“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Romans 1:16
There are many things that we’ve said and done that might cause us to have or feel shame. Mistakes and failures of our pasts, foolish choices, sinful disobedience…but the gospel should never be a cause for shame in your life or mine. As the gospel of Jesus Christ is increasingly unpopular in our world, I see more and more “Christians” (and yes, I use that term loosely) buckle up in fear of being labeled intolerant or narrow-minded and in that, refuse to stand up for the sake of the gospel. An outright refusal to claim that Jesus Christ is the only way to God is an accurate representation of the mindset of most in our world today. I would ask you today the same question I’ve been asking myself:
Whom do you fear most?
Man and his perceptions of you or God? When we live in the fear of man, we compromise the truth that we know, the gospel that has saved us because we fear that it somehow will not be palatable to a hard and calloused world. Christian, I exhort you today – we have to start here. What does Paul say in verse 16 to his letter to the Romans? “I am not….” What? He is not what? Ashamed! He is not ashamed of the gospel, whether others want him to be or not. He was not ashamed of the gospel, and we must not be either.
Shame exhibits itself in different ways – in our actions, speech, decision making, and even in our silence. When we refuse to speak up for the gospel because we think we might offend someone, we are ashamed of it. When we water it down because we presume that the depth of it will be far more than the average person can “handle”, we are ashamed of it. When we won’t discipline our lives and our schedules to make Jesus and His church our priority, we are ashamed of it. Christian, we are called to be living examples of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is meant to be on display in our lives. How will a dying and lost world ever see it if not in us?
When it comes to faith, we have to start here. We can’t be ashamed of the very thing that we claim to stake our lives on. The gospel, which is the power of God that brings salvation – the same salvation that rescued you and I from the dominion of darkness and from the clutches of the enemy – should never induce shame in us. Shame and guilt are weapons of Satan that he uses to keep God’s children from freedom. Conviction comes from God. Two very different things. When you feel ashamed of the truth to which you now hold, there is a greater power at work around you seeking to quench the faith that you have received. Let’s start recognizing the enemy’s work in this and refuse to give him the victory any longer. I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is power. It is salvation. And our world desperately needs it. It’s time to take a stand and defend it.