Beautiful Feet (Romans 10:12-15)
When Tammy and I had been dating for about a week, I was at my apartment packing to go to church camp, and Tammy came over to help me. I opened the door in a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, but I wasn’t wearing socks or shoes.
Tammy told her best friend after our first date that she was going to marry me. However, she had not yet seen my bare feet. Tammy claims that when she first saw my bare feet, she asked herself, “Can I stand to see those ugly feet every day for the rest of my life?”
Tammy still claims my feet are ugly. We have some good friends who once lived close to us. One night we were at Chris and Amanda’s house, and Amanda was bemoaning how ugly Chris’s feet are. Tammy chimed in and told Amanda, “No! You don’t know ugly feet at all.” Amanda and Tammy had their husbands remove their socks and shoes so that they could compare. Amanda agreed that her husband’s feet aren’t so ugly after all.
Any of you have ugly feet? Do you maybe take care not to wear sandals even in the heat of summer? How many of you women spend time polishing your toenails? How many times have you been to get a pedicure?
Paul told the Romans that you can have beautiful feet: you simply need to preach the gospel. We need gospel preachers; yes, we need more men to fill pulpits, but I’m talking about Christians—men and women—who share Jesus with others. As one goes forth with the gospel of Jesus, Paul said, “Evangelists have beautiful feet.”
Scripture (Romans 10:12-15)
Immediately before this verse, Paul wrote about the necessity of faith and confession for salvation. The Roman church was composed of Jews and Gentiles, and there was bad blood between the two groups. But God doesn’t differentiate between Jew and Gentile; he’ll save anybody.
Anyone can come to Jesus. A white person can come to Jesus, but so can an African American or a Hispanic or an Asian or an Iraqi. Jesus is “Lord of all,” therefore anyone can come. And the Lord bestows “his riches [salvation] on all who call on him.”
Paul quoted from Joel to demonstrate that God has always planned for anyone who believes in Jesus to be saved.
Paul asked a rhetorical question: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?” Paul said at verse 9 that one must believe in Jesus in order to call on him for 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 then asked: “And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?” Obviously, if someone has never heard of Jesus, he cannot believe in him.
Paul then asked: “And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” Unless someone shares the good news of Jesus, someone who has never heard the gospel is lost.
Paul then asked: “And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” Christians have an obligation to support the preaching of the gospel by sending—financially supporting—those who preach. For example, John urged Gaius to support missionaries: 3 John 5-8.
Paul then quoted Isaiah and said, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” “Evangelists have beautiful feet.”
“Evangelists have beautiful feet.” In the New Testament, “evangelist” doesn’t refer to the local preacher. You can be an evangelist yourself. After Stephen was killed the church—except the apostles—were scattered from Jerusalem; Luke recorded: “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). Ordinary Christians, if you will, went forth preaching the word. When Jesus gave the Great Commission, he said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19-20). Every future disciple was to be taught what Jesus had taught the apostles, including going into all the world with the gospel. You have an obligation to preach the gospel to the lost.
How can you have beautiful feet?
First, understand that people without the gospel are lost. In this text, Paul taught that if someone has never heard of Jesus, he cannot call on Jesus for salvation. Not calling on Jesus for salvation leads to horrible consequences; about the Ephesians, Paul said, “Remember that you were at that time [when you were lost] separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph 2:12). Anyone outside of Christ has no hope.
Most of the people around us have heard about Jesus, but have they heard the truth about Jesus? Only the truth will save; Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32). Think about your friends, your neighbors, and your loved ones. How many do not know the truth? How many practice error? How many are good, honest, and sincere people but they are following manmade doctrines?
As painful as it is, grasp that those friends, neighbors, and loved ones are lost. Jesus will return to this earth “in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thess 1:8). Those who do not obey the truth of Jesus and live in him will receive the full vengeance of God and spend an eternity in hell.
Think about your friends, neighbors, and loved ones being tormented day and night in the fires of hell, and ask yourself if that’s what you want for their eternity.
Second, the evangelist must leave where he is: “And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” Churches today, as they are able, must financially support those who preach: “The Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel” (1 Cor 9:14). In that way, Christians today send evangelists as they give financially to the local church which supports preachers.
While Paul spoke of Christians giving financial support to preachers, you need to leave your comfort zone to share the gospel of Jesus. Think of yourself as sent by Jesus Christ himself: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19). The last time I checked, Deer Park is part of “all nations,” and you—and I—have a divine obligation to make disciples in this place. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise” (Prov 11:30). Do you wish to be wise? Capture souls for Jesus.
Speak about Jesus to at least one person this week. I don’t know to whom you’ll speak nor do I know his or her situation nor do I know your relationship. But let me give some suggestions:
- Maybe you sign up to work with World Bible School.
- Maybe you invite someone to worship or Bible study Wednesday evening.
- Maybe you give someone a tract which speaks of an area where he or she is struggling.
- Maybe you simply tell someone that great things are happening at this congregation.
- Maybe you ask someone for a Bible study.
- Maybe you simply tell someone that you’re praying for him or her.
It doesn’t need to be something scary or involved. You can share Jesus in “small” ways; share him today.
You can’t be saved unless you hear the gospel, but you’ve heard it. You’ve believed in Jesus. You’ve repented of your sins. You’ve confessed your faith. You’ve been baptized into Christ. The question, therefore, is: Do you really believe? In other words, do you live your faith from day to day? Do you need to begin living your faith this very morning?