Called to Preach (1)
A Sermon on Romans 10:14-17
14How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? 15But how are they to preach unless they are sent? Just as it …
14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How …
In the first part of his sermon on Romans 10:14–17 titled “Called to Preach (1),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers an important question: what makes a preacher? As he curates a biblical list that describes an ideal pastor, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones declares the first reason for preaching. Quoting from Romans, he reads, “And how can they believe in whom they have not heard?” The primary reason for preaching is to herald the good news to those who have not heard. As Paul wrote, people cannot believe in something unless they’re told of it. The second reason for preaching, he says, is because a person is called. Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives a number of New Testament examples of people being called to preach the good news. Chiefly, he cites Christ’s calling of the disciples. Lastly, he reminds the listener how important it is for a preacher to be appointed by the congregation. He again quotes passages from the New Testament where the church selected and prayed over certain people to bring the message locally and abroad. A person cannot appoint himself to preach. He must be given the responsibility by the church body. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by saying that these three points are essential to preaching and the great opportunity to share the promise of Christ.
- The passage under consideration is Romans 10:14-17 which discusses the call of the gospel and how people come to faith.
- Verses 14-15 discuss the general call of the gospel - the proclamation of the good news to all people.
- Verses 16-17 discuss why some believe and some do not - the effectual call of those who become believers.
- The passage shows why missionary work and preaching are necessary - so people can hear the gospel and believe.
- Two main Greek words are used for "preach" in the New Testament:
- One means to proclaim the good news or evangelize (Acts 8:4)
- The other means to herald or make an official proclamation (Acts 8:5)
- The second word is only used of those with an official appointment to preach like John the Baptist, Jesus, the Apostles, Philip, etc.
- All Christians should be able to share the gospel but not all are meant to preach in an official capacity. Preaching is an act of the whole church.
- Preachers are sent by the church through:
- A personal call from God
- The church recognizing and confirming that call
- The church examines candidates for preaching to ensure proper doctrine and qualification. Preaching is too important to be self-appointed.
- The greatest preachers approach preaching with humility, fear, and trembling - recognizing the seriousness and difficulty of the task.
- It is unscriptural and dangerous for someone to appoint themselves as a preacher. Preachers must be sent by God and the church.
The Book of Romans
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.