Readings Romans 1
Romans 1:16 (NASB95)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Don’t you hate coming out of a bathroom to find a line up of people outside!
Dear bold ones,
Would you be ashamed of something you invented that would change the world forever, something that could transform a person’s life? No, you would openly share whatever could do this amazing feat!
There are a few things(okay, many things) that I have been embarrassed about through the years. Whether it was wetting my pants in school, teaching with my zipper down, showing up on the wrong day for an event, missing an assignment because I forgot to set the clock ahead, being reminded of something dumb I did when I was dating, or being unreasonable as a parent…….. This list could go on and on. Making false accusations, being wrong about a fact that you were sure of, buying the wrong item for a project I was working on, walking in on somebody while they were in the bathroom….. I have to stop, I am bringing back too many memories.
A well known verse jumped out at me as I was reading in Romans. Romans 1:16 and the word ashamed have been on my mind since I read the verse last night. There are many things to be ashamed about, but the Gospel is not one of them! It is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes!
Here are some synonyms of ashamed: abashed, apologetic, bashful, blushing, chagrined, compunctious, conscience-stricken, contrite, crestfallen, debased, demeaned, discomfited, disconcerted, distraught, distressed, embarrassed, flustered, guilty, hesitant, humble, humbled, humiliated, meek, mortified, muddled, penitent, regretful, reluctant, repentant, shamed, shamefaced, sheepish, shy, sorry, stammering, stuttering, submissive.
These are not words that should go along with the Gospel.
It seems that many through the years have tried to avoid the offensiveness of the Gospel, to change it’s meaning, or to make it look more appealing. It doesn’t need to be changed. It doesn’t need any help! We are to simply share it. Sure it can be, and should be in the context of love, yet it doesn’t mean it can only be shared once you have a longstanding relationship with someone. The early Church seemed to be sharing the Gospel both with strangers as well as with those they worked and lived with.
Paul realized that it was not due to some fancy rhetorical method, or new media presentation. God was using the foolish things of this world (Paul), to present the wisdom of God to lost people.
Listen again to Paul in I Corinthians 2 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NASB95)
1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,
4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
What is the heart of the Gospel?
1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (NASB95)
1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;
8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again!
Let’s not make the message difficult. And we need not be ashamed of it. It does not need dressing up, or packaging it up in some new form.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God! (Romans 10:17)
And it is by the Spirit’s working! (1 Corinthians 2:4)
“and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”
There is nothing more powerful than the life changing Word of God. The Word of God, and the Spirit of God can give life. It is the power of God for the salvation of many.
(I am not implying that you should never use different forms of media, not worry about proper preparation for speaking, or prayerful strategic planning. I am saying that God is the One that brings people to life. It is necessary to share the Gospel, which never changes. The truths of the Gospel can not be changed, watered down, added to, or avoided.
Stop worrying about the fact that you are not smart enough, gifted enough, wise enough, eloquent enough, media savvy enough….. Realize that if you are in Christ, that Christ is in you, and all you need to be is available for Him to live through you. Share the Gospel realizing the means and the power are beyond you, and sit back and watch God at work!
Are you ashamed? Hopefully not by anything, but especially not the Gospel!
Check out the link to the right, Share Jesus without Fear, and see how God can use you as you open up the Word of God!