On Miscellaneous Subjects
By Pastor Ron Thomas
Rodgers Baptist Church
801 West Buckingham Rd. - Garland, TX 75040
Text passages: Isaiah 52:7. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”
Romans 10:14-15. “How 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?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Introduction: Our text passages have to do with feet. There are all sorts of feet. There are large feet, small feet, long feet, short feet, lean feet, and pudgy feet. In China, there is an age old tradition of binding the feet of young girls, which makes them very tiny and beautiful, at least in the eyes of the Chinese. To us, they look very unusual to say the least! Some people have strange looking feet. Others have beautiful feet. Did you know that there are foot models? They get paid to have their feet photographed!
Take a look at your feet. Do you like your feet? On a scale of one to ten; one being ugly and ten being beautiful, how would you rate your feet? While God has made many beautiful things, I don’t imagine any of us would rate our feet as a ten! However, it is possible for all of us to have beautiful feet, at least in God’s eyes. God thinks some feet are very beautiful! I’m not suggesting a pedicure. God is interested in our feet. God is not so much concerned about how your feet look, but where they go and what they do.
Doctors tell us that your feet are mirrors of your health. Signs of diabetes, arthritis, circulatory problems, often appear first in your feet.
Your feet play an important role in your spiritual well being.
Some feet lead to trouble, strife, and heartache. Isaiah 59:7-8 reads, “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.” Other’s feet are yielded to God in ministry.
Job said in his defense in Job 29:15, “I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.”
The psalmist in Psalms 119:59-60 said, “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies. 60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep Thy commandments.”
In Isaiah 52:7, Isaiah prophecies concerning the Jews who were exiled in Persia. In that day, King Cyrus had permitted the Jews held captive in Babylon, to return to their native land. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Isaiah’s words referred to the heralds who proclaimed the liberating message to the Jewish people, “You’re free! No more captivity! It’s time to go home!” What good news!
In Romans 10:15b, the apostle Paul quotes Isaiah 52:7 and relates it to the ultimate good news message. “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” The word “gospel,” actually means glad tidings or good news. The good news message of the gospel is only good news, when preceeded by the bad news.
The bad news is that the whole world is held captive by sin and Satan, and is subject to the judgment of a righteous, holy God. God must punish sin because He is holy beyond our imagination. In sin, every man, woman, boy or girl sits on death row, awaiting the fiery judgment of a just God!
The good news is that God loves the world! How much? God so loved the world, that He sent us His only Son, the “holy child” Jesus, was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, a servant to humanity, sinless in His nature, obedient to the eternal plan of redemption, which meant death by crucifixion. Jesus Christ demonstrated God’s great love for fallen humanity by suffering the judgment and wrath upon sin, that was meant for us. Dying on the cross, Jesus provided a way for us to receive forgiveness of sin and be made righteous. We broke the law, but Jesus came to pay our fine!
Isaiah 53 said it this way, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Jesus died on the cross, and on the third day, rose again, conquering death, so that all those who truly repent of their sin and trust in Him rather than in their own merit, can be forgiven, set free from the curse and condemnation of sin! We no longer see God as our adversary, but as our Heavenly Father! Romans 5:1 shouts, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 8:1 also shouts, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Now, that is good news!
Sharing the gospel with someone, is bringing good news. As a Christian, you are to be a herald of the good news of Jesus Christ! To God, there is nothing more beautiful than feet that carry the good news of Jesus Christ, whether it is across the street or across the ocean. Have your feet brought good news to someone recently?
The word “beautiful” in the Hebrew is na’ha, and it doesn’t mean pretty, cute or beautiful. Actually, it means befitting, becoming or perfectly appropriate. Flowers are designed by God to bring color and fragrance into our lives, therefore it is fitting or appropriate to display them in a vase on the table. Your feet were designed to go places. They say that your feet will carry you the equivalent of five times around the earth in an average life span. Your feet may take you up and down a basketball court or soccer field; they make take you to school or to work, which is well and good. However, Your feet can reach into eternity when you employ them to carry the good news of Jesus Christ! When they are employed to travel near and far bearing the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, God calls them beautiful!
