The germ of any great idea, machination or agenda is necessity; without a need the scheme is frivolous and the greater the need, the more highly esteemed the solution to the need is. Mickey Mantle was a hero of sorts in his day and he satisfied millions of peoples’ entertainment ‘needs’, but Dr. Jonas Salk was THE hero of the day and Mantle’s flame was very dim to the blaze of Salk’s stardom. The reason is simple: people valued the polio vaccine even more than they did Mantle’s baseball exploits.
Paul’s letter to the Romans begins by pointing out a simple and poignant truth: neither the jews nor the gentiles were acceptable in God’s eyes. The apostle expresses a great need, a horrifically urgent one at that–man’s eternal situation is hopeless, beyond salvation without the Lord’s aid. Paul then proceeds to outline God’s grand design to save man from himself. It is a wonderfully simple, yet elegant plan born from the mind of God to address the direst of needs.
Where is God’s acclaim? There are two ways to view this question and each has a specific answer.
Firstly, God does not get much credit from the world because the majority of the world does not see a need for God or His salvation. The jews gathered at Jerusalem on Pentecost in Acts 2 were a particluarly devout, and tiny, minority of the jewish nation. They had traveled from all corners of the Roman and Parthian empires to keep the law. They were faithful and sincere believers. When they heard that God had at last sent the promised Messiah, only for the jews to kill him, they were cut to the heart and begged, “what shall we do?” They recognized their guilt and condemnation, something that the world at large is not wont to do.
Where is God’s acclaim?
If any in the world are to see a need for salvation it must come from believers. “How will they hear without a preacher?”, the apostle rhetorically inquires in Romans 10. Indeed, how will they? The realization that one stands condemned before God requires several pieces of knowledge, but, for our purpose here, we’ll just say that Christians sharing that knowledge is of the utmost importance. If any in the world are to give God His due, they must enter ‘His marvelous light’ as Peter said Christians have. And, as this apostle said in that same verse in I Peter 2, Christians must ‘proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness.” This is the other answer.
Where is God’s acclaim?
It’s in the church–a body of proclaimers. A Christian’s duty is to speak of, or confess, Jesus before men (Matt. 10). As Paul says in Romans 10:17, “…faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” One of the great tasks of the church–and great joys–is to preach salvation is Christ Jesus. The church is where God gets His acclaim, having been instituted expressly for the purpose.
The world needs heroes. God and His son Jesus are bonafide heroes, having perceived the most critical of man’s needs and stepping in to give man hope. It is sad to think of the trillions on this globe, going about their lives without understanding the doom set to befall them when our Lord returns. And only we can do something about that.