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Romans 10:8-17 Study Guide: The Gospel and Beautiful Feet

Community Group Study Guide — The Gospel and Beautiful Feet
Romans 10:8-17

Study Information:
This Sunday we’re hearing a missions focused message from Daren Beck who is one of our supported missionaries. Many of us have been fortunate to have had access to the Bible including owning multiple copies, having digital access and even the ability to listen to scripture on demand. Likewise, the gospel is proclaimed in our country through church services, personal conversations and even over things like social media and youtube. However this is not the case for many parts of the world where there is no access to hearing about God either because the scripture is not in their language, the country has closed down to Christianity or Christians have not gone out to that part of the world. 

This study guide will explore Romans 10:8-17 and how the message of God is carried forth by the people of God with the hope that we’d all be encouraged to participate at some level in global mission.

Called Personally and Corporately by the Gospel
Romans 10:8-13
One of the radical truths of the gospel is that anyone can be saved by placing their trust and allegiance in Christ, not just the Jewish people. Much of Paul’s letter to the Roman church dealt with division issues between Jewish and Gentile (non-Jewish) believers, as well as the tension that came from their various backgrounds. Each group had a tendency to look down on the other for various reasons like the pagan past of the Gentiles or the hard heartedness of Jewish history. Paul proclaimed a message that there was a common sin problem (Romans 1-3), a common path of salvation (Romans 4-7) and a common life in the Spirit for those made new by faith in Christ (Romans 8). The end of the book of Romans asks the question how do we live with one another in a common faith (Romans 12-16)? Paul reminded his readers in Romans 9-11 of how God had chosen Israel, that there is hope a remnant brought in by faith and that Gentiles would be enfolded into the people of God. Smack in the middle of that section is our passage in Romans 10 proclaiming boldly that both Jew and Gentile have access to salvation in Christ when one confesses with their mouth and believes in their heart, they are saved. Notice Romans 10:12, “for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.” Through faith in Jesus we are made right with God and are saved, and brought into a new community of faith in which there is no distinction based on history, ethnicity, geography or any sort of human made division. The gospel reconciles us to God and to one another in faith. 

Called to Proclaim the Gospel
Romans 10:14-17
The good news of Jesus is proclaimed by the people of God. Paul picked up the language of a herald proclaiming victory over an enemy as an image for how the gospel message should go forth. Imagine having many of the men in your town away at war as you wait anxiously to hear what had happened and if victory had been won. One day you see a runner coming into town from the battle and you anxiously await what news they'd speak. The term “gospel” or “good news” in Romans 10:15 was a word that meant a declaration of victory. A winning army would send back a runner to proclaim the gospel of the army’s victory. Such was the message of the cross being God’s victory of sin, death and the devil. Paul wanted you to imagine how beautiful the feet of this runner would be, never mind the caked dirt, blisters and cracks from all the kilometers covered in running barefoot or in sandals. The feet are beautiful because of the message that was proclaimed, “your God reigns” (Isaiah 52:7). This proclamation was so important because Paul linked faith and hearing, not to say that the words need to be audibly heard, rather just that the message needed to go froth and be received and listened to for faith to develop. If you believe in Jesus it is because someone proclaimed the message of salvation to you with written or verbal words and God opened your heart to believe. The reality is that there are many people who have not had that message proclaimed. Some of those people are in places like the Bay Area, but the vast majority are in unreached areas of the world where it is difficult to go and difficult to proclaim the gospel. 

Committed to Participating Globally in Gospel Ministry
What can someone half way around the world do to participate in seeing beautiful feet go to unreached areas? 

First, be amazed by the gospel. God seeking to save the lost and the sinful, people like you and me, is amazing news. Sometimes the longer we walk with Jesus the less amazed by the gospel we can become and that should be the opposite experience we have with God. It is natural to not feel amazement or to take things like our salvation for granted, but rather than settle for that why not pray and ask God to give you wonder and awe at his ways (Romans 11:34-36). 

Second, engage in sharing the gospel where you are. Pray for opportunity and take part in talking about what God has done. What’s amazing is that throughout the gospels and the book of Acts we see people who are the least qualified the ones who were most eager to talk about Jesus. The woman at the well in John 4, the man born blind in John 9, the disciples of Jesus who were untrained and unlearned in Acts 3 and 4, and so on. When you pray for opportunity, God will often provide and open your eyes to people in your path. Likewise, because of where we live this gives us an opportunity to participate in global missions because many people in the Bay Area come from around the world and travel back home to see friends and family and can theoretically take the gospel with them to places we often cannot go.

Finally, pray and support missionaries who are serving unreached people groups. Missionaries could all use prayer and support, so do not neglect what you’re currently doing, but consider adding a focus on unreached peoples. We support some missionaries who are connected to unreached peoples. Pick up their prayer cards and look for opportunity to support them.

At your community group:

Take 15-20 minutes to share about how God has been at work in your life, prayer concerns and pray for one another.

How did God speak to you through the scripture and the sermon this week? 

Discussion Questions:

Read Romans 10:8-17

What does it mean that there is “no distinction” between Jew and Gentile? How would the original audience receive that?

How does hearing and faith relate to one another in this passage?

Do you think it is true that the longer we walk with God the less in awe and wonder we can be with our own salvation? If so, how does someone stay aware of the beauty of the gospel?

What are some ways you can participate in mission to unreached people groups?