Romans 9:33
as it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame."
Either an Offence or a RefugeS.R. Aldridge Romans 9:33
Jesus as the Stumbling-StoneC.H. Irwin Romans 9:33
Vessels of Wrath and Vessels of MercyR.M. Edgar Romans 9:19-33
A Great ReversalProf. Thomson.Romans 9:25-33
A People Who Were no PeopleC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 9:25-33
God's Judgments AreJ. Lyth, D. D.Romans 9:25-33
Hope for the OutcastsJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:25-33
JudgmentJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:25-33
Some Points in the Divine ProcedureJ. W. Burn.Romans 9:25-33
The Calling of the GentilesJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:25-33
The Character and Privileges of the SaintsJ. W Burn.Romans 9:25-33
The Divine ConsideratenessJ. W. Burn.Romans 9:25-33
The Example of Israel a Warning to the WorldJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:25-33
The Lord of SabaothM. Thomson.Romans 9:25-33
The Rejection of the JewsJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:25-33
The Remnant SavedB. Beddome, M.A.Romans 9:25-33
The Sovereignty of GodJ. J. S. Bird, M.A.Romans 9:25-33
A Common Stumbling BlockRomans 9:30-33
A Reliable SalvationT. De Witt Talmage.Romans 9:30-33
Christ a Stumbling Stone and Rock of CollisionJ. Morison, D.D.Romans 9:30-33
Christ Rejected by Jews and Accepted by GentilesC. Simeon, M.A.Romans 9:30-33
No Righteousness by the LawJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:30-33
S.S.: or the Sinner SavedC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 9:30-33
Seeking After RighteousnessH. W. Beecher.Romans 9:30-33
The Divine Method of SalvationJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:30-33
The Folly of Rejecting the GospelH. W. Beecher.Romans 9:30-33
The Gospel for the GentilesJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:30-33
The Reasonableness of God's WorkingT. F. Lockyer, B.A.Romans 9:30-33
The Reasonableness of God's WorkingT.F. Lockyer Romans 9:30-33
The Righteousness of the GospelJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:30-33
The Unsuccessful SeekerJ. Lyth, D.D., Prof. Beet., C. H. Irwin, M.A.Romans 9:30-33
Un-Believers Stumbling; Believers RejoicingC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 9:30-33
Behold, I lay in Zion a Stumbling-stone and Rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. It seems a strange thing that Jesus, the Saviour of men, should at all be set before us in this way. But the truth is, the great object is to cause us to consider what our own attitude is toward Christ. Have I accepted Jesus as my Saviour, or am I hesitating to commit myself to him? Am I clinging to him as my Rock of safety, or am I being repelled from him as from a rock of offence? It was no new idea, this which St. Paul brings forward here, of Christ being a Stumbling-stone. It was spoken of by Isaiah, when he said, "And he shall be for a Sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a Rock of offence to both the houses of Israel" (Isaiah 8:14). Jesus himself alluded to the same idea when he said to the chief priests and Pharisees, "Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The Stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the Head of the corner?" And then he added, to show the evil results of rejecting him, "And whosoever shall fall on this Stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder" (Matthew 21:42, 44). The Stone of stumbling, the Rock of offence, and the Stone against which men fall to their own destruction, - all these convey the same truth. It is a truth which conveys a solemn warning - the danger of rejecting Christ. How is it, then, that men stumble at Christ?

I. THERE ARE SOME THINGS IN CHRIST'S LIFE AND WORK AT WHICH MEN STUMBLE. I do not mean to say that there is anything in the life and work of Jesus Christ at which men ought to stumble, but such is the depravity of the human heart, such is the power of the great enemy of souls, that men find difficulties even in the way of salvation. They raise mental objections to the very way in which the Creator of the world wants to give them a share in his heavenly inheritance, and have their doubts as to whether there might not be some other way, some other Teacher, some other Saviour, just as good as the eternal Son of God, who, in his matchless love, gave himself to die for the redemption of their souls.

1. Christ is a stumbling-stone to many because of the way in which he came into the world. So it was when he was on earth. Men asked the question, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" And when he was come into his own country, they said, "Whence hath this Man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's Son? And they were offended in him" (Matthew 12:54-57), or stumbled at this difficulty of his lowly parentage. And yet there should be no difficulty, no stumbling-block in this; for Jesus came in the very way and in the very place it had been predicted several hundred years before that he would come. Micah had predicted the place of his birth when he spoke of Bethlehem, and Isaiah the manner of his birth when he spoke of the miraculous event of a virgin who should conceive and bear a son, and call his name Immanuel. That which is a stumbling-block to many ought to be a strength and confirmation of faith in the Son of God.

2. Others, again, find a difficulty in the surroundings of his daily life. It was with the poor and lowly that he chiefly mingled; he ate and drank with publicans and sinners, and his intimate followers and disciples were chosen mainly from the humbler walks of life. Here, however, is the very proof that Christ was indeed Divine. God is no respecter of persons. Had Christ been a mere man, with an ambition to found an earthly kingdom, he would have sought the society of the great; he would not have put away from him all the attempts to make him a King. But his kingdom was not of this world. The very persons whom he chose to be its first ambassadors and founders were in themselves a proof that their religion was Divine. Without earthly rank or riches, without learning or worldly influence, they went forth from an obscure province of the Roman empire, and, only by the power of the words they spoke, founded a religion which today is placing a girdle round the world, and before whose mighty power the temples of heathenism and the mosques of the Mohammedan are destined yet to fall. God hath indeed chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. This fact also about Jesus Christ, his lowly surroundings and his humble followers, instead of being a stumbling-block, should be a strength to faith.

