Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: (21) But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.Romans 15:20-21
Paul has been describing God’s calling on his life as a proclaimer of the Gospel to the gentiles as the rationale for writing this letter to a church he did not found and had not met. As he writes these verses he declares his desire to preach the Gospel where Christ was previously unknown. His desire and calling was to be a pioneer, proclaiming the Gospel where it had previously not been spoken. He quotes Isaiah 52:15, which says,
So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.Isaiah 52:15
This passage in Isaiah is speaking of the “suffering servant”, Jesus Christ, who will come and “sprinkle many nations”. Just as the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant to cleanse the people of their sins, so the coming of Jesus would provide the opportunity for cleansing to the gentile nations of the earth. Isaiah prophesied these gentile kings will see and consdier what had not been revealed to them before.
We know that Paul had the opportunity to preach Christ to gentile kings. Paul’s preaching to the gentiles had begun the fulfillment of this prophecy. God’s intention to save the gentiles that had been prophecied was being fulfilled through Paul, and is being fulfilled by missionary efforts throughout the nations.
Paul’s responsibility and calling may be different than ours in scope, but not necessarily in substance. God has called us to proclaim the Gospel to ever creature. We have a responsibility to those who have never heard.
Are you involved in the missions program of your church, giving so that people who have never heard may have local, new testament, Gospel preaching churches established to disciple people in places where the Gospel has not been proclaimed?
Are you involved in shareing the Gospel where you are? Who do you need to tell today?