“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (8:1). I know that statement is from yesterday's post, but I have not been able to get away from how absolutely wonderful is this declaration. No condemnation. None. Nada. Tidak ada (as they would say in Indonesia). Jesus has taken the full brunt of my condemnation and I am forgiven. That's just absolutely, undeniably, completely amazing good news!
Now, that which Paul himself has experienced – forgiveness of his sins and a right relationship with God and eternal life – he wants all to experience, including Israel. Paul’s “heart's desire and prayer to God for [Israel] is that they may be saved” (10:1). Furthermore, “there is no distinction between Jew and Greek . . . everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (10:12-13). Only those who believe will call on the name of the Lord. But they must hear. Someone must tell them. And those who tell must be sent.
How shall they hear the word of God
unless the truth is told;
how shall the sinful be set free,
the sorrowful consoled?
To all who speak the truth today
impart your Spirit, Lord, we pray.
How shall they call to God for help
unless they have believed;
how shall the poor be given hope,
the prisoners reprieved?
To those who help the blind to see
give light and love and charity.
How shall the gospel be proclaimed
that sinners may repent;
how shall the world find peace at last
if heralds are not sent?
So send us, Lord, for we rejoice
to speak of Christ with life and voice.. --Michael A. Perry (1980)