3. There are many who find a great difficulty in the death of Christ. St. Paul said that in his day Christ crucified was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness. And it is the cross of Christ that is the stumbling-block to many at the present day. They are willing to regard Christ as the greatest of all teachers, as a beautiful and holy example, but they can see no meaning in the atonement. They stumble at the cross. They call the preaching of salvation by the sufferings of Christ "a doctrine of blood," Be it so. And if you take the doctrine of blood out of the Bible, how much of it have you left? Was it not the shedding of blood that was the feature of Abel's sacrifice, which, because it foreshadowed the need of an atonement for sin, was preferred to that of Cain, in which there was no recognition of guilt or unworthiness? The lamb which God himself provided for a burnt offering in lieu of Abraham's intended sacrifice; the lamb slain, and the blood sprinkled on the door-posts of the Israelites in Egypt; the sacrificial offerings of the Mosaic Law; - were not all these but types, pointing to the great Sacrifice, and teaching the children of Israel their need for his atonement? But those who accept Christ as a great Teacher, and reject the doctrine of his atonement, are hardly consistent. It seems incredible how any one can accept the gospel narrative of Christ's own teaching, without believing that he taught that his death was a sacrifice. Just immediately after he entered on his ministry, he permitted John the Baptist to say of him, "Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." He himself said, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life." Such words plainly convey that not only would there be the power of a good example in the life of Christ, but that there would be a healing, saving power in his death when he was lifted up upon the cross. He speaks of laying down his life for the sheep; and when he instituted the Lord's Supper, he clearly indicated that his sufferings on the cross were to be the leading thought in that commemoration, and that those sufferings were endured on behalf of his people. "This is my body, broken for you;!" "This cup is the new testament in my blood, shed for the remission of sins." If men stumble at the cross, they stumble at the very threshold of the gospel. "Without the shedding of blood is no remission." If men find a difficulty in the cross, they find a difficulty in the most convincing evidence given to men of God's love for the world and of the desire of Jesus Christ for their salvation. "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." Instead of stumbling at it, let me cling to it, let me live under its power. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us who are saved it is the power of God."


1. Christ is a Stumbling-block to human pride. If we are to be saved by Jesus Christ, then we must confess ourselves to be guilty sinners, we must lay aside all trust in any merit of our own, all hope of heaven because of our own good works. This is a stumbling-block to many. Penances are no stumbling-block. Men will freely inflict on themselves fastings and bodily sufferings, to purchase for themselves, as they think, the pardon of their sins and the hope of heaven; but simply to accept the salvation provided by Jesus Christ - when they are asked to do this, they hesitate, they raise difficulties, they entertain doubts. God's way of salvation is too simple for many. If he would bid us do "some great thing" we would gladly do it. Here, again, is it not plain that such a cause of stumbling is unreasonable? If I will not take God's way of getting to heaven, how can I expect to get there by any other? And if there could be any other way, what necessity was there for God to give up his own Son to death for us all?

2. Christ is a Stumbling-block to human sins. Many would like to get to heaven, but they do not like to give up their sins. Many are inclined to ask, "May one be pardoned, and retain the offence?" How unreasonable to choose a few hours of sin and to destroy both body and soul, rather than to follow that Saviour whose service is perfect peace, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore!

3. Christ is a Stumbling-block to human selfishness. Many who are not the slaves of grosser sins are nevertheless the slaves of worldliness and self. They fear that Christ's service would be too much of a restraint upon them. They know that they cannot serve God and mammon. Their conscience tells them that if they would be conformed to this world and imitate the customs and fashions of those around them, they must violate. the precepts and incur the displeasure of Christ. And so they make their choice, like Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. They are not prepared for the service of him who said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." But how great is the loss of those who for any of these reasons reject Christ! - C.H.I.

Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed (see
That is either —

I. SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED BY THE NON-FULFILMENT OF THAT WHICH IS THE OBJECT OF THEIR CONFIDENT EXPECTATION. It is a confidence which they might well cherish and avow — secure as they are from the mockery of any failure or disappointment in their hopes. All the promises of God in Christ Jesus are yea and amen; and it is because of their certain and punctual accomplishment, that the hope which they inspire is a hope which "maketh not ashamed." When the verse is thus regarded, its reference is to the future, when the promises will all be made good. Then will the believer lift up his head and rejoice. Otherwise, ashamed of the vain and illusory imagination on which he had before rested, he would sink into despair.

