Romans 10:14 - 17
ESV - 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!
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Christians are made righteous in God's sight through faith in Christ, rather than as a result of works (Ephesians 2:8-9). That saving faith, in turn, comes as a result of exposure to the inspired word of God, which (at the time that Paul wrote the cited words in Romans) was made possible (as noted in Romans 10:17) through hearing the gospel message preached by believers who had been sent out for that purpose.
When we hear the gospel, First Corinthians 15:1-4, and believe the gospel, God imputes His perfect righteousness to us apart from works. Romans 4:5-6. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness apart from works. Our sin debt is paid in full and we can no longer be condemned. John 3:18. Blessed is the man whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. You can not boast in a free gift. Romans 3:26-28 For He is the just and the justifier of them that believe in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? By the law of works? Nay, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude a man is justifiied by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Jesus said, unless our righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, we can not see the kingdom of God. When we accept His free gift of eternal life, our sin debt is paid in full, past, present, and future sins, and He imputes His perfect righteousness to us apart from works. The gift of God is eternal life. You can not boast in free. We did nothing worthy of salvation. John 3:16-18.
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