if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Many people fall because they do not know any better. Paul identified this difficulty in Romans 10:14-15.
Hearing the story seems at least as difficult, if not more difficult, today. Vast majority of people today have anything to do with organised religion of any type. Three and four generations of unchurched families are not uncommon. They have lived without knowing or trusting God for such a long time that they may not know enough to call on God. Many people stay away from church at times when they most need help. Some do not know it is a place to go for help. Others have completely bought into the do-it-myself mentality that they will not seek spiritual guidance during difficult times even if they have heard the Gospel.
Roman’s Scripture passage is reminiscent of the story in Acts 8:26 – 40. When Philip asked the Ethiopian reading from the Prophet Isaiah, “Do you understand what you are reading?” the man replied, “How can I unless someone explains it to me?” and he invited Philip to get into his chariot. Philip started with the Scripture at hand, and then proclaimed the Good News of Jesus. The man was baptised that very day.
The questions “How will they know?” and “How can I [understand] unless someone explains it to me?” require believers to respond today. There is a challenge for us to execute our responsibility in terms of those who have not heard or do not understand. The Apostle Paul cared deeply for the people who heard and did not respond to the Gospel of Life. He cared deeply for both Jews and Gentiles who had not heard it. He wanted all to hear the Good News of God’s love and grace in Christ Jesus. He zealously desired to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The Word is so close, so available. God is generous to all who call upon his name in their hour of need but they have to hear before they can call and be blessed and counted among the righteous in the sight of God the Father and Creator of all.
Hope and pray we all have a blessed week.
Rev. Asif Das.