II. OR SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED NOW WHEN THE PROMISES ARE ONLY AS YET BELIEVED. Even at this stage might faith have a present and powerful effect in repressing shame, and more especially the shame of making the avowal of itself, and so of testifying for Christ. Like every other principle of strong and felt urgency within, it may delight in the vent and forthgoing of its own utterance, and in bearing down the restraints whether of shame or of fear, which might have otherwise intercepted the expression of it (Psalm 116:10; Psalm 39:8; Matthew 12:34). The apostle was not ashamed, because of the certainty he felt in Him whom he believed, and the firm persuasion he had of His ability to save him. And so he bids Timothy not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, who Himself tells us that whosoever shall be ashamed of Him and of His words, of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed. We like this view of the text. It binds so together the belief of its first clause with the confession of its second, and harmonises the saying that "confession is unto salvation" with the saying that "the end of our faith is the salvation of our souls."

III. FROM THE PROPOSITION OF THIS VERSE A CERTAIN CONVERSE PROPOSITION MIGHT BE DRAWN that might well be used as a criterion by which to test and to ascertain the reality of our faith. If it be true that whosoever believeth on Him is not ashamed, then it should be true that whosoever is ashamed of Him doth not believe. Or, whosoever maketh not confession of Him with the mouth, believeth Him not with the heart. How comes it, then, that Christ and all which is expressly Christian are so systematically excluded from society as topics of conversation? The general emigration of a whole neighbourhood from one country to another in this world would be the constant talk of all its parties. How is it that we meet with nothing like this on the subject of that universal emigration from one world to another? Is it because there are no outfits, no preparations, and therefore no prospects to talk about? — these having no place in the converse just because they have no place in the business or in the hearts of men? They are seldom or never the subjects of speech, just because they are seldom or never the subjects of thought. Or if there be any who think of them, but are ashamed to speak of them — such we say is the overbearing magnitude of the interest at stake that it needs but a realising sense of them to put to flight both the fear and the shame of this world.

(T. Chalmers, D.D.)

Homiletic Monthly.
I.OF CHRIST (2 Timothy 1:12; Mark 8:38).

II.OF THE GOSPEL (Romans 1:16).


IV.OF GOD'S PEOPLE (Ruth 1:16; Philippians 5:16).

V.OF GOD'S REVELATION (Psalm 119:6, 31, 46, 80).


VII.TO OWN HIS FORMER STATE (Ephesians 2:1-5).


IX.IN THE LAST GREAT DAY (Daniel 12:1-3).

X.OF "NOTHING" (Philippians 1:20). "They shall not be ashamed that wait for Thee."

(Homiletic Monthly.)

I. WHOSOEVER TRUST IN ANYTHING BUT IN CHRIST SHALL BE ASHAMED. The Jews of their confidence in the law. They also which, with King Asa, trust in the physicians and not in God in the day of sickness, so they which trust in their riches contrary to the commandment of the Spirit, whom Christ calls fools. These also who seek in losses to wizards and not to God. Many trust in outward things without God, but there are few who trust in God without outward things.

II. THERE IS MUCH FEAR AND DOUBTING WHERE FAITH IS, BUT IN THE END BELIEVERS SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED. This makes them confident against the reproach cast upon them by the world. Though the gospel be spoken against in every place, yet Paul will not be ashamed of it. This also comforts against the guiltiness of sin, which is the true cause of shame. Faith obtains pardon, and therefore we shall never be put to shame, and the more we believe the less do we fear shame. Peter walked upon the water and shamed himself, for he began to sink. What was the cause? Not the wind or waves, but the defect of faith. Make precious account therefore of thy faith, and labour to increase it. A certain captain, being in a hot skirmish, was stricken down, and taken up for dead. As soon as he came to himself he first asked if his target were safe, being loth his enemies should get that. So look to thy faith, for the devil, thy enemy, will look to it, and thou shalt not be ashamed.

III. WICKED MEN AND UNBELIEVERS ARE MISERABLE BECAUSE OF THE SHAME WHICH FOLLOWS THEM. There can be almost no stronger argument against sin than to say it will make ashamed. Some, like shameless beasts, glory in their shame, making a pastime of that with Solomon's fool (Proverbs 10:23), which they should bewail with tears of blood. It is a face of brass that is not ashamed of blasphemy, drunkenness, adultery, and pride. Though many of these things be not now ashamed, yet at the day of death or judgment they shall be put to shame, and then there shall be no covering for their shame. If thou be one of these and couldst blush, there were hope of thee. When a thief is taken how doth he hang down his head before men. Alas! if thou believest not, nor repentest, how shalt thou be able to look Christ in the face when He comes to judgment? Let us therefore so live that when He shall appear we may be bold, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

(Elnathan Parr, B.D.)

Faith is a frequent source of shame. How often has unfounded trust in ourselves or others brought disgrace and disappointment? In one direction, and in one direction only, can we with unlimited confidence say that whosoever believeth shall not be ashamed.


1. Of Christ, were He —

(1)Ignoble — were, e.g., He proved to be merely the Nazarene and not the Word made flesh; the Son of Mary and not the Son of God.

(2)Morally imperfect. Were He, who declared Himself sinless, shown to be overtaken in a fault.

2. Of His service. Could it be demonstrated to be —

(1)Ignominious, involving baseness and servility;

(2)Wicked, and against conscience;

(3)Grievous and impracticable — then might the believer be ashamed of his credulous compliance.

3. Of His teaching. Were it —

(1)Frivolous and unworthy of intelligent study.

