Monday, January 11, 2010
" . . . As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:15
Let's break down what the Apostle Paul is saying in this verse. In chapter ten of the letter to the Romans, Paul is summing up what is required for a person to be justified before our Holy God. As we come to verse 15, he is detailing how one actually comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Simply put, the Gospel (the Good News) must be fully heard and believed in order for a sinner to be saved from the just wrath of God. Of course, you don't have to be an ordained minister to be qualified to explain the Gospel; but I hope no one would deny that this is the ordained minister's primary and most crucial function.
The verse that I have highlighted is actually a quote from the prophet Isaiah, who in chapter 52 verse 7 of his prophecy stated,
" How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
I wonder how many preachers today have "beautiful feet"? As I look over the biggest names in popular christianity; I have to say, "not too many"! What does every single individual who walks into a church on Sunday morning have in common? The have all sinned against a Holy God. For many people this is a way of life; they are called "the unsaved". This is what they do. The others are believers; but even so, throughout the week they have betrayed the innocent blood Jesus shed for them on the cross.
R. C. Sproul aptly refers to this as "cosmic treason".
But when these kind of folks walk into the churches of Dollar, Jakes, Osteen, Hinn and their ilk what do they hear? Do they hear of the offense they have given to their Creator? Do they hear that they are fallen creatures in need of a foreign righteousness to clothe them that they will not be condemned by the unrelenting justice of Almighty God? Do they hear that the entire penalty has been borne and full debt has been paid by the sinless Son of God? And that trusting Jesus alone to bear their guilt is the ONLY way to be saved from Almighty God's righteous wrath? Do we hear the Good News that there is now a way for sinful men, like you and me, to stand justified before a Holy God? I've watched a lot of these guys' broadcasts and have yet to hear it, even once.
What do we hear instead? We hear: "God wants you to be a champion", "Jesus was rich and His children should be rich, too", "Dogs have little dogs, cats have little cats; so what does God have", "If you have enough faith, sickness cannot exist in your body", "Jesus wasn't God; Jesus was a man, because God wanted to show what He could do through a man"!
These preachers (and any who model them) have hammer-toes, bunions and their feet stink to high heaven!
We don't need self-glorifying and blatantly false proclamations. We, saved and unsaved, need to repeatedly hear the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must always be brought to terms with the loving God who sacrificed His innocent Son because He did not want to condemn His people. We have to face that even in our saved state we continually spurn that unfathomable love by our every sin. Nonetheless, we still have the promise of forgiveness if we come to Him in repentance. We must constantly be encouraged to mortify our sin and to vivify Godly virtue that we may be conformed to the image of our Lord. Our hope must be perpetually stoked by the proclamation of justification by faith ALONE in Jesus Christ ALONE to the glory of God ALONE! And that hope may only be promulgated through the triune God's sole method of special revelation: the Bible.
There are too many pretty hair-do's, too many GQ suits, too many bulging biceps, too many flashy cars, too many shapely legs haunting our pulpits. We need more beautiful feet. Feet tirelessly leading us to the cross. Feet leading us to repentance. Feet leading us to gratitude. Feet leading us to biblical faith. Feet leading us to contentment. Feet leading us to to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. We need beautiful feet!!!
Be Like the Bereans, Baby!!! (Acts 17:11)
P.S. I am eternally thankful for the beautiful feet of men like Michael Leach, R.C. Sproul, Michael Horton and John Piper who have helped me to understand and love this Gospel.