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The Feet of the Gospel

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news (Romans 10:15)? This is how Paul finalizes his famously urgent call for Christians to engage the world around them with the gospel. Notice that he doesn’t emphasize speaking skills, knowledge, marketing savvy, or any other intuitively sensible attribute. He emphasizes their feet. In his plea, he passionately asks how can unbelievers call on God if they don’t believe, and how can they believe if they’ve never heard, and how will they hear if no one preaches, and who is going to preach if no one is sent? Paul’s overall push is for the salvation of lost people. In that push, he recognizes the full importance of preaching, while also recognizing that the most effective preacher is useless unless he actually moves his body to where the preaching should occur. Paul does not want those who receive his preaching to just sit still. Instead, he wants them to put the preaching into action so that the good news of God’s redemptive love can be spread throughout the entire world, and so that every man, woman, and child can be snatched from the terrible grasp of sin and hell.

The gospel message had changed Paul. Prior to his conversion, Paul identified with those who had a false, religious spirit. After his conversion, he identified with the sacrificial life of the son of God. So dominant and real was his identification with Christ that he began to mirror Jesus in his own life. Christ came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), and that is how Paul arranged the rest of his life. 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 is his impassioned description of that deliberate arrangement. He explains how he does everything in his life for the purpose of reaching the lost. To Jews, he becomes a Jew. To gentiles, he becomes a gentile. To the weak, he becomes weak. And to all people he becomes a slave so that he can win as many people as possible to the saving grace of the God of the universe who became a lowly man to save people from their sins.

Paul goes on to share how he controls, trains, and disciplines his body like an athlete so that he can continue his evangelical race and win the prize of the gospel. He was successful in that training and ultimately finished that race well (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Early church history from extra-biblical sources have Paul, just like his Lord, dying a martyr’s death for his commitment to the gospel. His feet were beautiful to all of those early churches who received the good news they carried.

What good news do your feet carry, and to where do they carry it?

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