(2)Immoral and offensive to the moral sense.

(3)Impracticable and unsuited to everyday life.

4. Of His influence, if it were —


(2)Transient; or

(3)Not for good.

5. Of His promised rewards, if they were —

(1)Baseless, or

(2)Worthless. Tried by these tests, who could come out scatheless?Mention one of whom in all these regards it could be said that he that believeth in him shall not be ashamed? Is Christ an exception? Yes.


1. Of Christ. Consider —

(1)The dignity of His person. "The brightness of God's glory," etc.

(2)The perfection of His character. "He did no sin." "He went about doing good."

2. Of His service.(1) It is of the noblest, as is shown from —

(a)Its character;

(b)Those who have engaged in it.(2) It is of the holiest. Its animating motive is perfect love to God and man.

(3)It is the most blessed — perfect freedom and fulness of joy.

3. Of His teaching, which is

(1)The most profound. The combined labour of the greatest intellects have failed to exhaust its meaning.

(2)The only instruction which meets with the perfect approval of the unbiassed conscience.

(3)Perfectly practicable. "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." "Ye are My friends if ye do," etc.

4. Of His influence. How can one be ashamed of that which everywhere makes for righteousness. We are ashamed of much that we did before we came under His influence; but we are ashamed now only that we did not come under it before.

5. Of His promised rewards. These are —

(1)Pure. We know this because we have already received the earnest.

(2)Of the highest and of endless value. "In Thy presence is fulness of joy," etc.


1. To confess Christ. He is worthy.

2. To engage in His service, and that with the utmost earnestness.

3. To study and practise His teaching. It will live when the wisdom of this world is forgotten.

4. To yield utterly to His influence.

5. To fulfil the conditions upon which He has promised His rewards. "Be thou faithful unto death," etc.

(J. W. Burn.)

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek
There is no difference, for —

1. There is the same Lord.

2. He is rich to all. The Jews need not grudge the coming in of the Gentiles; they shall not have the less, for God is able to enrich all. As the sun, though it every day give his light to everybody, yet neither hath it or we the less, so though thousands from one end of the earth to the other flock to the receiving of mercy yet God hath store, and the fountain is above our thirst.

3. An equal condition propounded to all, "If they call on Him," which, if the Gentile do, the gate of mercy was open and free to him as to the Jew. The favours of God concerning justification and salvation are dispensed, without any respect of persons, to them which believe and call upon Him (Acts 10:34; Romans 3:29, 30; Galatians 3:28).

I. IN THIS WORLD, FOR THE MOST PART, THE POOR ARE CONDEMNED. If there be any favour it falls into the rich man's mouth. If there be any danger the rich man gets through, when the poor is taken in the net of the law. The poor is scanted in the things of this earth, but in the favour of God and heavenly things he shareth with the best. The rich cannot bribe for these. God respected the low estate of Mary His handmaiden; yea, Lazarus went to heaven when Dives went to hell.

II. IF THOU BE RICH BE HUMBLE. Do not disdainfully overlook thy poor neighbour. He is heir of the same grace, serves the same Master, and, it may be, in as great favour with Him as thyself. The rich and poor are all one by creation; there is the same entrance into the world and the same way to depart to them both, unless the rich man's fulness open more doors of death than the emptiness of the poor man. In the worst things, as sin and corruption, the richest is equal with the poorest. In the best things, as justification and eternal life, the poorest is equal with the richest.

III. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RICH AND THE POOR IN SPIRITUAL THINGS. In civil there is great difference, even by God's ordinance. For the gospel abolisheth not order. We must honour our superiors. We may not say, Wherein is he better than I? We all come of Adam. When the counters are put up into the bag there is no difference between them, but while the account is casting there is great difference. One stands for a pound, another for a penny. So at the day of judgment and in Christ there is no difference; but while we here live there is difference, and it is to be acknowledged.

IV. BE AT UNITY, FOR THERE IS THE SAME LORD. We are all servants to one Master; He will prefer us all; we need not envy one another. We are all of a family, and wear all one livery, and the badge is love. Will any man endure that his servants or children shall be quarrelling? Indeed, if we served divers masters there might sometimes naked swords be seen, but now contentions must needs be odious. A Church in division is like a house on fire. Quench and increase not this flame by thy brainless opinions.

V. THE WAY TO BE RICH IN ALL GRACE IS TO ASK . Ask, and you shall have; He is rich to all that call upon Him. He gives bountifully, and casts no man in the teeth. Plead not thine own deservings, thou must sue in forma pauperis. Beggars obtain; the rich are sent empty away.

VI. Every man desires to serve a liberal master, that he may be preferred. SERVE GOD AND THOU SHALT BE MADE RICH. Why dost thou by swearing, lying, etc., serve that beggarly master the devil, that hath nothing to give his followers but hell? If God be thy Master thou art made for ever. No marvel that Paul breaks out into such pathetical thanksgivings because God entertained him into His service. Get into God's service, and, when thou art in, keep thee there. There are two things to be done that we may keep our service.

1. To know our Master well.

2. To do it. And then as God was rich to Abraham for his faith, to David for his zeal, to Stephen for his constancy, so will He be rich to thee. As God is rich in mercy to the good, so in judgments, plagues, woes, curses, is He rich to all ungodly and wicked men.

