In his exegesis of Romans 10:14, German Reformed theologian David Paraeus (1548-1622) identifies a gradation in the ministry of the Word that leads to salvation, beginning with God’s calling of his preachers and climaxing in the hearing of the elect, who are guided by the Lord to call on Him in faith.

Romans 10:14

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Commentary on Romans 10:14

Therefore the first instrument of salvation is the sending of preachers; next, the preaching of the Word; third, the hearing of the Word; fourth, faith; finally, calling on God. By these steps one ascends to righteousness and salvation. Those who spurn these means are robbed of salvation. Nonetheless, in all these means we are uniquely called back to heeding the grace of God. For he gives those things to those to whom he wishes to give it by his extraordinary providence. And the beginning is found in the sending of preachers. But this sending is from God. For it belongs to him to rouse up and send messengers to people. Therefore, if God does not send preachers, who will preach? Who will hear the Word? Who will believe? Who will call on him? Who will be saved? Nobody, to be sure. Therefore the entire series of our salvation flows from God and depends on him. Also the honor, need and efficacy of the ministry is commended. For through the ministry, to whom belongs the task of the preaching of God’s Word, God works in the elect hearing, faith, calling on him and salvation.

Romans 9–16, eds. Philip D. W. Krey and Peter D.S. Krey, Reformation Commentary on Scripture, NT Vol. VIII, 77.


RCS Series on Romans 9–16

“Grace Is from God Alone.” Domingo de Soto on Romans 9:6-13.

“The Chain of Preaching.” David Pareus on Romans 10:14.

February 20: “The Ministry to Gentiles Is for the Benefit of the Jews.” Martin Luther on Romans 11:13.

February 27: “God’s Word on Civil Matters.” Philipp Melanchthon on Romans 13:1-7.

March 6: “Ancient Plague of Adiaphora.” Wolfgang Musculus on Romans 14.

March 13: “Good Works Flow from Faith Alone.” Tilemann Hesshus on Romans 14:23.

March 20: “Scripture Is for Our Benefit and Growth.” John Calvin on Romans 15:4.

March 27: “Simple, Excellent and Honorable Greetings as Examples for Us.” Johann Wild on Romans 16:1.