Romans 10:14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
Paul has been teaching on the importance of faith in fulfilling the law, rather than works. But how does this faith come about in the first place? Christian apostles are sent out (the word “apostle” means “sent one”) to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Jesus is proclaimed some hearers receive the message and “believe” that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah. What does it mean to “believe” in Jesus?
The Greek word translated here as “believe” is “pisteuo” which means “to trust”. In other words, faith in Jesus is not simply an intellectual agreement, but involves bringing one’s entire life into alignment with the truth that Jesus is Lord. It’s allowing the old self to die so that a new self might be brought to life – which is what baptism is all about.
My problem is that my old self is always seeking to come back from the dead. I am tempted to follow the ways of the world rather than the ways of Jesus. So this dying and rising isn’t a “one and done” kind of deal, but is something we do each day. This morning I’m asking the Lord to show me the parts of my life that must die. Again. So that I might live in trust of Jesus Christ. Lord let it be so. Amen.