(Elnathan Parr, B.D.)

The gospel is admirably adapted to meet the wants of man. At whatever time, in whatever place, and under whatever circumstances, it satisfies his inquiries respecting salvation and a future world. It recognises no differences —

I. OF A NATIONAL KIND. The Jew and the Greek are on perfect equality as regards the gospel. Our Saviour says, "Go ye into all the world," etc. Thus the gospel cuts at the root of all national selfishness and animosity, and extends its blessings to all; for "God hath made of one blood all nations of the earth"; and the redeemed sing, "Worthy is the Lamb... who hath redeemed us out of all nations."

II. OF A SOCIAL KIND. Great as are the differences of social condition amongst men, the gospel recognises none. The gospel says to the prince, "Believe," and if he believes he is saved; but if he does not he is damned, though he be a prince. It just says the same to the slave. The rich and the poor, the master and servant, must partake of salvation by the same faith in the Son of God.

III. OF A DENOMINATIONAL KIND. The Independent and the Baptist, the Churchman and the Dissenter, each and all through Christ can be saved. The bigot in religion erects his little barrier, and having enclosed all within it who agree with him, excludes all others and regards them as outside the pale of salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ knocks down all such barriers, and standing on their ruins, proclaims salvation to each and to all who believe in His name.

IV. OF A MENTAL KIND. The refined scholar, and the untutored boor; the man of acute intellect, and the one of dull apprehension, each and all through Jesus Christ can be saved. Paul was debtor both to the wise and to the unwise. Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, nor let the uninstructed despair. Christ offers the riches of His grace to all.

V. OF A MORAL KIND. None are shut out from the blessings of the gospel on account of their bad character.

(C. Hargreaves.)

I. THE SALVATION REVEALED IN THE GOSPEL. It consists in a deliverance from the punishment and power of sin, and is effected by the death of Jesus Christ. Notice —

1. The richness of its blessings. According to the necessities of the sinner, so are the blessings presented in the gospel. Is he bowed down under a sense of the guilt of his transgressions? The gospel tells him, "God so loved the world," etc. Is he sensible of the deep pollution of his soul? He learns that "the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin." Does he feel his inability to honour God, by keeping the whole law? The gospel shows him that "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth," etc. Is the soul harassed by the power of temptation, and ready to despair? The gospel reveals the promises of deliverance and support. Does he shudder at the approach of death as the king of terrors? The gospel says, "Christ came to deliver those who, from fear of death, were subject to bondage," etc. Does Satan excite doubts and fears as to the final result? The gospel reveals God as swearing to him by two immutable things, etc., that he might have strong consolation.

2. The extensiveness of its efficiency. Its blessings are confined to no particular nation, but are suited to all, in every place (ver. 12).

3. The means by which its blessings are to be secured. We must "call upon God." But this must be much more than the address of the lips, which in many is only the result of education and example. The calling upon God here spoken of, is the result of heartfelt convictions of the truth of the gospel, and the importance of salvation. There can be no repentance without a discovery of the awful nature of sin, and without right views of the. holiness of God. It is only in proportion as we see the blessings of salvation to be suitable and necessary that we shall call upon God for them.

II. THE NECESSITY OF PUBLISHING THE GOSPEL THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH. This necessity is great, and it is heightened —

1. By the natural state of the human mind. Reason brought out great results in arts and sciences, etc.; it has enabled man to trace out the being and attributes of Jehovah (Romans 1:19, 20). By this also the knowledge of sin is attainable (Romans 2:14, 15). But, great as are the powers of the human mind, they fail to reveal the way in which the wrath of God may be appeased, the way in which man must be just with God (Micah 6:6, 7). Man is conscious of guilt, of merited punishment: self-preservation induces a wish to escape, but whither he knows not. Christ is set forth as a propitiation for the sins of the world — through faith in Him alone pardon and salvation are to be obtained; but millions of our fellow-creatures have never heard of Him, and therefore how shall they believe in Him? Hence the necessity of publishing it to them.

2. By the Divine appointment of Jehovah. We are blessed with the light of Divine truth; the spirit of true Christian benevolence, therefore, should prompt us to diffuse it. The gospel is designed both for Jews and Gentiles. This doctrine is to be found in the Old Testament as well as in the New. In the accomplishment of his designs, however, God works by means. He has appointed the preaching of His gospel. "Go ye into all the world, and preach," etc. Salvation is by faith; and if faith be essential to salvation, it is necessary to hear; for "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." And we may well ask, "How shall they hear without a preacher?" etc.Conclusion: Let us learn from this subject —

1. The unspeakable privilege of those who profess the gospel.

2. The duties which attach themselves to the possessors of these privileges.

(J. C. Williams.)

For the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him

1. The word is frequently an equivalent for Jehovah. Whether it is so here or not, the apostle recognised Christ's oneness with God even as Christ professed the same. Upon this is rooted our Lord's claim to the homage of the race.

