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Sermon #120 — Romans Series


Title:                           A Simple Sermon for

Needy Sinners


Text:                            Romans 10:13

Subject:                     Faith in Christ

Date:                          Sunday Morning — June 4, 2017

Reading:       Genesis 4:1-26[i]



I have A SIMPLE SERMON FOR NEEDY SINNERS. I am going to speak to this congregation in the plainest, simplest terms possible about salvation. I am going to preach to you as if you were totally ignorant of the gospel. My object in doing so is just this — I want you who are lost to be saved by the grace of God in Christ. May God give me your heart’s attention. My text is Romans 10:13 — “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”


Proposition: Salvation is the gift of God in Christ, freely bestowed upon all who call upon the name of the Lord.


Divisions: It is my intention to preach the gospel to you as plainly and clearly as possible, in utter simplicity and, I pray, in the power of God.

1.    What does it mean to be lost?

2.    What does it mean to be saved?

3.    How can a sinner be saved?

4.    I want to persuade you to call upon the name of the Lord.




1stWhat does it mean to be lost? The Scriptures universally declare, and our text clearly implies, that all men and women by nature are lost and in need of God’s salvation.


Illustration:I’ve seen better days.


How is it that men are lost? How did we get into the mess we are in? How did the human race come to be corrupt, depraved, and lost? Certain it is that we were not created in this condition. If man had remained as God made him in the beginning, he would not be in need of salvation. Adam in the garden was perfect, pure, holy, and acceptable to God (Genesis 1:27, 31).


(Genesis 1:26-31) “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (29) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. (30) And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. (31) And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”


What a pair that original couple must have been! Adam and Eve were naked before God and were not ashamed. They had no reason to blush, even before God! They needed no cleansing. They needed no mercy. They needed no salvation. But something happened. Eve was beguiled by Satan. And Adam, with full consciousness of what he was doing, broke the command of God (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-6).


(Genesis 2:15-17) “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (16) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”


(Genesis 3:1-6) “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: (3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”


Adam was a representative man. When he sinned, we sinned in him. When he died, we all died with him. When he was lost, we were lost in him (Romans 5:12). All of Adam’s sons are born into this world in need of a Savior.


(Romans 5:12) “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”


We cannot lay the blame for our condition upon Adam alone. No one was ever damned for Adam’s sin. Those children who die in infancy are, without doubt, saved by God’s sovereign grace through the merits of Christ’s atonement. They are innocent of any actual transgression and redeemed from Adam’s transgression. They “sinned not after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.” But we are not children. “All we, like sheep, have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way.” We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. We have all broken God’s law. We are all guilty before God. We all deserve to perish under the wrath of God. The Word of God declares this; and our consciences bear witness that it is so. We are all lost by reason of sin (Romans 3:10-19). We were lost in the garden by the fall of Adam. We are born in a lost condition, separated from God. And we are lost by reason of our own willful transgression and disobedience.


But what does it mean to be lost?

Š      It means that I am separated from God.

Š      It means that I am spiritually dead.

Š      It means that I am totally depraved. My heart, my nature, my mind, my will, my emotions, all are evil, corrupt, depraved.

Š      It means that I am under the just curse and condemnation of God’s holy law.

Š      It means that I am perishing under the wrath of God; and I have no ability to change my condition.


Hear me, my friend, if you are yet without Christ, you are lost, helplessly lost, and perishing in sin. Has God made you aware of your lost and ruined condition?

Š      The Lost Coin

Š      The Lost Sheep

Š      The Lost Son

Š      When he came to himself…


Has God made you aware of the fact that you are lost?

Š      Without God!

Š      Without life!

Š      Without Christ!

Š      Without hope!




2ndWhat does it mean to be saved? Our text speaks of being saved. What is salvation? Let me briefly tell you four things about salvation. Basically, salvation is redemption, regeneration, reconciliation, resurrection. Salvation involves these four things.


1.    Redemption ⸺ In redemption, God himself made an atonement for sin by the sacrifice of his Son as the sinner’s Substitute (Isaiah 53:10-12).


(Isaiah 53:4-12) “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (5) 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 everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. (9) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (12) Therefore, will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”


2.    Regeneration ⸺ In regeneration, God sends his Spirit into the hearts of his people, causing those who were dead to live (John 5:25-29; Ephesians 2:1-4).


(John 5:25-29) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”


(Ephesians 2:1-5) “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.)”


3.    Reconciliation ⸺ In reconciliation, God causes his people to turn to Christ, their Lord and Savior in repentance and faith (Psalms 65:4; 80:3, 7, 19).


(Psalm 65:4) “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.”


(Psalm 80:3) “Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”


(Psalm 80:7) “Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”


(Psalm 80:19) “Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”


We must turn from our idols to serve the living and true God. We must turn willfully and deliberately to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10-6:2).


(2 Corinthians 5:10-6:2) “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (11) Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. (12) For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. (13) For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. (14) For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: (15) And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (16) Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. (17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (1) We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (2) (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”


Yes, we must be reconciled to God. Yes, you must bow to Christ. But it is God who turns us and bows us by the almighty, gracious, effectual power of his Spirit (Lamentations 5:21; Jeremiah 31:18-19).


(Lamentations 5:21) “Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.”


(Jeremiah 31:18-19) “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. (19) Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.”


“I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew

He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me.

It was not I that found, O Savior true;

No, I was found of Thee.


Thou didst reach forth Thy hand and mine enfold;

I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea.

‘Twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,

As Thou, dear Lord, on me.


I find, I walk, I love, but, oh, the whole

Of love is but my answer, Lord, to Thee!