In Isaiah 52:7, we see the “beautiful feet” upon the mountains. The word “mountains” means hill country. This speaks of where people live. We are not to warehouse God’s message in our churches! We are to get the message out into the hearts and lives of people near and far! The gospel is universal. It is not for Israel alone! God loves the whole world! God’s love is not limited to any one nation or person. God is “no respecter of persons.” He treats all men just alike! All men are created in God’s likeness and image. All men are sinners and thereby alienated from God.
All men are loved by God. All men have access to the righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 10:12-13 reads,”For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” All men are saved by the same promise! God does not save one person one way, and another person another way. Paul says God is “rich” in mercy and grace to all! The word “whosoever” in verse 13, means anyone and everyone! It means any person, nationality, race or color. It means any person regardless of their background or past!
What does it mean to “call upon the name of the Lord?” Here It simply means to believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. To “call upon the name of the Lord,” is to look to Jesus and believe from our hearts the message of John 3:16.
In Romans 10:14-15, we are given a step by step progression involved in “beautiful feet” taking the gospel to the world. The progression begins in verse 15b and moves backward to verse 14.
Beautiful Feet Progression
Stepping stone one: Sending beautiful feet. Verse 15a says, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” What or who is involved in this sending? It is God who does the sending! The God who loves the world, is also the “Lord of the harvest,” who sends those with beautiful feet into the world with the message of the gospel.
God sends beautiful feet by His Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 reads, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” It is the Holy Spirit who empowers you and prompts you to witness to a lost world.
God sends beautiful feet through His church. The Lord’s church has been empowered and commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature! A healthy church equips and sends it’s members as well as it’s missionaries into the communities and foreign nations with the good news of Jesus Christ!
Stepping stone two: Beautiful feet sharing. Verse 14 ends with “...and how shall they hear without a preacher?” The word “preach” or “preacher” today beings images of a pulpit! Actually the word “preach” simply means to proclaim, to make known! While the Lord may not call all of us to preach behind a pulpit, we are all called to proclaim or share Jesus Christ. There must be people with “beautiful feet,” who will go, speak, and share.
Stepping stone three: Hearing the message spoken by those with beautiful feet. Verse 14b says, “....and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” Often during His earthly ministry, Jesus said, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Most people come with a set of ears, but just because they have ears, it is not automatic that they really hear! There are all sorts of things that can block the ears of those who are presented the gospel message. Some are not ready to give up trying to save themselves. Others are too preoccupied with pleasure or their own plans for life. If we go, speak, and share, not everyone will have ears to hear, but some will listen.
Stepping stone four: Believing the message spoken by those with beautiful feet. Verse 14b says, “and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” Anyone who can hear, is a candidate to believe. Among those who listen, some will believe.
Hearing, we receive the message of the gospel on the intellectual level, but to believe, the message must move from the head to the heart. Romans 10:8-10 says, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Stepping stone five: Calling upon the Lord, and becoming beautiful feet believers. Verse 14a says, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?” Among those who believe, there will be those who call upon the name of the Lord. Why does calling upon the Lord follow believing? Some say that the calling here implies that this is a sinner’s prayer. Others say that we are not saved by praying or repeating someone’s prayer. Truly, salvation occurs instantaneously at the moment of faith! If anything, it is a heart cry to God, not necessarily an audible one!
Since calling follows believing, Paul is thinking of something beyond regeneration or justification. Salvation is but the beginning of a lifetime of calling upon the name of the Lord. Romans 10:11 says, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” The apostle Paul speaks of a threefold salvation of deliverance in II Corinthians 1:10. “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.” We are delivered not just from the guilt and condemnation of sin, but from it’s power, as well as from trials and temptations. The Psalms are full of this calling upon the name of the Lord.