2. The least that the word can mean is Sovereign. Christ is the King of men. This office is in danger of being overlooked in favour of His priestly and prophetic offices. It is more agreeable to be saved by His sacrifice and to listen to His gracious words than to fight His battles and to do His will. Yet what honour to be the subjects of such a King; what safety to be under His protection; what honour must come from obedience to His rule.


1. There is but one Lord — "The same Lord." Heathenism had lords many, which entailed religious confusion. Hence moral confusion and unrest. Christ is the only authoritative and perfectly self-consistent moral ruler.

2. He is over all, without distinction. His rights are based on —



(3)Redemption.He who created, who preserves, and who redeemed all, must be Lord of all. The inference is the essential equality of the race. Differences of rank, etc., are accidental and will pass away. That rich and poor, etc., are common subjects of the same King will never pass away. Let this soften racial, social, and sectarian asperities.

III. CHRIST, being Lord over all, IS RICH UNTO ALL. Rich Himself, He does not use His wealth for Himself. "For our sakes He" once "became poor"; but now, being again highly exalted, He gives gifts to men.

1. This is to be understood in the widest sense. His providential riches are distributed universally. Good and bad, enemies and friends, are partakers of His bounty.

2. This is to be understood in a more limited sense. His choicest favours are indeed offered to all, and the condition of their acceptance is possible to all; but they are confined to those who "call upon Him."(1) Those who acknowledge His Lordship. All can do this, but it is only reasonable that those who do do it should receive the benefit. A monarch may extend the benefit of his government to all his subjects, but he will scarcely confer his court favours on the disloyal.(2) Those who ask for them. What can be more reasonable and easy than this. To ask implies to want, and can we expect Christ to lavish the riches of His grace on those that will not appreciate them?

(J. W. Burn.)

The word "rich" is here used in its ethical import, as equivalent to liberal or bountiful. Hence the remarkable expression "rich unto." In the sphere of ordinary life, when men become rich, they are in general simply said to be rich — at times it may be said that they are rich in this world's possessions, or that they are rich in the possession of devoted friends, or rich in genius, but God is here represented as "rich unto" — i.e., He is abundant in goodness.

(J. Morison, D.D.)

because —


1. He makes no difference.

2. Is rich unto all.

3. Offers salvation to all who call upon Him.


1. He sends His gospel to all (vers. 14, 15).

2. Convinces men of unbelief (ver. 16).

3. Makes His word effective in producing faith (ver. 17).


1. They do not improve the means (ver. 18).

2. Are often more unfaithful than others less favoured (vers. 19, 20).

3. Make the purpose of God of no effect through their disobedience.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall he saved
John Berridge once said, after having given out these words as his text, "I would much rather it be written, 'Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved' — than 'If John Berridge shall call out the name of the Lord he shall be saved'; because" said he, "how do I know that there might not be another John Berridge in the world to whom those words were addressed? But when I read, 'Whosoever shall call,' etc., I know I must be included."

1. Its import.

2. Its conditions.

3. Its universal offer.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

This is the substance of the grand gospel. It implies —

1. That we are not saved by our opinions, theories, Churches, or ordinances.

2. That we are saved by Christ.

3. That application to Him for salvation must be made.

4. That in granting salvation Christ is no respecter of persons.How thankful should we be for this simple, comprehensive declaration. How instant and earnest should be our application. How hopeful and assured of a favourable reply.

(J. Parker, D.D.)





(J. Lyth, D.D.)

Paul opened this chapter with an expression of heartfelt desire for the salvation of Israel; but the mass cf the nation were acting in direct antagonism to the only method of salvation. In his estimation, their rejection of the Divine plan of saving men was a crime which admitted of no palliation. There were no physical difficulties in the way (vers. 6, 7). There were no intellectual difficulties in the way (ver. 8). There were no moral difficulties in the way, save in their own voluntary ignorance and unbelief. Hell is self-chosen, both by Jew and Gentile. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."


1. From present evil. "The whole world is guilty before God."

2. From future evil. Living to sin, the tendency of his soul is downwards, and no plumb-line can fathom the depths to which he may descend. Perish is the dark dissyllable used to describe the final state of the impenitent.

II. THE SALVATION MAN WANTS IS ATTAINABLE. "Shall be saved." Salvation includes —

1. Deliverance from the great moral evils of the present.

2. Fitness for the enjoyment of the great realities of the future. The saving power creates a heaven in the heart, ere it introduces a heaven to the eye.


1. He procured it as the world's Saviour. "He redeemed us to God with His blood." He could have destroyed; but while we were yet sinners He died for us.

2. He bestows salvation as the world's Sovereign.


1. This condition embodies all that is instrumentally necessary to man's salvation. It implies —


(2)Confession of sin to God.

(3)Faith. The prayer of the publican blended these elements.There was self-condemnation. Smiting upon his burdened conscience, he exclaimed, "God be merciful to me."... There was a confession of sin to God: "God be merciful to"... "a sinner." There was faith.

2. This condition is strikingly simple compared with the great results of its exercise. "Whosoever shall call... shall be saved." We have not to traverse sandy deserts, and climb rugged steeps with the Mohammedan, nor to endure maceration with the papist, in order to obtain salvation. We have no work of supposed merit to perform; not to purchase, not to suffer, but to beg.