For Thou wert long beforehand with my soul;

Always Thou lovedst me.”


To be saved is to be turned, turned

Š      From Rebellion to Submission. — “All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give! I surrender all.

Š      From Unbelief to Faith.

Š      From Darkness to Light.

Š      From Enmity to Love.

Š      From Self to Christ.


4.    Resurrection ⸺ Salvation is consummated in resurrection, restitution made, complete restoration, the resurrection of our bodies in the last day (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).


(1 Corinthians 15:51-55) “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”




3rdHow can a sinner be saved? This is the great subject of our text. Paul here shows us the way of salvation. — “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I like that word “whosoever.” Anybody, any sinner in all the wide world, who does but call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. This is the promise of our text. If I call upon the name of the Lord, I am saved. If you call upon the name of the Lord, you are saved.


Salvation comes by calling upon the name of the Lord.

Š      Salvation does not come by walking a church aisle, talking to a priest, or a preacher, or saying a certain prayer. Salvation comes by calling upon the name of the Lord.

Š      Salvation does not come by calling on the name of the Lord, and sincerely trying to live for God. Salvation comes by calling on the name of the Lord.

Š      Salvation does not come by dreams and visions. Salvation comes by calling upon the name of the Lord.

Š      Salvation does not come by feelings and experiences. Salvation comes by calling upon the name of the Lord.


If I am to call upon the name of the Lord, I must know who he is (Romans 10:14-17).


(Romans 10:13-17) “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14) 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! (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (17) So, then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”


I cannot call upon an unknown God. I cannot trust an unrevealed Savior. I cannot believe an unspoken promise.

Š      Who is the Lord Jesus Christ?

Š      What has he done?

Š      Why did he do it?

Š      Where is he now?

Š      What is he doing there?


What does it mean to call upon the name of the Lord? I tremble as I endeavor to explain this text. I know that it is easy to be confusing, rather than enlightening. Far too many sermons are like painted windows. Instead of shedding light, they shut it out. I pray that God the Holy Ghost will enable me to speak plainly and clearly. What is it to call upon the name of the Lord? Let’s look into the Book of God to see.


Genesis 4:26 To call upon the name of the Lord is to worship God (Genesis 4:26). Whosoever worships God, in God’s appointed way, by God’s ordained Mediator, shall be saved.


(Genesis 4:25-26) “And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. (26) And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.”


1 Kings 18:24To call upon the name of the Lord is to pray (1 Kings 18:24).


(1 Kings 18:24) “And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.”


(1 Kings 18:36-37) “And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. (37) Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.”


Whosoever shall pray unto the living God from his heart shall be saved. Prayer is the sure sign of life in the heart.


Matthew 8:2To call upon the name of the Lord is to trust the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 8:2).


(Matthew 8:1-3) “When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. (2) And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (3) And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”


The leper came to Christ… —

Š      Knowing his need.

Š      Knowing Christ’s power.

Š      Submitting to Christ’s rule.

Š      Trusting Christ’s mercy.


Acts 22:16To call upon the name of the Lord is to publicly profess his name before men in believer’s baptism, being immersed, buried with him in baptism (Acts 22:16; Galatians 3:27).


(Galatians 3:27) “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”


(Acts 22:12-16) “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, (13) Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. (14) And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. (15) For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. (16) And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”


Baptism has no saving efficacy whatsoever. It has no merit with God. But baptism is an act of obedience to Christ. It is the King’s command. It is therefore something we are obliged to require of men (Mark 16:16).


What is it to call upon the name of the Lord? It is… —

Š      To Worship God.

Š      To Pray.

Š      To Trust Christ.

Š      To Confess Christ.




4thI want to persuade you to call upon the name of the Lord. In the name of God, I now lay before you God’s own Word. Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved. I have no hesitancy whatsoever in declaring this gospel promise to you. ⸺ “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Š      If you call upon Christ’s name, you shall be saved, because you are one of God’s elect. And the purpose of God according to election must stand.

Š      If you call upon the name of Christ, you shall be saved, because you are redeemed by the blood of Christ. And Christ’s blood bought ones cannot be lost.

Š      If you call upon the name of Christ, you shall be saved, because you are born of God. And God’s regenerating grace can never be nullified.

Š      If you call upon the name of the Lord, you shall be saved, because Christ has prepared a place for you in his Father’s kingdom. And no place in heaven shall be left vacant.


Just suppose it were possible for a sinner to call upon the name of the Lord, and yet perish in hell, then… —

Š      God would be found a liar!

Š      Christ’s blood would be shed in vain!

Š      The grace of God would be frustrated!

Š      The purpose of God would be foiled!

Š      The power of God would be defeated!

Š      The triune God would lose his glory, vacate his throne, and cease to be!


And those things can never be! Blessed be God, his Word is sure — “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”




Š      Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me!

Š      If I can but touch the hem of his garment…”

Š      Lord, remember me.”


Reach out and touch the Lord,

As He passes by.

You’ll find He’s not too busy

To hear your heart’s cry.


He’s passing by this moment

Your needs to supply.

So, reach out and touch the Lord,

As He passes by.










Don Fortner








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[i] Genesis 4:1-26

(1) And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

(2) And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

(3) And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

(4) And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

(5) But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

(6) And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?

(7) If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

(8) And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.


(9) And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

(10) And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

(11) And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;

(12) When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

(13) And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

(14) Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

(15) And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.


(16) And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

(17) And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

(18) And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.


(19) And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

(20) And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.

(21) And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

(22) And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

(23) And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

(24) If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.


(25) And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

(26) And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.