Psalm 18:3 reads, “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 50:15 says, “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Psalm 145:18-19 says, “The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them.”
This wonderful gospel progression begins with and ends with beautiful feet! The story is told of a missionary who was preaching in the village market, and some of the people were laughing at him because he was not a very handsome man. The missionary suffered their abuse time and time again. Then one day he said to the crowd, "It is true that I do not have beautiful hair, for I am almost bald. Nor do I have beautiful teeth, for they are really not mine; they were made by the dentist. I do not have a beautiful face, nor can I afford to wear beautiful clothes. But I know one thing that I do have. I have beautiful feet! God tells me so!"
I want to tell you a “beautiful feet” story. Andreas (Andrew) lives in the extreme southern region of Mexico, in the state of Chiapas. Andreas or Andrew is what we might call today a “native American.” He and his people are also called “indigenous” people of Mexico, which describes those who are left over from the Mayan empire. Andreas or Andrew lives in Yolonam de San Juan Chamula. He and his family were brought up in spiritual ignorance, under the influence of a strange mix of paganism and Catholicism. To say the least, there was no gospel message, no beautiful feet in his part of the world.
Some years ago, Andreas needed money badly, so he did what many people do who are impoverished, living in Mexico. Andreas came to the United States to find work, and ended up working on a farm in Michigan for seven years. Andreas lived in a house with many other migrate workers. There was a Spanish speaking or an English speaking church with a Spanish ministry nearby, that had an outreach to people like Andreas. One day, some members of that ministry knocked the door of the house, and shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone. In time, several of the workers were saved, and one of them was Andreas or Andrew. Andreas started attending that church, and over time he had a burden for his people back home. Andreas obtained a sermon tape which shared the gospel message from his church, and sent it back home with one of the workers who was returning. The tape reached his family, and ultimately found his brother, Pedro or Peter. Well, Pedro listened to the tape, and gave his heart to Jesus! Now, if you are paying attention and know your Bible, you realize that biblical history has just repeated itself! Andrew introduced his brother Peter to Jesus.
Pedro or Peter, had a Satellite phone at his house, and members of the community would pay him to use the phone. When they came by, Pedro would persuade them to listen to the tape and hear the message of the gospel! Several in the community got saved! Thirsty to learn more about this faith, Pedro traveled to the city of San Cristobal and found a Baptist Church. It was there he got his first Bible. He returned home, and read it through! This connected Pedro with some “fundamentalist” who ended up treating him very poorly. A big shot fundamentalist pastor visited Pedro and his few followers, and wouldn’t even speak directly to him. The preacher didn’t know that Pedro spoke Spanish, and said to another man, “If all he has is these few people, he should be ashamed and give it up.” The message hit Pedro hard, and he did just that, he gave it up.
One day, he traveled to Monterrey to make some money shining shoes. While he was there working, he came across the Jerusalem Baptist Church, and decided to visit. Pastor Gondela met Pedro, welcomed him, encouraged him, and even asked Pedro to preach! Pedro was now connected to some churches, including ours, that loved him and saw an open door for the gospel in southern Mexico. Today, Pedro pastors a church in his mountain community, the Come To Christ Baptist Church in Yolonam de San Juan Chamula. Pastor Pedro has a passion to spread the gospel message all over the mountains in that region of the world. It all started with one person who had beautiful feet.
Beautiful Feet (Song)
by Donald Lawrence
Start CD (CD was played here)
It has been observed that there are only two things you can do on this earth, that you cannot do in Heaven. You can sing, you can serve, you can pray, you can fellowship in both places. You can even rest in both places, but there are two things you can do here on earth, but not in Heaven. What are they? The first thing is You can't sin in Heaven. The second is, You can't tell someone about Jesus, and rescue them from eternal Hell. This world needs people with beautiful feet! What about your feet? Are your feet beautiful in God’s eyes?