3. This condition is bound up with a name that renders salvation the certain result of its exercise. The condition is, that we pray to Christ. Complying with this condition, the name of Christ is a guarantee of success.

4. This condition may be exercised with success by any one cf the race. "Whosoever shall," etc. Christianity invites the confidence of the world. Catholicity appears —

(1)In all the Saviour has done for man.

(2)In the calls and offers of the gospel.Whosoever is a word utterly neutralising the attempts which men have rashly made to limit the compassion of God, and obstruct the way of the sinner's approach to the mercy-seat. Conclusion: The subject reminds us —

1. That only one method of salvation exists. "There is none other name given among men," etc.

2. To perish with a knowledge of this, man must commit soul-suicide.

(G. Wallis.)

I. THE BLESSING. Salvation from —

1. The guilt.

2. The power.

3. The results of sin.

II. THE DUTY. To call —

1. Upon God.

2. Through the mediation of Christ.

3. By the aid of the Spirit.

4. With a disposition to be saved.


1. Nations.

2. Ranks.

3. Conditions.

4. Characters.

(W. W. Wythe.)





(W. W. Wythe.)

To call upon the name of the Lord implies —

I.RIGHT FAITHS, to call upon Him as He is.

II.RIGHT TRUST in Him, leaning upon Him.

III.RIGHT DEVOTION, calling upon Him, as He has appointed.

IV.RIGHT LIFE, ourselves who call upon Him being, or becoming, by His grace, what He wills.They call not upon the Lord, but upon some idol of their own imagining, who call upon Him as other than He has revealed Himself, or remaining themselves other than those whom He has declared that He will hear.

(E. B. Pusey, D.D.)

I. This call DOES NOT ALWAYS EXPRESS ITSELF IN WORDS, BUT IS THE SPEECH OF THE SPIRIT, and is well understood by the heavenly Father, who seeks to hear those who worship Him in spirit and in truth.

II. It is NOT AN ARTIFICIAL CALL. The mere saying of prayers is an act of gross superstition; the form is useless unless your heart feels and prompts the expression.

III. It is NOT A CALL FOR FORM'S SAKE, BUT A DYING CRY FOR HELP. A Frenchman going to the chapel to pray, found that workmen were in the chapel, and the altar covered up with a dirty cloth. So walking quietly up the centre of the chapel and making a courteous bow, he placed his card upon the altar and retired. But there was also in the place a poor woman, who had been led, perhaps by poverty and cruel temptation, into sin. Crouching upon the floor, her tears fell upon the sawdust, and her soul cried to God. In the one case it was a matter of form, in the other it was an earnest desire for the forgiveness and peace of God.

IV. It is A CALL THAT IS INTENSELY EARNEST. The call that shall move God to save us is not a mere chaunted prayer, but the cry within the heart, "God, be merciful to me a sinner."

V. It is THE CALL OF THE HELPLESS ONE, who is broken down under the load of sin.


(W. Birch.)

1. Inasmuch as our text talks of men being saved, it implies that men need saving; but if men had been as God created them, they would have needed no saving. We must not, however, throw the blame on Adam; no man was ever yet damned for Adam's sin alone. Children dying in infancy are, without doubt, saved through the atonement. But we are not children. We need not talk just now of Adam's sins. We have our own to account for.

2. Salvation means our escaping from the punishment of sin, and also from the habit of sin.

3. How may men be saved? The answer is in the text.

I. EXPLANATION. What is meant by calling upon the name of the Lord?

1. Worship. "When men began to multiply upon the face of the earth, then began men to call upon the name of the Lord," i.e., they builded altars in His name, offered sacrifice, bowed their knee, and lifted their voice. Now, whosoever is enabled by grace to worship God, in God's way, shall be saved.

2. Prayer. Elijah, when the prophets of Baal sought to get rain from their false god, said, "I will call upon God," i.e., "I will pray to God, that He may send the rain." Now, whosoever prayeth to God through Christ, with sincere prayer, shall be saved. Thou canst not pray and perish. It may be a groan, a tear, or a prayer in broken English; but if it be a prayer from the inmost heart, thou shalt be saved.

3. Trust. A man cannot call upon the name of the Lord, unless he trusts in that name, and he that trusteth in Christ, calling on His name, shall be saved.

4. Professing His name. Ananias said to Saul, "Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord." Now some of you say, "We will believe and be secret Christians." Hear this, then — "If any man be ashamed of Me," etc. What would Her Majesty think of her soldiers, if they should prefer not to wear anything that would mark them as being soldiers?

II. REFUTATION. There are some popular errors which need to be cured by refutation., viz. —

1. That a priest or a minister is absolutely necessary to assist men in salvation. The necessity of a preacher lies in telling what the way of salvation is; but his office goes no further. Neither Paul, nor an angel from heaven, can help you in salvation. We must each of us go to the fountain-head, pleading this promise.

2. That a good dream is a most splendid thing in order to save people. Rowland Hill, when a woman pleaded that she was saved because she dreamed, said, "Well, it is very nice to have good dreams when you are asleep; but I want to see how you act when you are awake; for if your conduct is not consistent in religion when you are awake. I will not give a snap of the finger for your dreams." Some people have been alarmed by dreams; but to trust to them is to trust to a shadow.

