Nick Poindexter

My style's like a chemical spill

Tag: Romans

Beautiful Feet

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? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
-Romans 10:14-15 (NIV)

In Romans 10, the missionary Paul pleads for his readers to understand how vital the saving message of the gospel is. Paul then lays out a series of rhetorical questions that show the events that must play out in order for one to ultimately believe in Jesus. Oddly however, Paul doesn’t commend the speaker’s words, mouth, lips nor tongue. Instead, he says it’s the feet that are worthy of the recognition. Specifically, Paul says those feet are beautiful.

Even in today’s clean-freak society, “beautiful feet” doesn’t translate well. Feet are still kind of off limits as far as the body goes. To some people, even the mere thought of touching someone’s feet makes them cringe. It doesn’t matter if it’s their significant other or their children… There ain’t no way they are getting near those things! There’s even a name for it — podophobia, the fear of feet.

As gross as feet are thought of today, in Paul’s culture they were viewed far worse. We have to remember that this was during a time in history where the primary means of travel was by foot. And the roads weren’t paved. And they’re located in the Middle East.

So within the context of these verses you have dirt roads in a desert climate being traveled by folks in sandals. Not exactly an ideal setting for one’s feet. I don’t want to get graphic with you (OK, yeah I do), but we’re talking feet covered with cuts, scabs, blisters, calluses, sweat, mud, and dust. And don’t get me started on their toenails… Can you imagine? Yikes! You couldn’t just stroll into your local strip mall and get a pedi with a sea salt scrub anytime you wanted.

Let’s be honest — feet can be pretty nasty. Then and now, they are generally anything but beautiful.

That’s why it’s so interesting that Paul chose arguably the most disgusting part of the body and described them in a way no one ever had before. Despite everything wrong it had going for it, in the end the feet are what carried the message of Jesus. All the charisma, intellect and eloquent dialogue in the world is for naught if isn’t actually taken somewhere to be shared. True to his form, God shows that his primary concern is willful obedience. The domino effect of salvation begin with a single, literal step. Because of that, it’s those “icky” feet that Paul says deserve the praise and attention.

Or better yet, I suppose you could summarize the thought this way: anything that brings a good thing is a beautiful thing.

And really, that’s a picture of the gospel, isn’t it? The broken made new. The worthless redeemed. The ugly made beautiful.

The Good News really is that good.

Without Excuse

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him…
-Romans 1:20-21 (NIV)

Here in the book of Romans, Paul is addressing the an age-old conundrum: What about people who never hear about Jesus? He declares that God has revealed himself to everyone through his creation, specifically his intelligence, power, beauty, and transcendence. This is often referred to as general revelation.

But Paul then goes on to say that despite the evidence right before our eyes, in our pride, we all still reject that basic knowledge of him. Therefore, no one is innocent, everyone needs to be saved through faith in Jesus Christ, and his disciples today are charged to spread that message to the ends of the earth.

There’s also another way called special revelation. That’s when God uses miraculous means to show himself. The Bible and Jesus himself fall into this category.

But here’s the thing: If you are a Christian, then YOU are the living, breathing manifestation of the miraculous, life-changing power of Jesus, the Son of God. You’re also part of the special revelation.

So I must ask… What kind of evidence are you? What is your life testifying to?

Paul says that the general revelation of God can be seen through nature. His creation is always pointing others back to God. But for God’s special revelation? That’s you. As a new creation, are you always pointing others back to Christ?

Everyday, people who have responded to God though general revelation are looking at us for the special revelation — Jesus. And it’s our job to be his testimonial. It’s our job to go and tell them about him. That’s the Great Commission.

So Paul says that men are without excuse. And so are we.

Is your life evidence of a Savior who totally, completely, unequivocally transformed you inside-out? Or does your life testify to something else?

You might be the only proof of Jesus that someone ever sees.

Just A Phone Call Away

For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
-Romans 10:13 (NLT)

Here Paul, a leader of this revolutionary new religion called Christianity, is writing to the Roman people. One can assume that he was getting a lot of questions about what it took to become a follower of Christ and receive eternal life. Previous to this verse he talks about confessing with your mouth and believing with you heart, and he summarizes it all in verse 13 by quoting the prophet Joel: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

What a beautifully simple answer. You need him? Just call him. He’s as close as our own lips.

One thing I’ve learned recently is that oftentimes non-believers expect becoming a Christian to be some complicated, cumbersome process where you have to specifically say the right words and oh-so carefully jump through the right hoops. But Paul says we just call him.

If I need my friend, do I light candles, chant their name over and over, and hope this ritual connects me to them? No, I just call him.

All the time I hear people say, “If you need me for anything, I’m just a phone call away.”

Our God is no different. Salvation is just one call away.

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