3. That a certain kind of feeling must be experienced in order to salvation. Now, the only feeling I want is that I am a sinner and that Christ is my Saviour. You may keep your ecstasies and raptures to yourselves; the only feeling necessary is deep repentance and humble faith; and if you have got that you are saved.

4. That somehow or other salvation is connected with learning. Now, I would advise you to know as much as ever you can; but in regard to going to heaven, the way is so plain, that "the wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err therein." All you want to know is, the two things that begin with S — Sin and Saviour.

III. EXHORTATION. Believe the message. Does it seem hard to believe? Nothing is too hard for the Most High. I will use a few reasons to induce you to believe this truth. If thou callest on Christ's name thou wilt be saved.

1. Because thou art elect. That doctrine which puzzles many and frightens more, never need do so. If you call on the name of Christ you are elect.

2. Because thou art redeemed. Christ has bought thee, and paid for thee.

3. Because Christ says, "In My Father's house there are many mansions," and there is one there for you.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)




(J. Lyth, D.D.)

I. FAITH IS ESSENTIAL TO WORSHIP (ver. 13). "He that cometh to God must believe that He is," etc. Acceptable worship is not speech, ritual, or bodily service, but the devotions of a soul quickened by a living faith.

1. Not a corporate faith, the current faith of a community to which we belong.

2. Not a traditional faith.

3. But an individual faith which has been reached by our own examination of facts and evidence, and which has become a living power within us.

II. INFORMATION IS ESSENTIAL TO FAITH (ver. 14). Faith implies objects known to us. We cannot believe in something, however true, that is unknown. Men know nothing of God until they are informed. The knowledge does not come either as an intuition, or as a truth conveyed by nature. "The world by wisdom knew not God." There must come a special revelation.

III. PREACHING IS ESSENTIAL TO KNOWLEDGE. "How shall they hear without a preacher?" Let the word "preacher" stand for all who convey from God necessary information — prophets, apostles, and all true modern expositors of the blessed Book. Had not such messengers appeared whom God made organs of communications to men, what should we have known of Him? What to produce a living faith? The publication of the gospel by preaching is God's established instrumentality for giving the world a knowledge of the great things of faith.

IV. DIVINE COMMISSION IS ESSENTIAL TO PREACHING. "How shall they preach except they be sent?" The men who give the true knowledge are the men only whom God sends. There are many unsent preachers proclaiming their notions. Who are the sent ones? What are the criteria by which to determine the point — volubility, animal warmth, popularity? Not necessarily so. He is the sent who is divinely qualified by having the right conceptions, the right sympathies, the right speech.

(D. Thomas, D.D.)

I. PRAYER. "How then shall they call on Him?" etc. This implies —

1. Consciousness of dependence upon Him.

2. An earnest desire after Him.

II. FAITH. "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?" Faith in —

1. His personal existence.

2. The entreatability of His nature.

III. KNOWLEDGE. "How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?" Faith is at the basis of all knowledge — soul redemptive faith requires knowledge, not of the creative, sustaining God, but of the redeeming God, God in Christ.

IV. PREACHING. The redeeming God has been made known to man by preaching. Enoch, Noah, Moses, the prophets, the apostles, and Christ all preached. And the subject of all their preaching was the redeeming God. No one can preach this properly unless he be sent.

(D. Thomas, D.D.)

Mother's Treasury.
Macaulay speaks of James II as being hard and as glorying in the opportunity of crushing another. One of the most affecting pictures in the Royal Academy of this year depicts the king in the act of crushing the poor defeated Duke of Monmouth. In a room hung with tapestry the king stands erect, lank, sickly, and contemptuous. The poor duke whose rebellion had roused the hatred of the king, thought to move him to pity. His arms were "bound behind him with a silken cord, and thus secured he was ushered into the presence of the implacable kinsman whom he had wronged. Then Monmouth threw himself on the ground and crawled to the king's feet." The artist represents him with face on the smooth floor, eyes swollen with weeping and watching, striving to move the king to pity. It was in vain. The king only crushed with hardness and contempt. No wonder that the historian says strongly, "To see him, and not to spare him, was an outrage on humanity and decency." How many such outrages are committed in a day by those of lower rank 1 Those who feel that they have sinned and who come imploringly to the feet of Divine mercy, have no need to fear that they will be treated with hardness. God "will not break the bruised reed," He is gentle towards us. He forgives, uplifts, strengthens, and saves.

(Mother's Treasury.)

Some years ago a vessel struck on the rocks. They had only one lifeboat. In that lifeboat the passengers and crew were getting ashore. The vessel had foundered, and was sinking deeper and deeper, and that one boat could not take the passengers very swiftly. A little girl stood on the deck waiting for her turn to get into the boat. The boat came and went, came and went, but her turn did not seem to come. After awhile she could wait no longer, and she leaped on the taffrail and then sprang into the sea, crying to the boatman, "Save me next! Save me next!" Oh, how many have gone ashore into God's mercy, and yet you are clinging to the wreck of sin! Others have accepted the pardon of Christ, but you are in peril. Why not, this moment, make a rush for your immortal rescue, crying until Jesus shall hear you, and heaven and earth ring with the cry, "Save me next! Save me next"?

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